Archive for Plus modeling

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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Tears Began To Fall…I Had Finally Arrived by Angela Jones (Written by Angela Jones & Liz Nord)

Posted in Body Image, Confidence, Family & Friends, Fashion, Inspiration, Media, Models, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Unique Beauty, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Marc von Borstel

This last year has been one of the most amazing years of my life. On a personal level, I have grown so much. I am constantly inspired through our Plus-Size Models Unite website and in my everyday life. Starting this website with Elizabeth was a way for me to use my story and my journey in to the modeling world to help inspire others. Now Plus-Size Models Unite has turned into a platform for inspirational women around the world to share their stories and to continue inspiring others.

For the last thirteen years of my life, ‘plus’ modeling has been something that I had wanted to pursue, but having a family, and being a wife and mother has always been at the top of my priority list and it still is. Last year, I felt it was the right time to do something for me. The journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I have had many roadblocks along the way and many moments of self-doubt and felt doubt from others, but I pushed through. I made it happen and for that, I am so proud.

I do not know what the future will bring, but I do know that along this journey, I have met the most amazing individuals. Here is a little peek into the beginning of my journey from my start pursuing ‘plus’ modeling to eventually using my voice to help create a world of confident girls and women.

Pursuing plus modeling had everything to do with simply following my dream. I feel that as a mother, I am constantly telling our children that they can be whatever they want to be. Meanwhile, I knew deep inside that I had not given my dream a shot. For me, plus modeling has everything to do with making a difference and representing diversity. That is what I wanted to be a part of–the cause.

Growing up, I had no one to relate to and I never felt that I was beautiful because everyone in the media and magazines looked nothing like me–until I saw a picture of Emme. Honestly, it was a life changing moment for me as a teenager. I finally saw a woman who looked like me and she was considered beautiful. It was a breath of fresh air. I know what an impact that image had on me and I know that young girls and women are still longing to see more of those images in the media.

When the time was right (our kids were in school and I had a bit more ‘me’ time), I decided to pursue modeling. I went for it. I really had no idea how to go about it. I tried to do as much research as I could. I checked out the legit agencies, had my husband take some snapshots of me, and I submitted them to various reputable agencies. Many agencies said that I was not what they were looking for and I was okay with that. I was happy enough with just trying and giving my dream a shot.

When an agency contacted me and wanted me to come in for an open call, I was so excited! I was actually very calm and ready to do it until I got there, and then the nerves kicked in! I was signed that day, and I was thrilled! I did it! But, unbeknownst to me, there is a lot more to modeling than just being signed and many factors play into it.

When I signed with this agency, I had no idea what I was doing. So much of the information that they told me went in one ear and out the other! I was just happy to be there. After signing with them, I had my first test. I was a nervous wreck, but I did it and it was a great experience. The agency got my photos back and said that I was too small to plus model. So, I tested again and they said that they liked those pictures better and then they used both tests on their website! I was so confused, but just went along with it.

I really tried to keep a dialogue with them, check in, and just say hi, but I never got much response. I kept on testing and asked for some direction as far as what they would like to see and nothing…no response. I didn’t know if that was normal or not, so I just went along with it. About a month ago, I was on their website looking for my pictures, and noticed that I had been taken off the site. I was in shock.

I pulled myself together and called them. They said no clients had ever showed interest in me. I had no words. I got off the phone and cried and cried and cried. I felt so betrayed. I tried my best to give them what they wanted and they didn’t even have the decency to call me or email me. It took a few days to pull myself together, but eventually I realized that it was meant to be. I was already represented by three other agencies, and I was excited about that.

A week later, I got a call from The Campbell Agency, and they told me that I booked my first job! My son thought his mommy was going crazy…I was jumping around and laughing hysterically. I finally got my chance! I was on my way to Dallas to work for JCPenney’s!

On my way to the airport, I had to switch gears from mommy and wife mode to me mode! Usually, I am with my husband and kids. When I was alone, I realized just how much I rely on them to be by my side. I was sad thinking about my family, then I quickly realized what an amazing first job opportunity this was, and I was just so grateful for the opportunity and my family’s support.

After being completely humiliated at the security check, (they took each of my chicken cutlets (bra padding) out of my carry-on bag and ran them through the machine by themselves!), I finally made it to my gate and that is where I met my new friend, Andy.

Andy was just the beginning of all of the amazing individuals who I had the chance to meet on this trip. Throughout the entire flight, we talked nonstop. He told jokes, and we talked about life, love, kids, etc. I know we will be lifelong friends. Andy, thank you for taking my mind off my nerves, for making me laugh, and starting an unforgettable trip off in an amazing way!

