Archive for Modeling

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

Advertisements

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!

Kamari Brown Says, “My advice to women is instead of letting society and the media define your beauty, let it help you see how beautiful you are, just the way you are, by surrounding yourself with positive role models and people.”

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Media, Models, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by Liz

Kamari Brown is a twenty-five year old plus-size model who grew up in Seattle, Washington; England; and Germany. Kamari’s father was in the military and her family is European. She is 1/4 British, 1/4 German and 1/2 African-American. Kamari currently lives in New York City. She is signed with agencies in smaller markets and overseas in Europe and South Africa, and she is currently developing her book with her mother agent to approach the larger agencies.

How did you get started as a plus model and what does being a plus model mean to you?

I started plus-size modeling for two reasons. First, I’ve always been a creative soul, having started in acting, moved to dancing, and now modeling. For me, modeling allows me to be a different character and tell a story using the clothes, my eyes, body movement, and facial expressions. I actually find it more challenging than acting because we have less mechanisms to tell a story. But that is also why I love it more.

Second, I wanted to be part of the movement that is helping women love their body, no matter if they are a size 2 or size 20. I know personally I’ve struggled throughout the years with accepting my body the way it is, having seen only skinny models/women being deemed as beautiful. The more we infiltrate the media, the louder we are and the more lives we change.

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

In Seattle, where I spent a lot of my time growing up, most, if not all the women, around me were thin.  Additionally, the media was pushing images of Barbie like women in our faces, deeming them as the most beautiful. It was very difficult being a larger or big-boned (that term always made me feel better) mixed girl there. I was really uncomfortable in my own skin and body for so many years and it wasn’t until Destiny’s Child came into the scene that my views started to change. For the first time, seeing Beyonce, a woman of my complexion with hips, thick legs/thighs just like mine, being hailed as beautiful by the media and my peers around me, made me start to accept my curves and see how beautiful they were. My advice to women is instead of letting society and the media define your beauty, let it help you see how beautiful you are, just the way you are, by surrounding yourself with positive role models and people.

Who is your role model or hero? Why?

My biggest role most is Bono from U2. I love everything he stands for and I aspire to be like him. He found a way to use his love for music to help bring world issues–another one of his passions–to the forefront of the media. My biggest passion is fighting for human and animal rights. In college, I studied Human Geography, where I focused on human rights/trafficking and slum/squatter settlements. After moving to New York, I became very active with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and ran their Tap Project campaign last year. I more recently started working with the ASPCA, an animal rights organization. I always wanted to find the vehicle to really make a difference, much like Bono, and I hope that in time, modeling can be that vehicle for me.

What do you love about yourself and why?

I’m blessed to have lived in so many places growing up from Seattle, Europe, Miami, and now New York. It changes your perspective on life and give you an insatiable appetite for life and success. I know some people I went to high school with in Seattle only ever wanted to stay there and get married. I was and still am the complete opposite of that. I want to explore the world and help people along the way and in many respects, feel like my potential and desire to conquer the world is never ending. I know no boundaries and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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

My mum bought me a Clarisonic Mia for my birthday and that is the best thing I’ve ever used on my face! While it’s a bit expensive, it’s well worth every penny because it leaves your face clear and refreshed.

Where do you like to shop for clothes?

I have to admit, I’m an online shopping gal! I buy mostly from English stores that deliver here, ASOS is one of my favorites and they just opened an American version of their site. I also love Dorothy Perkins, Monsoon, Top Shop, and H&M. I’m a walking advertisement for them (H&M). They really should hire me to model for them, I rock out their clothes like nobody’s business. 😉 Plus, they just started a plus line… there is no reason to not hire me now!

Celebrity Crush?

David Beckham!

What does being healthy mean to you?

I believe being healthy means feeling good in your own skin and being confident. For me, feeling good is a balance between getting all the nutrients I need as a vegetarian, working out about 3-4x a week, and treating myself to my favorite foods once or twice a week.  I don’t believe in diets because they are gimmicks to lose weight fast in an unhealthy manner. If you eat well, work out, and treat yourself occasionally, you’ll feel good on the inside, which shows on the outside.

