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Cheyney Barrieau Says, “Beauty is from within you. It’s not make up, highlights, or the newest trendiest clothing and shoes. Beauty is honesty, beauty is love, and beauty is caring.”

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Hobbies, Inspiration, Media, Models, Movies, My Story, Parenting, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Shopping, Wilhelmina, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by Plus-Size Models Unite

Cheyney Barrieau is a veteran of the modeling world. She has worked with many high profile clients including: Brooks Brothers, Talbots, GUESS, Ross Simons, Playtex, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Brookstone and Casio just to name a few.

It all started for Cheyney while walking down 5th Avenue in her hometown of Manhattan one day. She was picked off the street by an editor for Seventeen Magazine and was offered her first job at age 13 – and the rest is history! Her long hours in front of the camera blossomed a fascination and love for all things photography. As a working model, she knows the impact and message a photograph can have and thrives to create beauty and intrigue in all her work. Visit Cheyney Barrieau Photography to learn more about her passion and talent of photography.

Cheyney now resides in West Hartford, CT with her husband Gib and two kids, Lulu and Max and is represented by Wilhelmina NYC.

How did you start your career as a model?

It sort of fell into my lap, actually. An editor from Seventeen Magazine approached me on the street and gave me my first job. I was 13 and had no experience whatsoever, but I was SUPER excited!

What do you find most enjoyable and most challenging about modeling?

I cannot lie – I love the catering! It totally makes my day to walk into a studio and see a complete layout of food just waiting for me. The hardest part is having people constantly point out your flaws straight to your face. It has taken a while to develop a thick skin towards it, but there are still times it feels as if I’ve been slapped in the face. And, for the record–yes, I have been brought to tears at a casting by comments made to me by a potential client. But ONLY once.

What was your most embarrassing modeling experience?

It was early in my career. I was in rehearsal for a runway show I was booked on when during my ‘walk down the catwalk’ the designer shouted out in front of everyone that he thought my thighs were too fat for his clothes. Every hair on my neck stood up on end and I felt a huge burning sensation come over my entire body. I was humiliated beyond belief. Everyone, including other models, had heard this but, by the grace of God, my face didn’t react and I held my cool. Somehow, I stayed straight-faced even though I was SO close to tears. I didn’t want to let anyone see me crumble–I had to handle it elegantly. I have never forgotten that incident and, unfortunately, never will.

When you started out, where you a “natural” or did it take quite a bit of practice? What advice would you give to aspiring models, as they pursue their own careers in the modeling industry?

When I started out modeling, I went from zero to sixty in one job. It was a crash course in modeling 101, and I was terrified. I knew nothing and tried not to show my rookie status. I remember faking that I knew what to do, how to walk, how to pose, etc. but I’m sure someone must have seen through it at some point. Modeling always takes practice–You can start a natural, but to evolve. You need to practice no matter who you are. Lots of people approach me and ask me how to break into the business. I tell them to start right at the beginning. Get some pictures and start submitting to agencies. I do warn them about the commitment level they need to have and to also know that there is a huge percentage of rejection. It would be wrong of me as a mentor to mislead aspiring models in saying it’s an easy business and everyone is trustworthy.

When you tell others that you are a ‘plus’ model, what is their reaction? How do you define the term ‘plus’ model?

I get bewildered reactions. Most people I tell are not in the industry, and they don’t understand that a size 8 is plus in the fashion world. You should hear what people say when I tell them about that–they are appalled! It’s hard having to explain the plus-size modeling/straight-size modeling issue to people; they don’t always understand.

Do you have an all-time favorite model? Why?

I don’t have an all-time favorite model, but I do have an all-time favorite modeling era–the 90’s. The music video for George Michael’s Freedom was one of the best music videos ever made. Those four gals are icons.

What would we find in your handbag? (Since you are a mama, I’m sure you have just about everything in there! lol)

Besides the sea of diapers, sippy cups, and snacks, I always have my phone, wallet, sunglasses, a Pellegrino Limonata, several chapsticks, and my iPad. Whether I need to pull up Sesame Street episodes on iTunes or just mess around on Facebook while waiting at a casting, it’s the most convenient piece of technology ever!

Favorite movie?

Toss up between Back to the Future and Weekend at Bernies. 

Favorite Books?

Frank McCourt’s books make me laugh out loud.

How do you like to start your day?

C.O.F.F.E.E.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is from within you. It’s not make-up, highlights, or the newest trendiest clothing and shoes. Beauty is honesty, beauty is love, and beauty is caring. Beauty is putting others before yourself, and realizing that good deeds are returned tenfold. 

Tell us about your beauty routine…

Hair ~ I have a TON of hair. It’s daunting. John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde products and Acai Brazilian Blowout Conditioner are a MUST. Frederik Fekkai’s Glossing Cream is always within arm’s reach at all times. My hair gets grumpy when I let it air dry because its wavy, so I blow dry it straight then use a 2′ barrel iron for those Victoria Secret type waves. SO worth the time and effort. I always get asked for lessons!

Make-Up ~ If I’m lucky enough to have a few minutes to put on make up in the morning, concealer, and eye liner are my must haves. I don’t get a lot of sleep with a three month old, so I need all the help I can get to make my eyes look refreshed and cheery!

Skin ~ I always exfoliate–it makes a HUGE difference in your skins appearance (and also how make up sits on it). After that, toner and moisture are my staples–you can never have too much moisturizer in the winter months!

Fragrance ~ Issey Miyake. Enough said.

What is your go-to outfit?

Jeans and a black V-neck Sweater.

Lipstick or Lip gloss?

When chapstick isn’t dressy enough, I’m a lip gloss gal. MAC lip gloss in Prrr.

You have been married for 4 years…what do you enjoy most about married life? What is one thing you love about your husband?

Married life is great. We were married at 22 years old, right out of college. Most people looked at our situation with wide eyes and dropped jaws–they couldn’t understand why we would get married at such a young age. We are both very old school traditional and we really wanted to start a family. My husband is my best friend. We do everything together. We can finish each others sentences, or look at each other and just know what were thinking without saying a word. I love his sense of humor and he can always make me laugh!

What do you and your husband enjoy doing together?

We both have our hands full right now with work and kids, so just sitting with each other on the couch at night to watch our favorite TV shows is a real treat. 

You are a mother of two BEAUTIFUL children. What has motherhood taught you?

Wow – being a mom is no simple task. It is 24/7 on duty and making sure everything is the best it can be, given the circumstances. Motherhood has taught me about what is REALLY important in life. Sweating the small stuff is SO overrated–there is a bigger picture that you need to see. It’s not about me anymore – it’s about my kids and what they need. 