My first job was nothing short of amazing. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I knew that I was going to try my best and take any direction that I could get. I really wanted to perform well for them and do the best job that I could. I was just so excited to be there. I was really nervous. It was hard for me to go into a new environment and not have a clue what to do!

I had so many emotions built up: From the excitement of being there, to anxiety from doing my first job, to looking back on how I was teased as a child for my body, to coming to a point in my life where I am proud of my body, to being inspired by all of the amazing talent I was surrounded by, and finally…after all of my hard work and dedication–I got a job. I did it! I guess I was just so taken back that they had faith in me…I had finally arrived.

I worked two full days for JCPenney’s and it was a blast. I really enjoy watching all of the talent come together and produce such beautiful images. It is truly all about teamwork. I love seeing such inspiring people at work and it was so much fun to watch all of the models. Everyone has their own style and it was great to learn from them and incorporate what I had learned into my own style. I can tell you one thing–it is hard work. By the end of the day, all I wanted to do was go home and go to bed!

Throughout my last day of shooting Beth and Gary gave me pointers, tips, and really calmed my nerves. As my last shot of the day arrived, my martini shot as they called it…I started to cry! I pulled it together and after I was done, I completely lost it. I could not hold back the tears any longer.

I don’t think they had ever seen a model cry as I did. It was all happy tears. I honestly was just so happy to be there, to have that experience as my very first job, and to meet all of the wonderful people at JCPenney’s: Lisa, Angie, Mindy, Al, Beth, Gary, Bobby, Whitney, Raymond, Marcia, and Kayleh. You are all incredible people and I feel very honored to have met all of you! Thank you! Every person I had the chance to work with inspired me in some way.

Lisa, I love your zest for life, your love of your family, and your random shout outs of “Work it girl, woohoo!” I love your energy! Marcia, I was told by a few of my friends what a generous and sweet woman you are and they were right. Thank you for your kind words and direction, and I am going to keep working on being “natural”!:) Beth, you were my angel that day.  When I looked into your eyes, I lost it. You did not have to help me as you did or give me encouragement as you did. Thank you. I feel very lucky to call you my friend. Gary, I loved listening to your stories. You take great pride in your work; you do an amazing job, and thank you for treating me as an equal. Thank you for being so kind. Kayleh, thank you for having faith in me! The Campbell Agency, thank you for your faith in me and for representing me as you do. I am honored to work with you. The entire JCPenney’s crew rocks!

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to Plus-Size Models Unite and give you all much thanks. I am so honored to have met you and thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for contributing. We are so thankful for your time and energy. Your inspiring words have really helped so many, including me.

Elizabeth, thank you for coming up with the idea of the website and for your friendship. My friend Marc, who is also a photographer and who I have tested with many times, I feel so blessed to call you my friend. Thank you for your friendship and guidance. You inspire me constantly. To my friends who are supporting me, thank you.

As one door closed, another door opened. I was so happy to return home and see my family. They deserve so much thanks, I feel so blessed to be a part of the family I have…thank you and I love you. I have many exciting opportunities coming up and I am so thrilled to share them with you soon!

*Here is a link to my JCPenney job pictures!

http://www4.jcpenney.com/jcp/XGN.aspx?DeptID=70656&CatID=71804&SO=0&Ne=4294957900+29+3+5+23+8+1031+596+591+585+593+1011+18+904+833+949&SelDim=4294957900~&CatSel=4294953642|tops&pagesize=1&x5view=1&shopperType=G&N=4294953642&Nao=0&PSO=0&CmCatId=70656|71804

Model Tara Laughton Shares Her Beauty Advice! Check Out Her Brand New Ladybird T Jewelry Collection.

Posted in Australia, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Family & Friends, Fashion, Inspiration, Models, My Story, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Shopping, Unique Beauty, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Claudio Raschella

Tara Laughton is a plus model and jewelry designer from Australia. She is signed with Bella Model Management in Australia, Click Models in New York City, and Okay Models in Hamburg, Germany. Tara is one of Bella Model Management’s top models. She has worked for every client in Australia. She works in New York City, London, and Germany. Tara is active in the community and hosts fundraisers for Women Against Domestic Violence, breast cancer research, and Vascular Cardio Facial Syndrome, which is the second most common syndrome after Down syndrome. She is the new ambassador for Life 2 Skin products and recently opened her own jewelry company called Ladybird T. The link to her jewelry website is at the bottom of this article.

Photographed by Claudio Raschella

What is the best beauty advice you have ever been given?

