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skorch april 2012

mercado rosie

a true beauty on a mission to empower woman to love themselves

skorch magazine

real style. real women.

EXCLUSIVE BONUS ISSUE FEATURING ROSIE MERCADO image credits for entire issue Oscar Picazo - Photographer Rosie Mercado - Mua & Styling Lorena by Design - Hair

dress on cover is from igigi

masthead PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF \ Jessica Kane DIRECTOR OF PR \ Cali Ann Lee EXECUTIVE FASHION EDITOR \ Bella Styles SPECIAL PROJECTS CREATIVE DIRECTOR \ Jovanna Reyes NYC EDITOR-AT-LARGE \ Kellie Brown JR FASHION EDITOR \ Nicole Anderson EDITOR \ Mandy Allen SKORCH TV HOST \ Marcy Guevara SKORCH TV HOST \ PassionJonesz SKORCH TV HOST \ BabyTigga23 SKORCH TV HOST - NUTRITION WITH MARGAUX \ Margaux Jean SKORCH RADIO HOST \ Trinia Dotson CO-FOUNDER \ Carrie Woomer

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To find SKORCH online, visit www.skorchmag.com. Address all editorial correspondance our email address at info@ skorchmagazine.com. Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other materials to SKORCH for consideration should not send originals unless specifically requested to do so in writing by SKORCH. SKORCH is not responsible for unsolicited submissions.

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this special issue is brought to you in part by karen kane plus

luxury

in sizes 14-22 www.karenkane.com

Editorial Credits Model: Chearice Vaughn Clothing: QFD C贸llection Shoes: DSW Makeup: Angela Michelle Creative Director & Photographer: Jovanna Reyes Stylist: Jovanna Reyes Jewelry: Ear Candy Accessories www.earcandyaccessories.com

Model is wearing a QFD C贸llection Dress

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beauty rosie mercado true

by jessica kane editor-in-chief

The first time I heard of Rosie Mercado was when she won the Face of Full Figured Fashion Week 2010 contest. Like most anyone who saw her pictures, I was blown away by not only her pure beauty, but also her skill as a makeup artist as Rosie does all of her own makeup for every beautiful picture you see.

She is a mother and entrepreneur, which is someone I completely relate to, and she is also one of the most genuine people I have ever met. Anyone who meets Rosie can feel her positive energy and pure passion to empower women and use herself as the example, so it’s no surprise she has had some of the most successful years of her life lately. And, she is adding another feather to her cap, it’s my great pleasure to announce Rosie as our new Celeb Editor-at-Large! She will continue contributing to Daily Venus Diva as well as her red carpet interviews with Gossip Meets Couture! Rosie’s 2012 is shaping up quite beautifully and she has much more in store. I sat down with her to get the scoop and ask the questions you are all wondering about, so get to know the side of Rosie you may not know. We talk about her choice to lose weight, finding Mr. Right and more... APRIL 2012 EXCLUSIVE \ PG5 \ © SKORCHMAG.COM

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beauty

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beauty

true

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I understand the struggles of weight loss and weight gain and there has to be a balance between mind, body and spirit to understand what and why you do what you do! - rosie mercado

q&a

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Skorch: Rosie, congrats on all you have going right now, you really are breaking down barriers as a fuller figured woman in the entertainment and modeling industries. I am so proud to welcome you to team Skorch as our new Celeb Editor-atLarge! So most will know you from being the Face of FFFWEEK, your work as a plus model, and starring in a reality show on NUVO called Curvy Girls, which seemed to be a hit, is it coming back? Anything you can tell us?

a

Rosie: I loved filming Curvy Girls and loved the people I met, including the people with a different opinion of what I do, but in the end, I am passionate about my dreams and this is a reality show on what I do to obtain my goals! Curvy Girls is coming back and it will be in NYC. I will be on some of the episodes, which is exciting, and I think it’s a great opportunity because women really understand the reality of this industry and sometimes it’s not that pretty! It comes down to money as I was told! I think you get to see hard work, success, rejection, competition and friends come together as we pursue our dreams! For myself, Curvy Girls is an opportunity to break barriers, voice my opinions and fight for my dreams! Make sure and follow me on twitter and like my page on facebook to see updates on the show on Nuvo Tv!