I could never have enough…

Protein shakes and Indian cuisine! Being a vegetarian, I’ve always struggled getting enough protein, so protein shakes are a great way to get the daily protein I need and recover from my intense workouts.  Plus, they taste like dessert, and who doesn’t love that? And Indian cuisine has the most vegetarian options on a menu, all of which I love. I’m not a big fan of soy meats, I actually just prefer true vegetable dishes, which Indian and Thai restaurants have.

What do you love about NYC?

I love being around all the different cultures and having access to some of the best food in the world, except I haven’t found a place yet that has proper English Chips! I will say that New York City is the only place in the States that I felt like I fit in. Because the norm here is being YOU and not conforming to anything, I feel really comfortable here.

You also work at MTV. Tell us about working at MTV and who are you currently listening to?

I work in Integrated Marketing at MTV, where especially we integrate clients into our programming and/or build custom programs for them on-air, online, on-the-ground, and mobile. The best example of what we do is the MTV TJ Search, which was a custom program we built for ZYNC from American Express, and the winner was actually a beautiful plus gal, Gabi Gregg. I have to say, I’m really lucky to have a job that I love and am excited to go to each day. There are always celebrity sitings in our building and concerts on my floor – Graffiti6 was the most recent. I have the biggest crush on the lead singer, Jaime Scott, he’s delicious!

As far as what I’m currently listening to, I would say I’m listening to a lot of Graffiti6 and Ke$ha. I’ve also been listening to a lot of 90’s grunge/alternative music, like R.E.M., Stone Temple Pilots, Oasis, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, etc. I was lucky enough to live in Seattle during the 90’s when these bands were up-and-coming and it was an incredible time to be there and be part of the movement.

Where would you love to see yourself in 10 years?

Married to David Beckham, living in London with our beautiful mixed children. That’s pretty realistic, right? 🙂  I would love to a successful plus model who is traveling the world, working with NGO’s to help people in developing countries, and be a visual and influential advocate for human/animal rights.

Thank you, Kamari!

Unfashionable, Unpretty by Solveig Walkling

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Australia, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Media, Models, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Unique Beauty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2011 by Liz
Courtesy of Kuva Photography

There’s a new kind of bitchiness on the block – between plus-size and straight-size models. And it ain’t pretty. See, bigger sized girls have been derided and “taken the mickey out of” in the fashion industry for so long and their target audience of larger (or even just normal sized) women have felt tricked by designers, photographers, and all those other ideal-woman-dream makers for so long, they seem to think it’s now payback time.

Finally, girls who aren’t stick thin are getting avant-garde magazine spreads, big name campaigns, and top level exposure – even on New York’s famous Times Square. The fashion industry – after decades of covering their ears and eyes – is ready to – perhaps not embrace – but listen to calls for a more realistic body image and diversity of shapes and sizes. Even governments worldwide are jumping on the positive body image bandwagon. Hurray! We’ve got ourselves a revolution! Long live the healthy body. The old ideal is dead.

But behind the scenes a not so fashionable attitude is emerging. Beautiful girls with a BMI in the healthy range are now considered too skinny by some. Perhaps buoyed by the recent success of plus-size girls around the world, a few of their biggest (pardon the pun) fans, supporters, and even some of the girls themselves are exhibiting what’s one of womankind’s most unattractive traits in my opinion: bitchiness.

They look at glowing, beautiful images of standard sized models and turn their nose up at them, snorting in derision. “Skinny cow,” they snigger. “If I only ate carrots I’d look like that too.” The underlying bitterness is understandable given they copped it for decades as the token “fat girl” on shoots and were showed in unfashionable tent-like outfits, but really, where is the sisterly attitude, girls? After all, the original call by women wasn’t for BIG girls only, e.g. only girls with a BMI at the top range or even beyond it to be shown in the media. We asked for a healthy body image; a diversity of body types, sizes and ages.

