Meet Cover Model Megan Garcia

I want to thank Megan Garcia for gracing the cover of PLUS Model Magazine…

She has long been a favorite model of mine and I am honored to share her story…

[Maddy] Megan, how long have you been modeling and tell us about your decision to become a plus size model.

[Megan]  I’ve been modeling since 1999 – my husband actually was the person to encourage me to pursue it.  He kept tripping over the enormous stack of Mode Magazines by our bed (remember “Mode”? Sigh – I miss it sooo much). One day he opened one up and saw a photo of Emme.  He told me that I looked like her and the other models in the magazine and that I should give it a try. I was temping at a law firm at the time and acting in an Off Broadway play at night.  I mustered up my courage during my lunch break one day and went to the first agency, which was closest to my work – it was Karin models. I took my wedding pictures with me and the agent of the plus division, Kathy Backer, signed me that day! I was thrilled and couldn’t believe they wanted me.

[Maddy] We have seen the modeling industry change in the past 5 to 10 years. Size 18 models were seen a lot more in the past than in most recent years. How do you feel about this?

[Megan]  Isn’t that a shame? I find it really laughable that size 10 and 12 models are asked to bring body padding with them to shoots to pad them up to a 16 or an 18 so they fit the sample sizes!! Why not just use a size 18 model like me who fits the wardrobe without alterations?  Why can’t we have the gorgeous size 10 and 12 models as well as the size 18s?  There’s enough work for all of us, isn’t there? I don’t think that 18s will do the couture work like Elena Miro or Marina Rinaldi, but can’t we do catalog work here in the U.S. for more mid-market?

Something tells me though that the industry will swing back again in a few years time.

[Maddy] What modeling job are you most proud of?

[Megan]  It has to be the cover of “Figure” magazine that I shot with Roberto Ligretsi. He is such a talented photographer and really knows how to bring out the beauty and sensuality of his models. My husband is in the photo with me too! That was a magical day.

[Maddy] You are one of the most successful and admired models in the plus size industry. How do you feel about being a role model?

[Megan] Wow – thank you Maddy, that is certainly high praise indeed. I’m honored to be a role model.  I remember how I looked up to the models in “Mode” when I first started out as a model and even before I was a model – models like Emme, Natalie Laughlin, Kate Dillon and Barbara Brickner.  Seeing images of full-figure beauty made me feel like I could be myself and be beautiful without starving.

[Maddy] You appeared in the book “Figure It Out – the Real Woman’s Guide to Great Style,” tell me about working on this project and your personal style.

[Megan] That project was lots of hard work for the editors since there were so many outfits and accessories – I’m on the cover with my friend and fellow plus model Jessica Genao who is with Ford. It was silly to do the “sad” face of the badly styled outfits and then the big grin for the “happy” well-styled outfits.  We got kind of punchy and laughed a lot on that shoot.  My personal style vacillates between daytime Megan, which is mostly preppy basics like blazers and jeans punched up with bohemian accessories like chandelier earrings. I love the jewelry at a company called Satya.  For every birthday I ask for more earrings! And then there’s evening Megan, which is the yoga teacher. And I have become quite the fashion detective rooting out cool yoga clothes that fit and flatter. Usually bootleg black bottoms with a groovy t-shirt that has a Hindu goddess on it and my mala beads worn on my wrist.

[Maddy] Who are some of your favorite designers?

[Megan] Do we have space for this?  I could go on and on.  I love Anna Scholz for her sexy designs and luscious fabrics, Trentacosta makes shapely dresses, Marina Rinaldi for special occasion as well as Tadashi, I have a million pairs of Svaboda jeans which are truly flattering for curvy ladies, I like the jackets and outerwear at I.N.C., I get my basic tees at Old Navy and Gap.
For my yoga wardrobe I wear Shiva Shakti by Marika, Target makes good bottoms as well, at my ashram in Massachusetts (Kripalu Center) they sell a wonderful line called Ancient Language that makes beautiful tops up to a 2x, and Athletafor other athletic apparel

[Maddy] In 2006 your book Mega Yoga was published to rave reviews. Tell me about your book and the benefits of practicing Yoga.

[Megan]  I’m so glad you mentioned my book! It was born out of the inspiration of my teaching classical yoga poses modified for large bodies and it is the first of its kind ever.  I have been a yoga practitioner since 1991 and have found that staying with this physical discipline has kept me centered and strong in a very busy city.  I was a social smoker in college and yoga practice helped me to completely quit smoking – which undoubtedly added years to my life. Yoga also has kept me toned, which is very important as a model.

My students who are plus size have had some great benefits – one student who was on high blood pressure meds was able to go off her medication after practicing regularly for about a year in my class. Another student found it difficult to get up and down from the floor (she was recovering from a stroke) and yoga gave her the balance skills so that now she moves smoothly on her own. It is the only exercise in my life that I have ever been able to stick to.

[Maddy] What advice do you have for aspiring models?

[Megan] The most appealing, beautiful and marketable quality you can foster is self-confidence. Know your worth.  If you are pursuing modeling to give yourself self-esteem, you will never be happy with it. Modeling is a business. When you are rejected there may be a million reasons why that have nothing to do with your beauty – the agency might already have ten redheads, you might remind the client of their awful ex-wife – who knows? Your job is to be professional, on-time, prepared and friendly.  That’s all you can do. Have a big life outside of the industry. It’s just a job.

[Maddy] Where do you see yourself in ten years?

[Megan] Good question. My fantasy is to open up my own yoga studio where I can teach Megayoga classes and private lessons and have a fabulous boutique that carries a wide range of sizes of super hip yoga clothes.  Oh yes, and I would like to be the first plus size model to grace the cover of “Yoga Journal!”

[Maddy] We certainly wish you the best of luck and have no doubts that you will make it to the cover of Yoga Journal.

[divider]PHOTO CREDITS[/divider]

Photographer: DLo Brown
Hair: Emily McKenzie
MUA: Jaime Perez
Styling: F.Y.N.