Lola

17th arrondissement, 10.30 am.

The door opens: Lola welcomes me in her little maid’s room on the 7th floor of a Haussmann-style building without elevator. “I just moved in a maid’s room, my very own first place in Paris.” Lola is from La Rochelle and came to Paris when she was 19 after falling in love. “I fall in love easily; I live my passions to the fullest, even if it hurts sometimes.” She told me she often lived at her lovers and friends’ house before living here.

She lights and smokes a joint, then another one, as we talk about everything and nothing while listening to Oum Kelthoum. She told me she was listening to lots of Arabic music when she was young. “I used to listen to a lot of music with my grandma; she’s the one who made me discover most of the artists that I’m listening now.” A question pops into my head. Why LolaViande? She smiles. “Many people are wondering why! It’s one of the lines of a Belgian movie, a inside joke with my friends that stayed, but now it’s more of a middle finger addressed to guys and to people in general who treat women as meat.”

We’re ending up on YouTube, watching videos of Leikeli47 and video clips in which Lola participated: there are some negative comments. “I don’t care what people think about me. Sometimes, certain brands don’t want to work with because they think my Instagram profile is a little too “assumed”. I’m finally embracing the woman I am today after spending too much time worrying about it when I was younger, and I won’t change it. Authenticity always wins.”

Lola models for photographers and brands, and played in several video clips. “When I was young, I spent a lot of time dressing up at my grandma’s house. She would find clothes and give them to me, which explains the amount of pictures of me with outfits which were, in my head, empresses’ dresses or trendy outfits such as the ones she used to show me in magazines. I always posed well, and when I got my first camera, I was taking self-portraits in my room all day long. I decided to post some of them, and when I came to Paris, I was offered to model and I agreed right away. But in fact, I would rather play than pose. I would like to be an actress: the film industry, that’s my dream.” And that’s all we could hope for her future.

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