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

Monday, July 10, 2006

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!


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