Plus Model Jesse Rae West Says to Focus on Your Positive Qualities and Have a Mind of Your Own!

Photographed by Maja Hajduk

Jesse Rae West was born, raised, and currently resides in Toronto, Canada. She is twenty years old and began her modeling career at age seventeen. She was previously signed with two other agencies before signing with FORD. A few of her clients include The Shopping Channel (TV), Steven and Chris (TV), Sears, Reitmans, and Lola and Gigi.

How do you think plus modeling is helping to redefine beauty?

It’s a cliché, but I really do believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I am a plus size woman and many people find me beautiful. There are probably people out there who don’t think I’m beautiful. Beauty doesn’t need to be redefined; I can’t force anyone to think I’m beautiful. I think the fashion industry is slowly becoming more accepting of fuller figured women and that is defiantly a positive thing.  

Who inspires you and why?

Many people inspire me, not all of which work in the fashion industry. Liis Windischmann has been a mentor to me and has given me tons of great advice. Her career and accomplishments are inspiring to me. I am inspired by people who are happy and doing something they are passionate about. My boyfriend and close friends have always inspired me to do what I want.

Photographed by David Wile

What are some of your beauty must haves?

Skin cream and Sun screen. I am obsessed with moisturizing and protecting my skin from sun damage. I really don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I won’t leave the house without sunscreen on my face. I also really like perfume and scented shampoos.

Where do you like to shop for clothes?

There isn’t a great selection for cute – plus clothing in Canada. I will shop at H&M, American Apparel, etc. for basics. My style is very simple; I am content in a simple dress or jeans and t-shirt. I love the stuff at Torrid, but I don’t get it here in Canada.

Who are some of your favorite designers?

I really liked Mark Fast’s SS10 collection. I have always like Burberry, because so much of their women’s wear seems effortless and sexy. Too bad I can’t a) fit into any of it and b) afford any of it.

Photographed by Maja Hajduk

What is your most memorable modeling experience?

My most memorable modeling experience was probably my first paid job. It was a live 1-hour show on The Shopping Channel. I was 17 at the time, and modeling aside women who had been at it for years. I had eight or nine outfit changes, and I think I almost passed out a bunch of times. I knew if I tripped or looked nervous there were no second chances. Thankfully, I did great and went on to do numerous shows.

What advice would you give to aspiring plus-size models?

The advice I would give to any model, both plus and straight size is – have a mind of your own. Don’t give trends too much credit. Think for yourself, and try to develop your own personality. Physical beauty is important in this industry, but so is having a great personality. Present yourself well, confidently, and with a smile. No one wants to work with someone who is sad or has drama going on in their life.

Photographed by Adam Moco

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem or body image issues in the past? If so, how did you reach the point of accepting and loving your body as it is?

I have never suffered from huge self-esteem issues, but like most other women – I do experience physical insecurities from time to time. I have some stretch marks, some cellulite, and I don’t always love my tummy – but I don’t let that become the focus of my attention. I have always been really tall, taller than most of the boys at school and taller than all the girls. This made me uncomfortable as a young teen, but I quickly got over that. I have always had a larger chest, which at times can garner unwanted attention, but I try to walk down the street confidently and with a smile.

What advice would you give to girls and women, who are struggling with body image and self-esteem issues?

Life is too short to be sad. Focus on your positive qualities, and surround yourself with people who think you are beautiful. I never feel great about myself after a day of eating badly, or not being physically active, so do things that make you feel good.  

What are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about the upcoming year and the rest of my life. Plus-size models tend to have more longevity with their careers, so 20 is just my starting point. I am with a great agency, and I know my career is just taking off. I have spent the past two years building my portfolio and hopefully it will continue to grow.

Photographed by David Wile

* Thank you, Jesse!

We would love to hear from our readers! When do you feel most confident? How do you deal with low self-esteem or negative body moments? How do you make every day the best it can possibly be?

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7 Responses to “Plus Model Jesse Rae West Says to Focus on Your Positive Qualities and Have a Mind of Your Own!”

  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already
    😉 Cheers!

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  4. wow she’s stunning!!

  5. Michelle Says:

    What a beautiful young woman!! I enjoyed reading her story.

  6. NEVA VAUGHN Says:

    my daughter struggles with self esteem. she’s only twelve & is the tallest & fluffiest in her class. she is so beautiful but i don’t know how 2 get her 2 see it. i am going 2 have her read ur article. thank u

    • Jesse Rae West Says:

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂
      Re: NEVA VAUGHN : Tell your daughter once she turns 16, being the tallest girl will feel wonderful. Eventually the boys will catch up and she will be the envy of shorter girls (not that there is anything wrong with being short!)

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