ity check to understand that at the end of the day even though it’s my passion, it’s also a business and the weight has to come down. I want to keep pursuing my dreams but my ideal size at this point is a size 18-20, no smaller! I love being plus size and I never had a problem with it sometimes you need to take a different road to get to your destination and I am enjoying it all the way! On the show I weighed 340, a couple weeks later went up to 350 and decided to go about losing weight by eating right and exercise. I wake up at 5 a.m. Monday through Saturday and work out for 1 hour and I walk two miles and I do light weights with some Zumba and I learned to enjoy it! My current weight is 285 pounds and I feel great! I understand the struggles of weight loss and weight gain and there has to be a balance between mind, body and spirit to understand what and why you do what you do! In the end, I added meditation by Deepak Chopra to focus on what I am grateful for and what I want to attract into my life! I understand my purpose and this is just the journey I want to take to reach my dreams! Skorch: Tell us about Miss Bellisima and how it came to be. How long did it take you to launch it and how is it doing today?

Rosie: Miss Bellisima came to be because Skorch: Now in the show, you were workI wanted to get into the entertainment ing hard on your fitness to get your body industry and this was as close as I could to a place where you felt more comfortget because the opportunities were not able in your skin, how is that going? yet there for me. I love fashion and make up and bringing out the best of beauty in Rosie: I felt comfortable in my skin even women! It’s such a pleasure to see women though I was rejected at times and also look into the mirror and say OMG I feel celebrated at times! (smiling) It was a real- beautiful and I never thought I would

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ever look this way! Bellisima is Beautiful! I love giving back to women who have not found their beauty and purpose! I love what I do and creating Miss Bellisima was the perfect opportunity to do that and combine a great cosmetic for women who are looking to bring out there natural beauty through minerals and educate and empower at the same time! If opportunities are not there one must create them and never give up! Thanks to Miss Bellisima and of course Miss Plus America this opened a door to my modeling career and my passion for entertainment news!

life and I am grateful for the opportunities I am given to demonstrate my talents and voice my thoughts! I choose to live with passion! Skorch: So it seems on the outside that passion has changed from modeling to red carpet reporting, is this true? And if yes, why? Are there enough doors/opportunities for larger plus size models like yourself?

Rosie: All I can say is I am not giving up modeling, I am choosing to pursue all opportunities that will open doors in Skorch: Speaking of entertainment news, different directions. I am not just a plus I’ve been seeing you get some major red size model and my life should not just carpet celebrity interviews! How do you be classified by my weight! There are so do it? What’s it like for a curvy girl report- many things that I do and I think women er on the carpet? need to reach their full potential and use all their God given talents for a reason. I Rosie: Red carpets have been part of my love doing so many things that I am not life since I was 16 years old. I used to be a passing up opportunities on what I love radio personality in Las Vegas, from there I from modeling to acting to radio and voiworked with Telemundo and Univision do- ceovers! Like I said before, sometimes you ing red carpets for Latino celebrities and I have to be willing to take a different road was taught by a great friend. I learned to that will get you to a greater destination do voiceovers and had so much fun with and enjoy every minute! If you want to my own show and I just new that I was learn to be successful, I recommend edupassionate about entertainment news cating yourself by reading as much as you radio interviews, the glamour and the can and always giving out what you want people I met forever changed me in this most in life. To accomplish your goals, industry! I think as of now I am the only others must accomplish theirs too, and if plus size girl doing red carpet interviews, you can open the door to amazing opporI have not seen another curvy girl on the tunities for yourself and others don’t think red carpet hustling her way through the twice...remember what leaves your hand crowd to get sound bytes or interviews. never leaves your life! If you hand others You have to have tough skin and know business opportunities, those will come who you are talking to and be quick so back to you and as they grow so will you, you don’t miss your opportunity! I love it’s a WIN WIN! working the red carpets and meeting the paparazzi that attend and just love that I Skorch: That’s the same advice I live by am there! It’s in my blood!!!!! I am going and hope others hear you and practice, to make it big and I have great support it really is true how it comes back to you. and great crew with me! Great opportuni- I love how you support body empowerties are coming and I am so excited that ment initiatives with such passion, is this I will be a Skorch red carpet celeb corresomething you want to do more of in the spondent! Never forget size doesn’t deter- future? If so, what’s your dream project or mine my potential or my worth! I love my partner?

