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

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Tips on NAILING your F.A.T. Chance Audition


Dear Ms. Sharon,

I attended the Ms. F.A.T Chance audition last week in Chicago, and I must say that when I left there, I left very disgusted,disappointed & embarrassed. What was I thinking, that I spent so much time trying to put together a decent & lady-like outfit for that audition, for the judges to end up picking, the most half-dressed, boobs popping out, tight clothes wearing, don't fit looking, half naked big girls...WTF!!! Didn't it say on Moniques website to "wear clothes that fit"? It just made me feel,like nobody acknowledged or chose any of the poised, well dressed , or classy young women that were there & representing. Those same females that didn't have to be tight, loud and obnoxious. Is that really what tv and ratings are all about ? Is it really so bad to say that you are confident and want to be a "role model for all the plus size women of the world"?, and dress like one! Maybe I just don't understand what the competition is about, or is it about getting some ghetto hoochie that can get a makeover, and be molded into miss F.A.T ? I bet alot of those girls there would agree with me, that hoochies ( no disrespect to those that were picked), were all that was chosen in Chicago.

And don't let me start on one of the guys in your group. I don't know if he was a judge or what, but as I was coming out of the "interview room", one guy said "ladies we have snacks & water at the table". This other fool turned to him and said with a sarcastic laugh, and I quote," I don't think you need to tell them that there are snacks here, they'll find them". Now wtf did that mean? Am I just taking that comment the wrong way, or is it that, because I'm fat I don't need to be directed to the goodies, I should just automatically be able to sniff em' out like some hog? Please tell me "babygirl". Just so you know Im not angry or disgruntled because I didnt get picked. I made some new friends, and it was a learning experience for me. This was my second time trying out, and I doubt if I try out again, because it's obvious that Im just not what Monique's F.A.T Chance is looking for.



It always disheartens me when someone doesn't get chosen for this competition and then decides to write me angry and funky letters to let off steam. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a role model but I gotta tell you that if that's all you said....then I already know why you didn't get selected. But I digress....I have been receiving these sorts of letters since the casting ended and I have decided to reprint the blog I wrote on to respond to the negativity all at one time. I hope that you decide to read it and I hope that it helps you to understand what you need to do in order to stand out. It is SO much more about what's in your heart and less about how you dress.

If you decide to read the entire blog and wish to send me another email...please feel free to do so.



Greetings Family!

I am just returning home from the casting calls in Los Angeles, Chicago & Dallas. I had a wonderful time and just as I suspected, my inbox was filled with letters...a few from ladies who didn't get chosen but understood the overall vibe of the event and had a great time meeting and making new friends....the rest of the letters are from angry and/or disgruntled contestants who didn't make the cut.

I am posting pieces from each of the letters so you can get a "Feel" for the type of emails I am receiving:

"When we first got there and they took us into a room to be interviewed there was about 20 girls with me and no one had time to really say anything. I know you said it's not how you look it's about your story and believe me I am not upset because I wasn't chosen but, how are they supposed to hear our story if you are only given 15 seconds to talk? Alot of the women I talked to there were hurt some even crying because they were not chosen. I was under the impression that this pagent was all about women who are confident, and love the way that they look......."

"I thought a confident woment with presence and grace was what the judges were looking for but I guess I had it wrong. I was very upset and confused. The girls who were choosen from my group cried and had a sob story. I felt upset because I pride myself on being strong. I personally dont like to cry but I accept the fact that I might have to shed a couple of tears now and than but I dont try to for camera sake. I love me and I wear heels everyday. A FAT women to me is confident and assertive but I left feeling as though a FAT confident women wasn't what the producers wanted but a sad unconfident women. I'm none of those things."

"I remember you telling me before i even opened my moth was that" you look like Joanne, the season one winner". Obviously that was a bad thing because I was cut. Then later on as the day went on I seen more and more women get through that did not look put together."

"How do I shine under the nervous pressure?"

"Only a hand full (about 6 or 7) real FAT girls were chosen and the rest were these fake-a$$ FAT girls that were crying about how they wanted to lose weight and were uncomfortable being FAT, their families don't love them, blah, blah, blah."

As much as I would like to answer all of your emails personally, I am not able to do that at this I will address the overall question in these letters:

What did I do wrong in my interview and how can I make it better?

As I have said from the beginning, there is no real "Trick" to "Wowing" the judges. You have to speak the story that is unique to you and you alone and you have to be passionate about whatever resonates in you. Passion does not necessarily mean tears.....and believe me...we know crocodile tears when we see them. There is no wrong's about whatever comes out of your heart/mouth/soul that stands out to whomever you are interviewing with....and I can tell you varies from producer to producer.