What is your favorite part of being a mother right now?

My 18-month-old daughter has just learned to hug. It is the most amazing thing to feel her little arms wrap around your thigh and squeeze tight. 


On a day off, what would your perfect day consist of?

No diaper changing, silence, and an antique store.

What are you passionate about?

I love photography and getting that perfect shot that speaks to you. 

What is a fun fact about you?

My grandfather, Nunnally Johnson, was an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and producer. He was under contract with 20th Century Fox and launched the careers of Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, and, Betty Grable among others into super stardom. He has written and produced many films such as, How to Marry a Millionaire, The 3 Faces of Eve, The Dirty Dozen, and The Grapes of Wrath. You can find more at films at imdb.com. He cast my grandmother, Dorris Bowdon Johnson, as Rosa Sharon in The Grapes of Wrath against Henry Fonda. Dorris and Nunnally were Hollywood royalty back in the day. My grandmother would tell me story after story about Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, and Humphrey Bogart–who she lovingly and comfortably referred to as “Bogey”. My grandparents were a super social couple back in the day. She always had the behind the scenes stories and anecdotes that no one else new.

I loved the story of Marilyn and my grandmother crammed in a bathroom stall at the film premiere of How to Marry a Millionaire desperately trying to get Marilyn out of a dress she had been sewn into because she desperately needed to go to the bathroom. Designers would bid to make gowns and clothes for my grandmother for all her film premiers and gala events. None of those gals had model bodies in today’s standards. They were all size 8-10-12 and they were considered the most beautiful women in the world. Marilyn had a chest the size of Texas and that would never hold up in today’s world of modeling. The girls of the past used their womanly curves to their advantage–and boy did it work for them! Nowadays, plus-size models are compared to Marilyn Monroe and that’s an honor to me!!

Not only are you a model, but you are a photographer as well! What inspired you to get into photography?

I LOVE taking pictures! Modeling has really taught me so much about photography and what it means to take a great picture. I love how people can speak through the lens.

Do you find it hard to balance work and family life? What have you found that is helpful in keeping a balanced life?

Working while having a family is difficult. There seems like there is never enough time for both. Making sure you have time for yourself and your interests keeps you sane.

What are you excited about right now?

Right now, I am excited about the simple things in life: Preschool for my daughter, belly laughs from my 3 1/2 month old son, and a date night for my husband and me!

Thank you, Cheyney!

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Three Plus Models Join New Parenting Web Site! Are You a Momma? We Would Love You to Join Our New Community!

Posted in Confidence, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Models, Parenting, Recipes & Food, Self-Esteem, Shopping with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by Liz

Hi, everyone!

Elizabeth just started another website called Secrets of Moms Who Dare to Tell All (www.secretsofmoms.com).

Plus Models Angela Jones, Kate Tunnell, and Cheyney Barrieau are contributing as well as several other fabulous women! It’s going to be a great and a wonderful place for mothers to go to share their stories and advice and will discuss both light and serious issues!

This website is for all you parents out there who want to hear the real ins and outs of being a mom. We will discuss the moments, days, feelings, and experiences that most moms don’t usually share with anyone but their closest friends. Almost every mom I’ve met has said that no one ever told her what it’s really like to be a parent. You hear about how wonderful, fun, and lovey everything is (and that’s true), but people don’t tell you about the craziness, unpredictability, and all-encompassing reality of what it’s like to raise kids. I wish I would’ve known the truth sooner, so that I never would’ve felt like a failure for not being perfect. Thankfully, I don’t feel that way anymore–what is perfect, anyway!?! I am perfectly unperfected and so are you. Let’s help all the mom’s out there feel good about themselves and their children, by being real.

This is a place for EVERYONE to have honest, direct dialogue without judgment. Secrets will be told and almost anything goes. We will cover every topic imaginable–the good, the bad, and the funny. Let yourself be heard! Dads are welcome too. Please share your stories, send us comments and pictures, and tell the truth. As long as you are speaking your truth, you are welcome here. Please be kind to each other, interact, and ask questions.

Liz Nord is the creator of www.secretsofmoms.com. She is a wife and mother of two daughters ages six and nine. She loves family, running, reading, seeking knowledge, baking, laughing, innovating, traveling, in-depth conversations, sunshine, and outdoor adventures. She earned a B.A. in Communications, and completed graduate editing courses at the University of Washington. Liz has published articles in a number of magazines, newspapers, and on numerous websites. She has been a guest on the Leeza Gibbons talk show, Hollywood Confidential, and serves on the Editing Certificate Advisory Board at the University of Washington. She is also the co-creator of Plus-Size Models Unite.  Liz is passionate about promoting positive self-esteem, healthy body image, and confidence.  She believes in cultivating who you are truly meant to be and embracing your unique self.

We are an eclectic, intelligent, fun group of women, who are all here to share our parenting experiences.

Cheyney Barrieau is a mother of two beautiful children – Lulu, 18 months, and Max, 3 months. She is born and raised in New York City and now resides in West Hartford, CT with her college sweetheart hubby, Gib. Cheyney was a straight-sized model with Wilhelmina Models and moved to WCurve after having two children back to back. As well as being a full-time mom, she finds the time to continue her modeling career, showing young girls it’s perfectly fine to show off those curves!

Andrea Dodd is a fully domestic homeschooling mom of a newly blended family; two girls of her own, ages 10 and 7; and inherited son, 8. When Andrea is not teaching, you’ll find her coaching and playing volleyball, baking, reading with a glass of red, or behind the lens, growing her budding photography career, Life iluli Fotography, which has been featured on Plus Size Models Unite.

Andrea went to a Seattle Junior College, and then off to Arizona State University, studying Nutrition. She’s passionate about family (including those sisters by choice), health, positive living, and relishing those glimpses of momentary bliss mothering bestows.

Angela Jones is a wife, mother of two children, a model, and an eating disorder survivor. She is also the co-creator of the website Plus-Size Models Unite, a contributor to Healthy is the New Skinny, and a speaker for the Perfectly UnPerfected (P.U.P.) Project. Angela enjoys spending time with her family and friends. In her free time, she loves to take walks, run, dance, bake, or spend time at home. She is passionate about promoting healthy living, confidence, and self-love to girls and women around the world.

Janell Kaufman is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English Literature and Communications. She is a stay at home mom of a ten-year old girl and a, recently adopted, seven-year old boy. She over volunteers at her children’s school, is highly emotional (read: cries all the time), and often puts her foot in her mouth. Janell has been an avid journal keeper for over 25 years and is currently working on a fiction novel, when she can find the time.