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Rosie: I have my dream project coming up, so stay tuned!!!!! I would love to partner up with OWN Network because it’s all about inspiration and to live an inspired life, that is the greatest accomplishment one can have because it creates change in so many ways and unites people and brings light to others and teaches you so many lessons like appreciation and contribution and most of all the importance of life itself. People I would love to work on projects with include Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Anthony Robbins and Dr Dyer. My life has changed in the last couple of months with so much clarity and I choose to live a life of purpose, inspiration and gratitude, all through the teachings they have provided! Skorch: Do you think being a mother has changed the way you do business and decide what projects to be sort of? Rosie: Being a mother opens up your eyes and it pushes you to do the best..... you have little eyes watching you and my kids are so important to me, I want them to grow up understanding the importance of values in all that they do. The importance of gratitude when working with other people and respect when looking for opportunities and when establishing relationships the importance and integrity. I want them to understand their dharma and for them to learn to have those values. I must live that life as well! Be happy make happy .... I can’t teach them something I don’t do myself and in business what you sow you shall reap. When choosing a project, I always ask the question, what message is behind it and does it go with my values? Who will it impact and will it be an opportunity that will create change and inspiration?

Rosie: I want to inspire women who are scared to pursue their dreams, you can overcome the rejection of being overweight, a single mother or just afraid of the unknown. I want to create change and prove that at every size there are opportunities, and sometimes accomplishing the goals takes tons of work and investment of time and patience, but it pays off! I have been a size 16 and a size 32 and I have worked at all sizes but I never took no for an answer. I want to empower women to pursue their dreams and to take action stand up for what they believe in. Life will have great moments and moments that you question why know that everything happens for a reason and everyone has a purpose a story to tell. I want to leave a message of beauty, love and empowerment behind and to create a huge impact where ever we go, it takes a team of powerful women to do this. I want to contribute to creating lasting change in this industry like it has never been seen before! Skorch: So, after you create the change and impact you seek, and I know you will!! In the end, is there room for love? I know you are a romantic who believes in true love, but there are only so many hours in the day. Inquiring minds want to know :)...Is Mr. right near? Rosie: I am in love with love and Mr. Right is out there...I am just not ready for him right now. I am focused on my kids, health and career and when I do something, I do it 100%! I am single and love it and the best part is that I am happy with being single and I have learned so much about myself! Mr. Right will be here in the future, as for love there’s always romantic movies to watch.....

Skorch: I know that the women you effect are close to your heart too. Through everything you are doing, what is it you’re trying to accomplish with them? What is your underlying mission with the women you empower daily?

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connect with rosie mercado www.twitter.com/rosie mercado www.facebook.com/msrosiemercado www.facebook.com/missbellisima www.rosiemercado.com www.missbellisima.com www.youtube.com/missrosiemercado

royalty

a new kind of By Jessica Kane, Editor-in-Chief

It’s only fitting that this next feature story be on the newly crowned Miss Plus America Queens for Washington State, afterall, Rosie credits her start in the plus industry to her participating in the MPA system. Latasha Raines, the Executive Director of Washington Plus America, asked me to be an overall judge for the 2012 pageant. I was beyond thrilled and honored, but never did I imagine a weekend with the queens would have so dramatically changed my life. The Miss Plus America pageant was beyond words. NEVER have I experienced so much positivity and empowerment in one place in my life, this is the kind of movement we try to evoke daily online, but nothing can match the power of human spirit in one spot. After two intense days of judging 26 women who worked SO hard to not only be a queen, but SHOW us they are the entire package.....powerful, smart, beautiful and graceful. Eventually, the time came where the women stood on a stage waiting to hear their fate. One by one the finalists were called and one by one my tears fell. I was so proud and so wished we could give everyone a crown, because they ALL deserved it just for getting up on a stage and putting themselves in front of the brightest spotlight for all to judge them....all while having a smile and being so graceful. What I do on this blog is NO WHERE near the level of those women, and I just bow to them. It was MY honor to judge and stand and applaud and cry with them, now meet the new queens as interviewed by Mandy Allen!

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maranda zucati platform: teen suicide/bullying

