When I grew up I was always the fat girl. I was bigger and taller than most and it was uncomfortable. I was always told growing up I has such a pretty face, that I was a pretty big girl. It was annoying and rude. In high school I wanted to be a cheerleader so I started working out 5 days a week for over an hour. Truth be told I didn’t lose more than 15 pounds in 4 years. It goes to show that diet is key. I ate terrible foods and I never got any results. The older I got the more I was told I was a “pretty big girl” so I thought that maybe I could be a plus size model. After all, I am plus size, so why not. I decide to move to NYC and attend school while chasing my dream of being a plus size model. I quickly learned that I was too big to be a plus size model. I weighed over 300 pounds and everyone one said I had potential but there was no way I would make it. I took a step back and realized that I was unhealthy. I decided to try out for “The Biggest Loser” TV show on NBC, and next you know, I was on the show. I wanted to be a plus size model so bad and I was determined to make it happen. I had to lose at least 100 pounds to get down below a size 14 and get signed. Plus size modeling agencies represent women sizes 8-16. Anything before or after that will not be considered plus size modeling material. So I WORKED, and I worked, and lost about 80 pounds at this point. I went to a photo shoot for The Biggest Loser with People Magazine and was told by the photographers and stylists that I should check out plus size modeling. That was when I knew I was meant to be a plus size model (so I thought). I went to the top NYC Plus Model scout Gary Dakin with Ford Models. Gary wanted to sign me but said I needed to lose more weight. It was really upsetting yet encouraging. The top plus size model scout said I had potential if I lost more weight. Well, thats what I went on to do. After losing a total of 120 pounds, I went on to sign with a modeling agency. My agent Susan is so kind and rare-she isn’t rude like other agents. She founded the Wilhelmina plus division. She saw my potential and helped me get started. My journey to become a plus size model wasn’t easy-but after 5 years I finally made it and got signed. I worked out hard, I went to networking events, and I went to agency after agency until I made it happen. When it did happen, I realized there is so much more to life than being pretty. Although people do judge you by the way you look or your personality, if you don’t have substance and stand for something-you have nothing.
After getting signed as a model I started getting into it. I started taking photos aka “testing” and going on castings. I even booked a few big jobs without trying. It is fun and it is an art. The job of a model is to express her beauty and expression on camera, to make others feel something. You go to casting after casting, and may not book any jobs. Your job is to look pretty and be ready for a job at any moment. That means pretty hair, white teeth, clear skin, manicured nails, and a toned body! Thats right-plus size models eat right and workout. Not all women are a size 2 and that doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy or successful. Side note: that is why I started healthy curves!
Modeling is a competitive industry where a beautiful face and body with a great attitude take you a long way. Along with a lot of ambition. There is no room for fear or lack of confidence in this job. That is the problem I had, being insecure in this world that I never fit into. I was the big fat girl, and now suddenly I am the healthy curvy size 12 girl being stared at and is the center of attention. It takes some getting used to. You have to have thick skin in this industry, some people in the fashion industry will try to tear you down (usually because they have their own personal issues). I personally wasn’t ready for that type of criticism and it turned me off. I realized that there is so much more to life than being pretty. A pretty woman is great dont get me wrong-but you have to have substance to you. Being pretty won’t get you through life. Once people peel away the layers its nice to have a woman who is smart, vibrant, and is just as beautiful and strong on the inside as she is the outside.
It’s funny that a lot of women want to be a model. I don’t think that should be something to aspire to. How about running a business? Starting a non profit? Doing something to give back? We cannot be judged solely on our otter shell. That is what I began to hate about modeling. It’s so empty and superficial. Yes I can play the part, but do I really want to? Modeling is so interesting and I have a love/hate relationship with it. When I was 20 it was my dream job: be pretty, get dressed and dolled up by the people, take photos, get paid thousands a day to do it. Pretty dreamy right? Until you realize you’re just a doll being used. This company gets to pay you a few thousand to turn around and make a ton of money off of you. They exploit beautiful women and get what they need done to sell their products. Modeling is rarely about the modeling and all about the business of selling. I think there is fun to be had with modeling, but there is so much more to life. Yes, it is a big platform to inspire other young girls. However, there should be a better message other than be pretty and get attention. I wish mode models would spread this message.
I consider it a hobby these days because I have so many important tasks to do in life such as run businesses and help other women look and feel better about themselves. I do still take big modeling jobs, but I do not take everything that comes my way. Being a plus size model is fun, I have met great people, and have had great experiences. But it takes a lot of work like anything, and I think there is a lot more than just being pretty. That works until you’re about 25. LOL. I’m 25 now, guess my time is up. Joking. But seriously, it’t not as glamorous as you think. But if I can use it as a platform to inspire and create art-then I will keep doing it.