Cassandra Mack, MSW is a trained social worker, national girls’ empowerment expert and the founder of Strategies for Empowered Living Inc., a New York based human development company dedicated to helping people succeed and grow. She has written over ten highly successful books including: “Cool, Confident and Strong: 52 Power Moves for Girls,” “The Busy Woman’s Little Book of Motivation,” and “Say It, See It, Believe It: The Affirmation Activity Journal for Girls and Their Mothers.” For more information about this contributing writer go to: www.strategiesforempoweredliving.com.

Molly Pitts grew up in a small town outside of Seattle. She attended Western Washington University looking to graduate with a degree in communications, but transferred to The Art Institute of Seattle to follow her love of filmmaking and video production. After graduating, she worked in the industry for a few years ending at The Gates Foundation where she was a video editor. Molly is now back in that same small town being a mom and laughing as much as she can at the craziness we call parenting. She has three girls’ ages five, three and 8 months. Her oldest and youngest are biological and the three-year old was adopted from Ethiopia. She joined their family when she was just six months old.

Kate Tunnell is a new mom to a nine-week old son and a nine-year old stepson. She is a plus-size model who is originally from New Jersey—yes, the Jersey Shore. Kate worked in NYC, and then moved to Texas after meeting her husband on a model search tour. She loves making a home for her family and enjoys all the adventures of having a new baby. Kate loves telling young girls and women that it’s okay to have curves, embrace your body, and don’t think you have to be thin to be beautiful!

Come visit us at www.secretsofmoms.com! Thank you.

Model Camilla Hansen is an Advocate For Finding Your Own Personal Style, Embracing Your Creativity & Helping Animals.

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Designers, Family & Friends, Fashion, Inspiration, Italy, Media, Models, New York, News, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Travel, Unique Beauty, Wilhelmina, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2010 by Liz

Camilla Hansen is a plus model who is originally from a small village  in Southern Denmark. She started modeling at fourteen years old as a straight model. After four years, she changed to plus modeling. She has lived in Istanbul and Milan, and currently lives in New York City. She is represented by Model Management UK in London and Wilhelmina in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Some of her clients include Marina Rinaldi, Elena Mirò, Jessica London, Macy’s, Fiorella Rubino, Avenue, Ulla Popken, Burda, Persona, and Bloomingdales. Her hobbies include fostering and volunteering for an animal rescue center in New York, photographing, and getting lost in new cities.

How did you start your career as a model?

I started my career as a model when I was fourteen years old. A few friends had suggested that I should contact an agency, and after a while, I decided to try it out. I sent some pictures to an agency in Copenhagen (the capital in Denmark) but because I feared rejection, I did it without telling anyone at all–not even my family.

The same day the agency received my pictures (which by the way were just random personal shots); they called me up and told me about a modeling competition that they had going on at that moment and that they wanted me to be a part of. I, of course, was so excited and immediately accepted. After that, everything happened very fast. I told my family about the happy news and a few days later, we went to Copenhagen to attend the casting for the finals. I became one of ten finalists out of thousands of applicants and a few days after the casting, the finale was held. I won.

What do you enjoy most about modeling?

What I enjoy most about modeling is not just one thing. It is the combination of several things. Getting to travel and experiencing new cultures. Getting to unleash my creative side and being inspired by all the creative people around me. Hopefully, inspiring young girls to accept their body as it is. These are just a few of the things that I enjoy about modeling.

Have you ever suffered from self-esteem or body image issues? If so, what advice would you give to young girls and women who are currently struggling?

I have indeed suffered from low self-esteem and body image issues. When I started modeling, I was constantly told by agents and a majority of clients that I was too fat and that I had to lose weight. Even though my parents have always had my back and have supported me throughout my career, you will reach a point where it is just too difficult to ignore the comments being made about your body and unfortunately, I started believing what they said was true.

All of a sudden when I looked in the mirror, I no longer saw that slim girl that I previously had seen. Instead, I started seeing all the problems that everyone, except my family, kept bringing to my attention.

When I started modeling, I decided that I would only do it for as long as I found it enjoyable. After four years, I had had enough. Enough of the comments. Enough of the insane diets. Enough of not feeling confident. So, when Wilhelmina wanted to sign me to their plus-size board, I jumped right on. It was my way out. I started eating regularly and healthy, and I stopped weighing myself every day. All of this slowly made me feel happier, both about my body and my life. Rome wasn’t built in a day though, and being confident about your body doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process, but once you reach that state of mind it is indescribable.

Therefore, my advice to any girl/woman is to be YOU. Find your natural size where your body plateaus whether that is a size 0, 12, 22, apple shape, pear shape, hourglass, or whatever and rock that. The most beautiful, attractive, and intriguing women that I have met in my life so far, may not necessarily have met the fashion industry’s criteria on what beauty is but they were comfortable in their own skin and for that I admire them.

Do you feel plus modeling is helping redefine beauty?

I definitely feel plus modeling is helping redefine beauty, but as is acting, etc. Nowadays, it has become more common to see women of all shapes and sizes on the cover of and in various magazines, as well as in TV series. The fashion industry has (hopefully!) realized that consumers need and want to see someone they can relate to.

What does being healthy mean to you?

Healthy, to me, is eating healthy and regularly. Healthy, to me, is a state of mind. Healthy, to me, is taking care of your body.

What do you wish you would have known at age thirteen?

Here is the thing. I try as much as possible to live a life with no regrets. I am happy with who I have become so why regret any of the things, both the good and the bad, that have been part of that process? When I was thirteen, I was still a child and I learn by doing, so I don’t wish I knew anymore than I did because then I very likely wouldn’t have gone down the path I have.

What feature do you love to accentuate?

It depends what mood I am in. Sometimes, it is my legs and other times it is my waist or my bust. It depends.

Photography is…

A way of expressing my creativity. I am not a great writer, painter, or dancer, but I still have such an incredible amount of ideas and visions in my head that I need to get them out somehow. That’s what photography does for me.

We know you love heels! Do you have a favorite pair?

Ha ha, I do indeed! My dad’s nickname for me is Imelda Marcos. I feel that heels can make or break an outfit, especially as I hardly ever wear jewelry. This is also, why I don’t have a favorite pair of shoes. I love all of them, as they are all good for different occasions and outfits.

I recently read an article about three shoe lovers, and one of them gave a quote that I absolutely adore and can relate to. She said, “What I like about shoes is that anybody can wear them. There is no size-zero debate about shoes.”