No one is sitting around deciding what types will be chosen and there is no contest for who cries the loudest and the longest. What appears to be a sob story to you may be something totally different to whoever the producer is. So changing your story to a sad one probably would not have helped you. You didn't do anything wrong....someone one else just did it better or made it more interesting. And I can't make it more honest than that.

From the moment your number is NOT called you have approximately 365 days to step your game up, live your life, do something you've never done before, change your way of thinking/living.....and then come back and tell us how your life is different from the last time you saw us....but the key is to speak from you heart and be passionate about whatever you are talking about.

How are they supposed to hear our story if you are only given 15 seconds to talk?

Lol...this is a very funny question to me....first of all 15 seconds is a bit of an got more time than that! Not a whole lot more but more. And secondly....Babygirl!!! Welcome to show business....for every person that thinks that "15 Seconds" is not a lot of time....there's fifty people who will take that 15 seconds and tell you exactly what you need to hear. It's about thinking on your feet! Make it the most AWESOME 15 seconds of your life! have no it in the time allotted or go home and practice and get it right next year. And remember that no one is going to "Pull it out of you"...if you drone on during your 15 seconds and bore the hell out of me....I'm going to move on to the next person. It's an auditon's not SUPPOSED to be easy.

We have to see hundreds sometimes thousands of people in one day. The selection process is not easy at's really about finding a way to stand out in the time that you're given....and if you're going to be in this business at all.....get used to being quick on your feet or you'll get passed by.
And no, looking similar to a prior contestant will neither hurt nor help you. If I say that to you I am truly paying you a compliment. Take it as that and nothing more.

What are the producers looking for?

This is another question that I get all the time....usually right outside of the ballroom after the selections have been made.....And the answer is this:

I don't really know what each individual producer is looking for and often times...THEY don't know until they SEE it! Please know that all though this IS a beauty competition.....true beauty often comes from within and it enhances the beauty on the outside....

THOUSANDS of women come out for these auditions and to select 10 women (this year 5) they have to be REALLY SPECIAL to stand out from the pack. In order to have a fair representation of the extensive variety of plus sized have to have variety...everyone can not look the same or tell the same's boring as hell.

It's simply not enough to have a pretty face....pretty faces are a dime a dozen. It's not enough to have the "hourglass shape" and be bootylicious! and it is most certainly not about being a "professional plus sized model" (this is really the Kiss of Death..ya'll...they REALLY aren't looking for professionals) many of you love to say in your interviews....we hear this stuff all day have to find a way to say whatever you have to say clearly concisely, passionately and confidently and put it in a way...THAT WE CANNOT IGNORE.

When the producer asks you why they should pick's not enough to say:

"LOOK at me", I want to be a role model for all the plus size women of the world, I am doing for my kids, husband, mom...etc" EVERYONE says this stuff and it gets really boring really quickly. The same goes for the sad, heart wrenching,, tear jerking stories. We will let you tell your story...because talking about it aloud is VERY theraputic and healing....but you are NOT a "shoo-in" if you cry.

It has to stand out and make them want to hear more....generally if you don't get asked a few questions after you finish your "story" haven't "hit" the mark. That's a simple as I can put it.

Remember that in the end, although this is a Beauty Pageant and although it was created to celebrate and empower us...the flip side is that it is very much a television show and ratings are key. The first season of FAT Chance was the highest rated original programming in the history of the Oxygen Network. The execs know that without viewers to watch it....there'd be no show. The producers know that people will tune out in droves if they think that what you have said will not interest the general public. So keep it honest...but know that the folks in charge are thinking ratings...first and foremost....boring televison doesn't sell in any market. Bad ratings equal no show. Period.

So take this time to work on yourselves, your dreams and set out to live productive lives then come back and be on fire when you tell us about it....knowing all the while....that if it's for will have it. (and I know you get tired of hearing it...but that's life.

I have said a mouthful....but I am so going to address this comment in my next post:

"Only a hand full (about 6 or 7) real FAT girls were chosen and the rest were these fake-a$$ FAT girls that were crying about how they wanted to lose weight and were uncomfortable being FAT, their families don't love them, blah, blah, blah." I have some real thoughts about the energy that went into writing it.

Holla back Fam!


"Celebrate Unity in the Plus Community!"


At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is


Post a Comment

<< Home