Looking at images of models like Elle Macpherson, Jessica Hart, or Sarah Murdoch, all I see is beauty, health, and a natural glow. (And that’s not just Photoshop.) Yes, they might be thinner than the average person. Good on them. Really, the average person is hardly what you’d like to aspire to – or see in magazines, at least all the time, right? Take that bitchy attitude a step further and next, we’ll be asking for only oversized and non-stunning girls to be used. Bring on the average Jane and Joe. C’mon! Don’t take that unpleasant attitude. Haven’t we got enough of that in reality TV shows already? People with no achievements and no ambitions – other than to make it onto TV?

Let’s face it: some of those skinnier models are naturally that body shape. They might work out more than you do or eat less or perhaps they’re even genetically blessed in that model like way, but if they’re happy in their bodies why cut them down? Can anybody else see a little bit of underlying jealousy there?

I’m not saying I’ve never gossiped or talked badly about fellow models. We all get caught up in the moment – especially if we’re having a bad day ourselves and the model in question is unpleasant to us or full of herself. But let’s celebrate each others’ successes and embrace diversity whenever we can. Be grateful that there’s a variety of body shapes out there for teenage girls to aspire too. Why limit it to big, skinny, or otherwise? Cut out the schoolyard bitching – wherever it may stem from, it’s very unpretty!

Australia has traditionally favored a slightly healthier and more toned modeling ideal. Here are pictures of few Aussie models I absolutely love the look of. Different sizes, ages, and shapes – in some of their happiest shots. Enjoy!

I love this shot of Jessica Hart from last year’s Seafolly campaign. Full of life, fun and absolutely stunning, if you ask me. Pic courtesy of www.pedestrian.tv

Sarah Murdoch, lovely inside and out as I had the pleasure of finding out during a shoot for Bonds last year, was beautifully captured by David Gubert in this spread for Australian Women’s Weekly. What’s best, no retouching. I found this picture on another great blog, Beautiful You by Julie.

Above a great shot of Australian supermodel Megan Gale who also shows a healthy body shape and, perhaps due to her size, became an overnight (bombshell) success in Italy where they love their women curvy – for a model. Pic courtesy of the Herald Sun.

About the Author ~ Solveig Walkling

Sol grew up in the back of an old Citroen travelling Europe and could say “hello” and “goodbye” in at least ten languages before she was even able to write her own name.

Luckily, she escaped being bargained for an undisclosed number of camels while travelling Turkey with her mother as a teenager or becoming a rugby player in the wonderfully quaint North of England; the freakishly tall blonde proceeded to study languages, nation studies, and journalism instead.

Work at a travel magazine was perhaps only a natural progression from there, but a combination of writing for the Australian Traveller magazine and overnight police rounds for The Sunday Telegraph instilled her with an unhealthy adrenalin addiction.

She has since left the safe surrounds of her desk behind to face off great whites, plunge down cliff-faces, hang onto the side of boats in gale force winds, and fly loops in ancient fighter planes.

Used to red-eye flights and working in several countries in a day without letting it affect an – albeit rather forced – perma-smile, the freelance model and journalist can now also be found on the other side of the camera.

Toting a battered Canon 40D, notepad, and pencil, she will travel to any location anytime at the drop of a pen.

You can find out more about Sol at www.bodymindsol.com. For Sol’s portfolio or blogging about body image and modeling, check out www.solwalkling.com. You can also join Sol at Body, Mind & Sol and Face book or on Twitter @bodymindsol.

*Thank you, Sol!

Italian Plus Model: Valentina Fogliani is Passionate About Being Healthy & Promoting Positive Body Image.

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Eating Disorders, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Italy, Models, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Unique Beauty, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Ferdinando Serra

Valentina Fogliani is from Modena, Italy. She has lived in Milan for the past six years as a successful plus-size model.

