Always for Me
How did you get started in Plus Size Modeling and Influencing?
I was discovered by Tyra Banks. She was having a teen plus size modeling competition, and I ended up being runner-up in the competition. So, since then I’ve just kept pursuing it.
And then it was about a year ago when I went into a casting and they said to me, how many followers did I have. Not my name, nothing else.
At that point, I was like, what is this world? What is this influencing world? And it really became a passion of mine. I’m really loving understanding social media, and how it can help both modeling and blogging and how well the worlds all combine.
I was 17 and I also won a model search. But at the time, I mean, I was 17 so obviously, I hated myself, because teenagers can be really hard on themselves. And I never, ever dreamed of modeling ever.
5 years ago, it was a completely different world. We would never have events during New York Fashion Week, That are plus size related whatsoever. So, now it’s nice to see all of these Plus size, full figure, curvy, whatever you want to call us, included.
And it’s cool too, for us, because we have been in it for a while and we’ve seen the change in the industry and right now is a really cool time to be a plus-size model.
It’s really incredible being in this industry and being with so many empowering women who really love themselves. And companies like Always For Me, Who literally are always for us, Which is just… it’s just really cool.
Always for Me
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with body confidence?
For years, I worked at a weight loss camp for kids and I taught classes there on body image and body positivity and basically learning to love your body, while taking care of it at the same time.
What I’ve always been a large supporter of is, basically health at any size. I mean, I’m a size 18. I’m a big woman. But, I take really good care of my body and I nourish it.
I think what’s really important is that, at that age, you either think it’s black and white. You’re either fat and gross, or a twig and everyone’s gonna love you. And I remember thinking like, My life would be so much better if I was just skinny. I blamed everything on the fact that I was overweight.
I’m lucky that I get the opportunity to talk to girls at that age but I just want them all to know that their size and weight has absolutely nothing to do with their value, self-worth. And it’s just really important to know that your body doesn’t define anything and also, Men really like curvy women, so stop freaking out.
You know, call me naïve but, I really thought that one day I was gonna wake up and be confident, and it was all gonna be over and done. So, the moment I realized that Confidence, loving yourself, is a journey and not a destination.
I think that’s when things kind of clicked for me. That, you’re gonna have your good days, you’re gonna have your bad days, but as long as you keep working at it, it will get better, it will get easier.
You’re not just gonna wake up and be done trying. Even as an adult, you know, we’re always learning, we’re always growing. So that’s the one thing I always try to relay, The takeaway to me is, it’s a journey, not a destination.
Always for Me
How do you deal with bullies and negative comments?
I laugh. Sometimes I read these comments and I’m like, That is so funny, like how could you… How do you think of these terrible things I mean, for the last 10 years, and the last 8 for you, We have been rejected By hundreds of people.
We’re constantly told, no. So, I mean, as a model we do develop a thick skin And as an Instagrammer, you probably do as well. Most people who don’t have thick skins Don’t really put themselves out there the way we do.
But, it’s really laughable how people are just so insensitive. They hate themselves so much, to put energy into trying to hate someone else. It’s just… I mean, it’s funny but it’s also like really sad.
That’s another thing too, is like these people that are sitting, behind the comfort of their screens, or their keyboards, would they actually say that to you in person?
I’m pretty lucky to not have too many enemies at this point, But that doesn’t mean I don’t get them, And that’s definitely like, they’ll be people who are like you’re not plus enough, you’re not that enough.
And so, what I’ve learned as a model, as an influencer, whatever, as an Instagrammer. It’s just a matter of finding that healthy balance of what’s my healthy medium. I’m always gonna be not enough, too much, of this, of that.
I’ve always felt like I was a guardian and a protector of youth, like overweight youth, which is like so funny. But I really have always kind of felt that way, that I’ve always wanted to protect those girls because I was them. And, I know that I don’t really get hurt by things as easily as a lot of women do. And, honestly, I could not tell you how I got that way.
I kind of feel good about the fact that people can say these hurtful things to me, and it doesn’t really phase me. And then I’ll get like, armies of women fighting back being like, “she’s great! Don’t say these things!”. You know, people who support me and in a way, it almost looks like they’re empowering themselves. So, it’s kinda cool that I can do that for women.
Absolutely. Just to add onto that quickly is, almost I feel like, this responsibility of this community that I’ve created, of women all over the world, all different types of walks of life, that support each other, that are kind to each other and even if it’s just that one second, where they’re scrolling through and they see something that brings positivity and light to their day, that, that makes it all worth it for me.
To have that community, that sense of, My girl gang as I call ‘em. That sense of helping each other, supporting each other out.
Always for Me
What do you think of the Revamped Always For Me assortment for 2018?
I think it’s awesome! We were literally just talking about this kind of Rebranding you guys are going through. I mean, it’s the time.
Like we said, it’s really freaking cool to be a plus size right now. So, it’s really great to have companies, that have always been for us. Kind of going along with it and noticing trends and realizing that plus size women wanna strut their stuff on the beach and not just kind of cover-up.
So it’s really cool that you guys are going along with that and putting us in suits that make us feel good.
Absolutely. And, as a former Always For Me model, I’ve seen the growth and change of the company.
And I’m just so proud, even though I haven’t been that closely involved, but, I just feel proud of Always For Me for taking that jump into modern times and listening to the customer and hearing them and putting out things that they know we want.
You know, we wanna be trendy, ee wanna be cool, we wanna be a little bit sexy. A little bit on trend, so I’m really excited to see where this goes. And I’m so happy to be a part of it, so thanks!