Meet Turkish Influencer Yasmine Alice: Actress, Lawyer & Feminist
I discovered the gorgeous and inspirational Yasmine Alice through her YouTube channel, and was immediately drawn into her relatable and hilarious personality. From there, I discovered not only what a talented actress she is, but also a role model. She had created a “respectable” law career for herself and, as time went on, her dreams changed. And instead of settling with something that was safe, she followed her passion, and took the risk. And it sure did pay off.
Yasmine has now built up quite a resume in the industry and made a name for herself online with more than 22,000 followers on Instagram. As an outspoken feminist, she is proud to speak out against injustice and female oppression. She is not only an amazing example of a woman who has accomplished so much, but in our interview, she also shared her refreshing take on beauty, her background, and we even discussed her latest role as the lead character in The Scar. This is a woman who can do it all.
OPENLETR: Tell us about your background. What made you want to start a YouTube channel? And how did you first get into acting?
Yasmine: I'm a law school graduate and qualified lawyer in England. I started my YouTube channel to experiment with acting, to see myself on screen, and to decide whether I could really do this as a career. It was a scary process, being an actor is not a respectable career choice back, in the Middle East, where I'm from. I had no intention to become an actress neither growing up nor at university. But three years into working as a lawyer, something happened, my mindset and mentality changed, my outlook on life was different all of a sudden. I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to make this new dream come true. YouTube was the beginning of it all.
OPENLETR: As an actress how do you decide which roles you want to audition for?
Yasmine: I have agents that represent me in acting, TV presenting, and voice-overs. They usually decide. I trust my agent, especially Emily Rose of Cooper Searle, who handles the acting side. I have every right to decline an audition, but that is very rare. I generally get super excited to get an audition in the first place. But there have been times when my agent has advised me not to take on a certain role or go for an audition. And I trusted her.
OPENLETR: Your most recent movie, The Scar explores a lot of genres and shares a unique gender revolution. What drew you to this film and made you want to be a part of it?
Yasmine: I auditioned and got the part, obviously! It is very rare for an actor to audition for something and not want to be part of a paid role in a feature film, so of course, I was a part of it. It's work. So long as it is not something extremely offensive I would play any role. I want to play the psycho, the murderer, the serial killer, those are the juicy roles every actor dreams of getting one day. The complex personality of a character is so much fun to explore and study.
OPENLETR: How would you describe your character in The Scar. What did playing this role mean to you? And how has the feminist nature of this film affected you as a woman and an actress?
Yasmine: The movie is based on a true story, on the famous Susurluk Scandal. So I was portraying a real character who has died in that famous car crash the movie presents. I'm born and bred Middle-eastern, and have always considered myself to be a hardcore feminist, so the nature of this film has not "affected" me in that sense. But I truly enjoyed the costume changes throughout the film, and how she became more and more powerful, as the men in the film became weaker and weaker, and how that was portrayed with the use of costume, hair, and makeup. I was a huge fan of my ninja outfit and hairdo! Feminism as a term is highly misinterpreted in today's world, especially by the Western population. Being able to study, speak up, defend your basic human rights, and survive is Feminism for me.
Oh, and I hate wearing bras and high heels, I think they contradict everything I believe in. Don't oppress my boobs and feet!
In the third and last part of this movie, the audience meets the lead character and other women from around the world, gathered around the bonfire and discussing current women's rights issues. They are called the "Gossip". Whether you are a feminist or not, this movie will speak to you.
OPENLETR: Do you feel as a woman your looks have impacted your career? If so, in what way? And how do you feel about that?
Yasmine: Of course. As a corporate lawyer, I was always respected by my clients. As a woman who looks really young for her age (thanks mum for the good genes), I have been disrespected on set multiple times and I find it very difficult to endure. I do have the passion and determination to make it, but it is difficult for me to play the dumb bimbo who agrees with everything, and does anything to please the directors and producers. If you are pretty, people assume you are stupid. Not that you are a lawyer.
OPENLETR: It takes a lot of confidence to be able to do what you do. Do you think your location or upbringing has altered your relationship with beauty or your self-esteem? And how so?
Yasmine: I don't think my location has altered my relation with beauty and self-esteem much. However, growing up in a country where experimenting and being free with your choice of clothes and makeup are seen as a sin could have had some negative impacts. Thankfully, I'm lucky enough to have parents who are educated and well-cultured, and taught me well. I wasn't raised to be a scaredy cat. My grandmothers, may they both rest in peace, played a huge role in my upbringing as well. They were both very dominant and assertive. They always wanted me to be strong, to speak up, to say how I feel. So I followed their advice. In a patriarchal world, they were the ultimate matriarchs, and I love them both so much.
OPENLETR: As a YouTube personality and actress, beauty and confidence can play such a big role both personally and professionally with being on camera. Have you ever struggled with self-image issues? If so, how do you handle that and what advice would you give someone with similar struggles?
Yasmine: I'm not perfect, but I don't really have self-image issues. Of course, I have my own demons. Growing up was not easy, I had no time to dwell on body image problems. I'm happy with how I look, of course, I wish I was skinnier, but what the hell, I have two legs and two arms, and I'm alive. I can't ask for anything else. I do get abuse on social media, but I'm used to it now.
OPENLETR: What do you think makes beauty such a huge part of women’s lives around the world? And do you think beauty and feminism go hand in hand? Or are they opposites?
Yasmine: I don't believe in conventional beauty. An evil person who might have the insta-model looks can look very ugly in certain circumstances. I can usually tell what a person is like from their eyes. And I will struggle to see the "beauty" in that person if I sense something negative. I believe we are all energy forms in this universe and with certain energy forms, I don't vibe with. So I won't be able to see them as "beautiful". Some feminists will stop shaving their legs and moustaches and insist upon this controversial link between beauty and feminism. I don't agree with that. I would like to shave my legs and wax my moustache, and after that, I can fight to have my right to education, my right to freedom from domestic abuse and my right to get married when I'm of legal age back in the Middle-east. I won't dress like a man because I want to make a feminist point, and I also won't stop dressing sexy because I fear judgement from others.
As I went through Yasmine’s answers I continuously nodded along. Her take on everything from acting to feminism, and (my specialty) beauty, was so honest and inspiring. She is motivated to become accomplished no matter sexism or the ignorance she continuously faces. I think everyone can learn something from her experiences from life in the Middle East to her career progress, and maybe most importantly, her outlook on life.
If you have as much of a girl crush on Yasmine as I do, be sure to keep up with her life and career on Instagram so you don’t miss out on all the amazing things she is sure to do.
Yasmine Alice - @imyasminealice, London, UK