Archive for Healthy is the New Skinny

A Special Message from Liz & Angela via Plus-Size Models Unite

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Eating Disorders, Family & Friends, Media, Models, News, Parenting, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Radio, Recipes & Food, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Sports, Trade Tips, Travel, TV, Unique Beauty, Work, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2011 by Liz


Liz Nord & Angela Jones ~ Photographed by Lindsey Bowen

We would love to thank each and every one of you for supporting PSMU. We have really enjoyed being a part of such a positive site; sharing stories; and promoting healthy living, confidence, self-esteem, and self-love. Thank you to all of our contributors, models, agents, friends, mothers, writers, and our readers! We truly believe everyone can make a difference if we come together and let our voices be heard, as we have done at PSMU. We all need to be exposed to more healthy, happy, and positive ideas and role models. There are some extraordinary people out there doing amazing things and we need to hear more about them!

This will be our final post via Plus-Size Models Unite. We hope to see you at our new site!

Liz is now freelance writing and editing a wide variety of content both off and online. To learn more or request her services, please visit Liz Nord Creates.

Thank you!

Liz & Angela

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It’s Plus-Size Models Unite’s 1-Year Anniversary Today ~ Plus Model Angela Jones’s Personal Story…

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Confidence, Eating Disorders, Family & Friends, Fitness & Health, Food, Parenting, Plus-Size Modeling, Recipes & Food, Self-Esteem, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2011 by Liz

One year ago today, Angela and I published our first piece for Plus-Size Models Unite. We have both put our heart and soul into creating this community for women of ALL sizes to share their personal stories; exchange ideas; discuss body image, self-esteem, confidence, fashion, beauty, health, and a plethora of other topics.

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 encourage self-empowerment and confidence.

On our 1-year anniversary, we decided to re-publish our first piece, which is Angela’s personal story that we wrote together.

Thank you to all our readers and contributors who have made Plus-Size Models Unite what it is today. We appreciate your love and support!

I started an additional website for parents called www.secretsofmoms.com; I’d love for you to visit us there or share the site with all the moms you know.

Thanks again,

xx

Elizabeth

Here is Angela’s story…

Photography by Marc von Borstel

 

Hello World,

I am Angela Jones. I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend, and a plus-size model. I have not always felt great about my body, but I have gained strength, and learned to love myself – just the way I am.

My friend, Elizabeth, and I decided to start Plus-Size Models Unite to create an on-line community where women can share their personal stories; exchange ideas; discuss the plus-size modeling world; create a supportive and positive atmosphere; and promote self-acceptance, positive body image, and self-love – no matter what our size or shape.

Plus-Size Models Unite is for women who have struggled, do struggle, will struggle, or have attained self-acceptance, self-love, healthy living, and a positive body image. Our hope is that you will find comfort in reading the stories and advice other women share, and that you will contribute your stories, ideas, tips,  pictures, videos, and modeling experiences to help inspire other women along their journey.

My Story

 

When I was a little girl, I remember being referred to as sturdy, strong, bigger-built, and big-boned. I remember my grandparents commenting on my build, and other people commenting on the physical differences between my sister and me. I did not think about the comments or comparisons when I was a child. It did not faze me.

I was in fourth grade the first time someone made fun of me. One of the neighbor boys called me “fat,” and I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. However, after a few times, I started to realize that he was being mean, and I ran home crying to my mom. My mom was wonderful, supportive, and my greatest advocate. She called the boy’s mother, and the boy apologized. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of my trouble with body image.

In sixth grade, I started to become frustrated with my body. Our class had to “weigh-in” for P.E. It was the first time that I was embarrassed about how much I weighed. I couldn’t relate to any of the girls in my class. My classmates were sharing with each other how much they weighed, and I was horrified. My weight was up there with the boys’, and I was embarrassed. It was the first time, of many, that I lied about how much I weighed. I ate healthy food, exercised regularly, and took good care of my body. I was active in sports, and loved the feeling of being part of a team. I should have felt good about myself, but I did not.

Kids teased me and laughed at me because of my freckles, mole, and butt. My mother called my mole a “beauty mark.” I took pride in that, and I felt unique and special. On the bus, boys would tease me about having a “big butt.” I never had a comeback – I would just take it. I did not know what to do, and I was shocked that people could be so mean. It really hurt.

I had great family friends that attended both elementary and high school with me. They were boys around my age, and they stood up for me. They were respectful and always nice to everyone. I will never forget their kindness, and we are still friends today. Other kids were so mean. I knew a girl at school who was overweight. Kids called her “Heavy Evy,” and that made me furious. I remember watching her run into the bathroom crying. I knew how she felt.  To this day, I wish I would have followed her in there and given her a hug…I still feel bad about that.

