Archive for Torrid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your definition of beauty?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who taught you about real beauty?

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

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

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

Who is your role model or hero? Why?

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

What is a fun fact about you?

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

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

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

Lipstick or Lip gloss?

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

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

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

What are your favorite beauty products or must-haves?

Top 3 favorite Products:

#1 Revlon grow luscious by Fabulash Mascara

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

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

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

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

What is your go-to outfit?

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

What are your favorite pair of jeans?

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

Where do you love to shop for clothes?

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

Favorite designers?

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

What does being healthy mean to you?

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

Do you have a favorite workout routine?

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

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

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

In my purse you would find…

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

What are you listening to right now?

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

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

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

Favorite movie?

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

Germaine’s philosophy?

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

What is one of your fondest childhood memories?

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

What are you excited about right now?

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

*Thank you, Germaine!


Plus Model Radio Host Chenese Lewis Says, “I think women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and should all be celebrated without limitations.”

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Entertainment, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Media, Plus-Size Modeling, Radio, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Unique Beauty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2011 by Liz

Chenese Lewis is a positive body image and self-esteem advocate. She is the current President of the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women, the Ambassador of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), sits on the Celebrity Board of the non-profit organization Fed Up, Inc., and made history by being the first woman crowned Miss Plus America in 2003. Her unique story and prestigious career have been featured by countless media outlets such as Dr. Phil, The Insider, E! News, EXTRA, The National Examiner, iVillage, Figure Magazine and USA Today. Lewis is the creator and host of Hollywood NOW’s “Love Your Body Day,” an annual event where women of all sizes come together to celebrate a day of self-acceptance, to promote positive body image and to show that you don’t have to be a size 0 to be beautiful. Her 2010 Love Your Body Campaign, where she posed nude with America’s Next Top Model, Whitney Thompson, garnered international media attention and magnified her role as a leading positive body image advocate. Chenese attributes her success by not conforming to society’s ideals of beauty but rather showing by example that you can be beautiful and confident regardless of your size. Chenese Lewis is the epitome of the plus-size woman.

Please tell us when and how you got your start in the modeling world.

The first time I learned that plus models exist was in the summer of 2000 when a convention came to my town looking specifically for plus-size models. I went to the open call and was chosen to go to their convention, I thought I was on my way to the top! But it turns out nothing much came out of the convention, besides lots of money gone down the drain. After I came home, I decided to research more online, through which I discovered the plus community. Through my research, I found that I didn’t have the stats to be a agency repped model at the top agencies. I was very disappointed and confused as to why I was the right size to shop in plus-size clothing stores but not the right size to model for them. However, I didn’t let it discourage me, and although I still have limited  opportunities available to me as a plus size model, I’ve found my niche in the community in other ways and try to get in front of the camera whenever I can!

Do you feel plus modeling is helping to redefine beauty?

I think it has helped to redefine beauty to a degree. I think plus models have helped by showing curvier, healthier physiques in main stream media, which is great. But in all honestly, a lot of industry plus models should be on the straight board, and some women who would be fabulous plus-size models don’t get a chance.  I understand that models don’t represent the average woman, however that in itself perpetrates unrealistic ideas of beauty in some ways. The fact that a plus size model and a plus size woman is not necessarily the same thing, limits the amount of redefining the industry truly has. I think women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and should all be celebrated without limitations.

We would love to hear about “Love Your Body Day”!

The National Organization of Women created Love Your Body Day in 1998. When I joined the Hollywood chapter they weren’t doing anything to celebrate the day, since I was already doing things to promote positive body images and it’s my passion, I was appointed Love Your Body chairperson of the local chapter and was able to completely create and execute what I envisioned a Love Your Body Day celebration to be. 2010 marked the 5th year I produced the event and every year it gets bigger and better! Hollywood NOW Love Your Body Day is a free community event for women of all shapes and sizes that promotes positive body image. The day consists of entertainment, free goodies, vendors, and a fashion show. Hollywood NOW Love Your Body Day has grown into a weekend of events that includes a launch party and body image panel discussion as well.

Hollywood NOW’s Love Your Body Day is not only about promoting healthy body image, but also promoting diversity, ending racism, stopping violence against women, and marriage equality.  When you meet others who are struggling with these issues, what advice do you give to them? Where do you tell them to go to find inspiration and support?

Love Your Body Day is basically about body image. However, that day is only one small part of what the organizations focuses on and fights for. As you mentioned, the organization, in addition to promoting healthy body image, also promotes a host of other issues that are important to women. Besides inspiring women to be better the organization focuses on action by working to change laws and fighting injustice.

The photographs of yourself and Whitney Thompson are gorgeous. Not only showing both of your individual beauty, but also the beauty of women supporting women…friendship. I think the feelings behind the photographs and what you both stand for is truly beautiful. Please tell us about the photo shoot with Whitney.