interview by mandy allen

SKORCH: If you could have a super power I tell them to check out the WPA pageant, what would it be? its about Real Women, Real Bodies, Making a Real Difference who have beauty and I would like to have the super power of brains.There is nothing demeaning with being able to hear what people are thinking this pageant. which would allow me to help them before Participating in this pageant has been an they may even realize the help they need amazing experience. I competed against themselves. some incredible teens that have a lot to offer. I had no expectations. I was happy and satisfied with the experience, the conSKORCH: Do you think parents should fidence I gained, the new friends I have take an active role in monitoring their teen's made and just knowing I did something that social media accounts, in order to spot bul- I never thought I would have the opportulying early, and help stop it? nity to do. Who can make a judgement like that tell Absolutely! It has helped that my mother they experience it for them-self? has played an active roll on mine and my sisters social media. It is very important SKORCH: Competing in your first pageant for parents to play an active roll in every was a pretty big challenge, what's the next aspect of our teen years. A lot of changes challenge you'd like to set for yourself? happen fast through out our teens. With trying to figure out who we are our selves Oh Boy, I haven't thought much about that. to experiencing more intense relationships. Since I have been crowned with the WashBulling happens everywhere; Home/Neigh- ington title and preparing for Nationals borhood, Social media, Cell phones/texting, everyday has brought new opportunities sending of pictures, internet/You tube. With which brings new challenges as well. I am the technology of today news travels fast excited to continue to see what each day and can ruin a person in minutes. The sad- has in store for me and with what I have dest of this is how blind people can be to a gained for my self by stepping out of my situation and quick to throw judgement as comfort zone as I did by entering the WPA well as thinking its a normal teenage thing pageant made me stronger and helped me expecting the victim to figure it out which grow so I am ready for any challenge that in return leaves the victim feeling alone, may come my way. unloved and feels no body would miss them or even notice if they are gone. SKORCH: What do you say to people who think Beauty Pageants are demeaning to woman, and focus too much on beauty and not enough on brains?

Add Maranda on facebook at: http://www. facebook.com/pages/Miss-WashingtonPlus-America-Teen/261995270542317

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kristin wood platform: childhood obesity

interview by mandy allen

SKORCH: If you could have a super power think Beauty Pageants are demeaning to what would it be? woman, and focus too much on beauty and not enough on brains? I would want my super power to be the ability to read minds. I don’t like being lied I would say they are wrong. Yes it comes to and being able to read people’s minds across that the focus is on beauty, I mean would prevent that. It would help in so the title is “beauty pageant,” however, the many life decisions and even bigger decipeople who say it focuses too much on sions. beauty have never competed in a pageant or know what happens behind the scenes. SKORCH: Do you think gaming systems When you are preparing and competing like the Nintendo Wii and Play Station in a pageant, yes there is a lot of hair and Kinect are a good tool for helping children makeup, tanning and waxing, but pagget active? eants are not only about showing the outer beauty but also the inner beauty. Pageants I absolutely think gaming systems for the are looking at beauty as a whole. I think Nintendo Wii and Kinect are good tools for that when people hear the word beauty helping get children active. I would not say they simply think of outer beauty and not they are the best tool but they are helpful. inner beauty. Everyone is beautiful both In this day in age, video games are one of inside and out and the key is to have the the first activities that kids and even adults confidence to show the world both types of choose. With these systems, it allows the beauty as a whole. kids to still play the video games and yet it helps them be active at the same time. SKORCH: Competing in your first pageant I have a younger sister who is 13 and she was a pretty big challenge, what’s the next likes to watch tv and play video games and challenge you’d like to set for yourself? even though she is not incredibly excited when it comes to being active, she has a The next big challenge I would like to set kinect and can play it for hours! Getting the for myself is competing in the national family to be active is helpful when getting competition. That is a big challenge and kids active because you are showing and will be bigger than the pageant I already example of being healthy and connecting competed in. It is going to tougher and as a family at the same time. The support more preparations, but I am ready for the from a family in being and staying active challenge! are helpful in the success of keeping the children active. Connect with Kristin on facebook at http:// www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-WashingSKORCH: What do you say to people who ton-Plus-America/387983834549296.

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makela steward

platform: Quality Educational Access for All Students interview by mandy allen SKORCH: If you could have a super power what would it be?

I too was a skeptic, then I entered and it changed my mind totally. I would share my story with someone and let I would love to have the ability to travel them know that being a part of a beauty through time. I enjoy the era we live in, pageant has been a very positive exbut would love to experience the past perience for me. Not only was it an and the future. I think we have a lot to awesome overall experience, I gained learn from the past and even more to confidence, took steps to improve my prepare for in our future. As an educapublic speaking skills, and met some tor it would be awesome to really know pretty amazing new people. Pageants what’s coming down the lines in educa- give woman a platform to promote a tion and the world and be able to adcause that is close to their heart. They equately prepare my students. also allow woman to travel and pay for higher education. Pageants are looking SKORCH: What is the number one for the total package and not just beauchange you’d like to see school boards ty. Beauty alone or brains alone will not make in order to achieve better access win the crown. to quality educational resources for all students? SKORCH: Competing in your first pageant was a pretty big challenge, what’s I would love to see all schools funded the next challenge you’d like to set for properly according to need and not stu- yourself? dent number. National, state and local educational budgets are at a critical low I plan to launch my own educational which in turn means that the schools consultant firm. I have been in educawith active tion for ten years and I feel like I have a PTA’s, community resources and high lot of offer to the field. This is a big step student counts have the best technology, because I have been employed since I books, low student teacher ratio. This is was 16 years old. Being self employed not fair, every child is entitled to qualduring this time is a major faith walk ity education and should have access to but I am ready and willing to take that technology, up to date books, additional journey. community resources and low student teacher ratios. Connect with Makela on facebook at http://www.facebook. SKORCH: What do you say to people com/pages/Ms-Washington-Pluswho think Beauty Pageants are demean- America/278687735536031. ing to woman, and focus too much on beauty and not enough on brains?

