Anniversary Issue… Honoring the Past and Celebrating the Future With Amélie
As we celebrate our 17th year in the plus size industry, we decided to take it back to the beginning, our purpose and the very reason we launched PLUS Model Magazine.
For us, it’s always been about the models, the industry, and the community. This month we will be introducing you to our cover model Amélie and for the first time, we will be following up and checking in every three months so she can share her journey in the plus-size modeling industry.
Growing up our cover model Amélie was very shy and did not like the spotlight. After years of struggling with an eating disorder, she did her work and accepted her curves, and decided to delve back into fashion. Today, she has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Finance from Northeastern University, has lived abroad, and is newly signed to Dorothy Combs Models.
Get to know Amélie…
PMM: Tell us something about yourself that most people would not know…
Amélie: I was a special needs nanny in high school and college and learned American Sign Language. The Deaf community is near and dear to me and I absolutely love the language. I encourage everyone to learn even just some basics!
In many ways plus size models represent a segment of the community and the customers… Can you share your body confidence story with us?
Growing up I was shy and never liked my freckles and red hair. Kids would mistake freckles for dirt and I’d wear bed sheets on my head at home pretending to have long, flowing straight hair. As I aged I developed an eating disorder which I battled in silence for several years as an adolescent and teenager. I eventually came into my freckles and stayed at a healthy weight. Even still, I was never truly accepting of myself and confident in my own skin.
It was until recently really that I became plus-sized. I started a new medication and almost overnight I gained weight. Then I went to grad school and the weight continued to pile on. In total, in the past few years, my body has completely changed shapes and sizes, and that fluidity has taken me on a journey.
At first, I didn’t want to buy new clothes that fit or that I felt comfortable in. Looking back I was punishing myself. Eventually, I decided to donate my old clothing and start over. Finding cute clothes that flattered my newfound curves brought me a contentness of sorts—instead of striving I just decided to accept myself where I am and have grace for myself.
As women, we are way too hard on ourselves and our bodies. From puberty to hormonal bloating, pregnancy, to menopause, our bodies go through a lot of changes. There’s no one way to be beautiful and I’m truly learning that at this stage in my life.
From the outside, modeling looks very glamorous… What have you learned about the business of modeling?
I am answering this question from bed at 8 PM after a 9-hour day shooting. My feet hurt, and my legs are throbbing! Changing shoes 50+ times in one day and being on your feet for long periods of time are some of the not-so-glamorous sides of modeling.
Tell us about your first modeling job. How did you prepare for it?
My first job was with HSN for an elevated e-commerce campaign. I bought a book on Amazon of poses and practiced in front of the mirror. Of course, once I got in front of the camera all those rehearsed poses poofed out of my memory and I was left to improvise. There’s only so much preparation you can do that actually pays off because if you’re too in your head it will show in the images.
As the fashion industry continues to evolve and expand diverse representation how important is it for the generations to come to see more of themselves represented on television, in advertisements, and in fashion?
People want to see themselves in advertisements. “She looks like me, my cousin, my mom, my best friend—” that sells. In the past, fashion has been exclusionary. It’s almost as if brands wanted the general public to compare themselves to often unattainable beauty standards as a marketing strategy.
More recently fashion is becoming increasingly inclusive. From expanded sizing ranges to diverse talent, brands are fostering a sense of belonging across diverse audiences.
Your agency shared with us that you are passionate about volunteering for causes you really care about. Can you tell us about that?
I currently volunteer as a digital literacy tutor–teaching adult students how to use technology to upskill them for the marketplace. I am extremely passionate about digital inclusion: an initiative that focuses on ensuring that all communities have access to and use of information and communication technologies.
Two truths and a lie…
She’s a great cook!
She is a big NFL fan!
She was homeschooled
Guess which one is NOT true! Meet us on our social media channels @plusmodelmag and cast your answer!
Which is your favorite Anniversary Issue cover? Join us on social @plusmodelmag to share your opinion!