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

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Modeling Advice...Do I Have What It Takes?

Hello Sharon!!

I am Dyann C. #2606 from the Fat Chance Contest on Tuesday. You indicated during my interview that I can contact you for some help and advice in my pursuit of plus size modeling.

It was so good to meet you last Tuesday!! You are as nice and beautiful in person as you were on TV. I saw Rip the Runway on BET last week and saw the pictures from Monif C.'s web-site. You really looked great! You are a very stunning woman, but I know that you already know that!

To date, this is how far that I have gotten in my pursuit of modeling. September 2006 I went and had my comp cards done in NYC. I have since sent them out to modeling agencies in NYC. So far I have been on 2 meetings with Modeling Agencies and they both seem interested, and said they will let me know if anything comes up for me. So far I have not heard anything back. I also went to Las Vegas in December 2005 for Model Search America, I made some contacts, received some experience in walking the runway, took several seminars on the business of modeling, hair tips, etc. and I met a lot of great people in the process but again no work came out of that. I know that I have to be patient, but I also just want to be sure that I am doing everything that I need to be doing right now. I would appreciate any advise or help that you can give me. You have been there and look how successful that you have became, You Go Girl!!

I still have my fingers and toes crossed waiting to hear back from the Fat Chance contest. I am so excited and thrilled to have made it this far!! I want to go all the way!!! Monique is such a huge role model for me and she really started a great movement here with this contest and her speaking out for all the Big Girls!!

I attached 5 of my professional pictures. Let me know in your opinion if you feel that I have potential.

Take Care.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Hello Dyann

First of all thank you for all of the wonderful compliments....they are MUCH appreciated. As for Fat Chance 2006, we just wrapped up taping this years show, so we thank you for your participation and hope to see you at next years casting. Now on to your question:

I had to think long and hard before I responded to your question.....but I always try to be honest with my advice...

I looked at your photos and I think you are quite striking...quite! I am not sure of your stats..i.e. height/weight...but you seem to be a tall girl. I also notice that your problem area is the same as midsection. I would recommend a few things....

1. Purchase an EXCELLENT foundation (body shaper/girdle) and never leave home without it. You do not appear to have one on in your photos and it doesn't look as neat and sleek as it could have. Remember that this is a BUSINESS that you are trying to enter and you always want to put your best foot forward.

2. I recommend that you try to come down to at least a size 16-18 (I am assuming that you are tall). I tell any and all potential models that if you try and wait for the industry to come to you, you will probably miss your shot. Therefore you're going to have to go to them...meaning you need to get down to the acceptable size parameters if you are really serious about in NYCng a career in modeling. If this is truly what you want to do....then do what ever you need to do to get what you want!

3. The other thing that jumped out at me about your photos was that it was all very....RED!!! Because you have that beautiful red hair...I felt like you didn't need red makeup and certainly not red was way to over powering. Try testing some more and choose a variety of different colors and looks.

4. If you are not leaving the agencies without some sort of contract in hand, then the "seem to like me" comment is a nice way of them saying is a don't call us, we'll call you" or..simply put..they aren't interested. Go back and work on getting yourself in better shape, test some more then come back and try again. I don't know where you are located but there is an excellent place in NYC called The Plus Academy (, I teach seminars there and my "Modeling 101 - The Basics" is a definite must do for all aspiring models.

Thanks for writing and good luck in your career...please let me know how it goes for you.



At 4:16 PM, Blogger lyann said...

I am a teenager that wants to be a model but I have a problem my mother wont let me even though I tried 2 times, now well mom only wanted it to help with my selfesteem but i like it and want to keep on going what do I do???

At 1:22 PM, Blogger ladyofthemike said...

To The OG of plus size modeling,

I am so excited to be trying to get into the industry of plus size modeling. I need to know what are the three keys to a successfull launch in this industry! Including mental,spiritual,emotional,and physical?

P.S:i would love to send you some pics. so that you can shine some light on the physical!



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