What is your go-to outfit?

I actually don’t have a specific go-to outfit. In the Fall/Winter, I wear a lot of black and there is a certain model of black Dr. Denim jeans I wear quite often. I actually have own three pair of the same model because I wear them so often and love them a ton. During Spring/Summer, I try to switch it up a bit by wearing cute and colorful dresses that accentuate my curves.

Who is your style icon?

I don’t have any style icons. I believe in wearing what is comfortable yet flattering to my body shape. Once again, it is all about being YOU instead of trying to imitate other people.

Rosie

Have you always been a dog lover? Do you have any dogs now?

I have always been an animal lover, not just a dog lover. I had rabbits when I was still living at home and I rode horses for a very long time, which by the way, to this day is the best sport I have ever partaken in.

Though I always took care of a lot of dogs, I never had my own dog and I don’t plan on getting one in the near future as it is a huge responsibility, and I am not at the stage in my life where I am able to make a ten to twenty year commitment. When the time is right, I will (without a doubt) get my own dog, but that is just not now.

Instead, I decided a while back to start fostering for a dog rescue (Posh Pets Rescue) here in New York. That has been a great decision. Basically, what we do is to take the dogs off the euthanizing list, out of the shelters and place them in private homes until they are adopted. In periods when I am not working, I will usually have one or two dogs at my apartment.

It keeps amazing me how people can give up these dogs, as most of them are perfectly healthy and well-behaved dogs that have just been dumped on the street, as if they were a useless bag of garbage.

When I got my first foster dog, Rosie, a beautiful, well-behaved, housebroken, and kindhearted Bichon Fris, I was heartbroken. How could anyone just leave this little gem to fend for herself on the street? I was close to losing faith in humanity, but then something amazing happened. Rosie was put up on our website (www.poshpetsrescue.org), on petfinder.com, and on several other sites and the applications just started rolling in.

As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and after going through a lot of applications and interviews little Rosie was adopted by an incredibly sweet woman who already had another Bichon. All of these applications made me realize that even though there will always be the occasional cold-hearted person there are at least twenty good ones!

Who is your role model or hero? Why?

My parents and grandparents. For the love and unlimited support they have always given me, my younger brother, and each other. I strive to be like them.

Your family is a big part of your life. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?

One incident that sticks out, and that I think of often and was a long time ago, is when my brother and I played dress up. Even though he was a boy playing with cars, super heroes, etc., he let me put him in a dress, put makeup on him, and place a big bow in his hair. Only someone who truly loves you will let you do something like that to them.

Out of all of the places your modeling career has taken you, where has been the most memorable and why?

Every single place I’ve traveled to has made an impact on me as a person. In Texas, I had a Mexican driver who was also a trained chef. He taught me some incredible Mexican recipes. When I lived in Istanbul, a friend and I were almost shot by the mafia. When I went to Colombia for a job, we stayed and shot at a highly guarded mansion and the mother of the house showed me a few traditional Colombian dishes; one of which you have to use at least five different kinds of potatoes. I could go on like this, but my point is, as I said in the beginning, that every place has made an impact on me and who I am as a person today. I believe that it makes us better people to experience and accept the differences in the different cultures all over the world.

Where do you shop for clothes?

Anywhere I find anything flattering really; sometimes that is at very cheap stores and other times at more pricey stores.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

When my grandmother, with whom I was very close, was alive, she used to always tell me: “Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you”.

Though she went through some very hard times in her life, she was one of the most genuinely positive people who I have ever met. Because that was one of the things about her I admired the most, I try to live by it even though I do fail sometimes.

What do you love about yourself and why?

I don’t just love one part; I love me as a whole. I have finally completely accepted my body as it is and I am happy with whom I am as a person.

What are your favorite beauty products or must-haves?

My very favorite beauty product is a makeup remover from Bioderma. Every time I work, I wear a lot of makeup and it can be very hard on the skin if the makeup remover you use is not good.

Do you have a beauty tip to share with us?

Being in a business where appearance matters a lot, I attempt to take very good care of my skin. I cleanse my skin every night (no exception) with a milky cream cleanser, then with an alcohol-free skin tonic, and I finish off my routine by applying eye cream and a good lotion. In the morning, I re-apply the lotion which contains SPF 30. That is my best beauty tip–take good care of your skin, even if it may seem like a hassle because it will benefit you in the long run.

Lipstick or Lipgloss?

I naturally have very red lips and therefore don’t wear anything on my lips in my everyday life. Bit, I love to pump it up every now and then with a deep red lipstick (Chanel Rouge Allure – 09 – Lover) if I go out for dinner, an event, or something like that.

On a day off, what would your perfect day be like?

A perfect day off for me would be spent with my family. Especially after I have moved to New York and they are all in Denmark, it has made me realize just how much we should all treasure the time we have together because you never know when that time might be up.

What is a fun fact about you?

A fun fact about me is that I never liked wearing dresses when I was younger. I always preferred being outside climbing trees and getting dirty.

What are you excited about right now?

Right at this moment, I am excited about several things. OneStopPlus.com gave New York fashion week its very first plus-size fashion show, and I got to be a part of it, which is something I am very proud of. Elena Miro once again put on an amazingly beautiful and well-done show during Milan fashion week. Last but not least, I am over the moon that I once again got to work with the talented people at Vogue, which resulted in a short-film that should be coming out very soon.

*Thank you, Camilla!

**You can watch Camilla’s video and find out more about her at http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-curvy/how-to/2010/03/camilla-hansen.

International Model Robyn Lawley Says, “There is So Much More to Life Than Fitting Into Size 6 Jeans, and I’m Glad I Realized This Sooner Than Later.”

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Australia, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Funny Experiences, Hobbies, Inspiration, Media, Models, Movies, Music, New York, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Radio, Recipes & Food, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Sports, Trade Tips, Travel, Unique Beauty, Wilhelmina, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2010 by Liz

Cosmopolitan Magazine

Robyn Lawley is a plus model from Sydney, Australia. She is signed with Bella Model Management in Australia, Model Management in the UK, Okay models in Germany, and Wilhelmina in NYC, USA.  Some of her clients are David Jones, Nordstrom, Cosmopolitan magazine, Madison Magazine, Kohl’s, New Look, Spirito, Ezibuy, and more. Robyn enjoys films, music, making music, watercolor painting, cooking, eating, rock climbing, and traveling.

