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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”: