Model and Writer Mayra De Wilde Says, “I am so much more than a number on the scale or a number in a size chart.”

Mayra De Wilde is a plus model and freelance writer from the Netherlands. She was born in a small Dutch village, called Scherpenzeel and grew up in Zeist, which is near Utrecht, a city in the middle of The Netherlands. Mayra now lives near The Hague, which is close to the sea.  She is represented by Brigitte Models, Hughes Models, Modelbooking, Stars, and Y Models. Mayra has worked for nearly every magazine  that uses plus-size models in The Netherlands. She is currently looking for representation in the United States.

Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m 28 (almost 29) and besides being a model, I work as a freelance journalist for womens’ magazines. Modeling and writing are a good combination for me. I work as a model about once a month, but I would love to model more often. I have a boyfriend who is a photographer. He works for fashion magazines and commercial clients. We met on a shoot and have been together for almost six years now.

How and when did you get started in the plus modeling industry?

I started modeling when I was nineteen. I sent pictures to an agency and was signed right away. I was very naïve when I started, I didn’t even see it as a job. I know better now! But I still love it!

What is the perception of plus women in the Netherlands?

I think change is on its way, but there is still too much focus on full-figured women and their eternal wish of being thin. I would like to see a change of focus; women should be taught to be happy with they way they look. It’s okay to have a wish to lose weight but it’s not okay if making that wish come true is the only way to be happy and confident.  It’s great to see that more and more magazines work with plus-size models in fashion editorials. And with plus-size models appearing on the runway, it continues to be a hot topic. But there is a long way to go, I want to see plus size models in beauty advertisements for example. Things like that will really change people’s perception of what’s beautiful.

Do you feel the plus modeling industry is helping redefine beauty?

Yes I do. I think it shows that women of all sizes are beautiful. It’s not about size, it’s about daring to be your gorgeous self, no matter what your size is. I’m not someone who is against straight-size models, I would just like to see much more variety.

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 yourself and your body as it is?

I’ve never been extremely insecure, but it took time for me to accept my body. There were times when I wasn’t able to look at myself in a positive way. When I was seventeen I gained 20 kilos in three months because of  drugs that I had to use for my asthma. I went from a size 42/44 to a size 50. This was a really hard time. It felt like my body took over. Eventually, I’ve learned to love myself no matter what weight or size I am. I am so much more than a number on the scale or a number in a size chart.

I still struggle a bit with my body since I gained quite a lot of weight in the last couple of years. Modeling has helped me to get more confident, but the last couple of years it sometimes worked against me. A lot of clients think I am too big and this can be hard–even for a confident girl like me.

At the moment, I am focusing on finding balance because I never want to diet again. I’ve been dieting since I was eleven, and I am done! I believe every body has a natural weight. It’s my goal to find the weight my body is most comfortable with.

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

Take care of yourself the way you take care of the person you love the most. Pay attention to how you feel and why you feel that way. Try to surround yourself with positive people. Do the things you love. Smile at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful every day. It may sound silly, but you will start to look at yourself differently.

Throw your diet books away; they will make you feel like crap! If you hate the gym, take long walks in the city or a forest. I try to eat healthy. I use the 80-20 rule. 80% of what I eat consists vegetables, whole grain products, fruit, lean meat, fish, and some dairy products. I love avocado; I eat it almost every day. The other 20% I use to indulge myself in… chocolate. Of course, I have days that I don’t eat healthy at all, but I honestly don’t feel good when I eat junk food all the time. I believe no one does.

What do you wish you would have known when you were a teenager?

That dieting only makes you unhappy and heavier! I started dieting when I was eleven. I was a very skinny child but with the start of my period, my curves appeared. I wish I could have just loved my femininity. When I see myself in pictures from when I was a teenager, I see a pretty but very insecure girl. People use to tell me that I could be a model if only I would have been thinner. And look at me now. Oh well, coulda, woulda, shoulda. Things turned out great for me. I hope my story and image in magazines helps other girls and women to learn to love themselves no matter what size they are.

How would you define confidence?

Confidence is definitely a state of mind. You have to fake it until you make it! I feel confident, but it took years for me to get to this point. The funny thing is that people always thought I was very confident, but I’m just very good at putting on my poker face. It’s really important to surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are. I use to care too much about other people’s opinions about me and of course the negativity always overruled the positivity. So if someone is dragging you down, let them go, be bold, and choose your own path.