Robyn wrote, “I’m a model beyond a size 10 and I love my job. I get to travel the world, and at the same time promote healthy shapes and let audiences know that it’s okay to be who you are. Embrace your body for what it is, exercise, eat as healthy as you can, and have fun. There is so much more to life than fitting into size 6 jeans, and I’m glad I realized this sooner than later.”

Photographed by Kane Skeener for Cosmopolitan Magazine

How did you begin your modeling career?

She started modeling at the age of sixteen, when I won a modeling magazine competition, but I didn’t model for long, as I struggled to keep my weight down. Two years later after seeing success in Abby Valdes and Crystal Renn, I signed with Chelsea from Bella Model Management.

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

I think all women and men, for that matter, go through this most days. Try to focus on something else; sometimes we get so self involved that we miss out on everything passing us by. Take up a sport you enjoy or a hobby you would like to start. Confidence can come from achieving even the smallest of things.

Try not to compare your body to that of celebrities or top models because what you see is not always true (especially with Photoshop ruling the planet). Work with the body type that you have and just enjoy that you can see, that you can hear, and that you can walk. Both my mother and my older sister have worked, and still are working, with disabled people and it really can make you think that spending so much time pinpointing your flaws is hiding what you are really about.

Photographed by Simon Upton for Madison Magazine

What kinds of pressures do you see the girls in your life facing?  What can we, as mentors, do to address these issues?

I think the most troubling thing is the amount of concern that we have over beauty. We no longer even care if someone has a good soul; we care more if they have lost the most weight or are taking up a certain exercise. I hate when I start researching what a celebrity does; it gets so time consuming. Later, I think my god I could have been practicing guitar or rock climbing. I just wish the beauty/entertainment industry didn’t have such a hold over our self-esteem. I do remember, though, when I was fourteen, I had no idea what cellulite was until I saw a magazine in a grocery store harpooning females with it on their cover. I remember going home straight away to inspect my thighs. From then on, I always wore board shots; even in competitive swimming. Did I have cellulite? No, I didn’t, but that magazine made me feel ashamed of my body. I will always blame them for making women, especially teenage girls, feel ashamed of their bodies. We should be empowering women and pushing them further in their lives, not making them inspect their thighs.

Having just recently moved to NYC, what has your experience been like so far?

It’s tricky to say; I both love and hate NYC. It’s just so different from Australia. It can be a shock to the system. I feel like I’m riding a rollercoaster—from crazy parties to crazy people chasing you to awesome shopping. It’s definitely one of a kind.

Where do you like to shop for clothes?

LONDON!!! It’s the best place to shop in the world. I love Camden markets and Topshop UK. I am finding Williamsburg, Brooklyn (where I live) has awesome vintage.

Photographed by Georges Antoni

Do you have a favorite workout routine?

I love playing sports. One thing I miss is team sports. I can’t do any because my routine is so out of whack with modeling. I love rock climbing though because it doesn’t feel like exercise; it just feels like a fun challenge and boy it’s challenging. I try to hit the gym about four times a week. I really miss my personal trainers in Sydney, Australia. In NYC, they are so expensive that it’s not worth it. If you find you are a person who lacks the motivation or knowledge, investing in a trainer, even just for a month, is well worth it. Even just to learn the safe way of working out at a gym and what types of exercises are good for your body type.

What are your favorite beauty products or must-haves?

I love Benefits new High Beam face illuminating cream that you put on your cheekbones for the healthy glow, Lancôme’s New Définicils Precious Cells Mascara, and of course, good old trusted Paw Paw ointment for my lips.

Do you have a beauty secret or tip you would like to share with us?

Make sure you wash your face twice a day; tone and then moisturize. Sounds dreary, but once it becomes habit it’s second nature.

Photographed by Kane Skenner for Cosmopolitan Magazine

What are you listening to right now?

EVERYTHING–I LOVE MUSIC! The top five albums I listen to all the time are the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack, The Boat That Rocked soundtrack, Juno soundtrack, the best of Janis Joplin, and La Roux’s first album. But, I like anything from Bloody Beetroots, to Jimi Hendrix, to Rolling Stones. Going to festivals is one of my favorite things to do.

Favorite movie?

Gah, that’s like favorite song–too hard to pick. I’m a movieaholic. My favourite thing is watching a good movie. They can make me feel comforted– especially movies from my childhood. When I’m homesick, I watch all my old favorites.  As a young girl, my dad and mum would drive me and my sisters about an hour to watch movies at the Royal Australian Air Force Base because my dad was in the air force, and tickets were $2 each and we would all get a killer python each. Simple pleasures in life tend to be the best. 🙂

On a day off, what would your perfect day be like?

Waking up to my cute boyfriend back home, then getting sushi with my best girlfriends, later catch a movie with them and my man, and then going dancing at a club with awesome music with my awesome sisters.

What do you love most about modeling?

I love the confidence it gave me. I do admit I was struggling to accept my weight. I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was once an Australian size 6-8 (USA size 4-6). When I joined Bella, my confidence was pretty low, and I doubted that Chelsea, my agent, would sign me. I was lucky she gave me a contract on the spot and about a year later, my confidence was the strongest it had ever been, I felt unstoppable and still do. 🙂

What do you do to prepare for a photo shoot and what are your must haves in your modeling bag?

I wash my hair the night before and put a heat protector on my ends. The morning of, I wash and cleanse my face. I then use a good quality moisturizer and Paw Paw on my lips. I always take my own mascara because I have very sensitive eyes, and I don’t want to obtain any eye conditions.

Do you have any funny modeling stories you would like to share?

I think most people find modelling very glamorous, but trust me it can be anything but that. I hate when I have to walk around or get something with my hair is in curlers and I look like an old grannie.

I had a funny week though recently, when I was in Fiji for a Cosmopolitan shoot. I decided to go horse riding on my day off. The horse they had was tiny, but I didn’t get to see it until I had paid. I felt sorrier for the horse because it would have to lug me around, but I didn’t want to seem like a chicken so I went riding anyways. Once I had finished my thighs were so sore– more than usual. When I reached the hotel, my inner thighs were blue and bruised so bad that when I showed the stylist, she gasped… LOL–not good for a swimwear shoot.

Photographed by Georges Antoni

We would LOVE to hear about your experience walking in the OneStopPlus.com Fashion Show!

Yeah that was so great, I knew it would be a bid deal, especially when I arrived to see where it was. I was so lucky, I only got the job last minute as I did not go to the casting, they spotted me at a go see and decided to use me.  It was very empowering experience and I hope they do more.

What is a fun fact about you?