I started looking after my skin at a young age (I started at thirteen years of age), so I’ve always cleansed, moisturized, and applied masks and scrubs. I think it’s paid off; I’m very happy with my skin.

The best beauty advice is to always smile and be confident! Do whatever ever you can to make yourself feel good! I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin. It shows on the outside when you are comfortable in your own skin–you look and feel more confident and people notice that.

What’s your can’t live without beauty products?

L’Oreal Nutrisummer Moisturizer and St. Tropez are great for a sunless tan!

I can’t live without Paw Paw Ointment as lip balm. I’m always applying it, and it’s great for cuticles too. (http://www.organicsaustraliaonline.com.au/category422_1.htm)

Also, Almond oil on your skin after showering is such a great moisturizer.

I love NARS blush in “Orgasm” (It’s a gorgeous pink color), Chanel INIMITABLE Mascara in Black, and MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation!

I can’t go out the door without a splash of my favorite scent, Diptyque Philosykos, which is described as a fig tree in all its glory: the freshness of fig leaves, the green fruit, the slightly milky sap, and the bark. A touch of white cedar gives it an even sunnier depth!

What is your best time saving beauty tip?

Time saving beauty tips? Hmm… I’m not sure I have one. Before I go out, I just love spending time getting ready, and doing my hair and makeup. As much as I can do it quickly, I like it when I can leisurely take my time to look great. It’s a way of making myself feel great  and a way of loving me. We all need to spend time giving ourselves some love by taking a bath or reading a book. Make some time for you! *Not really any saving time tips here! Sorry. =)

Photographed by Claudio Raschella

*Thank you, Tara!

**For more information on Tara’s jewelry collection, please visit her Ladybird T Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ladybird-T/153538161328739?v=app_138996027389&ref=ts

“Healthy is the New Skinny” — This is Not About a Size. It’s About a Movement. Model Katie Halchishick Tells Me About Her Passion For Healthy Living and Happiness. By Angela

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Confidence, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Media, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Unique Beauty, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by Liz

Katie Halchishick photographed by Bradford Willcox

When I first got into the ‘plus’ modeling industry, Katie Halchishick was one of the first models I reached out to for advice, she was so positive and supportive, and I will never forget that. Katie is a plus model with Ford LA and Chicago, Dorothy Combs in Miami, Heffner, and Brigitte Models in Germany. She is an advocate for girls and women around the world who wants to help spread the message of living a healthy and happy life and loving the skin you are in.

Photographed by Bradford Willcox

Speaking with Katie recently, I instantly felt a connection, like I had known her for years, as if she was an old girlfriend. I could feel her passion and commitment to promoting healthy living, self-love, and changing the way the media portrays ‘beauty’. She told me stories of how she goes into LA schools and speaks to fifth graders about health and self-esteem and how many of the young girls she teaches, at the age of ten, think they are ‘fat’. It is in her soul to make a difference, and I am completely 100% with her.

Photographed by Bradford Willcox

I spoke with Katie about her new campaign she has co-founded with clothing designer Jessica Svoboda. “Healthy is the new Skinny” is a t-shirt fundraiser to help Jessica Svoboda get into NY Fashion Week 2011. Jessica is a clothing designer whose breakthrough denim styles for straight and “plus-size” figures are catching attention across the country. She is attempting to be the first designer in the history of New York Fashion Week to used models between sizes 6-10. She applied last year, but was denied by the organizers. The organizers said, “We don’t want to see elephants stomping on the runway.”

Photographed by Bradford Willcox

This year she is applying again, and she needs our support. To not feature Jessica’s line in NY Fashion Week would be a huge loss to the event. Not only would it be ground breaking to include her, but also it is just the start of things to come. Jessica will be launching her ready to wear collection for all women sizes 2-28 and she will be using models from the nation’s newest plus-model agency, Natural Model Management.

If we want to see a change, we all need to come together and support one another. If this is something you feel strongly about, then please, let your voice be heard! We believe diversity should be represented, every size, shape, age, and ethnicity! We also promote healthy living and self-love. Your self-worth is not defined by what dress size you are. As a mother, I want my children to feel confident and self-assured. I want them to embrace their unique self, and I feel by changing the way the media defines beauty, children of the future will be given that chance.

Photographed by Bradford Willcox

When is New York Fashion Week?

Jessica will be applying for the February Fall / Winter 2011 Fashion Week in NYC.

How did you come together with Jessica to form “Healthy is the new Skinny”? What was the inspiration behind it?

