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Plus Model Spotlight Feature: Lene Pelayo

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Get to know plus model Lene Pelayo…

Lene Pelayo knows very well about the twist and turns of the plus size modeling journey and today she shares her experience with PLUS Model Magazine.

Name – Lene Pelayo
Social Media – IG @LenePelayo
Resides in – Los Angeles, CA
Height – 5’10”
Size – 14

Favorite Quote?

“If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them”.  Mother Teresa

What made you decide to pursue a Plus Size Modeling career?

I truly believe that God give us so many gifts and talents, so I decided to use modeling as an open gateway to inspire others who believe in their dreams and aspirations. That the desires of our hearts are there for a reason and as long as we trust God every single one of those desires will come to fruition. I just want to be a beacon of light to those who feel like they are living in darkness!
What do you love the most about Plus size modeling?

Plus size modeling allows me to be free. It has allowed me to express myself through photographs. I have grown to be fearless and step outside the box that society would dare to say I belong in. I was raised by a God-fearing, no-nonsense Grandmother who taught me to be a leader and not a follower. That I didn’t have to fit in because I was born to stand out. Oh and to never, ever give up on anything that I am passionate about. Since I have applied her nuggets of wisdom to my life, my mindset towards Plus size modeling has changed immensely.

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What lessons have you learned from your Plus size modeling journey?

I have learned that this is a race I’m running and that as long as I keep my blinders on and not look to the left or the right there is a chance of me making it across the finish line. I can’t be consumed by what my peers are doing. To add to that I cannot be envious of their success either.

There was a time I found myself not being happy for my friends that were out there making moves and making a name for themselves in an industry that is not as easy to break into anymore. There is a lot of hard work and dedication and of course money that goes into seeing your dreams come to fruition. I had to ask myself how could I pray and ask God to be successful as a plus size model when I couldn’t even be happy for my peers success. If I wasn’t happy for them booking jobs, how could I expect to book jobs myself? I have learned that in modeling you will get back what you put in, and that goes for whatever your passionate about. At that time I don’t think I was putting in a quarter of the work these ladies were putting in. I couldn’t reap what they were reaping, because I wasn’t sowing what they were sowing.

Having a positive mindset will change the way you feel about yourself and about others that surround you. As a community we all need to focus more on the beauty that comes from the heart and not on each others flaws.

Finish the sentence – The Plus size industry is…

Has come a long way, but still has a long way to go too.

I’ll be super-honest, I just feel like we are different and when I say different I mean that in the most positive way. I feel like for some reason we are following in the footsteps of regular size modeling. I really don’t think we have to. It seems like it’s a constant battle, like we have to prove to society that everything skinny models do we plus size models can do too. I mean we should be confident enough to know we can have a successful career that doesn’t require competing and if there is competition it should be with ourselves. Who cares what society or social media thinks? All we need to do is work hard at make sure that our identity being who we really are, and our image that we portray on social media matches, because if they don’t we are living double lives.

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The plus size industry has opened up so many doors for many of us but in order for us to keep those doors open we just have to be our authentic self.

Who are your favorite Plus designers, brands, models, and influences?

Some of my favorite designers and brands are Rachel Roy, Eloquii, Melissa McCarthy, ASOS CURVE, almost everything in my closet is from them. Also Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, Torrid to name a few.

As far as models I would have to say Anita Marshall… she has inspired me greatly. I would also say the Editor-In-Chief of PMM, Maddy Jones, has influenced me, her drive and passion to do what she loves to do has really been inspiring. Her commitment and dedication has shown me that I too can be successful at whatever I put my mind and heart to. That hard work pays off.

Where do you see yourself in the next year?

In the next year I see myself hopefully breaking boundaries. Establishing a name for myself by building my brand. Lastly being signed to an agency that believes in me as much as I believe in myself. [divider]PHOTO CREDITS[/divider]

Photography, Lesley Pedraza

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Hair and Makeup Artist, Claudia Rivas

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May 16 Edition – Our Favorite Plus Size Style Moments Of The Week

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Style Moments of the week

Plus Size Fashion Inspiration from YOU! Our fabulous readers share plus size fashion inspo on Instagram!

…Want to share your style inspo? Click here to follow us on Instagram and hashtag your pictures with #CelebrateMySize. You may be featured on our Instagram page or website.

