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
“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.
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.
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.
Photography, Lesley Pedraza
Hair and Makeup Artist, Claudia Rivas