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Meet Plus Cover Model Randi Graves

Plus Model Randi Graves is funny, smart and an amazing model. Oh, did I mention BEAUTIFUL? This month we had the privilege of working with Randi for our first Shape Issue. Get to know her as we now know her… as a woman who does not take her blessings for granted.

[Maddy] This issue is very important to us – we believe that being in shape means being healthy body and soul. How do you maintain your positive body image?

[Randi] I let the fat little girl within and the skinny woman emerging, battle!  LOL!! Seriously, it took work. I love myself but I once didn’t. My body is my temple… OUR bodies are our temples and we must do better by it. The age old answer of eating healthier, working out, and loads of water helps to maintain a positive attitude. Think of all the activities as women that we accomplish on any given day… I love my body for carrying me through it. My man loving me helps, too.

[Maddy] Do you ever feel the pressure that a modeling career could bring?

[Randi] I absolutely felt the pressure but that was my problem. I’m only going to put this out there because I’m more confident as a woman now than I was a confident girl. Back “then” I had an eating disorder and it consumed me for awhile. What I thought was an ‘answer’, was counter-productive to what I wanted to achieve. I know that now. I’m so grateful and blessed that’s all behind me.

[Maddy] Take us back to when you first started your modeling career. Were you discovered or was this something you always dreamed of doing?

[Randi] I love this question! LOL!! It involves my best friend JR. He and I have ‘history’ that goes back to our hometown… Yummy! Well, he dared me. That bugger dared me to go into several agencies and just see what they would say. I of course had to get a dinner out of the deal. That was the dare. I go in, have a look and regardless of the out come, he’d buy dinner. I got positive feedback from Wilhelmina and a year later… That’s all she wrote. I didn’t dream of being a model. I NEVER thought myself pretty enough. When it came to beauty while growing up, I just wanted to look in the mirror and be as beautiful as the women in my family and love myself.

[Maddy] We have seen you grow up in front of the camera. What have been your most memorable modeling jobs?

[Randi] Most of my memorable jobs took me out of the country. I was so fortunate and I mean that in the sincerest way. Two in particular stand out, a trip to Brazil with Essence magazine, we shot in San Paulo and shooting with Lane Bryant in Argentina. We were actually high enough on the mountain that the clouds were passing thru us – I kid you not. We took vans from the base then halfway up transferred to snowmobiles to the top. It was just lovely but it was also hard work.

[Maddy] In such a competitive business how have you been able to maintain for as long as you have?

[Randi] Prayer and yoga! LOL!! Seriously, I’ve just wanted it bad enough. If I do say so myself, I’ve got pretty tough skin. Some days in this business you are your only friend and you’ve got to know that’s okay and keep on “keeping” on.

[Maddy] If you were not a model, what career path do you think you would have chosen?

[Randi] That’s easy… Writer, lawyer or psychologist… I’m still working that out actually.

[Maddy] Who inspires you?

[Randi] This question has put a smile on my face. Inspiration is a lovely thing. I find it in all things and many people, truly. To mention only one person I love and admire would be an insult to the rest whom have also inspired me. This being the first body issue is inspiring! Hands down, don’t ya’ think? But always and forever, til I am no more… My mother’s mom, whom I called “Momaran.” Her married name was Toran and as children we ran mom and Mrs. Toran together… hence, Momaran 😉 When I am down, she is the hand I reach for. She’s gone but not forgotten.

[Maddy] When we read about young teens and pre-teens starving themselves to be thin we wonder if the images in the media are just overwhelming for their young minds. Do you feel plus models carry more responsibility than just being a model?

[Randi] Responsibility is bitter sweet. To put that pressure on us would be unfair just because we are plus models but no one said life is fair. With the state of our economy, and our planet earth we all need to shoulder responsibility. Be better lovers, friends, sisters, mothers, wives and people in general.

[Maddy] Every year, a new wave of aspiring models emerge… what is your advice to them?

[Randi] Run for your lives!! LOLl!! (Just kidding)  If you have a dream… Hold on! Anything worth while is worth working for. You will find yourself alone in a crowded room, so know who you are and what you will and will NOT stand for. Be humble and kind. Above all else love yourself for the sky’s the limit.