Archive for plus model

International Model Bree Warren Says, “Everyone has those moments of self-doubt and times you wish you could wave a magic wand but at the end of the day, you need to have faith in yourself.”

Posted in Australia, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Designers, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Media, Models, Plus-Size Modeling, Shopping, Travel, Unique Beauty, Wilhelmina with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by Liz

Bree Warren grew up in Brisbane, Australia. She is a newcomer on the international modeling scene after spending three years studying Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Journalism before taking up modeling full-time in late 2010. Bree is currently signed with Wilhelmina NYC, Brigitte Models Germany, Hughes Models London, Dallys Models Brisbane, and BGM in Sydney. She comes from a really sporty family and has grown up playing loads of different sports. After high school at age 18, she traveled the world on a gap year visiting twenty different countries and has even spent time surfing in Canary Islands, Hawaii, and Bali. Bree wants to encourage young women to have confidence in themselves.

Please tell us how you started your career as a model. Was modeling something that you always wanted to pursue and why?

I was approached when I was shopping in Brisbane and a few days later, I signed with Dallys. At the time, I was at a university and working part-time for a TV station, so it started off as a side project. In July 2010, I decided I wanted to try modeling full-time so I booked a flight to NYC and signed with Wilhelmina. It has all gone on from there.

Obviously I knew about modeling, and I have always loved fashion but I wouldn’t say it’s something that I had always wanted to do. I was given a couple of agency cards when I was a teenager but I was really busy with school and sports so I never did anything about it.

What does the term ‘plus’ model mean to you? Do you think of term “Plus” as offensive?

Modeling (like any industry) has different roles and requirements, ‘plus’ is just one of those. The term doesn’t faze me at all. Models can be plus, straight, editorial, runway, commercial, or catalogue and it’s all part of the job. There’s a really big range in shapes and sizes even for plus models so if anything it keeps the fashion industry interesting. I don’t really think it should be thought of as one vs. the other. Curves or no curves – there is definitely room for both!

What do you enjoy most about modeling?

Every time you work, it’s totally different. I like the travel, variety, and fast pace of it all.

In terms of your career, where would you love to see yourself in 5 years? Who would you LOVE to work with and why?

I would love to say I’m someone who has everything planned out and organized…but I’m so not. I don’t like to get too far ahead of myself so I’m just taking the opportunities and doing the best I can. Hopefully, I will be working with some big names and travelling to beautiful places.

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

I once wore a dress made out of chocolate by couture designer Richard De Chazal. It was quite funny because it was a hot day and the bodice kept melting in the sun during the press conference.

Is there one person you have met in this industry that has had a positive impact on your life in a big way?

I don’t think there is any one person but the industry has so many creative and engaging people who have a lot to offer. I almost take something different away from each person I meet.

Do you have a favorite workout routine?

Ha ha. I wouldn’t call it a ‘favourite’ but I try to fit in the gym whenever I can. Unfortunately, most of the fun outdoor workouts don’t go so well with the London winter.

What has been the piece of advice you have ever been given?

Be confident with who you are, work with what you have, and most of all be a nice person.

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?

Everyone has those moments of self-doubt and times you wish you could wave a magic wand but at the end of the day, you need to have faith in yourself. Sometimes life can be a little suffocating so work out what your strengths are and use them. Don’t waste time with the rest.

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

This is hard because the pressures really vary from girl to girl. I think the key is to stay positive and levelheaded about everything in your life. Negativity only attracts more negativity.

Who taught you about real beauty?

My mum. She is so bubbly and always looks amazing despite having one of the most basic beauty regimes I have ever seen. You don’t need all the extras to be beautiful.

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

Don’t wish your life away. Enjoy the age you’re at! Oh and look after your teeth.

Were you ever made fun of or teased as a child?

Of course, there is always the odd joke at your expense but nothing major no. To be honest, I managed to steer pretty clear of all that. I have always been taught to rise above it and treat people how you would like to be treated.   

What is a fun fact about you?

I’ve been mistaken for Nadine Coyle (from Girls Aloud) in London but it doesn’t last long because my accent totally gives it away.

What do you love about living in London?

It is so much fun! There is always so much to do. Sometimes I actually get a bit worried because I don’t want to miss out on anything.

On a day off, how would your perfect day be spent in London?

Brunch at Borough Markets, shopping at Portobello road, and a night out with all my friends anywhere with a good view.

Lipstick or Lip gloss?

‘Melon Mania’ Luminous Lip Veils by Napoleon Perdis

My beauty essentials are…

Benefit Posie Cheek tint, Dior Show Mascara, and Tigi Rockaholic Dry Shampoo.

What is your go-to outfit?

Flowy top, skinny jeans, colourful scarf, and blazer or leather jacket.

What are your favorite pair of jeans?

Bettina Liano

Where do you love to shop for clothes?

New York and London are amazing but sometimes I find the best items in very odd places so my eyes are always peeled. Actually, I’m pretty sure I could find something to buy anywhere. It’s a little bit of a problem!

How would you describe your style?