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kim hopen platform: Moms against Bullying

SKORCH: If you could have a super power what would it be?

Teleportation- There is so much of the world I would love to see and having this power would allow me to visit anywhere! Plus, I wouldn’t have to be at the airport 3 hours early for international flights! SKORCH: Do you think bullying is a more serious problem now, than you were a child? I definitely think bullying is a more serious problem now. Partially due to technology. Social media, email, etc. has made it so easy for kids to not only be bullied, but to be the bully as well. More commonly known as “cyber-bullying”

interview by mandy allen

judgments based on what they only see on stage or over the top television shows. I would inform them that beauty pageant contestants as a whole must possess intelligence, poise, professionalism, courage and confidence. These are skills and requirements for many things in life....like a job interview. The “beauty” portion to me is a woman who can put on an outfit or a gown, put herself together and then have the courage to get on a stage and present herself with grace and poise. Who wouldn’t want to have those qualities? SKORCH: Competing in your first pageant was a pretty big challenge, what’s the next challenge you’d like to set for yourself?

Nationals! I have heard that this will be pageantry on another level! I want to SKORCH: What do you say to people overcome my personal insecurities and who think Beauty Pageants are demean- prove to myself that I can go out there ing to woman, and focus too much on and give it 110%! beauty and not enough on brains? Connect with Kim on facebook As the saying goes “beauty is in the at http://www.facebook.com/ eye of the beholder”. I would challenge pages/Mrs-Washington-Plusthis person by asking first if they were America/364718910213168. aware of the intensive interview process that contestants go thru. My guess would be that they are making their

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latasha raines

executive director for or & wa miss plus america interview by mandy allen

SKORCH: If you could have a super power what would it be?

Telepathy! If I had the ability to read minds and know what others are thinking, it would help me to be a better leader and better discern how I should approach and communicate with people. People’s perception is truly their reality and because of this fact, if I knew how people perceive any given situation or action, I could better accommodate them and handle it! This power would also enable me to know who my real friends and supporters are. SKORCH: You recently created “Pacific Pageants Magazine”, what was your motivation behind this new project? I started PACIFICPageants because pageantry has enhanced my life in a way no other industry could. I have been involved in the modeling and entertainment industries and pageantry’s influence superseded the others. Pageantry gives girls, teens and women a “voice” and requires that you think of others and serve. My experience has shown me that pageantry is not just about the garment, but the person wearing the garment. It’s about building and equipping confident leaders and opening doors for them to use what they have learned. In my short five years within this industry I have been exposed to every aspect of it! From judging, volunteering, competing, losing, winning, being an emcee, coordinating to now directing I have found that I don’t just like pageantry, I LOVE it! The mission of PACIFICPageants is to make pageantry BIG in the northwest and to put pageantry in our region on the map. Our

magazine will exclusively highlight every aspect of the pageant industry within the states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington. We seek to create a resource for those considering and are already immersed in this industry as well as a hot spot for the latest fashions, tips and news that only reflects pageant impacting businesses within OUR own states! SKORCH: What do you say to people who think Beauty Pageants are demeaning to woman, and focus too much on beauty and not enough on brains? First, I would educate them on the history of pageantry. Pageantry began in the 20’s, and initially it was to raise the moral of men fighting in the war, to give them hope and remind them of their families and who they were fighting for. Many of today’s great public figures were groomed through pageantry such as Oprah! She was “discovered” because of a title she one back in the 60’s. Pageantry also provides over 60% of academic scholarships to women in America. In particular, my pageant system, the Washington Plus America system bases 50% of the score on interview and onstage question. This means that our system heavily values a woman’s ability

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to articulate and know what she is talking about. There are some pageant systems that are clearly typical beauty pageants, but how is that different than any other industry? The entertainment industry gains most of its stories based on how “good” someone looks! The top headlines are bombarded with who lost weight and who gained weight, what he or she wore on the red carpet. We live in a superficially based society. How are women who pay to compete in pageants any worse than the celebrities who are paid to set the beauty standards? Difference is, pageant participants are learning confidence, poise, interview skills and usually earning substantial opportunities that could change their life!