How would you describe beauty?

It’s a cliché, but I really think it’s not about a pretty face but about the way you are as a person. About the way to take care of yourself and people around you. I think beauty is a characteristic, not something you can see on the outside.

Who inspires you and why?

I’m inspired by so many people! My boyfriend for finding his passion in his work. My mom for being such a strong women. My friends for being who they are. I think life is all about daring to be who you are and it’s truly inspiring when people choose to be that person.

We know you are a magazine addict. What are some of your favorite magazines?

I read a lot of fashion magazines like Glamour, Vogue, and ELLE. I have the strange habit to start reading from the back of the magazine. First, I check out what will be in the next issue. I don’t know why, maybe I’m just impatient when it comes to magazines! I love everything about magazines. Most of the time I read every single article in a magazine, whether it’s about beauty or style. I put  pictures I really like in a leather photograph album that I’ve been carrying around for years.”

What is your go-to outfit?

A black legging with a figure hugging skirt combined with a soft colored top and a strong shoulder blazer. I wear a lot of black. I know I am a bit boring. But I’m trying to add more color to my wardrobe!

What is a quick beauty tip you can share with us?

Try to have a good laugh every day! It takes off the sharp edges. The less stress you feel, the better you look! So go for it and have a bit of a giggle.

What is your secret to keeping your curly hair so beautiful?

Bumble & Bumble Curl Crème! I am a Curl Crème junkie! Unfortunately, it’s very expensive in the Netherlands, but I’m hooked. Nothing works better for my curls. Especially when I combine it with the curl shampoo and curl conditioner from Bumble & Bumble.

What are some of your favorite beauty products or must-haves?

At the moment, I love DKNY’s fragance ‘Pure’; I wear it every day. I also really like the products of Kiehls. When I want to indulge my skin, I use their body lotions or body butter. On a daily base, I use Centella Recovery Skin-Salve from Kiehls. I clean my face twice a day with products from La Roche Posay. It really gives a clear and glowing skin.

When did you discover your love for writing?

For as long as I can remember I have liked writing. When I was in my teens, I wrote a lot in my journal. I still write in a journal, but not as much anymore. Maybe because I now write for a living.”

Please tell us about your freelance writing career. How did you break into the writing world?

It took some time to get jobs. A couple of magazines really gave me chances, and I still work for them. I have been a freelance journalist for three years now, but I’m not where I want to be yet. I still need the modeling to pay my bills as well. I hope this will change eventually. I’d also like to write a book in a couple of years. That’s one of my big dreams!

What is a fun fact about you?

I was born on the 5th of December, in Holland this date is also the day we celebrate ‘Sinterklaas’. Sinterklaas a holiday for kids but Dutchies of all ages celebrate it. Really small children believe Sinterklaas exists. It’s a bit like Santa but without the tree. The tragic consequence of my birthday is that I can never celebrate it on my actual birthday. But I think that’s tragic in a funny kind of way.

What are you excited about right now?

My boyfriend and I are  moving to another house. I am beyond excited and looking forward to finally live near the city centre again in a super cute house!

*Photos by pictures: X-Two and Sempre Pui.

** If you would like to contact Mayra, visit her Facebook page & Hughes Models

***Thank you, Mayra!


11 Responses to “Model and Writer Mayra De Wilde Says, “I am so much more than a number on the scale or a number in a size chart.””

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  5. Mayra is one of the most beautiful women I am blessed to know personally, from the outside, but most of all from the inside. This is what radiates the most and I am sooo proud of her. The world needs more Mayra´s!

  6. What a great Intervieuw and what a confidence!! Love your pictures!!

  7. I bet she finds representation in the US easily! She looks like a Ford girl with that wildly gorgeous hair…though, I’d LOVE to see her at Click with me!!! 🙂

    Great interview!!! xx

  8. What an amazing woman!

  9. Beautiful interview — beautiful girl — beautiful insights. Thank you for sharing this … if my 8-year-old daughter could turn out as grounded as this woman seems, I’d be so happy! 🙂

  10. danielle van grondelle Says:

    i love this girl…lovely interview lovely model..mayra i am so proud of you!!!

  11. WOW! First of all, I love Mayra’s hair! It reminds me a lot of mine. I love this quote and it makes a lot of sense – “Take care of yourself the way you take care of the person you love the most”. Thanks so much for the insight!

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