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Ever wanted to ask me a question?

Besides the usual “How can I be a plus model?” question, I wanted to know what PMM readers, like you, have wanted to ask me. So I invited all of you to submit your questions and interview me for a change.

I was asked about the industry, my background, my thoughts on the state of fashion and more. These are just a few questions I received that cover topics which I feel should be front and center.

1) What was the trigger that caused you to push back on a society that minimized us because of our size?

Great question. I’ve always been an outspoken person and I don’t like bullying. In junior high school, I remember getting into it during gym with a bunch of girls because they were bullying some girl I did not even KNOW!

Clearly, I’m not advocating fighting but this is who I have always been. Now I use my voice instead of my fists. When I realized that society looked at plus size people as LESS, I realized I had to be part of the community that was pushing back in some way.

2) Many capsule collections, such as Ashley Graham’s and Gabifresh’s for SwimsuitsforAll, stop at size 22/24. Also, most plus size retailers and designers don’t offer extended sizes. What can be done to change that so women my size have more options and representation?

I think we underestimate the power the consumer has. It’s OUR voices that have changed the plus size industry so far.

Use social media, join hashtag campaigns asking for extended sizes, email companies and SUPPORT those companies that do offer extended sizes. The only way we can support them is with our wallets and your social media input.

Example: “Thank you @_____ for offering this great swimsuit in MY SIZE 28, will be shopping often” . Brands watch each other and their social media. And they do pay attention.

3) I have been a blogger for a few years and feel like the only way to get support nowadays is for your brand to be a little outrageous or for you to shed layers of clothing. How can I make a name for myself without doing either of those things?

I wish I had a penny for every conversation I’ve had about this very same topic. While people should feel free to show themselves however they wish, shedding clothing or being “outrageous” are not the only ways to make a name for yourself.

There are MANY bloggers who I follow and adore for their fashion sense and stay true to their brand. I will admit, people are very happy to see bodies in its natural (non-photoshopped) state and want to celebrate these bodies. But I think there is room for all of us and I encourage you to stay true to your brand and support others who have a similar brand aesthetic. 🙂

4) Having a modeling agency just doesn’t seem enough these days. I feel like I have to be my own PR person, manager and advocate. Are agencies supposed to be helping with social media bookings?

Let me answer your first question… you are correct. Having an agency is definitely not enough. They handle your bookings, development and casting calls but YOU have to be in charge of your image on social media and in developing your own brand.

Yes, that seems like a lot and it is! Take it step by step and keep it simple. You don’t have to try and be anyone but your wonderful self.

In regards to your agency, they CAN handle your social media bookings. The issue is that some of the agencies are not doing this because they themselves are still getting their bearings together when it comes to social media.

If your agency does not handle social media bookings, try to handle it on your own. Opportunities should be professional, beneficial to your brand, so ask for the budget and payment terms. It’s time for you to put your business hat on. 🙂

Special thanks to all the PMM readers who submitted questions!

Images: Lucaspicturesnyc.com for www.dia.com and PLUS Model Magazine

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