PLUS Cover Model Mica Shares Accepting Her Curves, the Move to NY and Curvy Life

Moving from a small town to a big city like New York was no easy decision for Mica.

The plus modeling market in NY proved to be promising enough to this brunette beauty for her to pick up and follow her dreams. Read about how the big city has change life for Mica…

[Maddy] I know from the last time you and I had some time to talk that you moved to NY from the Midwest.

[Mica] Yes, I just got my B.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University.  My fiancé and I moved to the New York area in August.

[Maddy] Growing up – were you a plus size child?

[Mica] I wasn’t really plus size, I was tall and hefty—more of a mesomorph body type, and not lean.

[Maddy] Did you experience difficulties accepting your body as a curvy body?

[Mica] I didn’t really have self-esteem problems until I was about 12 or 13, when my exposure to media increased.  I was reading a lot more fashion mags, watching more movies…Of course all the “attractive” women shown were slender.  I’m lucky in that I have always been proportionate and pretty athletic looking, so after a 2-3 year period of obsessing over fashion mags and tiny gangly models and feeling insecure, I kind of got over feeling that I needed to be skinny.  I remember still being envious of girls that were skinny, but I also wasn’t willing to put in the effort to force my body to deviate from its natural size. I ate pretty healthy and really worked hard in gym class, so I finally realized my body wasn’t meant to be smaller than it was.

[Maddy] I’ve met some models that do not accept themselves as a plus size women. Do you consider yourself a plus size woman?

[Mica] With many plus models wearing size 12, 10, and even 8, I am not surprised some of them do not identify as plus-size.   I wear a size 14, the same size as the “average” American woman.  Being a size 14 also means I am right on the border between missy and plus, so I can wear Banana Republic in their largest sizes or I can wear Lane Bryant in their smallest sizes.  It’s an irritating place to be, honestly, because I can’t just waltz into a place like Diesel and pull something off the rack—often stores only go up to size 12, or the size 14 is cut small—and I can’t just waltz into a place like Avenue and throw something on either, because plus-size items can be cut too large or too boxy.  In other words, there aren’t many one-stop shopping options for a woman my size!

[Maddy] You moved here to pursue your modeling career. How has your career changed since moving to NY?

[Mica] It’s totally changed!  And for the better, thank goodness.  Now I can actually go to castings instead of relying on direct bookings, and a lot of jobs are within standard commuting distance.

When I was modeling in Indiana not only did I get much fewer jobs, but I had to jump on a plane to get to them.  Also I am able to develop a client base and have a stronger relationship with my booker, since I see her in person.

[Maddy] What steps did you take in order to prepare to make such a serious move?

[Mica] My fiancé and I took two trips to the NYC area and explored, trying to find an area that appealed to us.  We were living in a beautiful little house with a yard in Indiana, and while we knew there was no way we could have that in the metro area, we tried to find the closest approximation.  We were able to find a good place and sign the lease on it before we moved out, and psychologically that made the transition a lot easier.

[Maddy] In order to keep yourself in top shape what type of work out regimen do you follow?

[Mica] I like to run–preferably on a track, but it’s impossible to find those here–so treadmill it is. I’ve learned to embrace the treadmill though—you can set in on a steep incline and walk uphill.  That’s a great workout when I don’t feel up to running.  I lucked out in that I am naturally pretty athletic and proportionate so even if I lapse for a week or two I still maintain my shape.  I lucked out in that I am naturally pretty athletic and proportionate so even if I lapse for a week or two I still maintain my shape.

[Maddy] I also heard that you’re a very healthy eater? Is that true?

[Mica] I do try to eat organic as much as possible.  In Indiana it was easy—there was an amazing grocery store that was almost entirely local and/or organic and they were CHEAP!  Here I’ve only found Whole Foods, aka “Whole Income” because their prices are sky high.  I guess that’s New York for you.

Anyway, I do try to eat healthy.  My fiancé and I rarely go out for dinner, and I cook a lot.  We hardly buy any processed foods, and we incorporate a lot of fresh veggies and fruits and healthy fats into our diet—but I have a serious sweet tooth.  I could bake everyday if there were people to help me eat it.  So I do have to work out to offset my sweet tooth.

[Maddy] As you develop your modeling career what plus models do you look up to in the industry and why?

[Mica] If you were in Mode and you are working today, I am going to admire you! I’ve experienced how unstable this industry can be, so if a woman has made a career out of it, I am going to feel respect for her. There’s also nothing better than working with someone who knows exactly what they’re doing—it’s a beautiful thing to see.  To name a few there’s Barbara Brickner, Wyinnetka Aaron, Becca Thorpe…the list goes on and on.

[Maddy] How would you like to see the plus model industry change in the next 5 years?

[Mica] I would really like it if “regular” magazines like Glamour and Marie Claire started using plus models for editorials and stock images.  Right now they are incorporating more plus models into their pages, which is fantastic, but usually as a “Figure Fixer” example, or a “Love Your Body” spread—never as a standard of beauty, always as an exception.  It would be lovely—not just as a plus model, but as a woman—to see different shapes and sizes represented on mainstream pages.

[Maddy] On a typical Saturday afternoon what would Mica wear to hang out in the City?

[Mica] I walk a lot in the city, so some bright (and comfortable) flats are a must.  My favorite pair of jeans, a snug top, a loose wrap or cover up, and my favorite jewelry. If I am alone I usually dress as plainly as possible, because men in this town can be very vocal, and not in a nice way.

[Maddy] Do you have a favorite designer at the moment?

[Mica] No, actually I tend to buy off the rack.  I’ve found that most straight-size designers don’t make their clothes with my body type in mind, and I have yet to explore what’s offered by the plus-size designers.  That’s up next!

[Maddy] As the NY summer season approaches what are you looking forward to?

[Mica] GELATO!

Photographers: Kicka Witte and Roberto Ligresti