It goes from one extreme to the other. I don’t think your wardrobe should have rules. I am just as happy at charity shops and flea markets as I am in Marc Jacobs. I am generally pretty casual but I dress it up with chunky jewelry or heels.

What are your favorite sites to visit online?

It’s geeky but I visit the news websites all the time. I like to know what’s going on and it keeps me sane. Style wise I would say Fashiongonerogue.com and Style.com are my favourites. Aside from that, I am on You Tube way too much.

What are you listening to right now?

Passion Pit, Band of Horses, and I have been playing Rolling in the deep by Adele a ridiculous amount of times lately.

What does being healthy mean to you?

Finding the balance between eating well, exercise, and a fun social life.

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

I am a pretty happy, easy-going person, and nothing really stresses me out.

In my purse you would find…

A really big mess. I keep bits and pieces of everything. It works well for me but other people might think it’s a bit of a disaster.

What is one of your favorite childhood memories?

Definitely family holidays. My dad has this thing about going to different beaches wherever we are in the world. I have probably been to every single beach on the East Coast of Australia at least once.

What are you excited about right now?

Working in Sydney for a couple of weeks, a holiday in Byron Bay with a big bunch of friends, and finding a new apartment in London!

*Thank you, Bree.

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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/.

Becca Thorpe Talks About Self-Esteem and Body Image Issues, Favorite Beauty Products, Fashion, New Passions, and the Pressures Girls and Women are Facing Today!

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Designers, Fashion, Hobbies, Inspiration, New York, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Unique Beauty, Wilhelmina, Work, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Roberto Ligresti

Becca Thorpe is a plus model from Annapolis, Maryland who currently lives in New York City. She has been successfully modeling for ten years. She spends her free time behind the lens as a photographer. She has recently shot a fashion spread for Madisonplus, a news and fashion blog (http://madisonplus.com/).

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

I started modeling while attending college in Philadelphia. I was going to a party at a hotel where there happened to be a plus modeling contest going on. A woman approached me and asked if I ever considered modeling, and I  immediately said no; I play sports and there is obviously no need for someone who is 5’11” and “big” in that industry. Boy, was I wrong. The next week I was working locally and began to think that this could be something if I was smart about it. A year later, I had moved to New York and have been working ever since. Wow, ten years really flies by!

What have you learned from the modeling industry?

I have learned so much in this industry. There are so many things I want to say here. Modeling is what I do, not who I am. Business is business and sometimes it has nothing to do with you. More than anything else, modeling has made me grow into a really capable woman who can achieve anything.

Have you ever struggled with low self-esteem or body image issues in the past? If so, how did you reach a point of accepting and loving your body?

Have I ever struggled with body image or self-esteem? HELLO!  I am going to be real honest here…I am a woman! Who doesn’t? Let’s be real, we live in a world where it is bombarded on us every day to look a certain way–to be “this” in order for a man to love you and to comply with what others “think” we should be. Yes, even models succumb to this struggle. I have been a size 12/14 since I was twelve years old. There were no Forever 21’s when I was growing up, and I knew (at that young age) that I would never be a size 8. Heck, a size 10 is even pushing it!  I am real about my body. I go through phases like everyone else I know. Just look at my closet; it ranges from a size 12 to a 16! That is real life. I do indeed love my body, I love my man for loving my body, and I love that I am in an industry that allows me to be vocal about being honest about it all!

How would you define confidence?

Confidence is knowing who you are.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is being able to say no when you need to. It is saying thank you. It’s being “interested” when you just want to be “interesting”…it’s really listening. It’s a great blazer, red lipstick, and killer high heels. Beauty is accepting where you are right now and still moving forward.

Photographed by Roberto Ligresti

What do you love about yourself?

What do I love about myself? I love the strength that the women in my family passed down to me. I love that I am tall (I wish I could go back to my thirteen-year-old self and say that). I love that I have really amazing friends who encourage me to be ‘me’ . I love that I have a sense of humor about the little stuff in life, and I absolutely LOVE that even when I am ninety, I will be asking questions like “would you rather”!

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about capturing moments with people, whether it’s with my camera or a conversation that brings meaning or laughter. No matter what we do, in a job or even with our spare time, we have an ability to touch others with what we say and do.

What do you enjoy doing in your down time?

In my spare time you will find me walking in NYC with a camera in my hand. I talk to homeless people, street vendors, strangers, musicians, and even my friends in order to get a real moment snapshot of their lives. Yes, I love taking pictures, but I also love my dog, road trips, my family, and my closest friends here in the city.

Where do you shop for clothes and who are some of your favorite designers?

I shop everywhere, but those who know me well would say that I am the quintessential “Gap” girl. JCrew is another favorite, but my true finds come from scouring Century 21 and vintage shops.

Photographed by Lisa Holgrave

Favorite jeans?

GAP…long and lean jeans! They are the staple of my wardrobe.

What are some of your beauty must-haves?

When it comes to products, the things I cannot live without are Kate Somerville ‘Quench’ for my face (http://www.katesomerville.com/), Kevyn Aucoin’s mascara (http://www.kevynaucoin.com/), Yves Saint Laurent’s Touché Éclat for under eye circles, and lip balm. All of these products are in every bag I own.

