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INSIGHT letter from the editor plus app! rea der's react BEAUTY high voltage tara's top new products for 2012 artemis' after-party skin detox lauren's top 5 beauty pies FASHION executive fashion director monique's new year's resolution reah 's style file: what I love right now! haute on the web marie 's 'a new closet for you' picture perfect style with reah EDITORIAL the controversy ... laura wells ... up close & personal kasia: discovering her own potential 'we spy' featuring kasia ENTERTAINMENT an interview with carrie otis tracie stern ... you have questions high voltage: griselangel paula emily rems interview chelsea settles into a new life ... spotlight model lauren in the bag: dan ielle's favorites photographer lesley pedrazza


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Madeline Jones EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Valery Amador EXECUTIVE MARKETING & CR EATIVE DIRECTO R Tulin Reid PR MANAGER J ennene Biggins EXECUTIVE FASHION DIRECTOR Reah Norman FASHION & STYLE EDITOR Marie Denee SHOPPING EDITOR Monique Frausto STAFF PHOT OGRAPH ER Luke Jones EAST COAST BEAUTY EDITOR Tara Taylor

WEST COAST BEAUTY EDITOR Artemis

H OST, PLUS MODEL RADIO Chenese L ewis MODEL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR T racie Stern IN DUSTRY EDITOR L arissa L aurel COPY EDITOR Shannon Hiett FEATURES & CONTR IBUTORS Tiffany Bank, Suzette Banzo, Teslyn Butler, Crystal I. Cunningham Angela Doyle, Deborah Friedman, Shante Gordon, Shannon Hiett, Jennifer Jonassen, Michelle Rene, Danielle Young, Yve Edmond INTERN Jamila Harbin PLUSSIZEVIP.COM ASSISTANT DIRECTOR T eslyn Butler PUBLISHER 3G Publishing, Inc.


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e1ne ones Editor-in-Chief

New Year, New You January represents many things; a new beginning, a fresh start. and a reason for applying the lessons we have learned in the past to the many days ahead of us. What are your goals and which steps will you take towards a happier and fulfille d you? This month we spoke to extraord inary women who have met cha llenges and created opportunities in order to fulfill their dreams. Our interview with Carre Otis cou ld have focused on the negative experiences in her life, but instead we celebrate her new life and the lessons she can share with us. M1V reality star Chelsea Settles is sweet and truly exemplifies a young woman willing to work towards her goals. We are fascinated with her efforts and love for life. We hope our interview with her inspires you as well. Our cover and editorial with America's Next Top Model Kasia Pilewicz is a joy for us to share with you. Our Fashion and Style Director, Reah Norman was fo cused on showing current fash ion trends and how to make it work for our bodies. The other day, I watched a friend of mine look through the pages of past plus size magazines as if she was tasting water in

the deser t. A size 14 model was looki ng at ful l bodies and wondering what happened to our industr y and why the plus-size models had shrunk? I have my theories, but instead of trying to figure out what happened, I try to use this platform to celebrate size diversity within the plus size modeling industry. When we were approached by photographer Victoria Janashvili about her images I was consumed with emotion because as I looked at them, they spoke to me. The images were sent to ma ny mainstream publications and while they were well received, they hesitated to be the first to publish for fear of what society may say. I saw them first and gave them up for the better good of the industry, but here they are back on my lap. I tru ly believe it was meant for PLUS Model Magazi ne to share w ith the world and open up the lines of communication about body image and acceptance. I tru ly hope this is the year that big changes will be made; not just in the modeling industr y, but in al l of our per sona l lives. Stop the persecution of you r arms, be lli es, and thighs and celebrate the bodies you were given by loving them, both inside and out. Peace and love. Madeline Jones


'"'e love to hear from you! Tell us what you think of the magazine! We would love to know what you would like to sec. Your feedback on all things plus size from fashion, to modeling, to television, or just because, share your voice! Each month P L US Model Magazine bursts thr ough boundaries that mainstream media is only beginning to dip their toes into. Month after month, P L US Model Magazine has shown plus s ize women that they deserve to be highlighted in glamorous and high fashion editorials. The December 2011 issue was no exception. Nicolette Mason and Gabi Fresh were featured on the cover and to best showcase their unique fashion and styling abilities had full access, down to the final images, to create their unique looks from conception to completion. A true wonder duo and a blast to work with on set!

1st time bloggers featured on the cover of PLUS Model Magazine December 2011.

Maddy, I wanted to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to be on the cover :) The entire issue looks amazing and I feel so blessed and honored to be included! Again, thank you so much. I can't tell you how grateful I am . It means so much to me! - Nicolette Mason Hi Maddy, I wanted to email and congratulate you on your December issue. It is always fun to read PMM, but I think this month's covera ge and editorials topped it for me! Love the editor ials with Nicolette Mason and Gabi Fresh, and the spread on plus models. GREAT JOB! Thanks. - Ozlem Arpaci, /GIG/, Inc. I LOVE that cover!!! Nicolette and Gabi are beautiful!!!- Terry Caldwell, Jr. Look at Nicolette Mason all gorgeous on the cover- Betty Chantel Just wanted to say I LOVED reading about bloggers Gabi and Nicolette. They are such amazing ladies, and I am lucky enough to say I have met them both. :) - Mandy Fierens

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To Hear From You!

Tell us what is on your mind, your feedback and input is important to the team at PLUS Model Magazine. Contact us: info@plusmodelmagazine.com

twitter.com/plusmodelmag

facebook.com/plusmodelmag


OMG!! I was just thinking the other day that I would L OVE to see a magazine with Plus Size models. Mainly so I can get fash ion ideas, so just wanted to say THANKS ;) Georgina Horhey Manuel

I truly love your December issue. It's inspiring, informative and insightful. Keep up the fantastic wor k! - Timika Mason

Congr atulations on the December 2011 Issue of PMM ~Maddy You look fabulous in the Lane Bryant Glam Bra! - Chasity Saunders Madeline, the fearless look in your eyes inspires so many hear ts, you look stunning! Love the red lipstick! Wow! - Mindy Gonzalez

Thanks for creating this amazing magazine for girls like us, i can fina lly identify with the models for a change. - Gaby Schatz This latest Issue is Awesome!!! Ever ytime I think I've seen the best issue you always give me something even better I LOVE THIS MAGAZ INE!! - Spring Flowers

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The new Plus Model Magazine issue is out and it's amazing as always! - Oanimezza Loving the new issue I'm just so happy that there are magazines for big women looking fab and not fru mpy!!! - Alexis Baker

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BEST ISSUE EVER!!!! AAAHHHH!!!! - Natalie Ferraro I


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Norman Executive Fashion Director

Happy New Year and hello 2012 - we welcome you with open arms ! A clean slate, a fresh start, a new attitude, and new possibilities on the horizon- : how inspir ing! Although I'm not making any formal New Year's resolutions this year, I am taking the t ime on this New Year's Day, to reflect upon the previous year, evaluate what worked and what didn't, missed opportunities, goals accomplished, lessons learned, challenges faced, and how to successfully move forward and plant the seeds to f lourish in the New Year. From a fashion perspective, the beginning of a new year is always the best time to re -evaluate your fash ion sensibility, step out of your fashion rut, and explore new wardrobe and style possibil ities. Since all the hol iday glitter and glitz has come and gone, it's time to spring forward and dive into all the freshness that the resort and spring collections have to offer. Forgive me for getting a bit personal, but I am blessed and lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing women, personally and professionally,

who lift me up and inspire me every sing le day. And I want to share some of the wisdom they have passed on to me that I carry with me into the New Yearand focus on daily in order to be successful and stay sane in this crazy world. "Don't sweat the small stuff"- choose your battles, prioritize, and do not waste your energy on unimportant details that often work themselves out on their own better than we ever could have planned or imagined. "Work smart, not hard"- simply your life, don't overanalyze, and always trust your instincts! "Get out of your own way"- we are our own worst enemies and our biggest critics. Believe in yourself, and all of your power within. "Take time to smell the roses"- no matter how crazy our schedules get, take time to stop, breathe, look around you, and enjoy the moment. "Love yourself" - be nice to yourself. Say nice things to yourse lf. Stop the negative tal k. No one will ever love you, if YOU don't love you. I truly hope you enjoy the January issue as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. Happy New Year to you and yours!


