Saturday 11 March 2023

Interview with Andrea Rossi

Monika: Today my guest is Andrea Rossi, a fashion model, beauty ambassador, makeup artist, and proud and happy transgender woman from the Czech Republic. Hello Andrea!
Andrea: Hi Monika, thank you for the invitation. And also greetings to all readers.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Andrea: My name is Andrea, I am 33 years old and I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I moved to Prague right after my eighteenth birthday in order to fulfill my dreams and find love. It sounds like a Sex and the City cliché. But I hoped that I would succeed, which finally came true.
I come from a small village where I could not realize myself even in what I wanted to do professionally. And that was the world of fashion and makeup. Of course, I had to start somewhere, so my first job was as a saleswoman in a chain. When I earned some money, I paid for a make-up course from the main Christian Dior make-up instructor. Since then I have met the most interesting people.
I have always gravitated towards beauty – feminine beauty. I have felt like a woman since I was little, even though my body looked completely different, of course. As a teenager, I dressed in women's clothes that I secretly borrowed from my mother and put on make-up. 
As I already wrote, I always felt like a woman and wanted to be a woman. However, at that time I had almost no information about the operation and I didn't even know anyone who would undergo it, so I was afraid.
I started transitioning less than a year ago, when I said enough is enough, I won't suppress anything in myself, and I simply picked up the phone and made an appointment with a sexologist. I am very happy about this step.
Monika: Your Instagram is full of fashion photos. Would you describe yourself as a fashionista?
Andrea: I don't know exactly what the term fashionista describes. :) However, I am a big fashion lover. I have always been, but when I started transitioning, my relationship with fashion and make-up multiplied even more. A change of wardrobe was actually related to this. It was quite fun to buy a complete women's wardrobe. One day I simply decided to throw out the "men's" pieces I had in my closet and in the afternoon I went to the center and started shopping.
"I have always gravitated towards
beauty – feminine beauty."
I really enjoy shopping, I like quality materials, perfect customer service in boutiques and overall the atmosphere that you go to enjoy yourself. Moreover, I consider some luxury pieces as a good investment. :)
I don't copy fashion trends and I don't have to have everything that is worn right away. I only buy pieces that I wear and that I really like and are comfortable. I can personally say that I like simple elegance, quality cuts and fabrics. Probably my biggest weakness is heels and handbags. But that probably won't surprise anyone, who wouldn't love them, right?
Monika: Yes! Do you often experiment with your makeup?
Andrea: I used to experiment more. Now it's more about the fact that I like to test new products from the world of make-up. I like to use quality products. I know which colors suit me and I personally prefer the so-called nude make-up, which I freshen up with either some more expressive eye shadow or lipstick.
I never combine bold eyes and lips. The resulting look then looks cheap. I used to use more covering make-up because of my problematic skin. Over time, I understood that clean, radiant and hydrated skin is the basis. I use quality care and clean my skin both in the morning and in the evening.
Monika: By the way, do you like being complimented on your looks?
Andrea: Of course! (smile). Perhaps every woman wants to be attractive to those around her. I care about appearance, but I myself usually appreciate qualities other than appearance. Anyway, I wear what I like. I don't conform to trends and I think it's always worked out well so far.
Monika: Why did you choose Andrea for your name?
Andrea: I liked that name before. A lot of people knew even before the transition that I wanted to undergo gender reassignment in the future. They asked what I would like to be called. I said without hesitation. Since then some have called me that. Andrea means brave. When I was choosing a name, according to Czech legislation, I had to choose the so-called gender-neutral name. Since I have a very positive relationship with Italy, I chose this name.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Andrea: A social network is such an artificial world where people share what they like, present themselves in some way and want to share some things with others. Although it may not seem like it, I guard my privacy very carefully. Only close friends know almost everything about me. How I am, how I behave, they know my feelings and I know theirs. These are no longer pictures, but reality.
Monika: Do you get many questions from your social media followers? What do they ask for?
Andrea: Yes, I get a lot of questions of different types. Of course, I answer some. For example, they ask me what perfume I use, what kind of make-up I use, how often I go to the hairdresser, if I am engaged, if I have any plastic surgery or if I go out for a drink with someone. From time to time I get questions that I obviously don't want to answer.
Monika: We all pay the highest price for fulfilling our dreams to be ourselves. As a result, we lose our families, friends, jobs, and social positions. Did you pay such a high price as well? What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Andrea: I know a lot of people who have lost their friends and family. Thank God nothing like that happened to me. Already during puberty, I somehow presented myself as a woman, but I wore more unisex clothes in public. In private and possibly for a celebration, I also wore heels. I didn't go to work in heels and dresses at that time.
Of course, it also depends a lot on the people you surround yourself with. As for some of my acquaintances, I was confronted with a rather surprised reaction, but never with resistance. As for job loss, yes, this happened to me. I worked in the management of an international corporation. However, it didn't hurt me or break my confidence - it was just meant to be.

