Jackie Adedeji, is on a mission to have society respect the boob no matter the size.
As an advocate for women with big boobs, Adedeji has teamed up with Channel 4 to present the brand new series Untold My Big Boobs. We spoke to her to find out more …
Please introduce yourself …
I’m Jackie Adedeji, I’m a presenter, writer and podcaster and presenter of Channel 4:Untold My Big Boobs, and I am British Nigerian.
Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence …
Tell us about Untold My Big Boobs … What’s it about?
My Big Boobs … is exploring the real lives of women with naturally big breasts, not what people think they’re like but how society views you. And it looks at the increase in breast reduction surgery.
How did you get involved with it?
I’d been sitting on this story for a while; there have been documentaries on big boobs but never through this lens, and they were never told by someone who actually has big boobs. It got rejected a few times by different broadcasters over the years before I pitched it to Channel 4. They liked it and paired me with Acme Productions and Jaimie D’Cruz to help develop it further. It was then properly commissioned by Debbie Ramsay and Leah Green at C4 (who are Black women). They really paved the way forward for me. They believed in me. I am eternally grateful to them.
How has having ‘big boobs’ helped and/or hindered your journey?
Having big boobs has given me a very unique living experience. Growing up in a Christian home, being told to cover up, getting to know myself and then being able to help lots of women feel confident enough to talk not just about their big boobs but how much we have let shame impact how we feel about our bodies. I think having big boobs has helped my career immensely. In lots of ways, I wouldn’t be me.
Tell us about your podcast Boobshare …
Boobshare was a limited series co-produced with Coppafeel and Global featuring guest celebrities including Scarlett Moffatt, Jamie Windust, Vicky Pattison, Zoe Hardman and more. We explored the relationship we have with our chests and how to encourage people to engage with their chests and check themselves for breast cancer. Being invited to discuss Boobshare on Heart Breakfast with Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston was epic. It’s moments like these I’m glad I never listened to the girl in my old office who said talking about my boobs would ‘ruin my career‘.
And you’re also a confidence facilitator?
I have worked with Lego, Twitch, and various agencies and their senior leadership teams to help their women employees find their voice and use it for good.
When did you discover your confidence?
Probably 18 years old. I have always been very tuned into who I am at my core, maybe it’s because I’m Nigerian and we’re taught to be proud of who you are from an early age. However, I always knew I wanted to do something great, It’s just a God-given feeling. Knowing that my purpose in life was to help women, helped me become a confident person. I also recognise everything that’s happened to me thus far was not a mistake, good and bad. I think failure is a great teacher of confidence, we will all fall down eventually, but do you believe in yourself enough to get back up again despite the odds? If you do, that’s confidence.
When you reflect on your career so far?
I am absolutely buzzed. In this industry, the highs are super high and the lows are super low, so I enjoy every moment, every article, every conversation I have, even this interview. People want your time, and that shows you are valuable and I know there are also times when people don’t care for your time, so I am squeezing the juice outta this lemon. I am really proud of how far I have come, and coming up with my own ideas to launch this work. I never saw anyone like me doing this, so it feels even more important to show lots of young women that this can be you, you can totally empower people in ways that some people might think are crazy, but if you trust your own vision and judgment go for it. Change often has to be radical. If I listened to many people I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m so glad I always bet on myself, even when I had ideas, no management, no commissions. Nobody will ever bet on you harder than you. I am just grateful I never gave up, otherwise, you all would never see my boobs, I mean how sad would that be?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What’s your current plan B?
There is absolutely no plan B. Self-belief, we are going for it.
What’s made you Sad, Mad, Glad this week?
Sad, my husband is in Cape Verde and I’m so damn jealous but also glad I get the bed to myself, (he’s a duvet stealer). Mad, injustice. Always. There’s so much in the world and I want to fix it all, but I can’t. Glad, I have the best team working with me on the doc, Fiona, Charlotte, Lorna, basically everybody who has helped me on this doc to flourish is a woman. Girl power.
What are you watching right now?
I Hate Suzie Too. Been trying to get into it for ages. So trying again. Also, don’t watch it on a plane. I did and I nearly had a nervous breakdown in the sky it’s not a settling watch.
What are you reading right now?
Cleopatra and Frankenstein, by Coco Mellors.
What are you listening to right now?
Nina Simone, her 1965 album I Put a Spell on You. Nina is one of the greatest artists of all time, her music helps me understand black history, womanhood and culture. She makes me feel free, I’ll never forget when she said ‘’Freedom is no fear’’. Ugh. Yes.
The last thing you saw on stage?
Brown Girls Do It Too, with Poppy Jay and Rubina Pabani in Soho Theatre. Go and see it, it is like a throwback to the noughties exploring in a comedic way what it’s like being British South Asian, with themes of whiteness, sex and culture. Oh, and you’ll defo cry so bring some Kleenex.
What’s on your bucket list?
Usher in Vegas. Ladies leave ya man at home. I need to see him.
Where’s your happy place?
Can I pick two pretty please? Ibiza. Lived there for 5 months and I had the best time, the sun, the sea, the fish. The fact businesses close in the middle of the day to have siestas. I love it. Big Sur in California which is a 40-mile strip, I got engaged there last January, and it was dreamy. I was in a cabin in the woods there was no signal, and amazing restaurants, I hiked, drank gorgeous wine and read.
Celebrate someone else …
Remel London and Ruby Rare. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Celebrate yourself …
I somehow managed to do a hen do, get married, have a honeymoon and release a doc in 3 weeks. And the wig is still intact. Thank God I have so much energy.
Whose footsteps are you following in?
I would say Davina MCcall, AJ Odudu and Stacey Dooley. A blend of those 3 then add silver cowboy boots.
That would be telling, but watch this space. I won’t be gone for long.
Where can we find you?
Instagram is my main hub @ohmygoshitsjackie.
Where can we watch UNTOLD: My Big Boobs?
UNTOLD: My Big Boobs with Jackie Adedeji airs Friday 9th June at 12.05am on Channel 4 and on YouTube, and it will stream On All 4.