SKORCH: What’s the next challenge you’d like to set for yourself? I launched the Oregon Plus America pageant!! Our region needs this opportunity for women of size and I am passionate about the northwest. My hope is that the Oregon State pageant will be just as successful if not more than the WA pageant. I learned a lot of what to do and what not to do in my first year, so I believe that my Oregon pageant will benefit greatly from that! Connect with Latasha on facebook at http:// www.facebook.com/LatashaMAE81.

Latasha (Middle) pictured with her newly crowned WA Plus America Queens.

inspiration project

Photography & Concept by Jovanna Reyes Special Project Creative Director Hair by Ameera Bacote

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inspiration project

featuring Lorin

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inspiration project

featuring Bria APRIL 2012 EXCLUSIVE \ PG36 \ © SKORCHMAG.COM

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inspiration project

featuring Nina

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inspiration project

featuring Chearice

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inspiration

project

meet Nina

pictured left

Nina Taylor is a native of Washington DC. In May 2006 she completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in Pittsburgh, PA, December of 2009 she went on to complete her Master's degree in Human Resource Development focusing on education and training. Full time, Nina has a career in medical education in the field of Oncology and Virology (Cancer, HIV and Hepatitis.) Nina is widely known as an accomplished Editorial and Beauty Plus Size model and was the 2011 cover girl for Full Figured Fashion Week in New York. She is also a beauty writer, host and keynote speaker. Nina's newest venture is the co-founder of NJC Modeling Agency a plus size boutique modeling agency in the Washington DC area. When did you start modeling? I started modeling about 4 years ago, I was on set working as a make up artist and the photographer wanted to test lights and asked me on set. He shot a few frames and told me I belong in front of the

camera not behind it. It wasn't something I ever thought I would be capable of doing, but once I started I grew to love it. How did you attain the confidence needed to start out? It was gradual, I just jumped in to modeling and I became comfortable with my body and my ability through every casting and photoshoot. Instead of people telling me I was good, I started to feel great about my work. What do you feel about the plus size industry? What do you feel is needed? I love the plus size industry, it is filled with talented and empowering women and men. Collectively we've made so much progress and the straight size industry has no choice but to take notice of the movement. I still feel that we need more body types represented, more designers and more curvy girls in the media.

meet Chearice Chearice’s very first show was a runway competition in Baltimore and she came in a modest eighth place. “I networked with some of the other models there and began to learn from them how to walk, turn, pose, and give confidence and attitude on the runway”, she says. Several months later, Chearice ran away with 2nd place in the Full Figured and Fabulous Runway Competition sponsored by DeVoe Signature Events.

pictured right

How did you attain the confidence needed to start out? I think starting out I just wanted to try something that I always wanted to do. So I wouldn’t have any regrets about it. As I learned more about modeling and got more experience doing fashion shows, my confidence grew leaps and bounds.

How do you feel about the plus size industry? What is needed? Chearice has graced the runway at Full Figured The plus size industry is really a family of men and Fashion Week in New York City for two years and women fighting for size acceptance. From that was recently featured on the cover of the January family came magazines, clothing lines and fashion 2012 issue of Skorch Magazine. Skorch is proud to weeks all catered to the plus size community. Now say that after seeing her on the cover, the designer we have more clothing retailers that have begun of Qristyl Frazier Designs, insisted on Chearice be- to market to the plus size community. We have ing a featured model in her new collection and in magazines like Skorch Magazine and Plus Model BET’s Rip the Runway. Magazine that are giving us a voice. You have Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City for the When did you start modeling? last four years and it’s just getting bigger and bigI started modeling in June 2005. I’ll never forget it. ger. Yet, there are still so many more barriers to I’d heard about a plus size runway competition to break and we’re just getting started! We deserve be held in Baltimore. So I participated and came fashionable clothing, to be featured on the cover in eighth place. I had no experience at the time, I of major magazines, to grace the runways in New didn’t really know what I was doing, but I felt like York, Paris, and Milan, to be looked at as simply with practice, I could be great at it. beautiful women.

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