In high school, I remember a girl calling me a “whale” and a teacher telling me that he “liked my butt.” I did not understand why people were making such inappropriate comments about my body.  I had many friends, and I was active in school activities and sports. It was all so confusing and made me feel self-conscious. I didn’t like to wear snug, tailored clothing or draw attention to myself. I was embarrassed. I tried to cover up my mole with foundation and thought about having it removed many times. I always felt like I never looked good enough.

Every morning, I became frustrated when trying to get ready for school. I searched for something to wear that seemed acceptable, and I would panic and sweat from anxiety. I would become so frustrated that I would throw a fit and yell at my mom. It was horrible. I did not feel pretty. In high school, I constantly asked my mom if I was fat.  She always told me “Angela, you are perfect just the way you are.”  I never believed her.

I continued to struggle with body image, even though I had my mom as a solid role model. She treated her body with respect, took good care of herself, and was never controlling about what we ate. As time went by, I went through many different eating habits. I would only eat a potato with mustard or cabbage with mustard. I would eat only salads and no carbohydrates. The only condiments I used were mustard, ketchup, and salsa. I never starved myself, but if I started feeling hungry, I would preoccupy my mind with a bike ride, walk, or run.

My bout with bulimia started right after I graduated from high school. I moved to Hawaii to attend college. I was living by myself in a dorm room, I did not know many people, and I was lonely. I met some girls, and I immediately noticed how skinny they both looked. I wondered how they stayed so slim. I soon found out. They would eat tubs of ice cream and then throw up.

I had never heard of such a thing, and I was disgusted. I went home alone, and started picking myself apart. I stood in front of the mirror grabbing my fat, thinking that I would feel so much better if I could only make “it” go away. The first time I made myself throw up I was in my dorm, and I threw up in a grocery sack. I didn’t binge and purge. I would eat healthy and purge. My problems with body image intensified, and I began throwing up in the bathroom at work. A co-worker caught me purging once. She was very kind and offered her support.  I told her I was fine and it wouldn’t happen again.  Shortly after that, I moved back home…to be with my family.

I started receiving positive reinforcement regarding how “good I looked.” I was always confused by the compliments because I felt like I was dying on the inside. I put on a happy face, and said I looked “good” because of healthy diet and exercise. I was running religiously. I ran a marathon, several half-marathons, and worked out constantly. I eventually ruined my teeth from all the acid that I produced while throwing up, and I have two fake molars now because of my bout with bulimia.

I moved to Beverly Hills to become a nanny. For the first few months in California, I did not purge. I didn’t know anyone there, and I became lonely again. I didn’t feel like I fit in and the purging started. My frame was the smallest it has ever been. A woman, who I worked for as a nanny, called my mom to express her concerns. My mom had already suspected something was wrong.

When I moved back home, I confessed to my mom, and she was heart-broken. I continued abusing my body up until the day I met my husband.  The timing was good, and I was ready to make a positive change. I promised him and myself that I would never abuse my body again, and I have kept that promise. I have thought about doing it, but I have kept my promise. I had my priorities wrong, but I am not ashamed of what I went through.

Photographed by Lindsey Bowen

After having children, I developed a deeper respect and appreciation for my body. I realized a woman’s body is amazing and capable of creating wondrous miracles.  I have a daughter now who is looking up to me as her role model. I am teaching my children to respect and love their bodies.

I pretended for a long time that the unhealthy part of my past never existed, but I am hoping this experience helps bring me closure, and will help other girls and women, who may be going through a similar experience. We want Plus-Size Models Unite to be a great place for women to inspire each other.

The days that I deal with body image issues are far from over, I do have those days where I wake up and feel blah, or wish a shirt wasn’t so tight or jeans weren’t so snug, but I deal with those feelings differently now and I acknowledge the fact that it is completely normal to feel this way and it isn’t the end of the world!  I realize now that is not a priority for me, my priority now is my health, my happiness and my family.   I have a family who needs me, a husband who loves and respects me and kids who adore me, they need me and I LOVE me.  I love me for who I am, I love my mole on my face, I love my butt, these physical features make me unique and different.  I have learned the importance of being healthy and living a healthy and active lifestyle.  I want to set a good example to our kids show them how to respect our bodies and take great care of them.  After all, they are the only ones we’ve got!