Whitney is a champion for positive body image and passionate about it like myself, so I thought she would be a perfect fit to host this year’s Love Your Body Day festivities. Every year I have a photo shoot with the celebrity host, but none have gotten close to the attention of this year’s photo shoot. Whitney is a top model so I let her create the concept for the photo shoot and she suggested nude, although I had reservations about doing it, I was all for it because I knew it would get a lots of attention, but I had no idea how much! The nude Love Your Body campaign we did together literally created an international media buzz; it was on every major blog and entertainment website in the world. We even got to do an interview for E! News and all the attention helped make this year an overwhelming success. It was really great working with her and I think she’s an awesome model.

As the host of Plus Model Radio, have you ever been star struck by one of your guests on your show? If you could interview anyone in the world, who would it be? Why?

Yes, I have been star stuck before. The one interview that comes to mind is Emme! You would have never known listening to the interview because I know how not to let my nerves show and move forward with whatever I’m doing. Besides the radio is a breeze compared to being on camera or publicly speaking at an event. If I could interview anyone in the world, it would be Oprah! I love her and she is such an inspiration to me. She is plus size, so she would totally qualify to be a guest on the show.

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem or body image issues in the past? If  so, how did you reach the point of accepting and loving yourself? What advice would you give to young girls and women who are currently struggling?

No, I’ve never had that problem. I am very fortunate that I was never criticized or belittled for my weight growing up. As a result, I never thought there was anything wrong with me because of my size. I had a very happy childhood and in high school was very social and popular. A lot of people ask me this questions and I think the question we should start asking women is when did you learn to hate yourself and your body, because I don’t think a child comes into the world with those insecurities, it’s a result of your environment and influences. I would tell someone struggling with low self-esteem and body image issues to stop being your own worst critic, you are beautiful just the way you are, and if anyone in your life is telling you otherwise, get rid of the negativity.

Have you read any good books that help promote positive self-esteem and healthy body image that you would recommend for girls, pre-teens, teens, or women?

Yes, I would recommend “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat” by Dr. Robyn Silverman

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

I wish I would have known that I wanted to pursue a career in entertainment, so I could have gotten started earlier and be further along in my career! However, I believe everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t change a thing about the path that has led me to where I am today!

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?

I don’t have kids, or sisters, or nieces so I don’t really have lots of young girls in my personal life. However, I think young girls these days have tons of pressures on them that goes beyond body image. With the internet age they have everything at their finger tips, good and bad, so they know everything and see everything weather it is appropriate or not. I’m a firm believer that it all starts at home and we as mentors have to set a positive example by not only what we say, but more importantly our actions. For instance, you can’t tell a girl that she is beautiful regardless of her size but then you are constantly obsessing about your weight and criticizing yourself, which has a greater impact on her.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We all have our own individual standards of beauty, which is influenced by our families and cultural backgrounds. For me personally, I rely heavily on inner beauty. I’ve notice the higher regard I hold the person, the more attractive they are to me and just the opposite if their personality or behavior is less than desirable. Although I’m human and there are certain physical attributes that I prefer, especially with the opposite sex, at the end of the day I need the inside to match the outside.

What is your secret to happiness?

By living a purpose driven life and not sweating the small stuff! I am extremely blessed and living my dreams, instead of focusing on the negative I focus more on the positive and try to keep an optimistic outlook on life.

Where do you like to shop for clothes?

Literally any where that carries my size. I will shop anywhere from K-mart and Target to Nordstorms and Saks, and everywhere in between. But my three go to stores are Macys, Torrid, and Lane Bryant, and when I’m in the South I go to Dillards. When I have the time I like to go dig through Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, and Ross as well!

Favorite jeans?

I love Applebottom jeans! Not only do they fit me very well, they are hip and stylish.

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

I love MAC cosmetics, for my hair Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Smooth -n- Hold Pudding,  I use Nair on my legs. I always have French Manicure on my nails and toes.

Lipstick or Lip gloss?

Lip gloss, I threw away all of my lipsticks a couple years ago. I like my lips super juicy! I love MAC lipgloss in C-Thru, Oh Baby, Red Russian, and Pink Poodle. I also like over the counter lip glosses like Milani Buzz Worthy Lip Gloss and L’oreal Colour Juice Sheer Lip Gloss.

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

That’s a tough one! I would have to say hair weave/extensions…LOL

What is your signature scent?

White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, I’ve worn several other fragrances, but that’s what my mom wears and I just started doing the same.

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

Either a pamper day where I get my hair, nail, toes, and eyebrows done or a day full of shopping! Hanging out on the beach is fun too!

What achievement are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of having the guts to pose naked in front of the world!

Who is your role model or hero?  Why?

My ultimate role models are my parents because they are who I look to for characteristics and qualities to emulate in my life. However, for career and business Oprah Winfrey!

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I’ve been given is to never compromise my morals and values, and to live my life with integrity.