"I know a lot of people who have lost
their friends and family."

After a few months, they told me they wanted me back. But I declined with thanks. This made me even more confident that I was doing my job well with demonstrable results. As I said - it's about people and I chose my new job more carefully and if I didn't like my manager I simply wouldn't have joined. I wasn't in a hurry, I didn't need money at that time, so I could choose.
I believe that losing friends and a job can break someone down a lot. However, if you lose friends because of who you are - they were never your friends. If you lose your job - find a new one. You are not dying. If you lose your family, it's terrible. I believe, however, that if people love each other they will find their way back to each other. In these cases, I would just recommend everyone not blame themselves for losing something. In my opinion, it's the worst thing you can do and he didn't think for me at all. A lot depends on how you think about life. If you want to be happy in life, don't hurt yourself.
Monika: You look like a million dollars, so this question may not be relevant for you. We are said to be prisoners of passing or non-passing syndrome. Although cosmetic surgeries help to overcome it, we will always be judged accordingly. How can we cope with this?
Andrea: Thank you... I'm sure that a lot of cis women and men are also dealing with their appearance these days. Some maybe more so than people who are transitioning. I can't speak for others, but I also deal with my appearance. Every woman very quickly finds some imperfection in herself. Of course, for my peace of mind, I undergo some cosmetic treatments in the form of fillers and facial contouring, laser hair removal, etc.
I currently have no problem with it for anyone to judge me differently than a woman... Of course, someone will be surprised that I have a deeper voice when I talk to them. Before it probably bothered me more and I was afraid of it. But when I talk to people from Spain or Italy, a lot of women have just such a piercing, spirited voice. That calmed me down. No one calls me anything other than feminine.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow or followed?
Andrea: I have no such role model. But I really like the Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio.
"If you teach your surroundings
how to perceive you - they will
perceive you that way."
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Andrea: I firmly believe that the situation in the Czech Republic has improved over the past few years. Although I have heard many opinions that a lot of transgender women are often not perceived by those around them as women, as some kind of disability or abnormality.
So I've never encountered it. Again, I would use the phrase: if you teach people you meet how to perceive you - they will perceive you that way. I have a perfect experience with the doctors who take care of me and I have never had any major problems with anything.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQI+ community?
Andrea: It is a difficult question. We are involved in everyday life. I meet a lot of people every day, so of course I also come across a person from the LGBT community, and I also have a lot of friends in the LGBT community.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Andrea: Well, I wouldn't have thought of it before, but a lot of my friends came to me with the idea that I could write a book about it. So I'm not a writer, I would have to tell someone the whole story and they would then write it. Because I believe that there are a lot of interesting and inspiring stories that can help some people find their way. I myself heard several stories that inspired me.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Andrea: It is necessary to realize that we only live once. the path is not always easy. Sometimes you have to take risks or sacrifice something to gain. Behind everything is a strong will. If you are determined, nothing stands in the way of your freedom.
Monika: Andrea, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Andrea: I also thank you Monika very much for the pleasant interview and I keep my fingers crossed for everyone!

All photos: courtesy of Andrea Rossi.
© 2023 - Monika Kowalska

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