Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Unapologetically Her

Interview with OLGA LESKEVICA
Model & Estate Agent

Add a pretty face to a pinch of boldness, to a an ounce of smartness and a good dose of class. Bring them all together and you will understand why Olga Leskevica stands out in any busy crowd. From a very young age, her face has graced countless fashion magazines and designer runways. Yet there is more to Olga than just the looks, photo shoots and catwalks. A graduate in communications, she is also one of the most successful estate agents out there. Moreover, she is frank, blunt and does not shy away to discuss key issues including gender equality.

What encourages a media and communication student to venture into the real estate industry?
I specifically chose to work in the real estate sector because I can set my own hours and goals. Above all, it offers me the opportunity to exploit my communications background by reaching out to a wide range of people from all over the world both in person and through social media. The real estate sector is indeed very dynamic thus not restricting how much you can achieve personally and financially. It all depends on you. It is a sector where the sky is the limit.

To what extent do you agree that beauty is a fragile gift?
To appreciate the gift of beauty, we need to understand its real meaning. Unfortunately, beauty is something that very few understand and very few possess. We often limit our understanding of beauty to aesthetics which I feel is wrong. I believe a person needs to be beautiful inside out. It’s not only what you see but should also reflect one’s soul. Thus, it should reflect one’s attitude, style, intelligence and kindness. I also believe the fulfilment of beauty is achieved when one appreciates beauty in its entirety and strives to respect it, protect it and avoid abusing it.
I believe every person is beautiful somehow, but not every person knows it and not every person appreciates the gift he or she has been endowed with. We need to appreciate who we are, love ourselves as we are and accept ourselves with all our imperfections.

What role does beauty play in today’s society?
It plays a significant role and has the power to spawn aspiration and passion, by becoming the stimulus to achieve our dreams. In our professional lives we often deal with beauty as a physical manifestation. However beauty can also be expressed in our emotions, our way of thinking and our spirituality. Beauty can manifested in nature, in art, in people, in culture and in many other things that surround us. It can take on infinite shapes, allowing us to define it by what makes the most sense to us. We are so lucky to live in a time when beauty is not restricted by gender, age, race or sexuality.

What role does social media play in your life?
Social media offers me the opportunity to communicate both my corporate and personal life. Today, social media has become part of my life and often determines my daily routine.Through social media I am able to reach my clients, partners or relatives situated in any across the globe. Social media is my source of information, my medium of communication and my means to reach out to my close circle.
Indeed, I operate and interact with my followers mainly through my social media platforms. It’s the best and fastest way to advertise and share new properties. I strongly believe that I can sell through the various mediums I use.

Karl Lagerfeld once noted, “Luxury is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress.” What is your definition of luxury?
I believe luxury is a personal indulgence that provides pleasure, comfort, and satisfaction by the acquisition of what we may coin as ‘extra needs’. We all dream of materialistic objects, whether it is a brand new Rolls Royce, a stunning house, a branded purse or an expensive bottle of Château Lafite. There is nothing wrong in that as long as we are able to appreciate other things in life such as the value of time as well as the value of all that surrounds us. Luxury is a temporary experience whilst other things are not. Sadly, we live in a society where value is often determined by price. The higher the price tag, the more we want it.

In an interview with Extra, Scarlet Johansson was asked whether she was “able to wear undergarments” while playing Black Widow to which she promptly replied, “Since when did people start asking each other in interviews about their underwear?” To what extent do you feel we still live in a sexist society?
Truly speaking it’s a very interesting question for me and I strongly believe that sexism has always been a major issue for women and still is. Notwithstanding the uproar generated by the #MeToo movement in response to the allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour from the American film producer, Harvey Weinstein, sexist attitudes are alive and well in workplaces where a hand on the knee or a pat on the bottom is a common occurrence.
However the issue is far deeper than that. The issue is also about gender inequality. The 2016 survey about women’s lives and roles in Malta has shown that women make up 49.7% of population, graduate more, and have a longer life expectancy, however, they are still 5% more unemployed, paid 11% less and are more at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Is this logical? Why should gender equality still be an issue today? Life is not a competition between men and women. It’s a collaboration of both forces. Together we are stronger.

What society should we live in?
We live in a very diverse society with ups and downs, with busy roads, with huge glass buildings and above all people. As once well noted by Margaret Thatcher, “there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.” Yes, individuals, managing their everyday life characterised by work, social events, family problems and challenges, romance and also the Covid-19 pandemic.
For centuries we invested time trying to identify what the stereotype individual should look like, discriminating and isolating people according to colour, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation in the process. I believe it’s completely wrong as it’s not about your origin, your background or your gender but rather about being happy, healthy and finding your purpose in that life.

How has society changed following the COVID-19 pandemic?
It has changed our society, our mentality, our way of thinking and our freedom. We are not capable of being who we were before. We need to compromise, follow the ‘new rules’ and accepted the fact that we are living in a restricted environment. This is not an easy exercise yet humans have the ability to adapt and thus survive.

What’s next for Olga?
I seek to be a better person emotionally, physically and spiritually. Improvement begins with ” I ” and I have so much work to do . There are many plans in the pipeline yet it is too early to share.

Aqra Wkoll