What do you love about yourself and why?

I literally love everything about myself. From the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, I think I’m absolutely awesome! I’m created in God’s image, no reason not to like myself!

What are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about the New Year and all the potential it holds!

Visit Chenese online at:

*Thank you, Chenese!

Sheridan Watson, Winner of Tyra Banks 1st Fiercely Real Teen Model Search, Says “Finally, I realized that enough is enough and I decided just to live my life instead of waiting for it to ‘begin’.”

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Designers, Family & Friends, Fashion, Inspiration, Media, Models, Plus-Size Modeling, Self-Esteem, Unique Beauty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by Liz

Sheridan Watson is from West Orange, New Jersey. She graduated from The Montclair Kimberley Academy in Montclair, New Jersey. Sheridan is attending the University of Southern California majoring in Film and minoring in Spanish and Italian. Some of Sheridan’s clients include, Macy’s American Rag, Macy’s Her Catalogue, Ashley Stewart, Charming Shoppes, Favianna, Torrid, Faith 21, Plus Model Magazine, and she walked for the Susan Moses Collection for Full Figured Fashion Week.

How did you hear about Tyra’s Show “Fiercely Real Teen Model Search” and what made you decide to enter?

Back in February, my friends and I were playing around on our laptops at school when we stumbled upon a link to Tyra’s Fiercely Real Teen Model Search. We explored around the site for a few minutes and my friends told me that I had to do it. We all sort of forgot about it, but then a couple of weeks later I just sort of said, “Why not?” and took some photos on Photobooth and sent them in. Soon after, I was driving into New York and filming for The Tyra Banks Show.

Tell us about your experience meeting Tyra Banks for the first time?

Meeting Tyra was a little nerve-racking but to tell you the truth that whole day was a blur. I don’t even remember waking up! I think I was just sort of on a high throughout the day at the fact that I was even there, let alone that I won.

Did Tyra give you any advice?

I do remember all the advice Tyra gave me. Most of it had to do with particular poses, how to form shapes with my body. The best advice was probably when she said, “I know this hurts, but trust me it looks great!” I’ve never had a photo shoot where I didn’t recant that statement over and over again for motivation!

Where do you like to shop for clothes?

For clothes, I shop EVERYWHERE. I am a bit of a shopping addict. I actually had to pull myself out of H&M today. I love to shop the Faith 21 plus-size collection at Forever 21, H&M, Torrid, Club Monaco, J. Crew, American Apparel, and countless others. Right now, I am absolutely addicted to the new American Rag Plus Size collection at Macy’s. It is just such cute, young, fresh clothing for the young curvy girl. It’s great to be able just to hit one section of a store and get everything! There are just so many new options, which I never had when I was younger.

Do you have a teacher/mentor/hero who has made a huge impact on your life or a person who you will never forget? What made her/him so special?

I know that everyone probably says one of their parents, but my father is probably the most important person in my life. He grew up in segregated Oklahoma during the forties and fifties and to come to a point where he can sit back and watch his daughter succeed in a completely different world that he was forced to live in. But, I do also look for those in the fashion world for inspiration; I think Crystal Renn, Julie Henderson, and Tara Lynn are all heroes for finally making plus-size models a force to be reckoned with. In terms of teachers, I had a few that I absolutely adored in high school. Shout out to Nicole Hoppe, Nate Burroughs, and Christina Dodge for putting up with me!

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem or body image issues? If so, how did you overcome it and what advice would you give to girls to help them learn to love themselves just as they are?

I’ve definitely struggled with self-esteem and body image issues. I was incredibly overweight from about third grade until ninth grade when I went to a weight loss camp for the summer and lost sixty pounds. I was kept in a constant cycle of “Well, if I lose weight then I’ll finally be beautiful, have a great boyfriend, and get straight A’s!” Finally, I realized that enough is enough and I decided just to live my life instead of waiting for it to “begin”. My advice for girls is just to start living and stop waiting because this is your life and you need to make the most of it. If you need a quick fix then I suggest listening to Mika’s We Are Golden, dance around your room, and make a fool of yourself. It works wonders for you self-confidence, I swear!

What do you love about yourself and why?

I think I love my confidence. Even though I may not feel 100% confident in a mini skirt, I try to exude some sort of comfort so that others take notice. I do think that an outfit is 50% the clothing and 50% the personality.

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

Growing up, I never saw models who looked like me and of course that can scar you. You start to doubt yourself, which is such a dangerous thing for young girls. So, I think that by promoting plus modeling, girls can finally understand that there is no “normal”. People come in all shapes and sizes so it seems useless to keep on comparing yourself to others. Hopefully, I can be part of this change and show girls that they are beautiful just the way they are.

*Thank you, Sheridan!

Here is a piece from Tyra Banks regarding Sheridan and the term “plus-sized”:

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;

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!