Maddy Interviews Maggie Brown, Winner of Tyra’s Thick and Sexy Top Model Contest
When the Tyra Banks Show premiered in June 2006 the fear many plus size women had was that the show would not be ‘plus friendly.’ Tyra, and her producers, surprised many of us when the show’s topics included more than just model and relationship issues. Body conscious/body acceptance themes were presented for discussion and episodes such as Tyra’s Thick and Sexy Top Model Contest emerged, quickly becoming one of the highest rated topics on the show.
On Tyra’s Thick and Sexy Show Maggie Brown (former PLUS Spotlight Model) was one of six contestants that met challenges similar to those on America’s Next Top Model. In November 2006, Maggie was named Tyra’s Thick and Sexy Top Model.
Who is this sexy and curvy beauty? Read below to learn a little more about her experience on the show and what the future holds for this inspiring young lady.[Maddy] What made you decide to pursue modeling? [Maggie] Really it was curiosity. I had just taken a Cruise in the summer of 06’ and posted some pictures on my “myspace” page. One of my friends from high school, who is a straight model, commented on the pictures saying “you should model!” So as a joke really I wrote her back and said okay… you said it… how should I start and it really just picked up from there! [Maddy] As a plus size model what challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them? [Maggie] Well to be honest with you, my biggest challenge is patience. In this industry there is a lot of “hurry up and wait”… You might get a nibble at a job but you have to wait it out and be patient until all the formalities are completed to book the time/date, etc. I’ve really learned to become a very patient person! [Maddy] Tell me about the Tyra show — it must have been a great experience. [Maggie] The Tyra Show was an absolutely amazing experience and so surreal! I can remember as I was taping the show and going to shoots everything seemed to be in slow motion because I felt like I was dreaming. But before I knew it, it was OVER!
The challenges were amazing. We never knew what to expect or how crazy the challenges might get. We all had our theories of course… but none of us were ever correct. Although I LOVED the hair shoot my favorite challenge had to be the Skydiving challenge. It was my favorite because I have always wanted to skydive but I have a HUGE fear of heights (due to cliff diving mishap when I was in junior high). Even though it wasn’t exemplary of a typical fashion shoot it was very challenging not only physically but mentally as well. You had to remain “pretty” while making sure you didn’t make a sudden move and slam against the wall![Maddy] How was your experience on the show with the other contestants? [Maggie] I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world! I made some very good friends on the show. As a matter of fact, Sunni Diggs (1st runner up), Brenna Ritcher (2nd runner up) and I often have “conference calls” late into the night just to chat to give each other support and encouragement. They are some of the sweetest most genuine girls I know! All the girls were amazing and beautiful. I liked that Tyra made sure that diversity (in all aspects) was represented. [Maddy] How has the show impacted your life? [Maggie] The show has really provided the platform I needed to get a jump start on my modeling career. It has opened many doors for me and the greatest part about it is that it has allowed me to be a national example to all — beauty REALLY DOES come in all shapes and sizes. [Maddy] Do you feel shows such as Tyra’s Thick and Sexy improve the views/stigma of plus size women? [Maggie] Yes, to some extent. As you know there are always going to be the “haters” out there but I definitely feel that we are making small advances in the area of fashion and entertainment. You really can’t deny there is a market for “REAL WOMEN” because that’s what consumers are! I admire Tyra for using her celebrity and reputation to help show that beauty does come in all shapes, ethnicities, and sizes. I definitely have to give props to Tyra for modeling the Thick and Sexy Top Model after her show America’s next Top Model by having us do the same challenges and allowing us the opportunity to show that we could rock the challenges just as the “straight models” did, and better!!!!! I can only hope that others will take notice of Tyra’s boldness and do the same.
Top: Albert Martinez
Middle: Michael Anthony
Bottom: Albert Martinez