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by Madeline Jones Fast fashion for the trendy plus-size woman focused on looking her best. Our interview with Michael Kaplan took place in their NYC offices and brought them to our attention after a single picture on our Facebook ignited a fury of positive comments about the size diversity of the models on the website. Maddy: What is the direction for Fashion to Figure? Michael: To bring affordable current trends to the plus size woman. We are mor e about the moment and what is happening , not into forecasting the fashions.

The woman who leads our Merchandising team is a real asset t o the company. She was the sportswear buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue for a number of year s so she really gets fashion f r om anyone's point of view. Maddy: You r customers are ver y loya l and diverse.

Michael: We are coming from a point of fashion that any woman would want. Not just plus size women, we just happen to start at a size 12. This is our passion, we realize that women have different shapes and they are attracted to fun, funky and great looking clothing. This is what we want to draw in our windows. Maddy: Seems li ke plus-size is in your veins. Michael: We have all this great history because of my great grandmother so it allows us to take a view to the customer. We are very passionate about being the best. given that our family founded the industry over 100 years ago, we always want to be at the forefront of what is great. Maddy: How has the plus-size customer changed in recent years?


Michael: Women are more confident and have role models like Oprah, Ade le and Rosie O'Oonell to look at who are doing amazing things with their life and years ago th is did not exist. We also see the evolution of the customer; she has changed from the days when my dad was operating the business. She is still changing still.

We also like the other stores in our industry. If someone comes to us and we do not carry what they ask for, we suggest other stores. The same reason there is 30 stores for straight size women, is the same reason why there should be multiple stores for plus size women.

www.fashiontofigure.com Maddy: Fashion to Figure is very "plus" fr iendly in the commun ity. Michael: You can't be everything to all people! I think the biggest misnomer is to say that we have 60 mill ion women, this is probably like 6 markets in terms of characteristics. Many times we are asked about opening up stores in certain communities, but when we look at the locations they are not who are our customer is.


www.citychiconline.com


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New Year, New You

By Marie Denee

OU.

elcome to the New Year! Ripe with reflections, pledges, promises and clean slates, for many the New Year is ful l of hope and aspirat ions! For the fash ion forward, the New Year brings about a new season of fashion: Spring, a renewed sense of style and for most a new year of fash ion reso lutions. But before we delve into fash ion resolutions, we HAVE to think about what we have going on in ou r closet to either motivate, support, or encourage us to step out of our norms w ith fas hi on ! Yes, our closets. So before we go on a New Year splurge with new items and renewed fas hi on perspectives, we must get our mind [err, our closetsJ r ight, and we have just the tips for you to get started in the right dir ection! To keep it simple, we have gathered five steps for you to in the right frame of mind to help you along in your fa

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olutions!


Is it too t ight? When was the last t ime I wore this? Am I as in love with it now as when I purchased it? Can this be repaired or altered by a tailor? Is it a classic and t imeless piece? These questions wil l help you determine where these items shou ld go: in the closet, to the tailor, to the trash or to the donate pile! If you have to get a friend, significant other, or stylist to help you go through and t ry everyth ing on- do so! But, by all means, be honest with yourself in what to keep, store, trash, or donate! Which leads me to the next point. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2. Vont~-te., Trt~-sh., or ~wt~-p 1\lCJw, after you have decided to part ways with the items in your closet (you can take a mental moment, as it can be hard to part ways!), you need to sort them into a few piles! These piles w ill help you determine where and what u need to do with your clothes! e ite .. ''"'1\1 et hing t hat To alter, donate, or tr ash is the question! Fo on trend and j ~.,..,.,,.......... ds to be just needs a hem, or that can be sh rewEJr ke d? Are you absol v ..... nnot bear to part with i ywork r? Then alterations it is! ~路,~-~,.., with little creativi ~.

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Does it have a r ip t hat '::::Jli'l ired, is it faded, it? Not on ly the 20 years, '::=!<""'' ........,oiTj;.-.::.....,.r does? It is t ime to let tbehlem is no longer your friend,...,,..... your size- donate! Take it to ation Army, Goodwill, Dr ~~s'S. or any organ ization that accepts donations- A ND you may as well I Dont want to donate? You can always consign! Cros ds er stores like this take your cl othes and offer to sell it for yo you store cred it or cash back! Whichever choice II be a great one! Is th h


New Close!; or Yo

3. Organtze Maybe I can be a b. p, but I have found w~ things are organized, all is well in the world. blame th Virgo in me). However, !laving things organized r, you can match items quickly! By item, you has a few benef its! I romise! B can fi nd what you ar in the mo to wear AND what the weat her permits! ing your closet by it:e~color make life a little bit like heavNot on ly does org en, but using gre hangers~eep everything all together not only assists in the organization but al~elf3s in preserving t he life of your clothes! The r ight hangers and storage techn iqu es mean EVERYTHING to your garments! ~ot only tHe hangers, but a little organization to the shoes, belts, and other accessories can make getting dressed less of a chore and more of a fun activity! •

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Lf Ta(~e 1'\.otes So, now that you have purged all the items from yo~ c et that are no longer needed, organ ized what you have left, what is next . akin ·nventory! This can be t fabu lous yeareno quite fun, especially if you have been itching to shop a deals!

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way works, but before you go shopping and get yourself back int the identify what is missing from your closet!

Do you have a great classic suit? A fun Little Black Dress? Amazing jea A classic white shirt? A great coat? Great and supportive foundations (Brcto shapers, hosiery)? All of these basics are the corn erstone to your wardrobe and once you have these basics, you can tackle the next step. •

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Online or in store, shopping can be quite fun! But where do you go? Armed with your list of i · u need and the th ings you want, shopping at this time of the year can b quite i toxicating! Year- end deals, teasers of the Spr ing seasons colho is ady? I know I am! lections? Make sure that u check out the PLUS Model Magazine Marketplace for fea tures on some of e-Aewes and hottest deals in plus size fash ion! The PLUS Model Magazi·flB log highlight~some of CJur favorite items nd trends from across th~feb! Whichevey you chose to peruse, now that you shop c30fidently and assured ly that yo · · closet to your next chapter for ar !

closet in order, you can e to take your wardrobe and


:tdeline Jones

Our cover model Kasia Pilewicz is living life on her own terms after appearing on America's Next Top Model Cycle 16. Her in depth interview in the September 2011 issue of PLUS Model Magazine left us wanting more. This month Kasia returns to open up about family, fashion, and discovering her own potential.


