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 ORIGRUNWAYDIVA@aol.com

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Depression & Modeling

Hello Sharon,

I am so interested in being a model. I sent pictures to a couple of agencies, but they did not call me back so I guess they were not interested. I start to think something I wrong with me. I do not have any pictures on the internet to show you, but I sure wish I did. Here are my stats:

5'7 1/2
Bust 36/C
Waist 32
Hips 42
Size 10/12

I am also an African American woman, and my dream is to be the first African American Plus-Size Supermodel. I am 22 years old, and I might as well tell you that I always wanted to become a model. I have some really high goals, and some really tough ones as well.
I want to do a lot for women of color in general. I love Queen Latifah, and Tyra Banks.

I used to be 120lbs when I was in High School. When I graduated I gained ten pounds and I started to get even more interested in modeling, I always told myself that I would not get into this industry until I did research. I have been approached by agencies before, but I did not know if they were scams or not.
Well in 2005 I struggled to get back down to 120lbs, and I was taking birth control (Depo Provera) Seroquel (for sleep), Anti-Depressants, and Ani-Anxiety medicine. I suffer from depression, because I want to be successful and I feel like I won't be. Well instead of losing weight, I gained weight. A lot too. I went to 179lbs, everyone gloated about my weight gain, and one woman (god bless her) said "You look GOOD!" I was not comfortable in my skin because I was never plus size. Well fast forward, I spent all 2006 depressed I went into a shell, and I tried everything to lose the weight. I got off the Depo in Dec 2005 and I went onto Seasonale. I got off that in the end of 2006. I started to diet again and lose weight, but I gained it back. I am now at 170. My body seems to be comfortable at where its at right now, because I am having such a hard time losing weight LOL. Well. I decided to become a plus-size model. I remember telling myself when I was smaller "man I wish I was plus size." Because I was not skinny enough to do the skinny modeling stuff. I still had big thighs, big hips and curvy. My hips were a 37, my waist was a 26. So now I am here plus size. I still take anti-depressants, and meds for sleep, and regular birth control pills now. I make sure that I stress to my doctors that I dont want to be on anything that will make me gain weight. I dont even look 170lbs, I told this woman how much I weighed and she refused to believe me. She though I was like 150lbs. Moving along.

Dieting depresses the hell out of me. Everytime I diet, feel like I am torturing myself. I know how to eat healthy, but I feel like I can't eat certain foods. I am always worrying about what am I going to eat next. Then when I decided not to diet anymore I was so bored because I had nothing to do LOL. My life has just stopped because of my weight, and I want my life back, Plus-Size or not. I feel like I waisted so much time trying to lose weight when I could have been doing other things that are more important. My grandmother says look at Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, MO'Nique. They are all Plus-Size beautiful and successful. Everytime I see Queen Latifah, she makes me feel like I dont need to lose weight to achieve my huge dreams.

My goal is to land a beauty contract like Queen Latifah did, and have my own make up line for women of color and be the spokesmodel for it. I would also like to be on the cover of some major magazines like Essence, and Vogue like Jennifer Hudson. I would like to do some runway as well. I see a lot of the modes for Plus-Size like Crystal Renn who had a Dolce and Gabanna campaign, and I would like to do some of that too. I also would like to have my own talk show. I am currently a college student. I live in New York, NY I go to Monroe College in the Bronx, and I am a Business Major.

I also keep switching my goals. I switch so much I realized I never give anything enough time to see it through. My boyfriend even said that. He says stop switching stuff, stick to one thing. LOL.

I am at lost. Modeling is my passion, and I really do not know what to do. I knew I would get rejected, but I just decided to stop altogether. I see all of the major Plus-Size models who are doing well for themselves, and they are mostly white. I look at Jordan Tesfay, she is a woman of color and soooooooo goregous. I feel like I am not edgy enough. I really want to be with Wihelmina Models, but they never called me back. They said I can submit every three months, but I do not know what I should do to get started as far as good polariods is concerned. I also figured that in the next three months I would like to go to the open calls with my photos instead of just sending photos and sitting at home waiting.


Thanks, Z

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Whew! That was a mouthful Z.

As with anything you do in this life....you have to start somewhere and there is no time like the present....I can see that you have poured your heart into your letter and I feel you....trust me when I tell you I feel your pain mama....But before I can give you any real advice....I must see what you look like....your stats sound like you are in the ball park...although you are a tad bit short at 5'7" (don't let that stop you though)......I cannot really give you any sound advice regarding a career in modeling without seeing what you look really look like. Get a scanner or get a friend who as one and scan some CURRENT photos of yourself....full body and close up. I really cannot give you an honest assessment with out them.

Meanwhile,....I took this entire paragraph from your letter:

I am at lost. Modeling is my passion, and I really do not know what to do. I knew I would get rejected, but I just decided to stop altogether. I see all of the major Plus-Size models who are doing well for themselves, and they are mostly white. I look at Jordan Tesfay, she is a woman of color and soooooooo goregous. I feel like I am not edgy enough. I really want to be with Wihelmina Models, but they never called me back. They said I can submit every three months, but I do not know what I should do to get started as far as good polariods is concerned. I also figured that in the next three months I would like to go to the open calls with my photos instead of just sending photos and sitting at home waiting.


The only piece of advice I am going to give you today is this:

YOU MUST WORK ON YOU!, you must begin loving yourself no matter what your size....and you must do this BEFORE you even THINK about pursuing this sort of a career.....to write to me and tell me that modeling is your passion and then in the same sentence write that you KNEW you would get rejected, you're not edgy enough...etc....tells me immediately that you are not ready for this just yet. You really need to get some help for your depression....to come into this business like that (clinically depressed) is VERY DANGEROUS for you....I cannot stress the importance of getting yourself the proper help first.

As for your goals....you want to do a whole lot mama, try to narrow it down to one thing for now and work on that....everything else will come in time....As for Jordan Tesfay, Queen Latifah, Mo'Nique and myself....NONE of us found overnight success.....many of us have been plugging at this for YEARS....just tearing down walls one chip at a time....I say this to say...don't worry about when it will happen for you......just work on your craft until it does....if you are as passionate as you say you are.....then you will be able to manuever through the bumps in road until it's YOUR time to drive.....understand.

Until you get those photos to me though....check out some of the previous posts here regarding "Getting Started in Plus Modeling"....there is tons of useful information in the archives.

I look forward to seeing your photos!

Peace

2 Comments:

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

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www.EbonyFriends.com

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger dark_one said...

My name is Janice Still and i would like to show you my personal experience with Depo-Provera.

I am 24 years old. I have been on Depo for 9 years and did not realize that the symptoms I experienced might be related to the shot. I am now facing thousands of dollars in dental work due to bone density loss, and will probably end up with osteoporosis. I am getting off Depo and will never touch it again!

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Low libido, joint pain, bone density loss, dental problems, headaches, fatigue, out of control eating, gained 40 lbs., depression

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Janice Still

Depo-Provera Prescription Information

 

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