@tonsablush

@loralyee

@schmoalert

@sabrinastyled

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@ikoniknikole

@wagyu_beff

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Remembering Mia Amber Davis: A Pioneer in Plus-Size Fashion

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Remembering Mia Amber Davis: A Pioneer in Plus-Size Fashion

Remembering Mia Amber Davis: A Pioneer in Plus-Size Fashion…

Thirteen years have passed since the world bid farewell to Mia Amber Davis, a beloved figure whose vibrant spirit and unwavering advocacy for plus-sized individuals left an indelible mark on the fashion industry. Mia’s sudden departure at the age of 36 sent shockwaves through her family, friends, and the fashion community, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and uplift.

Mia’s journey was one of resilience and determination. Born with a passion for modeling and acting, she fearlessly pursued her dreams despite the challenges that often accompany unconventional beauty standards. Her magnetic presence graced the screens and pages of entertainment, most notably in the cult classic film “Road Trip,” where she fearlessly challenged stereotypes in a memorable love scene alongside D.J. Qualls.

Yet, Mia’s impact extended far beyond the silver screen. As a trailblazing plus-size model based in New York, she shattered boundaries and paved the way for future generations of curvy models. Her work transcended mere representation; it was a testament to self-love, confidence, and empowerment. Mia’s advocacy for body positivity resonated deeply with audiences worldwide, earning her the adoration and respect of countless individuals.

In the wake of her passing, the fashion industry mourned the loss of a true icon. Madeline Jones, editor of PLUS Model Magazine, encapsulated the collective grief, expressing how Mia’s absence left a void that could never be filled. Mia’s commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusivity was not just a profession but a way of life—one that touched hearts and inspired change.

Though Mia’s time with us was cut short, her legacy endures through the countless lives she touched and the barriers she broke. Her journey, marked by triumphs and challenges, serves as a beacon of hope for those striving to embrace their unique beauty and pursue their dreams against all odds.

As we reflect on Mia Amber Davis’s remarkable life, let us honor her memory by continuing her legacy of acceptance, kindness, and unwavering self-belief. Though she may no longer walk among us, her spirit lives on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know her, reminding us to love ourselves fiercely and unapologetically, just as she did.

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May 9 Edition – Our Favorite Plus Size Style Moments Of The Week

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Style Moments of the week

Plus Size Fashion Inspiration from YOU! Our fabulous readers share plus size fashion inspo on Instagram!

…Want to share your style inspo? Click here to follow us on Instagram and hashtag your pictures with #CelebrateMySize. You may be featured on our Instagram page or website.

@panamakish

@felicityhayward

@nizzymacc

@danielle_nekole

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@whatkaliwears

@tiffythefashionslayer

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Unveiling the Power of Self-Care Rituals: Insights into Mental Wellness

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Unveiling the Power of Self-Care Rituals: Insights into Mental Wellness

Unveiling the Power of Self-Care Rituals: Insights into Mental Wellness…

For some of us stress seems to be an inevitable companion, and prioritizing mental health has become a crucial aspect of our lives. As the spotlight on mental wellness intensifies, individuals are increasingly turning towards self-care rituals to nurture their minds and souls. In this exploration, we delve into the realm of self-care practices, unveiling their significance in promoting mental well-being.

Self-care goes beyond pampering oneself with occasional treats; it embodies a holistic approach to nurturing our mental, emotional, and physical health. It encompasses activities that recharge our batteries, soothe our souls, and rejuvenate our spirits amidst life’s demands.

Discovering the Tapestry of Self-Care Rituals

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Engaging in mindfulness practices such as meditation or deep breathing exercises can help anchor our minds to the present moment, fostering a sense of calm and clarity amidst chaos.
  2. Nourishing Nutrition: Fueling our bodies with wholesome, nutritious foods not only sustains physical health but also nurtures our mental well-being. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into our diets can bolster our mood and energy levels.
  3. Creative Expression: Whether through art, music, writing, or any other form of creative expression, channeling our inner creativity can serve as a therapeutic outlet for processing emotions and fostering self-discovery.
  4. Physical Activity: Regular exercise not only benefits our physical health but also has profound effects on our mental well-being. Whether it’s a brisk walk in nature, a yoga session, or a dance class, moving our bodies can release endorphins, alleviate stress, and enhance our overall mood.
  5. Digital Detox: In an era dominated by screens and constant connectivity, unplugging from digital devices and immersing ourselves in offline activities can provide much-needed respite for our minds, allowing space for introspection and relaxation.
  6. Quality Sleep: Prioritizing adequate sleep is paramount for mental health and overall well-being. Establishing a bedtime routine, creating a restful sleep environment, and practicing relaxation techniques can promote restorative sleep and enhance cognitive function.

