Erin Tinsley Answers Our Beauty, Travel, Fashion, Self-Esteem, and Body Image Questions and Talks About Her Quest To Save The Gulf!

Photographed by Leo Lam

Erin is a plus-size model represented by Heffner Management in Seattle, WA; Brigitte in Munich, Germany; and 12+ UK in London, England. She has traveled extensively for both work and pleasure and models for clients such as Nordstrom, Amazon, REI, Hips and Curves, Eddie Bauer, and many others.

Erin is heading to the Gulf in a couple of days to volunteer for the Gulf Restoration Network. She’s hoping to reach the $5000 mark by then! Erin will also be hosting a fundraiser on September 24 at Eterea Studio in Seattle. 100% of the proceeds made from the evening will go directly to the Gulf Restoration Network. For more information on how you can help, please visit: http://gulfrecovery.webs.com/cleancoastfundraiser.htm.

This is what Erin’s mom had to say about her: Erin is one of the most passionate people I know. She’s independent, loyal, and sincere, too. Erin is a wise, “old soul” who truly loves Mother Earth and all her creatures. She is a great friend who looks for the good in people and is compassionate and understanding about everyone’s differences. She doesn’t just see people on the surface. She looks deeper into everyone, studies them, and learns exactly who they are. A truly kind, honest, and beautiful soul.

Photographed by Dean Zulich

How did you get started as a model?

About three years ago, I was having dinner at a restaurant and kept noticing a woman at a table next to me staring my way. I didn’t think much of it, but by the end of dinner, we had made eye contact and she came over to talk with me. Turns out, she was the president of my agency here in Seattle, Heffner Management. She asked if I had ever thought about modeling. To be honest, it never even crossed my mind! She gave me her card, I was signed a week later, and the rest is history!

What does being a ‘plus’ model mean to you?

Being able to empower real women with real bodies. I am incredibly grateful to be working in such an exciting industry where I can represent healthy women.

What do you love about modeling?

So many things! Working on set can be a surreal experience at times, and I still get a rush before each shoot. Being able to travel, meet and work with talented individuals, and wear beautiful clothes are also great perks to the job. J

Photographed by Neil Latham

Have you ever struggled with low self-esteem?

Like so many women, I absolutely have. Teenage years can be difficult for many, especially if you don’t fit into a size two. Because I never looked like the girls I saw in magazines, or even my skinnier friends, I would constantly doubt my self-worth. Between blonde highlights, colored contacts, over-tanning, and crash dieting; I spent years trying to look and be someone I wasn’t. So glad I’m not a teenager anymore!

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

Overcoming low self-esteem and a poor body image is a process that takes time. Some of the best advice I was ever given was to never talk to yourself the way you wouldn’t speak to your best friend. Catch yourself when you are talking negatively or putting yourself down. Would you tell your best friend how fat her thighs were? No. Then simply stop doing so to yourself.

Take action when something is really getting you down. Cherish your body regardless what size it is. Stop comparing yourself to others and start loving your body, whether it’s a size two or twenty.

Photographed by Leo Lam

What is one of your most memorable modeling experiences?

Being able to meet and chat with Ashley Graham. She is absolutely stunning and carries herself in such an elegant way. Watching and learning from an experienced and high-profile model definitely has been one of many highlights.

Do you have any funny modeling experiences?

Last year after shooting in the Midwest, I was put on a small plane with half of the Green Bay Packers. It was hilarious chatting with those guys!

What does being healthy mean to you?

Staying active, achieving mental clarity, and finding balance in all things that life has to offer. Create your own memorable experiences as often as possible and participate in activities that challenge your thinking and truly make you happy. I love to hike, golf, travel, read, and spend time with close family and friends.

Photographed by Leo Lam

What do you love about yourself?

I’m grateful for my open mind and genuine empathy towards others. I love that I often follow my intuition, even if it’s considered “unconventional”. J

Where do you shop for clothes?

Zara and Nordstrom are my two staples! I love shopping at different consignment shops around the city as well.

What is your go-to outfit?

Loose T-shirt, thin bangles, dark skinny jeans, and strappy sandals for day, heels at night.

Photographed by Leo Lam

You are also an esthetician. What are some of your skin care tips? Do you have a favorite skin care line?

I am! I get this question often and it really comes down to a couple of basics. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, avoid stress, exfoliate properly, and wear sun block!

Simple milky cleansers like Cetephil and CeraVe are a must. I’ve used so many skin care products over the years and I have to say, Kinerase and Somme Institute are my favorite skin care lines. Somme Institute’s Transport Pads, Kinerase’s C8 Peptide Intensive Serum, and their Restructure Firming Eye Cream are my staples. I’m also slightly obsessed with my Clarisonic right now! It’s a little handheld facial cleansing device. Look for products containing retinols; they come in prescription and non-prescription form and are great for fine lines. Also, never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep!

How do you define beauty?

To me, beauty is a combination of confidence and authenticity with a touch of mystery. Own your “flaws”, be kind to others, and be proud of the imperfect and amazing woman who you are.

Photographed by Dean Zulich

We understand that you love to travel. Where is your favorite destination so far and where do you want to go next?

The travel bug bit me at the age of twenty-four on a five-week trip to Thailand. Each country I have visited since has been unique and special in its own way, but I still look back on that trip as my favorite. Experiencing something so shockingly different then my comfortable suburban life really opened my eyes. Travel makes you realize how little you actually need in order to survive and how important it is to treat others, as well as the environment, with respect. Whenever I come back home from a trip, it makes me even more grateful for all that I have.

There are so many countries I want to visit! Australia, Burma, Greece, and Indonesia are hopefully next! I am half Italian and Italy has been calling out to me as long as I can remember!

What are you excited about right now?

I don’t know if excited is the right word, but I am very upset over the current oil spill disaster happening in the Gulf. I’m trying to raise awareness on what exactly is going on down there and what we can do to help. So many friends, family, and colleagues expressed concern, but no one was sure what they could do. My passion drove me to take action so I started a website, www.gulfrecovery.webs.com and created Erin’s Gulf Recovery Fund to raise money for two organizations I felt passionately about: the Gulf Restoration Network and the National Wildlife Federation. I will be heading to New Orleans to volunteer for the Gulf Restoration Network at the end of August for two weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited to be put to work!

*Thank you, Erin!

** For more information on how you can help with Erin’s Gulf Recovery efforts, please visit: http://gulfrecovery.webs.com/cleancoastfundraiser.htm

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  60. Erin is my esthetician, and she is even more beautiful in person! Erin has an inner glow that radiates far beyond her physical body and her smile lights up the room. She is bright, caring and funny, and a joy to be around.
    I am thrilled to see Erin’s modeling career take off. It allows her to see the world and share her inner and outer beauty with us all (oh yes, and the clothes, too). Her Mom is right – Erin is an “old soul,” with boundless energy and a great perspective on life.

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