Kasia on discovering her own potential I was an extreme ly quiet and shy girl growing up, and it took me a long time to break out of my shell and take risks to grow as a performer. Modeling has he lped me so much, f r om the time I started as a teenager. It bu ilt my confidence and forced me to express my inner thoughts and fee li ngs to the camera (and thus, many v iewers). I've always been an artist and a writer, but that was easy, since I never had to expose myself to criticism by showing my work to anyone. But then I thought, what's the point if no one ever sees it? So I started exhibiting some artwork and publishing things I wrote . I had learned through mode ling that be ing critiqued was a big part of the business. There's never going to be a time where absolutely everyone will love you or the th ings you create , so I simply started doing it because I loved it. I've been so fortunate in the modeling opportunities that I've had , but I also know that I wouldn't have gotten here

if I had lim ited myself or if I had not taken incred ible risks. I kept going because of my immense love for fashion and modeling. I knew I had the potential to be successfu l from an early age, but for me it was more about al lowing myself to go for it. I've had my share of upsets and heartbreaking fai lures, but what's important is that I got up and kept going. A few years ago I found myse lf facing a new chal lenge: my passion for acting . I f inally got the courage to start taking professional classes and take chances in another art form I love. I f ind something so fulfil ling and magical about doing this work, and it's the next step in my growth and career path. I've struggled w ith feeling like my chosen career was self-indulgent, but so many people have reached out to me and to ld me how I've inspired them , so I've real ized that this is supposed to be part of my life's work. I have th is potential for a reason , so I'm just listening and going with the flow from now on!

Kasia on Family Fam ily is one of the most important things in life. I'm so lucky that I have an amazing family that I was born into, and that I've also met people along the way that have become fam ily to me. My parents have taught me so much; most importantly, they've taught me how to be a good person. I love them and adm ire more than anyone in the world. They've been the best example of true and unconditiona l love. I have a younger brother, younger s ister, an older brother, and a brand new sister-in-law that I'm very c lose with, even though we don't live near each other. Every t ime I go home for hol idays or just to visit, I'm so happy that it feels like we just saw each other

yesterday. My family keeps me grounded and real no matter how crazy my lifestyle gets. I have always been idealistic and a dreamer, so it's perfect that I have the best, most down-to-earth family to balance that. Since I moved out to New York City without knowing anyone, I've met some amazing people that are part of my "New York family." I don't feel alone there anymore, because my roommates (who I initially met through Craigsl ist!) and close friends are people I know will be in my life forever. I really treasure the relationships I have with my family, because we support and love each other through anything .


Kasia On

Kasia on Fashion Ever since I could walk and ta lk I was int o fash ion. I love to transform through clothes. It al lows me to express how I'm feeling on a particular day. The possibilities are endless. I love to mix and match differ ent pieces to create unique ensembles. Fashion has always been the avenue that I was br ave enough to be different through . I never wanted to dress like everyone else, but rather, I liked to set trends . When most kids wore matching outfits , I layered textures and co lors and styles to look inimitable. One kindergarten "hat" themed day, all the girls in baseball caps were impressed with the hat that I borrowed from my mom's closet: a vintage eggplant-colored, felt f loppy hat partially covered in black netting ... .I felt fabulous that day. Oddly, I feel like that's pretty on trend now! I love des igners that are cr eative and take insp iration from the world around us. Everywhere you look - nature, animals, architecture, sc ience, etc. ca n be inspir ing. I think my everyday style now consists of simple basics that I can mix up and add accessories to when I want to change it up. I love any chance to dress up for an event or a night out. I have so many eclectic pieces in my closet that I'm not sure I cou ld define my style in a few words , and that's how I like it.

Kasia on her best vacation ever One of the best vacations I've ever had was the first trip I took to Poland when I was eleven. It was my first time out of the country, and the first time I had met many of my close relatives who live there. A memory that will stick in my mind for ever is the moment I watched my mom greet her sisters, brother, her mom and each of their individual

fami lies when we arrived at the airport in Warsaw. They hadn't seen each other in over 18 years. The mix of emotions - joy, long ing, and surprise - was unbelievable to watch and I'll never forget it. These were people I was meeting for the f irst t ime in my life, but I felt instantly bonded with . I had cousins that became new best friends in the course of three months. My Polish got so strong that I came back with more of an accent when I spoke Eng lish. We traveled the country, and I saw how beautiful it was there. It was unlike any place I had ever seen. loved the old c it ies and the architecture, the mountains and the countryside, the strikingly beautifu l castles and churches we visited , and the peop le dressed in traditional Polish costumes. Even though I was real ly young , I learned so much from exploring the cu lture my parents grew up in and experiencing how different it was from my own.


Kasia On

Kasia on Beauty Standards I would rea lly love it if beauty standards weren't based on physical beauty alone. If most people (especia lly in our country) would start seeing that beauty includes so much more than just outer physical appearance, I believe that our definition of the "standards of beauty" wou ld greatly expand to include less conventional looks. How amazing would it be if every young child grew up feeling truly beautiful as a human being? What I hope is that we can create an environment where they do, because beauty won't be so lely based upon the way we look. Intelligence, demeanor, empat hy, talent, courage and numerous other qua lities factor in to the kind of person we are and what we project to the outside world .

The beauty of al l people is in our character and our differences. I hope we can embrace this more in the fashion and entertainment industries, because so many of us look to those places for definitions of beauty. I'm so glad that many successful models reach beyond modeling to use their inner beauty and talents for philanthropy and other types of work. Don't get me wrong, I'm al l about loving your outer appearance and creating a look you love (it's really important!), but I just hope that being a certain size or looking distinctive doesn't overshadow a person's inner qualities. Also, actions speak louder than words. I encourage everyone who wants to see a change to start living it.


Carre Otis was a rock star to many of us, having modeled for Guess, Donna Karen, Calvin Klein, and Revlon and appearing on the covers of Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan. The media couldnlt get enough of her turbu lent love life with Mickey Rouke and her undeniable good looks. Her memoir, Beauty, Disrupted written with Hugo Schwyzer; speaks of her difficult years, naming her rapist, a shooting and survival; but there is so much more to Carre Otis. Her rebirth, self-discovery, faith, sensuality, and journey into motherhood are part of who she is and what she shares with us. I found myself rooting for her, pained for her, and in the end, learned lessons about myself. Join me in my interview with

Carre Otis.

tnother side of the modeling industry It st this endless barrage of 'you're not this, not that.' I was so proud of that time for )" - Carre Otis on her appearance in Grace Magazine â&#x20AC;˘


Carre Otis Tulin: The med ia has touched

on your more challenging years, but I would like to focus on other aspects of your journey. I'm really inspired by your self-acceptance and how you moved on.

Carre: Ohhhh, I am more than OK with that! Thank you!

Tulin: Where did the addiction start for you? Carre: From the beginning, like the first signs of addiction, we're around food. I think you have so many of us that had disturbed eating patterns, f rom a young age. As a child I was dyslexic and my family wasn't necessarily in a safe place. I didn't have a strong relationship with my mother; there were no discussions about feminin ity and embracing yourself, and all the miracles and joys about becoming a woman. It was a strange disconnect and quite terrifying , because what isn't explained to you can be qu ite scary. My eating habits were an attempt to control all that was out of control, that whole vicious cycle is typically about emotional issues. That was my big attempt at con trolling what was out of control. To f ind my way into the modeli ng industry that looks the other way, or actually condones that behavior, because you're expected to be a certain size, was a really bad match for me. The attempt to medicate myself was a further extension to that initia l wound in life.