Jessica hired me to model for her new amazing denim line that is out now, and we really hit it off. We share the same goals in life and that is to be free from the limitations of others and always work to better yourself. We had so much fun on the shoot Jessica has such a great personality and more energy than anyone I have ever met!  Needless to say, we started talking about projects and ideas, and then one thing lead to another. We wanted to work together and “Healthy is the New Skinny” was a perfect way to promote a new look for fashion and help Jessica build support from women who want to see healthy models in fashion week!

Photographed by Bradford Willcox

What are you hoping to achieve with this movement?

I would love women of all sizes to come together and be on the same team with a common goal of health and happiness. I really understand the divide between larger vs. skinny because I have been on both sides and I think the greatest lesson I learned from that experience is that a person is just that, a person. I have compassion for women who struggle with weight because I did myself and so have the women in my family. I also have compassion for a girl who is really thin who is told she is too big because I also know how that feels and the damaging effects that can have on your self-esteem. I hope that as a group we can start to come together with compassion to understand that although we look around and see a million different faces and bodies, the truth is we all feel the same way inside. No matter what color you are, what side of town you grew up in, or what size you may be, every one of us deserves the right to live a happy healthy life. I hope this is motivation for all of us to aspire to be more!

 

Photographed by Bradford Willcox

Where do the proceeds from the sales of the tee’s go?

A large percentage of the tee’s are going to Jessica Svoboda and the production of the fashion show! The other percentage is going back in to the “Healthy is the new Skinny” fund to build more projects that are in the works to educate girls and women, and show them what healthy really looks like!

What kind of response have you received from fans of Healthy is the new Skinny?

Well, mostly it has been rave reviews with lots of “It’s about time!” and “Thank God.”

The truth is this is just the beginning for us and the amazing team of people who have come together and who are dedicated to this movement. We don’t have time for negativity, we are always working hard to be productive and positive, and our fans have been amazing!

Photographed by Bradford Willcox

* You can find out more about Katie at amodellifeonline.com.

** You can find out more about Jessica at https://svobodastyle.com/.

Jamil Kali – Talks Body Image, Confidence, Fashion, Beauty, and More!

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Designers, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Funny Experiences, Models, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Unique Beauty, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Roberto Ligresti

Jamil Kali has modeled for amazing labels and magazines!  Jamil has modeled for Baby Phat, Rocawear, House of Dereon, Torrid, Hips and Curves, Kmart, Levis, Dockers for Women, Lord & Taylor, It Figures Swimsuits, Hanes Plus Silk Reflections, QVC, Latina Magazine, Essence Magazine, Marie Claire magazine, Philadelphia Style Magazine. She has appeared on B.E.T.’s Rip the Runway, The View, Good Day Philadelphia, Inside Edition, and The Rachel Ray Show.

Jamil was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended school in Pennsauken, New Jersey. We are excited to share our Q&A interview with you.

How did you get started in the plus modeling industry?

I started locally in Philly after being approached by a designer on the subway. Then I learned that if I wanted to model on a major level, I needed to be in NYC, LA, or Miami. I took a couple of days off from my day job (at the time) and visited agencies in NYC that represented plus size models. I was offered representation by each one. I signed with the agency (IPM Model Management) that I’m still with today.

How do you think plus modeling is helping to redefine beauty?

Beauty is beauty and is undeniable. It’s not restricted by size, age, or ethnicity. Plus modeling is definitely helping to redefine the one standard of beauty being perpetuated. Curves are not new but were overlooked for a while. Now the media, designers, and companies are paying attention to our popularity. The world sees that women are embracing their curves and men find us sexy.

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

The misconceptions I notice most often are that plus-size women are sad most of the time, have low self-esteem, and don’t enjoy life. As if we feel that there’s no point of living if we can’t be skinny. That’s hilarious to me because that’s not reality. Also, another misconception is that all plus-size women are unhealthy. Maybe my curvy girlfriends and I need to star in a reality show! 🙂

Photographed by Roberto Ligresti

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

Don’t let other people dictate how you feel about yourself. Focus on what you love about yourself and feel empowered about what makes you unique. Life is too short to be miserable. Take it one day at a time. You know that girl who inspires you and is confident all the time? Take one day to steal her personality and pretend to be her. Just fake it if you need to. Suddenly you’ll see that confidence is addictive and there’s no turning back.

Do you think the fashion industry is beginning to embrace plus models?

Somewhat but it still seems like baby steps. I think there’s still a lot of progress that needs to be made. I think the industry needs to realize that we live in a diverse world and their ad campaigns and runway shows need to reflect that. I applaud mainstream designers like Mark Fast, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Isaac Mizrahi, and Prada who are embracing this concept.

Who are your favorite designers?

