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

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Runway Diva speaks on "Greene on the Scene"

Greetings Family!

I am posting a link to Caribbean World Radio's website "Greene on The Scene" Column:

Hear The Runway Diva on Greene on The Scene

so that you can check out my latest interview with Walter Greene on his "Greene on
the Scene" radio broadcast. We talk about my FAT Chance experience as will as my tips for getting started as a plus model or just looking like one and my tips on preparing for open call auditions like Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance.

**Ladies - if you are even REMOTELY curious about becoming a plus need to take a moment and listen!!!**

For those of you who aren't familiar with him, Walter Greene is the Fashion Editor for Sista 2 Sista magazine and handles the popular "Off The Runways" column. We have been friends since we first met in 1995 as I was preparing to compete in The Model Of The Year Competition in New Jersey.

You can listen now or download to listen to the interview in it's entirety at your convenience.(it's a lengthy

Enjoy....and thanks Walter!

Love you all and thanks as always for your continued support!


Monday, July 10, 2006

A letter from a Fabulous And Thick admirer

Ms. Quinn,

I saw you on "Monique's F.A.T. Chance and I just wanted you to know how proud you made me!!

God Bless You and All You Endeavor To Do !!

Victor Cager
Classical Jazz Vocalist

Hello Victor!

I took a moment to listen to your music...What a beautiful voice you have, I am a singer as well and it's so refreshing to hear someone sing who understands the beauty of just singing a song...without all of the vocal acrobatics..I enjoyed listening very much! Thank you for the compliments...they are much appreciated.

Thanks again and much success to you as well!


Update on an Aspiring Plus Model

This sista was one of the first people to email me after my first runner up victory in the first season of Mo'nique's F.A.T. chance...the next time I saw her she attended a modeling seminar that I was teaching at The Plus Academy in NYC. She sent me this email and some photos and I am pleased to report her progress here.

Dear Sharon,

I finally had my first photo shoot after the posing class I took at the Plus Academy. I didn't want to send you a zillion photos so I attached just a few that I thought we nice. These are not retouched and the photographer does not want me to use them until they are. If you have some free time please critique them for me. I have developed a tough (or tougher lol) skin since Rip the Runway so do your worst! Thanks for much for the Modeling 101 class. I definitely have a one up on other new models in the industry. Once I get the handle on posing I will go all out for that shoot. Thanks again and I hope to see you soon.

Elizabeth Seifu



That first pic is SMOKING!!!!! This is a real good start Elizabeth, I am very proud of have very expressive eyes....learn to use them more....that and your smile will be your "moneymakers" me on this.

I like the close up head shot but I almost wish you weren't pouting so much....The red lip is almost TOO strong...but it's kinda sexy in a 70's glam sort of way....but you definitely can go ahead and make your first comp card with the photos you have....try not to use more than three photos...four max...(one on the front...up to three on the back).

Try working more movement into your next couple of are just starting out experiment....try some "crazy" stuff....look through the fashion mags and try and duplicate some of the shots you see. Continue to shoot photos that make you stand out from the pack!

Also, try and get a nice, clean beauty shot on your next couple of really will need one for the front of your card eventually.

One more thing...make sure that you go over the photos for your card with someone who has a more professional eye than you and can see you in a different light.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT...NEVER CHOOSE THE PHOTOS FOR YOUR CARD WITH OUT YOUR AGENT/BOOKER. They know what the clients are searching for much better than you do.

Well, I don't want to put you on information overload so I will stop for now....but know that I am very impressed with how well you are doing and how quickly you are catching on.

Continue to keep me informed of your progress and be sure and contact me if you have any questions.

Much success!


A Blast From My Past...well actually several blasts..

I don't know if you all this (actually, I am sure you don't) but when I first had this website under contact email addy was
However, it was only a temporary address and the site was still under construction...I simply forgot to check the mailbox. Last week I got a email alert from the server and that's when I remembered that I had another mailbox for the site.

To make a long story short...a lot of the emails were from people (from my Choir days with The Inner City Voices...pre Kirk Franklin ya'll!!) that I have not seen in over 20 years....go figure! They brought back some of my fondest memories and some of them give you an intimate peek into what "The Runway Diva" was like back in the day!

