IN CONVERSATION WITH INES TAZI
Interview by Jana Letonja
Netflix star, digital creator, and beauty-tech entrepreneur Ines Tazi is part of the cast in the newest Netflix reality dating series ‘Perfect Match’, which premiered this Valentine’s Day, 14th February. ‘Perfect Match’ brings together 23 fan-favorite singles from ‘Love Is Blind’, ‘Too Hot to Handle’, ‘The Circle’, ‘The Ultimatum’ and more to a new, all-star dating competition with a new spin on finding romance. Taking place in a tropical paradise, contestants compete to form relationships as the most compatible couples have the opportunity to play matchmaker themselves by either creating chemistry or ensuring chaos. The last four episodes will be released on Netflix on 28th February.
Ines, we’re able to watch you in Netflix’s newest reality dating series ‘Perfect Match’. What can we expect from this all-star reality dating series, where we’ll be seeing so many familiar faces?
‘Perfect Match’ is definitely not your average reality dating series. It’s packed with crazy twists and unexpected matches. The cast is an insane mix of personalities that create a perfect blend for a trauma bond. You can expect the unexpected, which will leave you looking at your dating life as if it was pure bliss. So, be ready to laugh, cry and feel all the emotions that come with finding the perfect match.
Previously, you’ve been part of the cast on ‘The Circle France’. What made you join reality dating series in the first place?
I never thought I’d end up on a reality dating series. I’ve always been passionate about acting and fashion, so I started an Instagram account that gained a bit of attention. I guess people love some good old awkwardness. And then, out of the blue, a producer reached out to me in my DMs. To be honest, I never saw myself as a reality TV star and I know there are a lot of stereotypes surrounding that. But I’m proud to have been part of ‘The Circle France’ and ‘Perfect Match’ and to show that women can be activists, feminists, entrepreneurs, university graduates and reality TV stars all at the same time. Who knew my love for fashion would lead me to this.
As viewers, it’s sometimes hard to understand how two people can actually fall in love and form a real connection on TV, in such an environment. Can you share some insight for us on this? And, do you believe in real love being formed on a dating series?
I totally get where you’re coming from. As someone who’s been in that environment, I was also skeptical at first. But what you see on the show is actually relatable and has for some of us had real life relationships that formed. Yet, of course, the stress of the cameras can make things a little exaggerated at times. It’s not easy trying to connect with someone while knowing that millions of people will be watching your every move. However, I truly believe that real love can be found anywhere, including on a dating series. I haven’t found love on ‘The Circle’, I was in a relationship at the time, but I found friendships for a lifetime, so making meaningful bonds on a show is possible.
You attended school in London and have a degree in Political Economics. From there on, you were also accepted into the prestigious French drama school Cours Flourent to pursue your first love, acting. What sparked your interest in Political Economics as your first love has always been acting?
I always knew I loved acting and wanted to pursue it, but at the same time I was really interested in understanding the world around me and the issues facing our society. As a child, growing up in Morocco, I was always aware of my own position when trying to stand up against inequalities, especially in regard to women. This made me want to have a career that could maybe one day impact other women for the better. I first wanted to create awareness by acting, then more cautiously thought I should work for NGO.
Since I was always fascinated by sociology, politics and history, that passion for learning about the past and how it shapes our present led me to complete a 4 year Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies with a focus on Political economy in London. Pursuing this BA has been extremely challenging, but so enlightening on so many levels. I knew I wanted to start a business, but did not know how to do so ethically and sustainably without contributing further to existing problems. This degree allowed me to open my mind on a whole other level.
But as I continued to explore my interests, I realized that acting was also a huge part of who I was and something I couldn’t ignore. So, I took a leap and applied to Cours Flourent. While I was conflicted on how to combine all these passions for a long time and at time felt not legitimate, I am proud to be where I am now and to be able to start having opportunities to combine all my passions and engagements.
You recently settled in LA, as you want to expand your acting skills and engage deeper with it. What are your dreams and goals for your acting career?
That’s a hard question. I want to take more acting classes and see what comes my way. But I am a perfectionist and I want to start from the beginning, by working up to perfect my acting skills and ideally get outside of my comfort zone. I love exploring different hurdles women face depending on their environment, culture, socio-economic background or event century. It is truly challenging and a humbling experience to try to embody and share some of those women’s lives. However, I want to stay curious for whatever comes my way and keep an open mind on what will be my next project. I would also love to work on a political talk show one day. Using humor for constructive provocation is one of my most powerful tools.