'lulin: It's completely evident throughout the book how much you empowered yourself truly from within. Do you fee l that having been through what you have been through that you'll be able to empower your daughters in ways you had not been?

C:

Totally! It's such an amazing, graceful, wonderful responsibility to have given birth to two gir ls at this point in t ime. I have this obligation and responsibility to share and give them, age appropriate, as we move along this journey together, all t he dialogue. There is no question that is unanswered in our household. The


way that we discuss the body, the waywetalkaboutnutrition. We don't use t he words fat or diet or anything like that in our household. They are growing up in a very aware and empowered way. That's not to say that they are not going to realize things down the line or go through their own hardships, because we all do, but I am giving them a very different opportunity to administer their own lives.

"I am llOt a labe l , I am llC

Tulin: You have experienced a lot of success in modeling. Then aft er sometime, you reemerged as a plus size model. Carre: Yes, after my heart surgery, I was in Grace Magazine.

Tulin: I remember you had gorgeous plus-size editorials and campaigns in Grace Magazine! One I remember vividly was shot in the Palm Springs Desert.

Carre: I thought it was really cool too; I was so def iant. I saw another side of the modeling industry; the discrimination. I had gained weight and I was a different size, I could not understand why I was not going to get the same day rate. On the other hand, sometimes I wasn 't big enough so t hey wanted me to put padding on underneath the clothes. It was just t his endless barrage of "you're not this, you're not that." I was so proud of that time for myself. I was not going to not work as a model because I was a different weight or size; that to me was just unacceptable. It was a moment when I real ly found my voice.

Tulin: We have models who are on the smaller end of plus and people will say, She's not plus-size, she doesn't represent me! It seems that size is an issue even though we try not to focus on it, but that number keeps popping up.

Carre: Absolutely! When I was in my teens, I was definitely teeny but also anorexic. After my heart surgery, I was a size 14. Everyone sort of wants to represent accurately a demographic, but then, you know Tulin, if we bust all this down, we gotta look at this as women. There is this a movement and we have to look at age discrimination as well. For me there is this mission about evening this playing f ield, and this depiction of us. We come in all shapes and sizes, ages and hair color. For so long there's been issues about one label or one extreme over another and I think if we can keep pushing a little bit beyond it all, we as women w ill be represented accurately.

Tulin: Diversity in general. Exactly, I agree. Carre: For me one ofthe things I have been discussing recently is the premature sexualization in our culture, where you have a 14 year old in an ad thats sexually provocative. That's inappropriate and it's not a joke. It needs to be taken quite seriously. Certainly becoming a mother, I have a different and unique perspective now of re ally wanting to have healthy dialogue and calling it what it is. Within the modeling industry, and the things that happened with


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Carre Otis

dysfunctional; I am happy. "

were moments that were very intense. The most intense part of it was when I did the audio version of the book. Here I am in a sound studio with three guys that I don't know, and coming up on the rape scene, and I had to say everyth ing that I wrote. At that moment I had to just go for it because lm t he one that gets to make th is ok now. We are not our pasts, we are not our bodies, and we are just spiritual beings having a human . exper1ence.

me and talking about what happened w ith Gerald Marie (her named rapist], if you knew that a pedophile was around your kids school but t hey were a government official, I mean would you keep silent? And for me that's not an option! I am w illing to be disliked by some in order to protect and preserve the rights of kids and women in gener al.

You wrote a lot about sensuality and sexuality. There is the act of sex, and there is the sensua lity and fo r you, it seemed like as you had gone through these sexual experiences as an observer. That's a learned behavior, that's not something we are born with. In your book you defined the importance of being sensual.

T: The portion of the book about the

Carre: Yeah, I t hink there's a reason w hy

rape; the brutal honestlythatyou shared, and the details were horrifying. I admire the courage that it took to speak out. There are so many things that you went t hroug h at a young age, and now that you have daughters, you are well aware of what 's out there. You're shedding light on a very dark subject.

we experience things in life that fracture and disconnect us from that primal sensual being. Unless you consciously work to restore it, and that often means working in thera py; typically what happens is we continue to step away from that center and ourselves. Often t imes we have experiences that are less than desirable, r ight? For me, I had to take that step of becoming celibate and committed to wor king on the scariest aspect of myself in an effort to better myself. I had no idea who I was when I became celibate. I had been the performer for so long, and the per forme r was the part of me that kept me from being with me. centering, in that vulnerabil ity, int imacy, in that place. If somebody wants you, or approves of you, its

C:

Absolutely, agreed. I really agree w ith you and you know Tulin, I have been a woman w ithin an industry, and I think this happens with gir ls and women in gener al, ; t heres the expectation that you know you wrap it up in th is pretty package and you make it palatable and do t he r ight thing which is to be quiet, after sort of a lifetime of being expected to do that. Writ ing the book, ther e

Tulin:


Carre Otis great and you're loved. If somebody thinks youre sexy, or wants to have sex w ith you, how often do we consider that a compliment? I really had to get an idea of what I liked and what I didnt like. Most of us spend so much t ime in a relationship, in dysfunctiona l r elationships, or trying to f igure out who we are within a relationsh ip. But who are we out of a relationship w ith someone else, and in a relationship with ourselves. This was the biggest question for me.

Tulin: I

laughed out loud when I read about your experience with childbirth, because I said the same things! You also have a candid dialogue about women and needs.

Carre: We work diffe r ently than men. Every one of us works differently and ther e are so many men coming in and are like, I know how t his vagina works. NO YOU DON'T! You don't have a clue how this vagina works! We are all wired differently. You have to let go. You have to surrender, and its gotta be safe enough to complet ely let go and have your world rocked. Those elements aren't always there and it cer tainly isn't li ke that ever y time we make love now, even though we have found our 0. The sensuality is just being with that person in that amazing company and that unbelievable meditation of presence.

Tulin: Carrie, if you

c ould do it all over again,would you do ital lthesame? Wou ld you end up the person you are today?

Carre: I am a Buddhist and I believe in karma, and th is path was destined to unfold, I just had to take a very particu lar path to find thi s person right now. It's all part of the lear ning and a part of the lessons we learn every step of the way. I am beyond my path , I am not my path

anymore and I am really clear w ith t hat. I am not a victim, I am not a label, I am not dysfunctional; I am happy.

Tulin:

You seem to have always had an inner spirituality that led you to Buddhism. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Carre: Yeah , you know I am s o fortunate, and this is another belief in karma , that pr eviously I have been on this path as a Buddhist and on this mission. When I first met the teachings of Buddh ism, it just fe lt r ight. I had been wonder ing and thinking about what nobody discusses between death and dying and that whole discussion. But when I was 1 7 , I met my first Buddhist teacher and I saw a photogr aph of her at a health food store, and knew that I had to go to this retreat and it was so unli ke me to go to any kind of ret reat with women. Never theless, I went. She was one of the first Western Women to take her robes as a Tibetan Buddhist Nun, and then actually gave them up to fo llow the path of teacher and mot her, that was just pa r t of her mission. I recogn ized her immed iately as being t he most familiar kind of home that I had yet experienced in th is lifetime. She was like a mother, she was everything I was yea r ning for at that point, and she was able to help me connect the dots, and give me practice moves, and start me on that path. That initial meeting with her gave me so much, it was sort of a light t hat I knew where to go home to once I was r eady. I live very close to her today. She is a big part of my life, my daughter s lives, and my husbands life. She's introduced me to my other teachers, and I have been very fortunate that I did find my way to her teachings and something t hats wor ke d s o pr ofoundly in my life.


