Special Editor’s Letter From Editor Madeline Jones

Special Editor’s Letter From Editor Madeline Jones

On May 10, 2011 the plus size industry lost a role model, friend and industry leader, Mia Amber Davis. The news came to us via her aunt, but it was not until we heard from Mia’s husband, Mike Yard, that we confirmed to the industry and her fans, the devastating news of her passing. The outpouring of support for the family and friends, came from all over the world and the media. The tragedy of Mia’s death, after routine knee surgery in LA, rocked the entertainment and plus size industry to the core. No one could have predicted such a loss, we were all looking forward to seeing Mia walk and accept her award during this years Full Figured Fashion Week awards ceremony.

For two days I sat at my computer and could hardly sleep, I read every entry made on Mia’s Facebook page and PMM’s as well, but could not respond; the sorrow was debilitating. I was watching an industry in mourning and I had never seen anything like this before. People who had never met her were just as sad as I was, and I wondered if Mia knew how much everyone loved and admired her.

I met Mia many years ago, before the weight loss – but right after the movie Road Trip. After a 100 pound weight loss, she was exactly the same person inside – never once speaking about “when she was fat”.  She worked out, she went to church and never forgot a birthday or anniversary. She knew all the words to Beyonce’s songs, and would read Vogue cover to cover.

Last July, we asked Mia what she wanted to do for her birthday, and she told us she wanted to have High Tea. When Tara told me, I laughed because I could only imagine us “big girls” eating tiny sandwiches and sipping tea from “Barbie like” cups, but this was what would make her happy and so Tara, Shante, Aliza and I met her for High Tea, and Mia could not have been happier. This is who Mia was, a very happy person, she brought people together and extended herself when someone needed help.

Our friendship grew over the years and we shared many moments together, both good and not so good, but it all helped to shape a friendship that I hold very dear to my heart.  From our very first shoot together as dual brides (we always laughed about this shot), to marriage, birth, career moves and sharing great times with our friends. What I admire the most about Mia was her commitment to living life with integrity. Anything she was involved in, she devoted 100% of her efforts into and when faced with challenges, she never lost her cool.

There are many passionate people in the plus size industry, but I believe that what separated Mia from the rest was her genuine love for the women she represented. Mia never set out to be a super star, her eyes were not looking for the spotlight. When she needed to work, she rolled up her sleeves and got in the trenches; never thinking she was too good or better than anyone else. Even when people did her wrong, she found a way to deal with them with dignity and class. She was more than just a model, she knew that being a size 18, while many others were ‘”shrinking” within the plus size industry, gave her a voice that needed to be heard. This was her passion, to empower women to love themselves, to live life to the fullest and not wait until the number on the scale was what society wanted it to be. She longed for the days when plus size models, properly marketed to plus size women and made them feel good about themselves. This was an on-going conversation we’ve shared for years and one I will continue to honor in her name.

Even now, weeks after the initial shock has somewhat faded, our hearts are still heavy. We know our friend is in heaven, but our earthly bodies want to see her, listen to her infectious laugh, watch her sing to Beyonce with an invisible microphone and grab us by the hand and walk us through whatever was troubling us.

For this reason, we dedicate our June issue to our friend, Mia Amber Davis. Along with our special tribute to Mia; we have fashion, an interview with the host of Full Figured Fashion Week – Shanda Freeman, and an editorial shot in Central Park; which was one of Mia’s favorite places. Mia supported the industry and shopped plus size brands – check out our sponsors in the ads and deals section of the magazine.

Mia Amber Davis, you touched our lives and made our world a better place – thank you for allowing God to live through you. We are blessed to have had you in our lives and will continue to celebrate your life through our work and daily lives. I would like to extend a special thanks to Mike Yard, Ida Davis and the family for allowing us to share with you during this difficult time.

Madeline Figueroa-Jones

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