Wow, that’s a toughie. I honestly don’t know. I’m such a fashion addict that it changes every day. Some of my long-time loves are Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, and Versace. However, fashion is constantly evolving so I don’t think I have any true favorites anymore. Lately I’ve been buying a lot of BCBG, Diane von Furstenberg, Armani, Kenneth Cole, Adrianna Papell, and Korto Momolu. My favorite plus-size designers right now are Jibri and Monif C.

Where do you like to shop for clothes?

Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bebe, and the Nikki London Boutique in Philly.

Do you have a favorite workout routine?

I love kickboxing and yoga.

Photographed by Roberto Ligresti

What is your most memorable modeling experience?

This one time I had just got off my return flight in Philly after working several days in LA – I check my voicemail and have an urgent message from my agent. I call her back and she says that she received a direct request for me for a huge job. Only catch is they need to see me that day. I hit it straight from the airport to the casting and ended up booking the campaign. That day was crazy hectic but so worth it.

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

During my first professional photo shoot that was set up by my agent; I came in totally clueless about what to expect. The photographer ended up being out of this world. Everything out of his mouth was a cuss word. He wasn’t mean or anything, but that’s just the way he talked. As soon as I walked in, he yells “Who is this sexy b*%ch?!” I couldn’t help but laugh the entire time, and my first shoot was a success.

What is your beauty must have?

Lip gloss. My favorite lip gloss brands are Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel.

What are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about my next photo shoot coming up. The styling is going to be gorgeous. 🙂

Thank you, Jamil! We are excited to see your new photos and hear more from you!

If you have any questions or comments for Jamil, please use the comment area below our lipstick and lip gloss discussion. =)

More on Lipstick and Lip Gloss!

We cannot let this post end without talking more about lipstick and lip gloss – I am a lip gloss addict! It drives me insane to have dry lips.  I can’t even go to bed without something (usually Aquaphor) on my lips.

We asked a few models which lipstick and lip gloss brands they like best. We share our favorite brands too.

Angela likes Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Trixie, Mary Kay in Pink Shimmer, and L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche lipcolour in British Red.

I like lip gloss more than lipstick, but I always wear lipstick too. The lip glosses that I love are Philosophy in Raspberry Sorbet, Prescriptives Moonbeam Reflective Gloss Brilliant in Galaxy 22, Smashbox in Illume, Clinique Long Last glosswear in Bamboo Pink, Clinique in Voluptuous Violet 12, Mary Kay in Cranberry, and all of the Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish colors!

Tracie Stern uses only natural beauty products. She uses Burts Bees 100% natural lip balm every day. She uses a natural high-end gloss by a German company called Lavera. She said the best natural makeup line she has used is by a makeup artist in NY named Christopher Drummond. His line is fantastic! It’s mineral, but only the natural, non toxic minerals. Plus, he adds aloe to it so it doesn’t make your skin feel dry. Since he’s an industry makeup artist, he created the line to withstand a photo shoot! If you are looking for a 100% natural and organic skin care line, Tracie is exclusively working with Tata Harper Skincare. It’s a fantastic line and does for you naturally what other high-end products do synthetically. Check it out at http://www.facebook.com/l/6a651;www.tataharper.com

Elisa D’Ospina loves neutral gloss because it gives her lips shine without seeing a gloss color.

What are your favorite lipstick and lip gloss brands and colors? We want to hear from you!

We welcome all women of every age, size, and shape!

Posted in Body Image, Confidence, Events, Family & Friends, News, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Unique Beauty, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2010 by Liz

We want to thank you for all of your wonderful e-mails, comments, and support. We have received a plethora of incredibly positive e-mails regarding this blog in the last 72 hours.

Plus-Size Models Unite is an open forum for all women of every size, shape, and age. Please share this blog site with every woman you know. We welcome and celebrate all women.

We look forward to reading more of your comments and e-mails.

Our next post will be Tuesday, March 16.

Thanks,

Elizabeth

Hello, World! Angela’s Journey – Part I. (Written by Liz Nord)

Posted in Art, Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Eating Disorders, Events, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Funny Experiences, Hobbies, Inspiration, Lane Bryant, Models, Movies, Music, My Story, News, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Recipes & Food, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Travel, Uncategorized, Unique Beauty, Work, Your Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Lindsey Bowen

Hello World,

I am Angela Jones. I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend, partner, 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 body. 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 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.

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 because I did not feel that I was overweight. 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 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.

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 moved back home, to Washington State.

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, Taylor. The timing was good, and I was ready to make a positive change. I promised Taylor 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.

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.

We will be posting more articles regarding Angela’s journey. Share your story!