A Straight Size Model in PLUS? Yes! Meet Michèle A. Pierre

Meet Michèle A. Pierre…

In this issue, we are really ‘daring’ to talk about (and show) it all!

In the next few pages, you will see the gorgeous Michèle A. Pierre, a beautiful straight size model, who shares tips for aspiring models (of any size) as well as her candid views on the “Skinny Ban,” the fashion industry and sharing the limelight with plus models.  Enjoy…

[Maddy] How long have you been modeling and where have we seen you?

[Michele] I’ve been modeling since 1980 and I have been in print for Direct Wire, Upscale and Revlon Professional to name a few. I have walked the runway for several couture designers and have been in commercials for AT&T and Delta Airlines.

[Maude] This past year the modeling industry made headlines with the “skinny ban” what are your views?

[Michele] When I heard about it, I thought IT’S ABOUT TIME! The dangerously, unrealistic images portrayed in media, especially on the runway, need to stop!  Realistic images must be displayed for our youth and even adults, to show everyone is NOT a size 2, and everyone isn’t a size 22.  We each should be happy and secure in our own skin and know that we’re ALL beautiful, and that we all can be on magazine covers, television, film and billboards.

[Maddy] Has anything truly changed in your opinion?

[Michele] Very little.  We’ve come a long way just to have made miniature steps.  The view point is still unbalanced.

[Maddy] Is the “straight” modeling world as strict as we hear on weight?

[Michele] Yes, the ‘straight’ modeling world continues to be extremely strict on weight. Which is why, you continue to see increased eating disorders among young women. The media is extremely influential in dictating what people believe to be beautiful or acceptable.

[Maddy] When did you first hear about plus models and how did you feel about the concept?

[Michele] I don’t remember exactly when, maybe about 10 years ago.  I was very happy to hear that they finally decided to display images of what most women look like on this planet.

[Maddy] Have you shared the runway or been on shoots with a plus model?

[Michele] I have model friends, in all markets of the industry.  Now more than ever, I’ve been on different gigs with all from size 2’s to 22’s. The norm is to separate – to do a job with only ‘straight’ sizes and a separate job with plus.  I can understand why there’s a need to divide, because unfortunately the way of the world is to categorize, separate and group likes together.  I believe modeling is modeling.  If you represent the product well, size/dimensions, and even age, are irrelevant.

[Maddy] What was the experience like?

[Michele] I enjoyed when we simultaneously represented the same product.  Being an advocate for celebrating diversity, I believe there are markets for everyone.  I applaud DOVE advertising for displaying that diversity.

[Maddy] Do you feel the modeling industry is slowly changing and accepting plus size models?

[Michele] Yes, I believe it is S-L-O-W-L-Y changing and accepting plus size models.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear plus size models were featured during fashion week in Europe.  The trend has been if it happens there, then the rest of the fashion world will follow suit.

[Maddy] There are certain details about modeling that are standard across the board. What is your advice to aspiring models interested in starting a modeling career?

[Michele] Educate yourselves about the industry.  Learn from the masters, people that are successful.  Understand that like every other business you must know your craft.  It is also important to be healthy inside and out.  (Mentally as well as physically.) What’s inside is just as important if not more, than what’s outside.  Your positive attitude and professionalism is as important as your smile or body for the product you are representing.