This blog has helped me grow so much as a woman, wife, mother, and friend.  I have also come to realize something else very important and that is having a passion.  For me, sharing this story and hopefully helping others who may be struggling with body image issues or an eating disorder is my passion.  I felt so alone during my darkest time and I want everyone to know that they are not alone, it will be okay, and it is possible to heal and make it through tough times.  Having a passion, helps us feel alive, gives us something to look forward to and work towards. A few months ago, I spoke to Placer High School in Sacramento, California, with the Healthy is the New Skinny team for our Perfectly UnPerfected project.  I shared my story along with my very inspirational team.  Those students needed us, they needed to hear our stories.  Kids today are wanting to see healthy, vibrant, and happy role models.  I am still on a high from our trip to Placer High.  There is no amount of money that could ever come close to the fulfillment I receive daily from being a wife, mother, and living with my passion.

*To view Elizabeth’s parenting blog, visit www.secretsofmomsblog.com. Please share the link with all your friends!

**Also, please pick up the April issue of Redbook magazine. Elizabeth talks about the long-term negative effects of dieting. The April issue will be on newsstands in the next couple of days, if it isn’t already there!

Thank you!

Germaine N Says, “I believe true beauty lies within and it’s in the love and goodness you spread throughout the world.”

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Media, Models, Plus-Size Modeling, Unique Beauty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by Liz

Germaine N. is a model, professional make up artist, and fashion blogger for Healthy is the New Skinny.  She is represented by Natural Model Management.

Please tell us how you started your career as a model.

I got my start in modeling somewhat randomly. I have been a makeup artist for over six years and over the years, I heard countless photographers tell me that I should be in front of the camera. I was barely becoming comfortable with my own skin, so the idea of it absolutely terrified me. So after a lot of persuading I decided to try. My first shoot was amazing I was completely shocked at the outcome, and it really made me think, Wow I might be able to do this. So from there, I did my research (what I suggest to everyone who wants to start modeling) and decided to take those pictures to agencies primarily to get advice, but what happened surprised me even more. On my first open call, I was called back and then later signed with a big named agency. I never saw myself as a model, but everyone else around me did, and it’s funny that one of the things I was teased for growing up would be the very thing to help me shine.

What does being a part of Natural Model Management mean to you?

Being a part of Natural Model Management is like a rebirth for me, not just with my own modeling career but with myself as well. I was previously with a very big “named” agency and had somewhat a bad experience as well as taking my confidence level down to zero. I have always been hopeful and it seemed like this opportunity came at the perfect time. Not only do I know I will achieve many things with Natural Models, but I am extremely excited to give back and make a difference in the lives of young girls–even if it’s only one.

What is your definition of beauty?

I believe there is beauty in everything on this earth and it saddens me that a lot of people in the world are so blind that they can’t see their own beauty staring back at them in the mirror. I believe true beauty lies within and it’s in the love and goodness you spread throughout the world.

What do you enjoy about modeling? What is it about your career that brings you joy?

Growing up, modeling is something that I never ever thought I could do because I never looked at myself as beautiful (mostly because I was teased a lot and was awkwardly taller then everyone).

In terms of your career, what has been the greatest piece of advice you have been given?

Never give up!!!! I almost gave up several times before because I felt I wasn’t where I wanted to be and it seemed like I had more setbacks than triumphs, but  I haven’t given up and I’m pressing forward and I know soon my hard work will pay off.

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

I would say Definitely Puerto Rico for sure. Not only were the people I was working with great, but the culture, food, and people in Puerto Rico were amazing.

Have you ever suffered from body image or self-esteem issues? If so, what advice would you give to young girls and women who are currently struggling? What kinds of pressures do you see the girls in your life facing these days?

I have definitely struggled with body image and self-esteem issues. A lot of it started when I was in middle school number one because I was the tallest kid in my class and I was awkwardly chubby. I was teased a lot growing up, it was very detrimental to my self-esteem, and it took me a very long time to recover from it, like after high school at twenty years old. I would say to young girls that, first of all, if you’re teased and made fun of it’s because they see something in you that is great and amazing and they want to put you down for that. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd because those that usually do, go on to do amazing things later in life.

The pressures young girls have and even women in general are to be thin, “pretty” perfect, and popular. The sad part about that is all of those are false hoods because no one can be perfect no matter how hard you try, we are all human. I think the most important thing for people is to not try to be like everyone else, but try to be the best and most amazing person you were meant to be.

What can we as mentors do to better address these issues?

I think the media and entertainment industry, etc. are major culprits and it’s really sad that a lot of the images I see send such deep messages that young girls just don’t understand. I wish I could let women across the world know that 85% of what you see in the media is fake, air brushed, and generated by something. I think as a role model and mentor just being strong, and sharing your own story of strength and overcoming can really help. Also talking about it gets the issues out on the table and can instill confidence.

Who taught you about real beauty?