I am going to post a couple can!


Hi Sharon,

I don't know if you remember me, my name is Diane (Mason) Dixon but I used to be in "Inner City" with you. When I saw the pageant aire on television in Indianapolis, Indiana your face drew me right in. I tuned in during the 2nd part of it so at that time I didn't know what the connection was but I continued to watch the show.

My youngest daughter and I picked our favorites to win (she picked the actual winner and I picked you) and we continued to root you two on. Once it was over she asked me why I picked you and I told her because you exemplified style and fearlessness with great pride in who you were. You strutted that way and you sported the bald head with that "watch out attitude". She just said "I guess" and that was it. She's only 15 so she really didn't understand what I meant. I further explained to her that she has her own sense of style and she usually goes against the grain of what other people wear and you were doing the same thing with the bald head. She finally understood what I meant and stated "Okay, mama I get it she is just being matter what others may think or say". "Yeah you've got it", I said.

Anyway, the pageant aired again that Tuesday evening and I caught it from the very beginning this time. When I saw the bio that said Sharon Quinn, age 44, New York City. All the bells and lights went off in my head. I had seen your face before and I remembered the name. The age was my same age bracket. Immediately I identified you with a girl name Kathy (she is deceased now), then Ramona Gadsden and then Inner City. The next day I got Mona's phone number and called her to see if I was indeed correct. She told me I was. She was shocked that I remembered you and hadn't seen you since the Inner City days.

I was amazed that after 20+ year I hadn't forgotten your face even thought I do have a pretty good memory. The greatest thing was I remembered you being very quiet, not as out-spoken or daring as some of us were back then. We were quite a bunch a characters when we were younger. Mona considered me a rebel back then and I knew I really was. Then all the memories of George, Jeffery, Cheryl, Sabrina etc. came flooding back and how we used to love to sing and try to blow the other choirs out of the water.

Back then you almost seemed to blend in the background not drawing any attention to yourself, yet I remembered who you were. I thought to myself, my, my, my how time brings about a glorious change and from what my memory allowed me to remember the quiet girl had turned into a "DIVA" with undeniable style and grace.

Well my sista, I just wanted to share that with you and send you these word of encouragement. I myself have always loved the "FAT DIVA" style of attitude and dress since I was a young girl. I believe whole-heartedly, if you believe in yourself you must represent who you are with no regrets, reservations and definitely no shame. You have represented yourself and alot of women in "TRUE DIVA" fashion and I pray you tear the roof off the ceiling and let the skies be your destiny.....because girl "You wear it well".

Much love to you my sista and may God bless you in all you do and aspire to do.

In "2005"
Sisters Strong in the Spirit Survive

Step Up.....Step Out.....Step On!

Diane D. Dixon


I am so sorry that I am just responding to your email now....this was only a temporary mail box until my site was up and running and I totally forgot about it.....So I am only getting these emails now.

Of course I remember who you are and it's funny....I just ran into Ramona & Adrienne at a party a few weeks ago and your name came up while we were reminiscing. Anyway, I am going to seriously try to make the First Baptist Church Homecoming this weekend....I heard you might be attending...if so you will probably see me on Sunday.

Thanks for the beautiful memories and the words of encouragement. Hopefully I will see you soon...Take care and continue to prosper.


Hey Sharon,

I got an e-mail about Sharon Quinn on Oxygen and I said to myself is that my Sharon from ICV???? When I opened it and saw your picture, I knew for sure it was you. I have seen your ads on t.v and in Catherines' catalog. I don't have the Oxygen channel I would love to see it! Congrats on your success and may it continue! I hope to hear from you soon darrrrling- if you're not too booked! LOL . . . !

Hey Debbie!

I am so sorry that I am just responding to your email now....this was only a temporary mail box until my site was up and running and I totally forgot about it.....So I am only getting these emails now.