I like to do voices. I can do Gollum from lord of the rings, exorcist chick (pretty scarily well, so much so that I shocked a boy that I was dating once; he got so scared that he threatened to punch me if I ever did it again, and naturally I do it to him every time I see him. ha-ha), Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, and E.T.

What do you love about yourself and why?

I suppose I love that I rarely say no to anything; consider me the yes woman. I have always been like that ever since I was a little girl. I would give anything a chance. I’m not sure why, but I just never wanted to miss out on something I might have found fun, whether it be sky diving, jet skiing, rock climbing, canyoning, or travelling; anything really deserves a chance.

What is one last thing you would like to say?

Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself and have fun. My mother always said laughter is the best medicine and by god, she’s right! 🙂

*Robyn talks about acceptance. This is a great video!

**You can learn more about Robyn at her blog: http://reviewmerobyn.blogspot.com/

***Thank you, Robyn!

Amber Cather Gets Real About Acting, Body Image, Self-Esteem, Life, and the Guidelines for Plus & Straight Models.

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Designers, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Media, Models, Movies, My Story, New York, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Travel, Unique Beauty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Amber’s mom, Bonnie Cather

Amber Cather has been a professional model and actress since she was nine years old. Amber has been featured on many TV shows such as, “The Vampire Diaries”, “The Guiding Light”, “Ed”, “Conan O’Brien”, and she guest starred on “Law & Order: SVU”.  Amber played the lead role in the movie, “Missy’s Revenge”, and supporting roles in “Fishers of Men” and “Duane Incarnate”. She has also been in Victoria’s Secret and Mederma Commercials. She currently lives in Blue Ridge, GA with her husband; three-year-old daughter, Natalie; and their cat, Shelby.

Photographed by Bradford Willcox

How did you get started in the modeling industry?

I started modeling when I was nine. I was always a huge ham, and I loved being in front of the camera and on stage. So, I told my mom I wanted to model. She took me to an agency in Atlanta called Kiddin’ Around. I got signed and started working.

Was going from a straight model to a plus model a hard transition for you?

I’m not going to lie; it was incredibly hard. In the beginning, a lot of photographers and other models made me feel lesser, like I wasn’t a real model any more. Then, I started traveling a lot and working more and it didn’t bother me as much. I was still doing what I loved and getting to see the world, so I was happy.

Please tell us more about your transition from a straight model to a plus model.

I switched to plus after I had gone home to Georgia to visit my mom for a while. When I went back to New York, I was heavier than when I had left. I was exhausted from trying to get the weight off and then some. It seemed like they were always asking me if I could lose more and more weight. I noticed that the plus-size girls had also gotten smaller. When I first started modeling, “straight” size models were around a size 6 and some of the “plus” size girls were around a size 18/20. I saw the plus girls and they looked like curvy, beautiful women. So, I thought to myself, it would be much easier just to eat a whole lot more and gain weight and probably more fun, so that’s what I did. I was able to get up to a small size 12, but that was actually with a lot of effort.

Photographed by Cressida Wilson

What does the term “plus” mean to you?

To me, it just means fuller figured models.

What are your feelings on the term “plus” model?

The term “plus” doesn’t bother me. I think it’s better than a lot of other words the industry could probably come up with!

Do you think models should be divided into straight and plus size categories?

I do think that straight size and plus size should be divided. There are two different audiences that are being marketed to, so I think it makes sense for them to be divided. I think beauty campaigns, however, should be open to straight-size and plus-size girls.

Is there a fine line between plus model and straight model body measurement requirements? When is a model “too small” to be a plus model or “too big” to be a straight model?

I think the guidelines for what is considered straight size and what is considered plus size are specific and non-specific at the same time. If you are larger than a size 4, you are a little too big to be straight size, and if you are smaller than a 10, you are a little too small to be plus size. However, if you are caught in this no man’s land, there are clients that don’t mind if you pad up to make yourself larger. So, potentially, you could be a size 6 or 8 and be a plus-size model. It’s not that common, but it happens. I’ve actually just now lost just a bit too much weight, and I am being put back into the straight category since I am now a size 4 again. It was a healthy and easy transition for me this time. I think because I didn’t lose weight for anybody else and I didn’t feel any pressure to do it. I just wanted to get healthy and in shape to be a role model for my daughter. My weight naturally dropped down to a 4.

Photographed by Blake Davenport

Not only are you an amazing model, you are also an actress. We would love to hear about your acting career. What do you enjoy about acting?

I started acting just a little bit after I started modeling. There was a nationwide search for a girl to play the part of Cybill Shepherd’s daughter on the sitcom, Cybill. I sent in a video audition through my agent. It finally came down to Katherine Heigl, Alicia Witt, and me. I flew out to LA to read for the executive producer, and while I was there, I got a manager for acting. While I lived in NY and was straight size, I did quite a bit of acting as well. I had a small day part on “Law & Order: SVU” and did a film called “Duane Incarnate”. I took a break from acting while I was fuller figured. I am now and have just recently started auditioning again. My next project is a role in a film called “Fishers of Men”. We film October 5. I’ve always really enjoyed acting…maybe even more than modeling. I like to talk a lot and love performing.

Have you ever struggled with body image or self-esteem issues? If so, what advice would you give to girls/women currently struggling?

Yes, I have. I had a thyroid tumor when I was seventeen, and had to have a total thyroidectomy. Before my surgery, I was naturally a very thin girl. A month after my surgery, I had gained 40 pounds. It was incredibly hard to deal with, especially at such a young age. I wasn’t comfortable in my skin at my new size, so I barely ate for a long time to get back down to a size 2-4 and continue working as a straight size model. The advice I would give girls that are struggling with body image and self-esteem issues is to try to embrace who you are. Everyone looks and feels their best when they are at their natural size and are healthy. I didn’t feel good when I was forcing myself to be too thin for me and I didn’t feel good on the opposite side of the spectrum when I was forcing myself to eat and be heavier to be able to get close to a full size plus model. I still struggle sometimes and the thing that grounds me the most is my daughter. I don’t want her to grow up hearing her mommy putting herself down because I don’t want Natalie to think that is ever acceptable.

Photographed by Amber’s friend and fellow plus model, Cressida Wilson

What is your definition of beauty?

My definition of beauty? That’s a hard question. Obviously, inner beauty shines the brightest. There are girls that are absolutely stunning on the outside, but if they have a bad attitude or mean disposition, it diminishes their beauty.

Do you think plus models are helping redefine beauty?