Embracing self-care rituals isn’t just about indulgence; it’s about cultivating resilience, nurturing self-compassion, and fostering a deeper connection with ourselves. By prioritizing our mental well-being and incorporating self-care practices into our daily lives, we empower ourselves to navigate life’s challenges with grace and authenticity.

As the discourse around mental health continues to evolve, integrating self-care into our collective consciousness is imperative. By embracing self-care rituals as a cornerstone of our lives, we not only prioritize our mental wellness but also contribute to the creation of a culture that values compassion, authenticity, and holistic well-being. So, let’s embark on this journey of self-discovery, one self-care ritual at a time, and pave the way for a brighter, more resilient future.

In the tapestry of self-care, let us weave a masterpiece of mental wellness—one nurturing gesture, one mindful breath, and one compassionate act at a time.

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What are your favorite self-care rituals? How do you prioritize mental wellness in your daily life? Join the conversation on social media and share your insights!

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SwimStar All Stars Partnership With Renowned Plus-size Model and Swimsuits For All Ambassador, Denise Bidot

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SwimStar All Stars Partnership With Renowned Plus-size Model and Swimsuits For All Ambassador, Denise Bidot

Inclusive Swimwear Brand Collaborates with Prominent Plus-Size Model Denise Bidot to Empower Aspiring Models

Swimsuits For All, a pioneer in inclusive swimwear, proudly introduces its inaugural SwimStar All Stars campaign in partnership with renowned plus-size model and Swimsuits For All ambassador, Denise Bidot. This collaboration marks a significant milestone, nearly a decade following Denise’s groundbreaking “Beach Body, Not Sorry” campaign with Swimsuits For All in 2015, which showcased unretouched imagery aimed at promoting unapologetic confidence.

Denise Bidot and Swimsuits For All have jointly unveiled the SwimStar All Stars nationwide search, dedicated to discovering emerging talent in the realm of swimsuit modeling. Encouraging aspiring models to share their personal narratives, the initiative aims to inspire women of all backgrounds, shapes, and sizes. Following a rigorous selection process, Brittany Wilborn, Camryn Henry, and Sharon Clawson emerged as the chosen winners. In January 2024, these models embarked on a transformative journey to Harbour Island, where they had the unparalleled opportunity to shoot alongside Denise under the expert direction of internationally acclaimed photographer and director, Ben Watts.

Reflecting on the initiative, Denise Bidot remarked, “This was a truly exceptional opportunity to celebrate the diversity of plus-size models and cultivate an atmosphere of support, empowerment, and knowledge sharing. The camaraderie on set was palpable, and I am deeply honored to impart the wisdom and insights I’ve garnered throughout my career. Opportunities like these are scarce for plus-size models in the industry, and it has been a privilege to collaborate with the exceptional team at Swimsuits for All to bring this campaign to fruition.”

The models showcased the latest swimwear offerings from the Swimsuits for All 2024 collection, featuring innovative designs tailored to meet the diverse needs of women, including:

Feel-good Fits: Addressing common concerns such as tummy bulges and fit issues, Swimsuits for All offers a range of fits designed to instill confidence and comfort in every body. Incorporating features like Power Mesh for a smooth, flattering silhouette, and adjustable straps for customizable support, the collection caters to various body types.

Bold Prints & Colors for Summer: The summer swimwear collection boasts vibrant colors and captivating prints, injecting excitement and personality into beach and poolside attire. From vivid neon hues to tropical motifs, the collection encourages self-expression and style experimentation.

Liquid Shine: Introducing Liquid Shine, a striking swim fabrication characterized by a glossy, liquid-like finish, adding an edgy allure to beachwear. Available in multiple silhouettes, including bikinis, Liquid Shine ensures you stand out with confidence.

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Bikinis that Suit You Best: The Mix & Match Bikini collection offers a personalized approach to swimwear, allowing individuals to mix and match colors and silhouettes for a bespoke look tailored to their preferences.

Beyond showcasing inclusive swimwear designs, the SwimStar All Stars campaign embodies a celebration of women uplifting one another in an industry often marked by competitiveness. Throughout the week-long shoot, models engaged in one-on-one sessions with Denise, fostering meaningful dialogue about the evolving representation of plus-size bodies in swim and fashion.

Jordan Hauser, Senior Director of E-Commerce & Marketing, expressed, “This campaign transcends conventional notions of body positivity and representation in the swim and fashion industries. It is a testament to the power of storytelling and authenticity in reflecting the diverse experiences of our customer base. We are committed to fostering a movement where women find strength in unity, and we are thrilled to embark on this journey alongside Denise Bidot, one of the industry’s foremost advocates for inclusivity.”

