Lifestyle plus size swimwear

Super Model and Supermom: Nicole LeBris on Being the Face of Always For Me, the Swimsuits that Bear her Name, and Being a Mother

March 5, 2018

Nicole LeBris and her daughter in the Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress (Click the image above to learn more) Style# AFM1237

Always for Me sat down with plus size model and industry influencer Nicole LeBris to discuss what it’s like being a model, the body positivity movement, her thoughts on the two Always for Me styles that bear her name, and the joys of motherhood.

Always for Me
How did you get started as a plus size model?

Nicole LeBris
I got into modeling about 15 years ago. Prior to modeling, I had worked in the hair and makeup industry, sometimes working on photoshoots.

There were several people throughout my early life that suggested I try modeling including Emme, who is credited as one of the trailblazers for plus size modeling.

At the time, 15 years ago, social media didn’t really exist. There weren’t these huge plus size platforms or groups.

There was a website called Plusmodels, where I took my own headshots and put them on their site. That’s how I first met Susan Barone, the founder of Always for Me, and was contacted by my first agency, Ikon.

The rest, as they say, is history!

Nicole LeBris in the Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress (Click the image to learn more) Style# AFM1237

Always for Me
What is your favorite thing about plus size modeling?

Nicole LeBris
The travel is always fun, but what I really love about my job is meeting other women and men in the plus industry. I have some great friendships that developed from being in the industry.

The plus size modeling world is very inclusive, friendly, and supportive. Especially in the beginning, it was great to go to a photoshoot and see confident plus size women.
It was, and still is, very empowering.

Always for Me
Have you experienced any downsides about plus size modeling?

Nicole LeBris
Overall, it’s been a great experience, however, there have been times when I’m asked what I do, and if I say “model,” I sometimes get a weird look feel them scan my body over. I know they’re thinking, “She’s a model, how?!” It’s a completely different reaction if I answer that I’m a plus model.

Always For Me
Do you feel the words “plus” and “plus size” are still valid in today’s world?

Nicole LeBris
Yes, I feel the words “plus” and “plus size” are valid because it’s a distinguishing category that plus size women can recognize and use to help shop.

What I mean is, I would never go into the children’s or men’s section to look for clothes since those areas won’t have my size. Departments that are clearly called out as plus make it easier for me to go directly to the department that I KNOW will have clothes in my size(s) without picking through a section for 20 minutes before realizing they don’t carry anything over a size 12.

I do think it’s a shame that the media and world have attached negativity to the word “plus size”, especially since statistically plus sizes are more in line with the average woman than straight sizes.

Always for Me
What are the most important features that you look for when buying plus size swimwear?

Nicole LeBris
I want to buy from a brand I trust, a company that I know has good quality and a fit that works well for my body. This is especially true with online retailers.

A good fit that offers both support and comfort is a must. Especially since a having a baby, I really want my swimsuit to be comfortable. I look for styles with a supportive bra, either a shelf bra or construction similar to a bra. For me, the more support, the better.

Always for Me
What do you love most about the Always for Me plus size swimsuits that bear your name?

Nicole LeBris
I love that they are fun, flirty, and flattering. It’s a sexy style that is also curvy conscience, which can be hard to find.

I really think this suit is an instant classic because it works well on a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The skirt offers a little more coverage without going too matronly and the overall lines of the suit are very flattering.

The best part is this suit is really comfortable and supportive. I’m really happy with this suit and excited for it to be bearing my name.

Nicole LeBris in Always for Me “Nicole” Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress in Green (Click the image above to learn more) Style# AFM1236

Always for Me
What would you tell a young woman or any woman who is being bullied or body shamed?

Nicole LeBris
I immediately think of my nieces, and I can see how the world has changed since when I was their ages.

On one hand there’s so much social media attention and so much hate in the online community that it’s got to be hard for kids growing now.

On the other hand, there’s been a change towards body positivity and embracing your curves. There’s a whole community of curvy, plus size women to look up to that was never there when I was growing up.

Young men and women today can find people who are happy and healthy and look like them! It’s really exciting!

I’d remind anyone who is being shamed or bullied that bullies often suffer from their own issues such as jealousy and insecurity. I’d want them to remember that their body is theirs and not let others put them down – that they should focus on being healthy and happy instead of on what others are saying to them.

Always for Me
Do you see any downsides to the body positivity movement?

Nicole LeBris
No, I think it’s great. It’s amazing to see these communities of like-minded individuals pull together.

The word “plus” is slowly evolving. Health is really important to me overall. I love that people are finally seeing that you can be plus size and healthy.

Always for Me
What would you like to see more or less of in the plus size fashion industry?

Nicole LeBris
I miss the glamour of being a model. As great as the ad campaigns are that show plus size women, I feel they are looking for untouched and women with rolls.

It would be really nice to see a high-end fashion editorial where the models are all decked out in hair and makeup – just like a “regular” fashion editorial, but it just happens to be with plus models.

Less focus on “hey it’s a plus model with rolls”, and more along the lines of “here’s a great fashion editorial and the model just happens to be plus model”.

Nicole LeBris in Always for Me “Nicole” Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress in Green (Click the image above to learn more) Style# AFM1237

Always for Me
How has becoming a mother changed you? Does having a girl change your point of view and outlook on the world?

Nicole LeBris
Originally, I was nervous to have a girl. I remembered how hard it was for me.

I matured very young and it was difficult. I didn’t want my child to experience any of that awkwardness.

Now that I have a little girl, I’m very aware of how I act in front of her. I don’t ever want to negate my own looks and have her translate that to herself.

For her sake, I’m hopeful the body positivity movement keeps moving forward.

Nicole LeBris in Always for Me “Nicole” Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress in Green (Click the picture above to learn more) Style# AFM1236