Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into modelling? Is it something you have always wanted to do?
I modelled a bit In my 20s and then never pursued it. But it has been something I’ve always wanted to do. Everyone always told me to be a Model, but I had limited self-confidence in myself and didn’t think I had what it took. I was slim and busty with long legs, and everyone said I should have been a page 3 model. That wasn’t for me due To being brought up in a strict family with a lot of emotional abuse. Which ate further away at my self-confidence. I eventually developed an eating disorder and body dysmorphia where no matter how much weight I lost or gained, I still looked overweight. I went through my life disliking my body, and I would be depressed that I didn’t look like the celebrities in magazines and on TV. So I decided to do other careers.
Can you remember how you felt in your life modelling session and who it was with?
First modelling session, recently, I’m guessing you want to ask about? I felt hyper and very eager. I was excited and maybe a little too enthusiastic lol. I was really happy with the capture by the photographer Stronge Images Photography. The reason being as to why I was so confident was that the photographer was very understanding, and we worked well together as a team. Also, I’ve done a lot of work on my mindset. I’m also a Life Coach for young people, and I realised that it doesn’t matter that I don’t look like the airbrushed models and celebrities in magazines. I look like ME. That is the only person who I want to look like. So I embraced my body, all of my curves, and my bubbly, chatty and hyper personality. I have ADHD and Autism. I’m a confident plus-size woman regardless of cellulite, scars, imperfections and how I look at myself. I’m unique, and that is my superpower. That’s what I want to show all the young people and adults who don’t think they’re good enough because they don’t have a filter, aren’t airbrushed or Because they aren’t a size 6. It doesn’t matter. Do you, be you. Practice self-love and realise that you are special.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced being a model, and how have you overcome it?
I find modelling is like smearing yourself in honey and then walking into a bee hive lol. It’s finding the right photographers to fit your requirements and also theirs. So I’d suggest going with a reputable agency. You need to do your research, though, because even those can be difficult to navigate. I find Purple Port a great help as it has a lot of information to help you if you’re starting out.
How did you decide what level of modelling you wanted to do?
I decided on my levels because I want to get published, so doing a range of different photography styles I felt would increase my chances of getting into the magazine. Plus, it’s fun to mix it up. But the commercial side is also because I want to model for plus size clothing companies and for companies who stock plus size fashion.
Ever thought about becoming a photographer and photographing either others or yourself?
Yes, actually, I have. I do have a keen eye, and I think I’m not too bad at the photography side. I’ve taken pictures for people at events I’ve been at, and a lot of people have used my pictures instead of the photographer they hired. I’m sure both of us were great; it’s just nice to have a photo treasured and adored by people because I love making people happy and helping people.
If you were to undertake your perfect photo shoot without restrictions, can you tell me what you would do?
My perfect photoshoot would either be lots of Autumnal shots or Christmas shots.
So crunchy colourful leaves and wearing autumn clothing with pumpkins and a winter snow shoot with a Christmas tree and Christmas lights around me and tinsel. I may even go so far as implied nude. Depending on the ideas the photographer had lol.
But I won’t do nude. Could you imagine? I wouldn’t want my nipples to fall off, lol.
What do you get up to when you are not modelling?
Well, recently, I’ve had pneumonia and have been pretty unwell. But usually, I end up singing and dancing in the shower, and then I network on social media and help young people to develop coping mechanisms so they can handle life stresses a lot better. I have spoken in schools and aim to educate the children about the benefits of being self-confident and helping them deal with stress. I can help children that have gone through abuse also.
Given a choice to be shot in either black&white or colour photos, which would you choose and why?
I prefer black and white because there is something mysterious and old school about black and white photos. Especially if it’s implied nude, I prefer that to be shot with low light to set the mood of the image and black and white. It’s much sexier, in my opinion. But it does depend on the photo and what the photographer and model want to create, of course.
If one of your friends came to you and asked for advice about becoming a model, what would 3 pieces of advice would you give them?
I would say.
1. Learn how to be a model on Purple port. Research this extensively.
2. Research agencies thoroughly
3. Never be pressured to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing at a shoot. If possible, take a friend. Safety is key.
Do you have any goals that you want to achieve in the next 2 years?
Yes, I would love to be an internationally published model and also work for a plus-size clothing brand. I’ve been constantly told I’ll never make it. But someone’s got to, right? Why not me? Never give up, and don’t take no for an answer. I’ll get there.