I think some plus models are helping redefine beauty. Again, I really think being healthy is the most important thing and that’s what I think is going to help redefine beauty the most. I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing plus models that truly embodies what I think a woman should be, and I have had the misfortune of working with girls that are the complete opposite. As a whole, I think it’s good for women to have a wider variety of sizes of women to look at, as examples of what we consider beautiful.

Photographed by Blake Davenport

What does being healthy mean to you?

Being healthy to me means taking care of yourself in every way. Body, mind, and soul. I think it’s important to eat healthy, but not go crazy. I still eat what I want, and I think that’s important. Allowing ourselves some indulgences sometimes is healthy, too! Staying active is healthy. I recently started dancing again because it’s one of my first true loves, makes me happy, and is helping to keep me fit. Keeping your attitude and mind healthy is just as vital. Being kind, open, patient, and learning new things…that’s all-important to me, and I try my best to live that way. I fail sometimes, but I try! I’ve come to the realization, that for me, my healthiest size is a little on the small side for plus and a little on the large size for straight. So far, I’ve found that I’ve actually been working more, and I think it has to do with the fact that I feel better than I have in years and it shows in my work.

Where would you like to see the fashion and beauty industry in five years?

I would like to see the industry accept body types that are in between what is now straight size and plus size. I would also like to see some of the “straight-size” girls gain just a little weight, and some of the “plus-size” girls lose a little weight. Just my opinion…please don’t hate on me for it! I feel like in some editorials they exaggerate the thinness of girls for shock value and do the opposite with plus girls. It’s not beautiful to me.

Photographed by Tanja Tremel and Jasmin Arbes

What has been one of your most memorable modeling experiences?

One of my most memorable modeling experiences was probably my first runway show in NY when I was seventeen. It was so exciting!

What would be the perfect day with your family?

A perfect day with my family is when we take Natalie somewhere that she really enjoys and then have dinner in the evening, watch a movie together, and all go to bed. Pretty simple, but it’s my favorite.

What is one thing your daughter has taught you?

She has changed my life in a way that I think only mothers truly understand. She’s changed everything. The way I look at the world, in general, is entirely different now. Having her made me take a long, hard look at myself and realize there was a lot I wanted to change. She’s also taught me a lot of patience!

What has been your proudest moment?

My proudest moment is anytime anyone meets Natalie.

How would you describe your style?

I am not a typical model at all! You won’t see me in some really cool outfit and amazing shoes with accessories that only a stylist would be able to come up with! My style is very simple. I like clothes that fit well, and that I think are pretty.

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

I must have an eyelash curler, mascara, tweezers for my eyebrows, blush, a barely tinted lip gloss, and Dove Sensitive Skin soap.

Photographed by Blake Davenport

What do you love about yourself and why?

I love the fact that I’m very real and open. Some people don’t like it I suppose, but I prefer that over a lot of the people who need to grow up. I try not to put on airs or a facade of what my life is or has been. What you see with me is pretty much what you get…mostly.

Who do you consider a role model or hero?

My mom and my sister. My mom because she has been through a lot and is an incredibly strong woman, even if she doesn’t realize it. My sister because she is simply amazing. She is always in a good mood, she is smart, she’s an incredible mother and friend, and she’s funny. She’s just inspiring.

Do you have a hidden talent or something we would be surprised to learn about you?

I love math and word games. I love all games, actually. My husband and I have even gone to some cornhole tournaments. Haha! It’s a crazy fun game! My best games are probably spades, ping-pong, and Nintendo 64’s 007. I almost forgot–I’m freakishly good at grab machine games. I have cleaned several out before and had them turned off on me. So, every time I see one, I have to play. I’m obsessed. Ha ha!

Bridal Guide Magazine

If you had one wish, what would it be?

I would wish to be content. It always feels like I’m working towards something else and/or for better all the time. I would love to know how it feels to just be and be okay with that.

What are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about my life! I’m excited about how my career is going. I’m excited to see my daughter grow up. I’m always excited!

*Thank you, Amber!

** You can learn more about Amber at http://ambercatherinc.com/.

Aglaë Dreyer Shares Modeling, Body Image, Self-Esteem & Curly Hair Advice

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Models, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Trade Tips, Travel, Unique Beauty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Sasha Pfeffer

Aglaë Dreyer was born in Brussels, Belgium. She has lived in Paris, Vienna, Costa Rica, and is currently living back in Brussels, studying communications. She is also a part-time plus-size model. Aglaë started modeling when she was seventeen as a straight-size model, but her body wasn’t made for “it”. About a year and a half ago she started plus-size modeling, and she loves it! She is signed with a couple of agencies in Europe, but her mother agency is Dominique Models in Brussels.

Photographed by Barbara Anastacio

How did you get started in the modeling industry?

I started when I was seventeen as a straight-size model. They scouted me while I was sitting with my sister at a café in Brussels.

What advice do you have for aspiring models?

My advice would be to always stay confident, modest, and open to positive critics that will help you evolve, but to never let yourself be influenced and never compare yourself to other models. If it doesn’t work out or if you don’t get a job, don’t take it personally — never take it personally. It’s just a job.

Photographed by Sasha Pfeffer

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

I think everyone is or has struggled with body image and self-esteem issues. I still do. I think you have to try to accept your body how it is. You can’t change it so you might as well try to love it and make the most out of it. I think we have to try to focus on our qualities. Always listen to compliments, be attentive to random smiles and looks around you, and when you feel down remember them. Always keep in mind that you are your own hardest critic. And, that the way you see yourself is never the way people see you.

What does being healthy mean to you?

Being healthy is eating without excess, never feeling guilty of eating this or that, always take time to enjoy what you are eating, being physically active, and feeling comfortable with yourself.

Photographed by Barbara Anastacio

What is your beauty must have?

My beauty must have…. I don’t know. I am not really good at makeup and everything. I am a bit lazy for that. Well, I always have some lip balm with me and I try to put on a daily cream every day. I always put on a little bit of perfume before leaving, but I don’t have a special product I always use…well, at least not for the time being.

Where do you shop for clothes?

Hmm… Zara, H&M, Mango, Urban Outfitters, Kookai, and Vintage Shops for bags and shoes.

Who do you consider a role model or hero?

Both of my parents.

Photographed by Barbara Anastacio

How do you think plus modeling is helping redefine beauty?

It’s helping get rid of the ridiculous cliché that skinny = beautiful and that beautiful = skinny!

Do you have any special beauty products you use for your curly hair?

I just buy L’Oreal for dry hair and conditioner that helps detangle my hair. I sometimes do a mask. I wash two-three times a week, only brush it when it’s wet, and that’s it. But, makeup artists always have the best products. Have to invest in those!