Carre Otis Tulin: Is there any advice, or something you have learned for somebody that might be struggl ing w ith body image, self-love, or self-acceptance?

Carre: It was such a huge moment in my life when I was working as a plussize model and I was a size 14. For me, it was a new body for me to accept, it was on my trip to Nepal, where I tru ly realized that women are such amazing beings. I mean, we all are, but to get beyond a certain size or certa in shape is right or is wrong. We are all beings that deserve to be loved and love ourselves, to know our self-worth and know that we are needed in this world. We all, each and every one of us, have a place in the world and its a unique place we all hold. I t hink that the power of women is tremendous and I really believe that at this point in history it will be us women embracing where we are today, embr acing who we are today, and not judging between looks and size and all of these things. There has to be a point where we all unite, whether it is spiritual ly or just in some way of fe eling content with this precious life; regard less of our circumstances, r egardless of what we look like. We al l have been given t his amazing opportunity to be here right now, and it is an amazing life.

Tulin: There is th is whole other aspect of you outside of modeling and the Mickey years, Beauty, Disrupted is two different books in one, merged together beautifully, but I think you have so much more to say and teach about that I don't just see Carre the Mickey Years. Its really profound.

Carre: I am so glad you saw the big ger picture and acknowledge that. That means more than all of the press that has been out there thats just been te-

dious. To be reaching people on the level that this book is; is worth all of it.

Tulin: Please keep me in loop. I really think that your book came to me at a very inter esting time in my life. It was really beautiful, thank you for sharing!

Carre Otis with Hugo Schwyzer, Beauty, Disrupted: A Memoir from Harper Collins is available now.


IYou have questions, we by Tracie Stern Model D evelopment Director Since I have now been with PLUS Model Magazine for a few months, I thought I'd share some of the most popular, as well as some of the most unique questions I've received from aspiring and professional talent. Q: I get a lot of people who tell me I'm

pretty and I should model but I don't know where to start, what would you suggest? A: The first thing I suggest is to read the articles that I've written so far in PLUS Model Magazine. The last one was about where you f it in . Once you decide on the part of t he industry that wi ll best suit your assets, then you wi ll need to hire a photographer to take your photo. You will need to keep the pictures clean and simple, wearing natural makeup that compliments your ski n tone and keep your clothing neutra l too. Once you have the photos, ask a professional as to whether or not you are photogenic. If the answer is yes, then you can move on.

Q. I was offered a two-year contract with an agency. What do I do? A. Many agencies wi ll sign a model to a two-year contract so t hat it gives them t ime to develop that model for their market. Usually the first year with an agency is a build ing year. Creating a portfolio, testing, going out to see c lients

cl ients and if the model is lucky, a n actual paid job . However , most paid bookings wi ll come in that seco nd year and in orde r for the agency to prof it from t hei r effo r ts: they feel comf o r table knowi ng that they have that model for at least two years . Whe n it's a more established model, however, a one year renewable co ntract is good enough because the development stage has already been accomplished and the model can move right into pa id jobs. Most co ntracts are negotiable and ma ke sure you r ead ever yth in g before you . s 1gn .

Q. What if I can 't find an agency? Do I really need one? A. Well, modeling agents are like personal security guards. They pr otect you f rom unexpected things you can't see now a nd prevent regrets down the r oad . They negotiate cont r acts, collect on monies owed, and should a pr oblem arise with a client, t hey will work it out so that you ca n remain in a positive light in the client's eyes. I think that if you are a f reelance


model, it leaves too much room for error fr om both you and your c li ent. If you want to be taken seriously, I highly recommend f indi ng an agent.

Q. What is a model's bag? A. A model's bag is one of those t hings t hat everyone has, yet each one is a little bit d iffere nt. It is basically our kit. Every facet of our industr y has equipment. A model's equipment goes in t heir model bag . The basics a r e nude bra and a strapless nude br a, black b r a, strapless black bra, nude underwear, shapewear if your body type requires it; plus any personal items you may spontaneously require, think personal hygiene, deodora nt. toothbr ush, etc. Each model bag is going to va r y depending o n your specific product uses, but t he basics are always the same. Also, each job will require your model's bag to va r y. The actual 'bag' itself is also dependant on the job. The more stuff you need to bring the bigger the bag. Most models learn over time w hat t hey will need for each type of job, but in the beginning you will find you w ill drag ever ything, including t he kitchen s in k, to your shoots. You w il l also come acr oss new situations t hat will have you adding items and taki ng items away from your kit. (1 will have more on a model's bag and w hat needs to be in it in an upcoming article for PMM) Q. I am considering becoming a plus size model, but I have very strong Christian beliefs and I wanted to know if there are jobs for modest plus size models out in the modeling world?

A. It's a misconception that models do whatever they are told; when in al l honesty, the models choose which jobs t hey accept. You wi ll always run into challenges, negativity, as wel l as inapprop r iate conversatio ns on the job, but it's not your p lace to judge o r co ndemn. You just show up a nd are professional. Discussing this with your age nt up fro nt w ill also help you avoid s ituations where you may find yourself stuck. T here are many Ch r istian models in this industry, and they have do ne it successful ly, without compromising their belief s .

Q . I was wondering if I have to move to a major city in order to be successful. A. Look at it this way, if you are t hir sty, a r e you going to wait for the water to come to you or are you goi ng to go to the source? A nimals in t he wild a nd humans alike go to where the water is. On occasion throwing caution to the wind. If t he work is in NY a nd you a r e in AZ, how successful do you think you are goi ng to be? My ca r eer started in Toronto and in order fo r me to g r ow, I moved to Chicago. I didn't stop there. I needed to bra nch out more so I spent time in NYC. I would t hen spend time in M iami du rin g the w inter months. This industry is very mobile, but in o r der to catch an opportunity you have to be w here t he clients are and that is usually in t he big cities. U lt imately it's your decision as to how invested you want to be, but r emember, you will get out of this w hat you put in it. If your effort hovers a r ound 25% you can't expect a 100%

Do you have a question for me? Email me at modeling@plusmodelmagazine.com . If you are in the VA/MD/NC/DC areas, join me for my Modeling 101 workshop on January 14th, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 5 :00 p.m. Ema il me for more detai ls.


nee a forensic science major with aspirations in law enforcement field, Griselange l Pau la came onto the pl us s ize modeli ng scene with a dr ea m. T oday, she is capturing the attention of some major players in the plus size game and dazzling the rest of us with her charmi ng personality and plus s ize talent.

S: Your name, Gr iselangel Paula , is it difficult for people to pronounce? Do you have a nickname that you prefer peop le cal l you?

al l I wanted to do was to become a cop and to one day have my dream job of working for ICE, investigating human trafficki ng cases. As of this day I am on the wa iting list for t he NYPD.

S: What's your favorite thing to do in your spare t ime?

G: During my spare t ime I love being on my couch watching random Netflix movies. S: How long have you been modeling and how did you get started?

