What a treat it is to interview plus models making their way in this industry! Get to know Tiffany Braxton…
[Suzette] Tiffany Braxton, according to your MySpace page you are in the SEPTEMBER issue of ALL YOU MAGAZINE. Congratulations Braxton! Is there a way to see you in the magazine on line or do we have to get the actual magazine? [Tiffany] Thank you! You would have to see the magazine itself, my copy came in the mail yesterday, I’m so excited! You can get an issue at Wal-Mart, I plan to scan it and add it to MySpace. I can’t believe I’m actually featured in a magazine! [Suzette] Very, very cool Tiffany, you are in a print magazine! [Tiffany] Yeeeesssssssssssss! I remember when Christina Mendez was first explaining to me what tear sheets were, I was so tickled to see it and think … I HAVE ONE! [Suzette] Tell us about your spread…what is it like? [Tiffany] Well I did the shoot back in April or May. I was excited for the opportunity and for being considered. I was also excited about being pampered for the day. [Suzette] How did you find out about it…or how did they find out about you? [Tiffany] I responded to an ad on craigslist.com and emailed my pictures but it took a long time before I heard a response. [Suzette] So you have to be patient and not give up hope whenever you’re responding to these opportunities. What kind of pampering did they give you? Take us there with you Tiffany. [Tiffany] Absolutely! Patience is needed in this industry. I was the first to arrive along with the hair stylist. She flat ironed my hair. Their makeup artist was magnificent. Once I was finished with hair and makeup breakfast arrived. After taking a few individual photos, lunch was delivered. [Suzette] WOW sounds sooooooo divalicious! (Hmmm, I wonder if plus models are the only models that eat at photo shoots.) [Suzette] What kind of clothing were you modeling for the individual shoot? [Tiffany] LOL, The shoot focused on finding the right jeans to fit your shape. They gave me very comfortable straight leg jeans which were higher in the rear than the front to cover my entire derriere. [Suzette] Oooh! That sounds just like the “spread” (pardon the pun) that Madeline Figueroa Jones and Christina Mendez did in ALL YOU magazine! It appears you’re in good company if you’re following in their footsteps! [Tiffany] Absolutely! Christina Mendez and Madeline Jones are definitely role models in the Curvy Community. [Suzette] How many other models participated in the shoot with you? [Tiffany] There were 4 other models all different shapes and sizes [Suzette] Any familiar faces or are they up and coming like you? [Tiffany] Actually, one was a stay at home mom, another young lady was an aspiring plus model. We were all from various backgrounds. [Suzette] Oooh! There was more than one plus model? [Tiffany] Yes there were 3 of us from different ends of the plus spectrum. [Suzette] Different shapes, sizes and heights…you represented the petite and fully stacked? LOL…Seriously though…what plus shapes are featured for those of us that haven’t gotten their issue of ALL YOU yet? [Tiffany] Well there was pear shaped, figure 8, and a boy shaped. [Suzette] You are the figure 8 right? [Tiffany] Well actually for this particular feature I have been referred to as pear, but most of the time I have been described as a figure 8. [Suzette] Well, that’s ok, whether you are pear or figure 8 they worked in your cuteness and you have your first tear sheet!
How did it feel when you all worked as a team for the group shots? Did some of the other models have training and feel comfortable posing? How did your training help for this experience?
[Tiffany] The models spent practically the whole day together, and we were able to learn a little about each other in the short amount of time, so when it was time for the group shots we had already developed a warm relationship. It made the group shot fun. One model was shooting for the first time. It’s funny that you ask about training because I wore my Plus Academy shirt to the shoot. The makeup artist asked me about it and I explained to her about the training program. She was so impressed she told one of the other models to talk with me because I had a lot of knowledge. [Suzette] WOW! Talk about marketing! I know Gwen DeVoe will be so proud to read that you were wearing your Plus Academy T-shirt to your shoot. In a nutshell, what did you tell the young lady about the Plus Academy and how it would help her? [Tiffany] I explained to her that Plus Academy is not just for aspiring models. The Plus Academy addresses issues that plus sized women and teen girls face and assist in building self-esteem as well as personal development. If you make the choice of going into the Plus Model Industry, the Plus Academy conducts workshops that will provide you with the training and knowledge you need regarding industry requirements and standards. [Suzette] That is a great point, and one that I’ve learned thanks to the interviews I’ve been doing too. The Plus Academy isn’t just for models; it’s just something you do for yourself as a plus size woman.
Tiffany, since we are already on the subject of YOU… I happened to notice that you are one of the ‘white bra and panty ladies’ on the beach with Carson Kressley in “How to Look Good Naked.” How was THAT experience, and how did you manage that strategic placement standing next to him in each shot when he asks the survey question?
[Suzette] You are TOO MUCH girl! [Tiffany] That experience was truly liberating. It didn’t feel like we were there in our underwear. There were people around watching and everyone kept saying how beautiful we all looked. The women were divided into lines based on height. Each line was taken one by one to fill the spaces. My space just happened to be right near Carson. [Suzette] You mean to tell us that you felt comfortable and liberated in your bikini look? Would you consider wearing a bikini now to the beach, pool, or über hot vacation spot? [Tiffany] I am usually a one piece type of girl, but I would consider wearing a two piece on the beach. I say that it was liberating because at 270 pounds I am always trying to find clothes to enhance and compliment my size. In this case I had nearly nothing on, and still looked and felt beautiful. [Suzette] Tiffany your confidence comes out of your pores! We are so proud of your recent accomplishments, and it’s been a real pleasure to interview you. Although you are still very new to Plus Modeling, is there anything you’ve learned so far that you want to share with other aspiring models or just beautiful curvy women in general? [Tiffany] Know what is expected of you, and what your niche is. Some of us are good picture takers, some of us are good on the runway, and some can do both. Know where you are going to make the best moves for yourself. Be prepared. In the beginning modeling can be physically and financially demanding. One thing I would say is do your homework.