What are you excited about right now?

I am excited about the plus modeling opportunity that has just opened up to me. It s great, I love it!

Photographed by Barbara Anastacio

*Thank you, Aglaë!

** Do you have any special beauty products that you use for curly or frizzy hair? How do you define beauty? What does being healthy mean to you?

Did Lizzie Miller Start a Body Image Revolution?

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Designers, Events, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Models, News, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Recipes & Food, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Travel, Unique Beauty, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Seth Sabal

Lizzie Miller caused quite a stir while posing nude for the 2009 September issue of Glamour magazine. She has been referred to as “the woman on page 194.” When we first saw her image in Glamour magazine, our initial thoughts were “Finally! What a breath of fresh air.”

Finally, the time had come to see an image of someone that we could relate to. It took someone like Lizzie to start a wave, to start a crusade for women everywhere. There is more to Lizzie than being “the woman on page 194.” We hope this interview will help you see the true beauty that radiates from within her.

Glamour Magazine – Photographed by Patrick Shaw

Please tell us where you are from, and how you got started in the modeling business.

I’m from San Jose, CA. I got started with my modeling career by going to a Model Search that I had heard about on the on the radio. My mom was convinced it was a scam, so I paid for part of it. The model search was held at a huge hotel in San Francisco and had all sorts of agencies there. I was called back by a few of the agencies. Since I was only thirteen, my dad kept in contact with the few agencies who called me back (including Wilhelmina) and we made a trip out to NY the following summer. I signed with Wilhelmina then.

Please tell us about your experience regarding the September issue of Glamour magazine, which featured you nude along with an article about feeling comfortable in your own skin.

It was my first nude shoot, so before it, I was a little nervous. But it was weird, as soon as I was on set; I was comfortable and felt confident. I pleasantly surprised myself that day! I thought I would be nervous! But, I actually felt really good. Everyone was really professional and made me feel even more comfortable.

Photographed by Rafa Galler

What misconceptions do you think society has of plus-size women?

I think the biggest misconception is that all plus-size women are unhealthy and overweight — which is not true. I guess that brings up the question: What qualifies as “Plus Size.” I’m a size 12-14 and 5’11, and for my body, it’s a comfortable size. I’ve always been athletic and have never been a skinny girl. But, I enjoy working out, playing sports, and eating right. Now, if I’m craving some sweets, I do let myself indulge but, it’s all about checks and balances. Let yourself have a cookie–not five.

Most of the fellow plus-size models I work with are proportionate and in shape. Their bodies just happen to rest comfortably at a size 12 or above.

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 think every girl, at some point, has struggled with body image (including me)! It’s a huge problem and it’s not talked about enough. I use to be so self-conscious that I wouldn’t even change in from of my friends and family; I would run to the bathroom. But, being in this industry has made me feel comfortable with myself because you HAVE to be. It started with me changing in front of one stylist, then another, and another. They’re not even looking at me; they’re more focused on getting the clothes ready, etc. So once I realized that they’re not staring at me, I became more comfortable. After 8 years of changing in front of many different people, you get used to it.

Another trick I would try when I was younger was that I would wear my bikini around my house before going to the beach so I could get use to the feeling of showing that much skin. The more you do it, the more comfortable you become.

Photographed by Rafa Galler

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

Do not be so hard on yourself. If you slip up and eat a lot of cookies one day, just workout the next day. Stop comparing yourselves to other people. Everyone has a different body shape and some people are just naturally skinny. It’s exhausting trying to be really skinny when your body is athletic and curvy. It was so liberating for me when I finally accepted myself the way I am and stopped comparing myself to other girls.

Plus-Size Models Unite embraces women of every shape, size, ethnicity, and age, which includes women who are short, tall, plus, thin, and every woman in between. We applaud diversity and support women to find the inner strength to accept, respect, and embrace their uniquely beautiful self. We know you feel the same way. Please tell us your thoughts about promoting the fact that beauty comes in every size.

I’ve always said beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I think skinny girls have just as many self-confidence issues as curvy girls. It comes down to the mind. If you think you are beautiful then you will be because your confidence will exude through you. Everyone has a different body type and the most important thing is recognizing which shape YOU are. Not what the girls looks like in magazines and not like what the girls look like on TV. We all need to stop comparing ourselves to unrealistic expectations of Beauty.

Photographed by Rafa Galler

What does being healthy mean to you?

Being healthy means getting enough sleep, staying active, and eating healthy food. I go by the color rule. Always try to have some color on your plate (greens, colorful fruits, etc); most unhealthy things are a brown color (or fried). Find exercise that’s fun! If it’s fun, it won’t feel like working out. I love to dance, so I take any dance classes that sound interesting to me–as long as it has great music! Music is definitely important for working out. If you’re not a runner and want to become one, make an
awesome upbeat playlist and it will be more fun as well. (I don’t jog on the treadmill that much–I prefer dance classes, but when I do run, a really good playlist helps me!)

Out of all the places your modeling has taken you – where is the most memorable?

The most memorable place I’ve been is Barcelona, Spain. I’ve always wanted to go there and the shoot happened to fall on Valentine’s Day weekend. Since I travel so much for work, I had acquired A LOT of frequent flyer miles. So I used those miles to get my boyfriend a ticket to go with me. It was such a great weekend!

Photographed by Rafa Galler

Where do you like to shop for clothes and who are your favorite designers?

I shop all over. I really like Mystique Boutique; it’s a small store that has several locations in New York. I also like Zara, Arden B., H&M, and Urban Outfitters. Some of my favorite designers are Max Azria, Roberto Cavalli, and others.

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

MoroccanOil deep conditioner. (http://www.moroccanoil.com/)

Please tell us about your singing career.

I’ve been singing ever since I could. I was always in school choir and musicals. I’ve been taking one-on-one voice lessons for two years now and piano lessons as well. I write lyrics and come up with melody to songs. I’m learning piano, so the writing music part became easier.  I’m currently working on my demo tape and getting my written lyrics out there for people to hear.

What are you excited about right now?

I am really excited about an upcoming shoot in London that I have for Spririto Catalog! I have never been there before, and I always love to visit places that I have never seen!

*Thank you, Lizzie!

Lizzie Miller has been with Wilhelmina on the Plus Size Board since she started modeling at age thirteen. She told us that she has two sisters and a supportive mom and dad.

What do you think about Lizzie’s Glamour magazine shoot? Do you think Lizzie Miller started a body image revolution? How do you feel about your body image? We would love to hear your thoughts!