G: I started modeling in 2008. A few months in, I booked a s ix-page spread w ith Ebony Magazine. After that, I thought things wou ld somehow get on the fast track; however, you soon real ize in this industry that it takes a long time for people to start recogn izing your work G: (Laughs) I th ink my name and to get bookings. is more intimidating than it is ha r d. If you sound it S: Wh ich size are you? Who are you out its rea lly qu ite easy, represented by? Griss-E IIe-Angel; but yes, my fr iends cal l me G. G: I am a size 14. I am represented by Dorothy Combs Mode ls, as wel l as Heffner Model S: Where did you go to high Management in Seattle. school and college? What was your major? Did you enjoy S: How long did it take you to become a school? successful model? What's your definition of success as a model? G: I went to the Professional Perfor ming Arts High Schoo l. G: That's a very interesting question. Everyone I went to high school as a measures success differently and personally, Drama Major. I always wanted as of th is day I don't consider myself a to be an actress. However, successful model. I consider a successful somewhere along the way I model a gir l that has been modeling full time decided it wasn't practical t o for years. Someone who can evolve within the go to col lege for drama and industry. I think I have been peeking through wanted was a more sec ure the door of this industry, but I'm not as far in as major or so I thought at the I one day dream to be. t ime. I decided to take on crimi nal justice ; it wasn't long S: I feel like we've had the pleasure at PLUS until I comp lete ly fe ll in love Model Magazine of watching you grow by leaps with the subject. At that point, and bounds in 2011. Do you feel like this has


been your most successful year modeli ng thus far? G: Definite ly! I have had the most amazing opportun it ies this year to work w ith some amazing c lients! I fee l like th is year I have worked on the foundation for the years to come and I pray cl ients wil l continue to recognize my work. PLUS Mode l Magazine has been so supportive of me, and I am so thankful for your continued support.

S: What have you done this year that has been a dream real ized? G: One of the most amazing th ings I have been able to accomplish this year was the chance to launch CustomPLUS (www.custom-plus.com) , which is a per sonalized apparel store

that ranges from sizes 0-32. I am excited for the year 2012, and to see how far I can grow this amazing company.

S: What advice do you have for mode ls that are just starting out or find ing their footing? G: Understand that model ing is a business. You are in the bus iness of sel ling c lothes , and everything else is irrelevant. Model ing is like any other business venture; you have to put in a lot of time and a lot of money out to get your foot th r ough the door. Testing is not cheap , and even if you are not booking, you still need to keep your book updated. Have patience , it may appear that career s are bu ilt overnight, but in reality it can take


take years for a model to experience continued success. Lastly, realize that social outlets can help you, but can also be used aga inst you.

advertisement for Bluznik in Vogue. Those were exciting moments for me as a model because it made me fee l like people were f inally paying attention!

S: What is one of the biggest mistakes you've seen amateur models make?

S: You are on the smaller spectrum of plus models. What is your feel ing about campaigns using very small plus size women to market to true plus size women ; size 14/16 and up?

G: Not choosing the correct images. Images are a models sell ing point. They are what cl ients use to decide if you are the right fit for them. It is important to take appropriate images, which show how comfortab le you are in front of the camera. S: Is it worth al l of the strugg les you have gone through to get to th is po int?

G: I don't think a woman should have to browse through the plus section of her favorite online store and do a double take, wondering if she is acc identally in the straight size section because the model is so sma ll. Be ing a 14, I've had people tell me I am not plus size, yet I shop at plus s ize stores for myself ,

G: Absolutely. I graduated co llege, got a great job as a paralegal, and qu it three months in because the hours did not allow me to go to castings; let alone bookings. I took a job waiting tables and have sacrificed a lot to pursue a dream. Regardless of how difficult things got, and how many times I wanted to cal l it qu its, I wouldn't have had it any other way. Strugg ling to achieve a dream makes you that much more gratefu l for it. S: How do you feel the industry has changed since you've been in the plus model game?

G: I don't think I have been in the modeling industry long enough to make an educated observation . However, there were certain highlights during my career that made me excited with the attention plus models were getting. For example: Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine, and Robyn Lawley's appearance on the cover of Vogue ltalia. Fluvia also appeared in an

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strugg le to f ind clothing at straight size stores, and have always had a plus s ize sample f it me. So I guess it's all about peop le's perception. I cons ider myse lf a plus s ize woman , and I am proud of that.

G: (Laughs). I don't know! I'm still trying to figure that one out probably not! BUT, if the NYPD calls and says we want to start you off as a detective, I may have to do some serious thinking! (Laughs)

S: What are your future goa ls as far as mode ling is concerned?

S: What is your favorite thing about me?

G: My dream is to have a long and steady career. I want to inspire women to love their bod ies. I want women to understand that our flaws are beautifu l and that our sizes are perfect.

G: That you are the most honest and giving person I know. Yet you won't hesitate to slap someone silly for your friends! (Laughs)

S: Do you ever have the forensic itch that you may scratch in the future?

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by Danielle Young Photos taken by Velvet 0:ÂŁ\mour Paris in 2008

BUST MAGAZINE'S MANAGING EDITOR, EMILY REMS IS OUT TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

ometimes things are just meant to be. Living with her grandfather in Yonkers, Emily Rems had no idea that her steps were already being ordered for her grand purpose. She took a job at a theatre, thinking she would be able to absorb the big city life while being able to direct, produce and manage in a theatre, but she hated her job. Every day at lunch, Emily hid out in the bathroom, shed tears, pulled out her favorite magazine--Bust--and imagined herself in a better life. Her daily ritual almost became her own personal vision board because Emily was hired as their intern within months [after constant email requestsJ. At 27 years old, the ambitious theatre girl started her internship and slowly worked her way up to Managing Editor. Emily sat down with PLUS Model Magazine and divulged her journey, how Bust contributes to changing the world and some of the coolest things shes gotten to be a part of all thanks to her role at Bust.


Busting Through Barriers Emily Rems Shortly after the 9/11 tragedy, you got your internship at Bust, How did Bust reemerge fromthe tragedy and which role did you play? I started working in August of 2001 and on September 10th of 2001, the media company that owned Bust Magazine was listed as the next big thing in media on the front page of the Business Section of The New York Times. That night, there was a huge party celebrating the beginning of media dominance and then the next day was September 11th, 2001. Not long after that. the parent company shut down. I'd been interning for a month and then there was no internship or jobs available in New York City. I was just hanging out in Yonker s, emailing the editor-in-chief, hoping things worked out ok and that I could come back and work with them. It took a few months fo r a response. Finally, I got a call that they remembered me--the intern with the car. [laughs]. They had set up shop at Laurie's house (one of Bust's owners). They asked me to come with the car and get their things from storage. I helped them w ith that and we brought it all to Laurie's apartment and that's where we worked for year s. For a few months, it was just the three of us--the two founde r s and the intern with the car. [laughs]. It was a really str ange coincidences and being at the ri ght place at the wrong and r ight time. I was able to work my way up as the only intern after going from a giant dot com as one fa ce in a sea of faces and no one knew who I was. I became the Assistant Editor, Associate Editor and then Managing Editor. Every two or three years, the staff would get bigger and I would move up a little bit. How do you feel about being able to work for a publication like Bust? What has it done for you personally? That's a gr eat question. I wanted to intern with them because I fe lt really connected to their mission--which is basically to create a