Photographed by Jeff Licata

What do you enjoy most about your career as a model?

It is not the places I have been, it is the people who I have been with on locations that have been the most memorable. The friends I have made on jobs in Germany, Canada, Thailand, and Argentina. The places have been incredible, but the late nights of talking, sharing, and laughing will be what I really remember.

What advice would you give to aspiring plus models?

The advice I would give to girls just starting in this industry is…1) trust yourself 2) be willing to learn, learn, learn…and know that it is not all fun and games — it is a business in which you have to invest a lot of yourself mentally and emotionally. Oh, I know… I can hear the “you just have to stand in front of a camera…how hard is that?” But let me tell you…it is a learned art — one that comes with time and patience. So know your strengths and weaknesses, and be willing to learn and have fun!

Photographed by Lisa Holgrave

‘Curves For Change’ has brought many of your fellow Wilhelmina models together for a great cause. What has that experience been like for you so far?

Working with C4C has been one the best experiences I have had. It is truly amazing what women can do together! It is remarkable to know that we are promoting a healthy and honest look at the issues at hand. I have met girls that truly inspire me!

*Curves for Change recently launched their website. To find out more about C4C, please visit http://www.curvesforchange.com/index.html.

Photographed by Max Abadian

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

Oh the dreaded age of thirteen when you just want to be like everyone else. If I could pass a note to myself in class at that age, knowing what I know now, it would read, “What you think is important now will change. It always does. There is freedom in being different and in going against the grain, so stand up straight and stand tall in that back row full of boys! It’s okay NOT to have the same outfit as everyone in your class! You are so special my thirteen-year-old self. You have to know that confidence is in your hands, not anyone else’s.”

What kinds of pressures do you see girls and women facing today? What can we, as mentors, do to better address these issues?

There are so, so, so many pressures are on young women today. It has gotten to a point where it’s almost unbearable! I know a lot of models talk about it. To be honest, we struggle with it too! Those pressures are real and sometimes an everyday occurrence. Instead of just talking about it all the time and judging other woman (because admit it, sometimes women can be cruel) we need to start reading things like Plus- Size Models Unite and even the things that Curves for Change is doing. To see models, instead of competing and being hurt or jealous, come together and send a positive image out to women is what this is all about! Yes, we all want to feel good, look beautiful, get the job, and get the guy; but how we get those things is really the important part! Pressures are in every part of life whether you are thirteen or a grown woman. We have the choice of how we look at things so I say to someone struggling with body image or external pressures “It’s there (the pressure). Accept that magazines and other people create a so-called “standard”, but YOU can create your own. Be kind to that voice inside you that compares and judges, and then go throw on a pair of heels and do your own thing.”

What are you excited about right now?

What I am excited about now is my newfound love of photography. Testing other models, putting stories together, and even the editing. I feel like I have something to say with a camera in my hand. Normal moments can be captured and made into something bigger. The beginnings of a new passion are often very scary. Should I? Am I any good? Those little voices are slowly dissipating, and I am finding myself truly loving this new adventure of being the girl behind the lens.

*Thank you, Becca!

**How do you define beauty? How do you define confidence? What are you passionate about?

Catherine Mimbimi Shares Her Daily Beauty Routine, Favorite Scent, and Biggest Beauty Disaster

Posted in Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Confidence, Inspiration, Models, Plus-Size Modeling, Trade Tips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Becca Thorpe

Catherine Mimbimi is a plus model, mother of a ten-year-old daughter, wife, and a college graduate. She was born in Cameroon, West Africa and currently lives in Michigan. She loves cooking, traveling, and spending time with her girlfriends. Catherine is signed with Click NY and Ford Chicago. She has worked for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Kohl’s, JC Penney, K-Mart, Meijer, Just My Size, Macy’s, Monroe & Main, Figure Magazine, and Liz Claiborne to name a few.

Please describe your daily beauty routine.

My daily beauty routine is Neutrogena Skin ID- morning and night. I use a cleanser, toner, and lotion. At night, I do the same routine. I just add Renovage eye cream. I also use the Clairsonic skin care brush. I wear sunscreen EVERY day, even in the winter – Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 15. I actually avoid the sun a lot; I wear lots of hats.

What is your favorite fragrance?

My favorite fragrances are by Jo Malone. Lime Basil Mandarin is such a great summer scent and Blue Agave and Cocao is my signature fall/winter go to.

What is your biggest beauty disaster?

My biggest beauty disaster was probably trying to pop my own pimples when I was younger. I scarred my face. Now I rely on an esthetician or my dermatologist! The best beauty advice I ever received was to keep my skin hydrated; oily/hydrated skin doesn’t wrinkle as quickly. That is why I drink at least a gallon of water every day, and I’m always wearing moisturizer. I also get chemical peels whenever I can. I think they do wonders for the skin and they cleared up any scarring or hyper-pigmentation from acne that I had. I don’t think that products need to be expensive in order to be effective!

*What is your favorite fragrance? What is your daily beauty routine? What is your biggest beauty disaster?