The Runway Diva Says. . . Is an online advice column for aspiring models. As a 20 year veteran of the fashion industry as a plus sized model, I have found in my travels that most aspiring models, no matter their size, don't have a clue of the tools needed to become a successful model. Hopefully, I can help make their journey a little easier. Please Email me your questions to

Friday, November 25, 2005

Plus Sized Sorority

Dear Ms. Quinn,

My name is Elizabeth and I am 29 years old. I live in Queens NY and have been full figured all of my life. I am 5'7 and a size 16 and in the past have felt the need to justify myself to the world (not now). Being Puerto Rican and Ethiopian my looks are different and people have always told me how beautiful I am. I can't count how many times I have heard how much more beautiful I would be if I lost a little weight. In college, I learned to embrace and love who I am. I modeled in our Black Women's Weekend fashion show (I was one of two Plus sized models). I also helped to start a sorority that embraces our differences, We are known as the D.I.V.A.S. of Lambda Fe Uson. (our web site is , please look at our founders page, almost all of us are fabulously plus sized). I saw you on Mo'Nique's Fat Chance and my mother and I thought you were fierce and blew away the competition. I am a firm believer that big ladies can be sexy and fit at sizes 14 and over. Knowing this, I would like to try to become a plus sized model. I can walk and I do have the look for it, although I may be a little short for runway. Currently, I am a paralegal. One the side, I advise my sorority and am in training to compete in triathalons next year. Ms. Quinn, I want to share myself with the world and encourage young women. Is there a way to meet you or can you direct me to someone who can critique my look and tell me if I have what it takes to achieve this goal? I am not shy and will not breakdown or fall apart if it doesn't happen. I just want to be a part of this movement of women that are shattering stereotypes. I would so appreciate your advice.

Lastly, if you are available to speak in a program for my sorority, we would love to have you give your story on our SUNY StonyBrook campus. There are many young women on that campus that would benefit by hearing you speak. As I'm sure you know, eating disorders and self image issues are problems on college campuses.

In Unity, Faith and Strength,

Elizabeth S.


First let me say I loved your letter! It was just so positive and powerful..This is great work that you are doing...please continue to inspire and uplift our sisters. In answer to your question, do you have any pictures that you can email me of yourself? I wouldn't fret too much about being 5'7", It's not like someone is gonna pull out a measuring tape and measure your height (lol) you are right "under" the height "radar" by and inch and I say....who's gonna know that if you don't tell them???? Please send me some photos of yourself, I am sure I can point you in the right direction.

All of my bookings are handled by my manager, Shalon Scott. You can reach her at 973-280-3380 or email her at

I look forward to hearing from you!


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