This is so damn weird to me....first...Phyllis Jackson (remember her?) starts turning up at my shows at BB Kings, then I run into Mona & Adrienne at a party 2 weeks ago, then I see Reena from the bus I was on last week THEN I run into Curtis Reeder....and then after I read this email....I look at the next one and it's from Diane Mason!!!! Sounds to me like we need to plan some sort of a reunion soon. Anyway, those ICV memories have always been happy ones for me and I think of all you guys often (I have enough pictures of us to make your head spin). I hope you are well and I hope you are still singing!!! Please catch me up on what's been going on in your life.....I am so very glad that we have reconnected.

Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement...I do appreciate them. Make sure you watch the new season of MFC....which airs this Saturday, July 15th at 8pm EST

Take care and stay positive!

Loving the Unique Individual That Is YOU!

Hello! My name is Geraldine. I am not a fashion agent or anything, I just happened to see you on Monique's " Fat Chance" and from there I admired you. When I saw you on her show you were really an inspiration to me. I am a 5'6, 234lb. African American women. I am 18 years old and I just finished high school by the grace of God. All through school I have gone through the battle with my weight. Still to this point I deal with it. Some days I want to lose weight, then the next I feel happy with myself. I think I am a very beautiful girl, but why does it seem so difficult to accept myself? I believe I am beautiful (mostly facial wise) but my body is another issue. I do not know if I want to remain this size or become smaller. Well the reason I am e-mailing you is because I wanted to see if somehow you could help me? If you have time beacuse I am sure you have a busy schedule. It would deeply be appreciated. Thanks in advance!


" The same thing you love is the same thing you hate."
Gurl wonder aka Lady Banks

Hello Geraldine!

I have read your letter a few times now...and before I say anything else...I really want you to send me a full length photo of yourself. I am sure you are quite beautiful, It amazes me how critical we can be of ourselves. I will say this...continue to be encouraged...nothing worth having or achieving is easy. At 5'6" and 234 probably are carrying a little more weight than you should be. As for wanting to diet one day and being fine with yourself the next....heck! We ALL do that! You must ask yourself a few questions to arrive at your answer:

Does your weight impede your ability to live a "normal" (UGH!! I hate that word!!!) lifestyle? (i.e. - is it difficult to find fashionable clothing in your size? Do you have to get a seat belt extender to wear on planes? etc,)

Are you having health issues (Hypertension, diabetes..etc) because of your excess weight?

And this is my own personal favorite:

Do you FEEL the weight coming on to new places on your body? Does it make you uncomfortable? (This one alone is usually enough to spur me into action!!
If you answered yes to any of the questions...mama, you KNOW you probably need to check your eating habits (try cutting sugar, junk food & alcohol out of your diet for a'll be amazed at how much weight you lose. Try gradually adding a little exercise to your routine (i.e. take a walk after having dinner....etc).

The combination of all of these things will help you get started....but everything begins with YOU....and you HAVE to accept who you are and what your body looks like RIGHT NOW! or you will have these same issues (and maybe even some new ones) should you lose a lot of weight. If you don't like who you are now....chances are you won't like who you are later either. If you learn to accept and be cool with your self and your me when I tell you that it won't matter what other people think and NO ONE can break the end of the day YOU will still love YOU...and that's all that matters.

You don't need any help from me Geraldine, you already know what you have to do. Make a commitment to yourself and keep will change your life....I promise you.

You are only 18 years have your whole life ahead of you...LIVE IT!!!! The best advice I can give to you is to not let your weight keep you from having a happy and fulfilling life. Tonight, take off all of your clothes, stand in front of a mirror and check out every inch of yourself...even the parts you don't like looking at....Tell yourself aloud the things about your body that you love and then figure out what parts you don't like and want to fix and then make a commitment to get to work on don't have to rush to do everything at just need to get it started.

Thank you for taking the time to write me, I hope that this email will inspire you to start living your life fully! Send me my picture and please keep me abreast of your progress...I am rooting for you.

Take care,stay positive and get moving!


Hey Family,

I know I have been gone for a minute, but my hand is all healed now and I can type again...YAY!!!!...So I'm gonna try and catch up and post the emails I have been receiving.

Thanks for all the shout outs & The love....and don't forget to check out the new season of Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance, where I make my "Reality Television" debut as "The Den Mother" on Saturday, July 15th at 8:00pm on The Oxygen Network!!

I am SO Psyched ya'll!!!!

Letters to follow......