publication for women that doesn't make them feel like crap [laughs]. I was always a magazine reader , but there was always something very unattainable in the pages of most magazines. They make women feel badly about themselves to buy things to make feel better. Things are designed to make you fee l fat or poor or if you could only please your man, then you'd have the ri ght boyfriend, t ips, tr icks and things you need to buy to fix your self in most women's magazines and Bust is the opposite of that. It was actually one of their fashion stories that they ran that featured The World Famous Bob--the plus size burlesque super star here in New York. They had an all bathing suit fash ion story and the only model was The World Famous Bob with no apologies or disclaimers. They were just saying, here's the fashion spread w ith this knockout plus size model in swimsuits. It was the personification of a place I wanted to be. Bust is amazing because it can't be put in a box. What have you been able to do through Bustto change the world? [LaughsJ It fee ls like that. I know what it was like as a reader to discover that and know that I'm not alone. There are smart, funny, and relevant women out there not t rying to con me, hustle me, or make me fee l badly. It really fe lt like it was the only thing in the media landscape before the internet was a big thing. Bust has been around for 17 years. It's been a rare and special thing. We get letters from girls all the t ime saying this is the only thing they read that makes them feel good about themselves, inspired and like they're part of something they can be proud of. I really fee l like it might not seem world -changing to other people who don't kn ow what it's like to grow up as a woman in this country, but for us--it's super relevant. We're changing the world because we provide entertainment to women who


In the ten years you've been at Bust. have you ever felt like giving up on this journey? It's a tough question. There's a funny saying, "Much like crime, fe minism doesn't pay." It's true. The only t hing that gives me second thoughts about it is not being able to move ahead financially. The actual work is incredibly rewarding. It's life changing and there's a feeling that you're changing the world for the better . even if it's a small corner of "girl world". It's still deeply important to me. It's hard to envision another job where I would feel the satisfaction I do, giving girls something that helps them feel good about themselves. As a shopper and editor, how do you feel about straight size clothing that isn't offered in plus? It makes me feel irritated! [laughs] ! I have to go out in public as an editor and I am also in a band--this is the second band I have been in. I was in an all-girl punk band. Now. I am in a blues/rock band. I am the drummer. I have fashion needs when I go out. whether I'm covering for Bust or going on stage with the band. It's hard! It pisses me off that living in a great city like New York it can be difficult. I know when Re/Oress opened, it changed my life. They are the greatest thing that's happened to my wardrobe. I am someone who hates shopping, probably because it makes me feel so frustrated because for so many years it was Lane Bryant or nothing. Then you end up with something that everyone else is wear ing.

How do you feel about Re/Oress closing? I'm devastated that they've closed and honestly, I haven't bought a single item of clothing from anyone since they shut their doors. I'm eagerly awaiting the opening of their online store, and in the meantime, w il l be hunting down deals from my favor ite indie designers online like Size Queen Clothing and Mode Merr. What's the coolest thing you've been able to do because of your job with Bust? I interviewed Velvet D'Amour after Paris Fashion Week. Joan Rivers was making a big stink saying fat girls don't belong on the runway while Velvet was busy giving an "FYou" to everyone in the fashion world and being the fiercest thing on the runway. She invited me to come to Paris and model for her portfolio because she's a photographer. I w ent and that was one of most amazing experiences of my life. It's a nice fee ling after growing up with a plus size body my whole life. to suddenly have it be the thing that sets me apart and makes me special. instead of the thing that makes me feel like I'm excluded.

How do you get around it? What shopping secrets do you have? [Laughs] My biggest shopping secret --which unfortunately is not one that , I'm willing to share--is my boyfriend. He's a bit of a dandy. He has an eye for things. I can let him loose in Re/Oress and he'll pull out something that I would never in a million years consider putting on and it will be so awesome. I feel overwhelmed on shopping experiences. I'm not a great shopper, but he's got the eye. He's my secret fashion weapon. But the Shop Girls at Re/ Dress are pretty amazing. are pretty amazing.

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Busting Through Barriers Emily Rems .

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Do you fee l rewarded in your position with Bust? Yeah! With any job that you do all day every day, you get into the zone of just doing the work. We get beautiful letters from our readers that remind us of what all the hard work is for. Very occasionally, I'll go out --1 did a panel discussion about women in media recently and people were coming up to me telling me how meaningful and encouraging the work that we do is.

those things that inspired me as a reader when I first picked it up. I want them to know that Bust is smart, sassy and intelligent women with something to say. This is a magazine that made me feel good about being a girl and inspired me. That's my job as editor--to maintain that integrity.

What's next? I don't know. I feel I've been at Bust a long t ime, it's just where I am. It's a nice place to be poised to say yes to anything that Where do you want to go with th is comes my way, like this interview or fashion shows--whatever. Anything that comes my magazine? I just want more girls to know that we exist. I way is by way of Bust, so it's a nice place to think more people would really love us if they stay at wait for offers to come flying in to do knew we were out there. I still encounter other things as well. people that don't know what Bust is and it's frustrating because we've been around so long time. To have people who think that it's porn is frustrating. We've had amazing women on the cover and people talk about how influential we are, but there is still this underground feel ing about it, which is cool, but I w ish every girl knew we existed like they

I just want more girls to know that we exist. I think more people would really love us if they knew we were out there. know Vogue exists. I don't subscribe to Vogue, but I know what it is and I know it's out there. [laughs]. What do you feel you're able to do to make that happen? We just have to not fo ld and keep making the magazine. I have to remind myself that with every issue, a girl may be picking it up for the first time and I want --without any other context--the whole idea of Bust to remain clear. No matter which issue of Bust a girl picks up, I want her to know that it has all of

by Ben Baker


A refreshing and accurate depiction of struggles yo ung women face, such as employment, fam ily affairs, self-acceptance, and love was channeled through MTV's Chelsea Settles! Chelsea, a 20someth ing from a sma ll town near Pittsburgh, PA blossomed before our eyes into a yo ung, professional go getter & trend setter following her dreams to the C ity of Angels. Who better to share her story in this issue of PLUS Model Magazine's New Yea r / New You issue than the incomparable Chelsea. She embodied this process, so lefs hear from Che lsea about the journey t hus far and what we can look forward to for the next year!

-----------------------------Yve: Chelsea, thank you for doing this interview! L ike the rest of the world, I watched your show on MTV and was amazed at the realness and transparency wh ich was exhibited through good and some not-so-good t imes! How did you come to star in this series and how did you know this was the r ight thing and right time to do it?

Yve: Your ultimate dream has been to succeed in the world of fash ion via highly visible means (marketing, branding, public r elations, etc.]. Although you are well educated, well spoken, and professional, prior to the show, did you believe that something like weight or size discrimination wou ld hold you back from achieving your goals even in 2011?

Chelsea: I was randomly browsing the casting section on MTV's website and spotted a posting looking for an overweight gir l, 18-24 to follow on her weight loss journey.

Chelsea: I tru ly didn't have the confidence within myself to fu lly go after my dreams prior to moving to Los Angeles. I truly believe that size has nothing to do with your success in any industry, but it's in the way that you package yourself. What are you selling? Well in fashion, you're essentia lly selling style. It's important to be original and possess a confidence or swag that sets you apart from others.

