This month we are celebrating “Self-Love” with the model who has been fighting to normalize plus size bodies for over two decades, Fluvia Lacerda.
Fluvia on how she got started:
I was on a city bus in Manhattan one day and this woman approached me and asked me if I modeled. I was a nanny at the time and did not even know that I could be a model at my size. She worked for MODE Magazine (a plus-size magazine) and gave me her card and that’s how I started to get to know about plus-size modeling.
Fluvia Lacerda on being asked to lose weight in order to be a successful model:
I lost a lot of jobs because I would not go down below a size 18. A lot of models did it, they wanted to make the money so they went for it. To me, it felt like I was not being genuine about my intentions. There are many big girls who would identify with my body so I just could not understand why they wanted me to lose weight.
Fluvia on the bubble that was overthrown by social media:
Years ago I grew to understand that the pressure to lose weight was coming from people in positions of power within the industry. It was not the industry as a whole. I stood my ground because it was worth it to be an advocate. We said it was wrong and we fought for the right to love our bodies.
Fluvia on the term ‘Body Positive’:
I feel that many terms like ‘Body Positive’ are being used by brands and people to trampoline their careers and/or brands. But in the two decades that have passed, we are still not seeing visibly plus size models as the “norm” in our industry.
Fluvia on the legacy she wants to leave behind:
I hope that I’m remembered for working very hard and pushing myself to work and create a space to talk about the reality of this industry and how to properly market to plus-sized women.
Fluvia on becoming a successful model:
I definitely did not have it easy, it’s always been some obstacle or challenge. I never let it stop me because I knew I was good at what I was doing. I never sat back and waited, I watched, I learned and created a space for myself and others like me.
If you want to model, you have to be a PACKAGE! It’s not only about having a pretty face, but it’s also about making good business decisions, developing yourself and the branding aspect, how do you want people to see you?”
I’ve built my brand on being authentic and that’s most important to me.