You’re also a content creator and you’re passionate about fashion and beauty. What does fashion represent to you?
Fashion represents the relationship I have with myself and the world. I mean, look at how recent trends reflect on the unprecedented time and absurdity we currently live in, including the pressure we have on our democracies or the environment. The late Vivienne Westwood, Alt-girl fashion on TikTok, they embody the political aspect of fashion and this is incredibly powerful. It is something I worship and love to see happening.
Social media nowadays is a huge platform for everyone. What drives your content and what is your goal to show to your followers?
For me, social media is all about empowering others and spreading the idea that we can all have our own style, voice and logic, but that we shouldn’t forget to be kind and empathic along the way. I always try to be as authentic as possible in my content, while also sharing glimpses of my personal life. One of my main goals is to promote entrepreneurs and small designers that I love, as well as the work of certain charities and humanitarian organizations that I believe in, like ‘INSAF’, which is helping single mothers in Morocco. At the same time, I’m also very conscious of the limits of social media and the impact it can have on young people. That’s why I try to be responsible in my approach and make sure that my content is not just visually appealing, but also show my true, ambiguous self.
You have your own business ‘Skulpt’, a sustainable personal care platform that provides affordable innovations in personal care categories, allowing for easier access to sustainable, feel-good essentials. What was behind your decision to create this business? Why is sustainability becoming so important in our everyday lives?
‘Skult’ has been a long journey, which is not over yet, and we had to postpone our launch at the moment. When I started ‘Skult’, I was on a quest to find the holy grail of personal care products: sustainable, affordable, efficient, clean and effortlessly cool. But as I dug deeper into the beauty industry, I found inspiration in the Japanese approach to beauty that focuses on simplicity and science. And with my upbringing in the Moroccan bathing culture of Hammam, I was able to create a line of innovative and sustainable personal care products that cater to everyone’s needs. ‘Skult’ is all about making it easy for people to access feel-good essentials without breaking the bank or the environment. We’re all about sustainability and making a positive impact on the world while keeping things stylish and affordable. Stay tuned for more ‘Skult’ magic.
You have a mixed cultural backgorund, half French and half Moroccan, which contributed to questioning the depths of different inequalities women face. When you were 15, you undertook your first mission with NGOs to support single mothers in Morocco. Why is this cause so important to you?
It’s important to talk about ostracization, stigma and discrimination faced by single mothers in Morocco. We should celebrate and protect the economic and social rights of all mothers, regardless of their marital status. Supporting single mothers is a fight for equality and I am proud to work with the non-profit ‘INSAF’, which is working to abolish sexist stereotypes and empower women and children. I am honoured to be part of their journey and will continue to use my voice to support theirs.
You proudly describe yourself as an empowered feminist cherishing your roots and traditions and are consistently showing your audience that women can wear many hats and tick many boxes without having to fit into one. How do you believe women can do it all? And what makes us such a force in this world?
Women can do it all. Like me, many are embracing their multi-faceted nature and rejecting society’s narrow expectations. Of course, not everyone is happy about what I am doing and how I am doing it, but I am trying to let go and accept that not everyone can or will agree with me. You usually make an impact on the world by having unpopular opinion.
As an empowered feminist, I believe in breaking the mold and smashing double standards. I used to conform to those standards, struggling to navigate my identities as a feminist, influencer, entrepreneur and woman with the desire to be both sexy and successful. In 2023, so many women are embracing their femininity and sexuality with confidence, while also excelling in all or many other parts of their lives. However, many other women are also choosing different paths and routes, there is no one size fits all.
I believe that being a boss and a badass is not mutually exclusive and that it’s time to celebrate the many hats that women can wear. Women are a force to be reckoned with because of our resilience, intelligence and ability to connect with others. We have the power to create change, break barriers and challenge the status quo. By raising each other up, along with men, and celebrating our unique abilities and strengths, we can show the world what strong, empowered women can achieve.
Ines, what would be your advice to young women who are paving their paths to success?
Stubbornness is underrated. Be stubborn. Define what matters to you. Having a higher purpose gives you unlimited energy and creativity. It is important to be a critical thinker, but to also have empathy, to have meaningful goals, but to never be dogmatic. Developing self-awareness is key and don’t be too hard on yourself. It is a process that takes a lifetime.
Photography by Ben Cope