My mom taught me about real beauty, because no matter what was going on in my life or how I felt she always reminded me of who I was and that I am a beautiful unique creation of God.

What do you wish you would have known at the age of 13?

I wish I could have peeked into the future to see the amazing woman I have become, because then I wouldn’t care about all the teasing and name calling back then. But I will say because that happened to me, I feel I can say look at me now–in your face jerks. I’m not ugly and stupid like you told me–so there!!

Who is your role model or hero? Why?

My mom, because she is the most amazing woman I’ve ever known and she gave me an amazing life despite of all the odds against her she raised me right.

What is a fun fact about you?

I am ridiculously clumsy. It’s hilarious sometimes when I fall just walking or drop so many things. I’d also  say, I’m extremely goofy. I love to laugh, joke, and play because that’s what life is about.

If you could travel anywhere in the world on a vacation, where would you go?

I would go back to Europe, but instead of just London and Paris, I would travel all over and go to Italy,  Spain, and lots of other small places in between.

Lipstick or Lip gloss?

Well a majority of the time I go without makeup so it would be more like Chapstick, but when I like to get glam, I prefer lip gloss, and my favorite color is Prrr lip gloss by MAC.

What beauty invention has made the greatest impact on your life?

I would definitely say Mascara. I know it sounds so basic, but although I am a makeup artist, a good 75% of the time, I wear only mascara because I love rocking my NATURAL beauty.

What are your favorite beauty products or must-haves?

Top 3 favorite Products:

#1 Revlon grow luscious by Fabulash Mascara

#2 Oil of Olay moisturizer for sensitive skin (I hardly ever get breakouts)

#3 Mineralized skin finish natural by MAC Love, love, love this powder instead of foundation.

Do you have a quick beauty tip to share with us?

Always, always, always use mascara because it gives such a definition to the feature of everyone’s face that is absolutely beautiful, also try sweeping bronzer along the cheekbones and the outer edges of the face for a natural everyday glow.

What is your go-to outfit?

T-shirt, jeans, and boots. I wear boots year round because I just love them!!

What are your favorite pair of jeans?

Honestly, I have so many pairs and I feel like I’m still in search for a pair. I love everything about them.

Where do you love to shop for clothes?

Torrid, H&M, Zara, Forever 21, Gap, and I absolutely love to go downtown LA to the Alley because they have great little trinkets.

Favorite designers?

Although my favorites don’t make clothes in my size I love the structure and designs of Chloe’, Marc Jacobs, and Yves saint Laurent.

What does being healthy mean to you?

Regular exercise, healthy eating habits (not eating junk all the time), and having a positive out-look on life.

Do you have a favorite workout routine?

I love to swim!! I’ve been swimming since I was a little girl swam and played water polo all through high school. I recently had a job as a lifeguard so the water is my second home.

What makes you uniquely beautiful? What do you love about yourself and why?

I think beauty is the outward expression of the amazingness one possesses inside. I think that I am such a real and genuine person, and every day I strive to treat everyone, no matter what, with kindness. I think that is what makes me uniquely beautiful. I also feel that I completely love myself perfections, flaws, and all. It’s taken me many years to feel that way.

In my purse you would find…

EVERYTHING! First of all my purse is like ten pounds that I can use as a weapon in case of emergencies. I have everything in my purse from bobby pins, nail polish, spoons, lip gloss, mascara, safety pins to granola bars, an apple, and a bottle of water. This is all in conjunction with the normal stuff like your wallet, cell phone, and keys. I’m the person you want to be with in an emergency situation because we could live for day.

What are you listening to right now?

India Arie she is my all time favorite artist!! Love her lots and a new artist Miguel who I love his voice and music style.

Is there something you have always wanted to try or learn, but haven’t yet?

I would say how to Crochet.  I usually have no technical skills, so I believe it might be a challenge.

Favorite movie?

“Serendipity” with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale…I am an absolute sap and hopeless romantic.

Germaine’s philosophy?

Begin and end each day with positivity, and no matter what, all else will fall into place.

What is one of your fondest childhood memories?

It’s crazy but I really have so many fond memories as a child, and that is because although my mom was a single parent she did everything possible in and above her power to give my sister and me the best life and raise us right. I will say my mom has a great skill of surprise.  I remember when I was young, she told my sister and I that she was taking us to the store so we could find things to organize the entire house and in the middle of the car ride, she told us to reach into the car seat pouch and inside was the coolest fanny pack ever (it was the 80’s of course and it was watermelon shaped) and inside were tickets to Disneyland…so awesome!

What are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about being able to accomplish my own personal and professional goals. I have so much I want to achieve and with the beginning of each day, I feel I’m that much closer to achieving them.

*Thank you, Germaine!