Before Valentina started her modeling career she participated in the “Miss Italia” beauty contest as a size twelve. The organizers told her that she was “a little fat.” She was young and wanted to become a model so she lost weight. She was a successful “straight” model, but she seriously sacrificed her health to stay a slim size.

Valentina said, “For me it was a very strong sacrifice to resist food and stay a slim size that didn’t represent my real personality or body type and in 2004/2005 I became a plus-size model. I started to feel better and my job was so much more wonderful and exciting than before.”

She has posed for many fantastic clients and recently posed for photographer Luca Patrone for the Curvy Can “I’m Not A Fashion Victim” campaign. The campaign helps support positive body image and draws awareness to eating disorders.

The  Italian plus models (left to right) Marina Ferrari, Valentina Fogliani, Elisa D”Ospina, Mjriam Bon, Eleonora Finazzer, and Latvian plus model Aija Barzdina, all came together to pose for photographer Luca Patrone for the Curvy Can “I’m Not A Fashion Victim” Campaign.

Please tell us about your shoot for the “I’m Not a Fashion Victim” campaign.

In September, after a shooting with my friends Aija, Mjriam, Elisa, and Marina, I felt the need to do something about alimentary disorders like obesity, bulimia, and anorexia. We are plus-size Italian models and we are so happy to be like that. We are happy to work in fashion with our bodies the way they are. I thought it was important to do a campaign, which represents our beauty without the filter of skinny fashion. Our beauty is the beauty of all girls and women who aren’t submitting to the fashion style size. Our campaign tells our story — we feel better now with our curves!!! I suffered of bulimia for four years so for me personally, this message is very important!

How do you define beauty?

For me beauty is a mix of elegance and “savoir faire,” which is not tied to appearance, but is inside of us all. Sometimes I feel full of beauty only because I am happy. For me, beauty is when my body and my soul feel in harmony.

Photographed by Ferrantini

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

I would like to tell girls that it is very important that we accept our body. To be beautiful we do not need to be skinny like models or look like societies stereotype of beauty. Each person has a different personality and a different body. We should all be unique!!!

Are you currently modeling outside of Europe also, if no, do you hope to model internationally?

Usually, I work in Italy, but sometime I model in London (where I have an agency who represents me) or in Germany. I would like to expand my modeling outside of Italy to places such as Europe and the USA!

What do you like most about modeling?

I think the most interesting thing about modeling is traveling and to meeting strange and interesting people!
I prefer the plus-size modeling world because as a plus-size model I am happier. We can eat what we want, we don’t become sad or anxious about our weight, and we can also work if we have children. I have met a lot of plus models who do shoots during their pregnancy. I think this world is more “human” than fashion skinny!

Sinyus Photopgrapher

Tell us about your involvement with Teatro-Cucina.

This is the show of my company Theatre “Teatro in Povere” and I am an actress in Teatro-Cucina. This is a show with three actors and a musician. We offer food to guests during the show. The show is a beautiful mix of food and theatre emotions. Teatro-Cucina is a show I love because it tells a life story of human beings, love, and food. These are all things necessary to live a very good life.

I was “regular” model until 2004. I suffered a lot as a skinny size, because my body conformation was not so skinny. I had bulimia for four years from 2002 through 2006. I found a way to accept my body through acting and performing. I started to see my soul and not only my appearance as a skinny or not skinny body.

What are you excited about right now?

I hope to travel with our project and our “I’m Not A Fashion Victim” campaign. I think it is very important to visit schools and to speak about bulimia and anorexia because teenagers are victims of those disorders! I hope we can speak about our campaign on television, radio, and in magazines because it is so important that people know about us and about those very dangerous disorders such as bulimia and anorexia!

Photographed by Ferdinando Serra

*Valentina, thank you for sharing your personal story with us and the world. We applaud your passion to reach out to girls and women!

We would love to hear from our readers! Is there a special topic you would like us to cover? Do you have a story you would like to share? We are here for you!