Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Model Citizen

It's weird writing about this. I've tried to keep my "personal life" sort of separate from my business stuff. But as my secret life is becoming more public, I am getting recognized and it's harder to keep under wraps. It's not like I'm ashamed of being a plus-sized model, it's just that I think of these facets of my life as unrelated. On the contrary, I am proud of my contribution to changing the American ideal of beauty. It's so cliché but I must reiterate that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. As a mother of a young girl, I worry about the media's influence on her self-esteem. I don't want her to strive to some unrealistic idea that she has to be rail thin to be considered beautiful. Especially because its not in her genes to look that way.

Lots of people ask how do I find time to do all these things. The truth is, I don't have time. I often say there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. I just try my best to be a good wife, mom, business owner and whatever else. So, a few years ago when I didn't have all these other titles, I pursued a modeling career. Larger framed models were few and the industry was very resistant. With the persistence of curvy actresses and pioneer models (Emme, Queen Latifah to name a two) more and more companies recognize that the average woman in the US is a size 14 and began to market to them. So, in the past few years, clothing for larger women has become more fashionable (less muumuu-like) and I hope this trend will continue. Just when I began getting gigs I got pregnant so I took a hiatus. I let my agent know I wanted to work again in 2009 after getting laid off from my corporate job. But with the recession, marketing budgets were cut and there wasn't much work to be had.

I booked my only modeling gig for 2009 with the weight loss supplement called Alli. They are using my images along with a few other models for their website and web ads. I traveled to a studio in Brooklyn on Dec. 5 to be shot by a talented photographer, Grace Huang. The website was updated by the end of the year. You can see me at but I saved you the trouble of hunting me down.

So far I've had 2 acquaintances ask me "Is that you on Alli website?" so that has been cool. I'm curious, especially if you have daughters, how do counteract society's standard of beauty in your home? Does is matter to you what size models represent the brands you buy? Does that even matter to you?

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