It’s the year 2020 and a new decade has begun for all of us, and for Ruth Leysa her journey has led her right back to NY and a thriving modeling career.
When you follow your journey what is for you will be yours, and Ruth Leysa is a shining example for all aspiring models looking to level up in 2020. Get to know more about our beautiful January 2020 cover model…
What are the three things most people would not know about you?
- I have a degree in Business Management and Marketing
- I’m the founder of the empowerment program for young girls “Viva La Chica!”
- I lived in New York for years and never considered modeling. It all happened once I moved away!
We know you are originally from Puerto Rico. How have you seen the plus-size industry evolve on the island?
One of the coolest full-circle moments of my life was when I got invited to be a speaker at a curve conference in Puerto Rico. I would never have imagined seeing a celebration of diversity and inclusion happening in the place where so many times I was discriminated against and rejected. I am happy and proud to see how much the island has grown in this aspect, but we have much much work to be done yet.
We have many aspiring models who read PMM and most would want to know how you got started in the modeling industry.
As a teenager, I always wanted to be a model. I took modeling, makeup and etiquette classes but the opportunity was never given to me. At age 28 I was perfectly happy with my corporate career, but something stirred in me when I saw an ad to become the face of a plus-size brand. I knew I had to try… one last time. Long story short, that casting at a mall landed me a spot at the top 10 of the competition and they flew me to New York to walk an official show at the NYFW. A confident wink at the end of my walk and I was scouted by Wilhelmina Models, proving once more that God’s time is perfect and #WhatIsForYouWillNotPassYou.
For most of us who have done any modeling, we learned a lot about what being a model is and what it’s not… what are three tips you can offer to aspiring models looking to take their modeling careers to the next level?
- Prepare yourself – If you aspire to become a model you need to prepare yourself physically, financially and mentally. Plus-size doesn’t mean unhealthy. You will work long hours, run around like crazy from casting to casting, and your body needs to keep up with it. Financially… because nothing is free, you will need to pay for test shoots, flights, traveling expenses, etc. And mentally… because being observed constantly is hard, internet trolls are real and comparison is truly the thief of joy!
- This is a real job – When you become a model you do not become all of a sudden… royalty. You are just another employee of the client. You do not get to be treated differently and you do not make anyone else’s job harder. You go in (on time!), do your thing, be grateful to everyone there making possible for this to be your job, and go out.
- NETWORKING – I cannot emphasize this enough! If you want to be in this industry you need to be present. Conferences, cocktail parties, brand launches, fashion shows, etc. If none of these are happening near you… social media is your best friend! Join groups, follow influencers, follow models, etc. Be present or be forgotten.
This month we are celebrating LIVI ACTIVE by Lane Bryant, who offers amazing athleisure and workout clothing for women size 14 – 28. How do you incorporate movement into your lifestyle?
I just finished a #Last90Days challenge where I challenged my online community to move their bodies at least 30 minutes each day. Walking the dog, playing with the kids, taking a walk around the block, etc… not to lose weight but to live a healthier lifestyle. Now that the challenge is over I plan to keep myself active by attending my kickboxing classes at least 2-3 a week and running through airports! LOL
Follow Ruth Leysa
FB: Ruth Leysa Santiago
Agency: Wilhelmina NY
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