The summer 2024 swimwear collection is now available. For further details about Swimsuits For All and the SwimStar All Stars campaign, please visit www.swimsuitsforall.com.

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Get to Know Our Cover Model Sharon Dumfries…

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Get to Know Our Cover Model Sharon Dumfries…

Imagine being scouted while you are performing a dance routine in baggy clothes and not even thinking about becoming a model. This was in part our cover model’s journey to where she is today. This month we are celebrating our journeys and embracing the steps that have brought us to where we are today.

Get to know our cover model Sharon Dumfries…

PLUS Model Magazine - May 2024

Photographer, Milton Goedhoop

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the modeling industry.

I’m Sharon Dumfries, born and raised on the Island of Aruba but my parents have a different background and are Dutch Indonesian and Surinam Haitian. As a kid and teenager, I got bullied for my looks and for being different, and I had a hard time standing up for myself. It was also hard to find fashion in my size. Taking dancing classes helped me get out of my comfort zone and get better self-esteem during the years. I moved to the Netherlands at 18 years of age to study and today I’m a model and teacher for over 13 years.

I got scouted unexpectedly after dancing a ”Hip-hop and House” routine in my baggiest outfit during a fashion show with primarily straight-size models. I started as a catwalk model on weekends after doing an intensive catwalk and fashion show training, next to finishing my Biology and Teachers degree. A few years later I got scouted by a big brand during a fashion show and this was the stepping stone to getting signed with a bigger agency in Amsterdam.

Get to Know Our Cover Model Sharon Dumfries…

We have spoken to models from all over the world about the plus size industry in their respective countries, and realize it’s different outside of the United States. Can you share the plus-size industry as you see it in The Netherlands?

A lot of brands tend to book models in the same country, so if you really want to make a career it’s sometimes best to be ”on stay”  for a while in the UK or Germany. We don’t have a lot of ”go-sees”. The sizes of most models that get booked are usually smaller than in the US. The sizes size 42- 44- 46- (Sometimes 48) EU are very popular because of the Sample Sizes.

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For those of us getting to know you, can you share your work with us as an educator and coach?

I currently teach Biology in High School for the past 12,5 years and have managed to work as a model part-time. I’m also a coach at school and help students with their emotions such as fear of failure. Through coaching, I’m given the opportunity to speak to teenagers who aren’t able to come to school due to anxiety about participating in school in the regular classes, heavy bullying, or being kicked out of school for other reasons. This is still fully new and just started at our school a few weeks ago.

What role do you believe social media plays in today’s society as we raise children and also tend to our mental health?

The stress level is rising earlier on due to pressure to not only be cool and accepted in real life but also online. The level of bullying online is where there is no supervision and it is getting out of control. Teenagers already get burned out at a very young age. There is too much non-visible pressure that everyone needs to be above average. Some try to over-achieve and get burned out and others give up and don’t get to make small steps forward and stay stuck, which in turn also causes a lot of stress.

Get to Know Our Cover Model Sharon Dumfries…

What tips do you have about navigating social media for both the younger generation and those of us who remember the days before the internet?

I am not the best in Social Media, a little bit by choice. I don’t want it to be a must. But a lot of people make a living out of it. It takes a lot of time and effort, so for it to really make it work it’s a full-time job or you need a team. For the ones who remember the days before the internet: just try, and have a bit of fun along the way trying to figure it out, it all changes so quickly nowadays. But most of all be authentic. For the younger generation, I would say the same. It is not a must as a model to have a huge following. It’s about being visible that counts, that people and brands can find you. It’s best to start small and make baby steps. It took me more than 10 years to get where I am now. I believe working together and genuinely spreading love makes the difference.

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As a model, teacher, and coach what are some of your goals for the future and what changes would you like to see in the plus-size modeling industry?

In the future, I would like to combine my knowledge as a teacher, model, and coach. Preferably by helping others to realize what true beauty is. As cheesy as it sounds, from the inside out. In the future, I would like see more diversity and inclusiveness, not as a trend. I would like to see bigger sizes being booked just as often as small sizes. And also better education about what being healthy means. I would like to see more respect from people behind their laptops, to always show love, if there is hate, keep it to yourself ;). In the best scenario, brands need to book models for their charisma and make the clothes fit them. I would like less plastic surgery, and more natural imperfections to be celebrated. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is different in every culture, never let that define your beauty. You are good enough just as you are <3

Visit online IG @sharondumfries

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