There were tons of differ ent list ings, but something in my gut told me to respond. I wrote an e-ma il and poured my heart out not expecting a reply, but ended up getting one w ithin 1 5 minutes. I made a casting tape and it's been a whirlwind adventure ever since. Yve: For people who may not know who you are, what would be your elevator spil l to them? 30 seconds! Chelsea: I'm the average small town girl. Sweet. humble, and a litt le naive at t imes ; but overall a genuine, warm-spirited person w ith drive and determination t o ach ieve anything.

Without that. or better yet - w ithout believing in yourselt why should others? I was lucky that on every interview, re gardless of how it was played out. each employer was very encouraging and offered constructive crit icism. I may not have been a particu lar ly good fit for some of the posit ions, but once I stopped playing the v ictim, it was clear to me that


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those were business decisions and had nothing to do w it h my size: but r ather a lack of confidence, experience, and belief in my abilities. Yve: For those hitting a glass ceili ng, what would you recommend or what advice would you give to those looking to improve their current situations for the upcoming year?

Chelsea: I would recommend taking chances and seizing any opportunity that comes your way. It 's important t hat

we remember in life, everyone has a different story, path, and a struggle: so we must find it w ithin to be courageous enough to be the narrator of our respective stories. Yve: It's New Year's Eve in Los Angeles at the hottest, most chic place ever. Where is that? And what are you wearing? Chelsea: As much as I love L.A., I w ill be spending New Year's Eve in NYC for the first time ever. I am beyond excited because the energy in NYC is incredible. 1WAS going to be wearing a taupe, one shoulder dress with sequins and embellishments on the upper right corner. It was ruched, fit like a glove, accentuated my curves, and now has a massive hole in the bodice, thanks to my boyfriend 's family pet. Back to the drawing board (laughs). I can laugh now, but whoa, talk about up-


Chelsea Settles Yve: When you reflect on this previous year, what did you love the most about it and how far have you come now?

Chelsea: I'm really proud of the strides that I've made w ith my self-confidence and growing into myself as a young wom an. However, I don't ever want to get too comfortable or feel content wit h my life again; I've spent a lot of t ime doing that. I definitely fee l like the possibilities are endless and I'm constantly seeking and anticipating my next adventure. Yve: When you hear New Year/New You what's the f irst thing that comes to mind?

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Chelsea: I love to use the New Year as a way to reinvent myself and remove all toxic things/people from my life. I definitely don't regret any of the experiences I've had because they've made me a stronger person , but there is something refreshing and exciting about the New Year. It's another chance to wipe the slate clean and live your best life as Oprah says (laughs].

' ' Yve: There's a New Year's saying, out .....__ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _....,~ with the old and in with the new. What's set. It was one of those moments where out and what's in for Chelsea in love, I had to completely humble myself and fashion , and travel for 2012?

not stress over superficial things. I've been far too blessed in my life to sweat the smal l stuff. Yve: Your show always had funky things (bright colors, measuring tapes, hearts, r ibbons, etc.) right before a new scene, so I must ask, if you have a vision board for 2012 and what's on it?

Chelsea: I've always been a dreamer and I'm now the self-proclaimed plus sized Cinderel la. With everything that has happened w ithin my life this year, it is only fitting that next year 's vision board be a giant dream catcher. Any dream is attainable when you believe, visualize, and actively seek it.

Chelsea: In love, the days of serial crushing are out (laughs). I have a boyfriend, whom I love very much, but I'm also pretty boy crazy (laughs]. I'm working on it. In fashion, I'm trying to limit wearing ballet flats, and embrace the world of heels and sneakers for the first t ime. I've become obsessed w ith shoes lately (laughs). In travel, I'm actually just doing it for the first time. I was so closed off and afraid to take chances and explore! I'm really enjoying my new outlook on life and loving the skin I'm in while doing it.


What made you decide to become a plus size model? I decided I wanted to become a plus size model because when I was a little girl I always wanted to have some part in the fashion/entertainment industry. I started off by always wanting to be a famous actress, but as t ime went on, I started leaning more towards modeli ng. I never ever thought I was capable nor had the potential to even be a model, but since I've gained the confidence I have today, and the motivation it takes to succeed, I took my f irst step forward to becoming the next plus size supermodel. What has been the best experience yet in modeling for you? The best experience so far that I've encountered besides the AMAZING people I've met and having so much fun shooting wou ld be speaking to a girl that is a fan of my work. I remember her telling me and going into detail on how much she loved my work and how much of an inspiration I was. I remember her specifica lly stating, "Lauren, seriously..! LOVE YOU. You make me feel comfortable in my own body and you helped me realize that I do NOT have to be skinny to be beautiful." After that very moment, it literally hit me on how I was slowly yet surely making an impact on the industry and letting girls know that is okay to be curvy and bodacious. There is way more to beauty than just being a size 0. I absolutely love it, and the more girls I can reach, the better that w ill make me fee l. Who are your favorite curvy role models? My favorite curvy role models of all times would have to be Tara Lynn and Fluvia Lacerda. Both of these women

are incredibly beautiful, talented and an inspiration to many. I adore their work and what they stand for. One day I hope to reach the level that they are at today

Finish this sentence: The plus industry is: The plus size industry in my eyes is growing larger day by day li ke wild f ire! More people are starting to open their eyes and realize the true meaning of beauty. Curves should be adored. God made us how we are, and I feel we shou ld all accept ourselves as is. If you could pick the perfect plus modeling campaign for yourself, who would you want to work for? I would love to model for Lane Bryant. Their clothes are absolutely gorgeous to me, and they have always been on the top of my "to work w ith" list. The day that I see myself either featured on their website or on an advertisement in one of the actual stores, will be the day that I will officially have checked them off my to do list. What are your dreams, desires and goals as a plus model? My dreams, desires and goals as a plus size model would definitely be to model for every company that I've ever dreamed of working for. I would love to travel the world and meet as many people within the industry as possible. I know there are many top notch designers, photographers, and other amazing talented models out there, and learning from the best would be an honor to me. I also would one day like to be an inspiration to young girls all over the world. I want to be the role model for them, that I always wish I had when I was younger. I could never truly relate to "celebrities" or anyone people typically adored. I'm a real person,


doing what I love most, wanting to help prove that curves are gorgeous, and we should NOT be afraid to f launt what God blessed us w ith.

What can we look forward to you doing in the next year? By next year, I hope to be signed with the agency that I've been working so very hard to be represented by. From there, I would have liked to travel to New York and shoot w ith a couple dream photographers that work out there. I wou ld love to meet my role models and continue working hard and making my mark on this crazy world of fashion and stressing the overa ll needed acceptance of plus size women and our curves.

Name your favorite store to shop for curvy clothes in your hometown. Gosh, this is a tough one. It would have to be between Torrid and Lane Bryant.

The funny part is they are both at the mall that I tend to shop at the most. I love both of their clothing w ith a passion, but where I truly catch myself at most wou ld have to be Lane Bryant (Cacique). I have never wanted to buy so many bras, panties, and intimate wear a day in my life (laughs at loud). Sorry Victoria's Secret, you've been replaced!

Who were the Photographer(s) and Makeup Artist(s) for the photo(s)? David Shinobi (Lace Lingerie shot/Topless Implied Shot), Asia Mariah (the trenchcoat look), Kelly E (headshot with the yellow hat), Durrell T Williams (the lavender flora l top), Kris Gee (black and white headshot), AG Stanton (the oversized redish orange top). The makeup artists that I worked with were Amber Farhat, Iris Guevara, and Megan Bach.

www.modelmayhem.com/1930681


Model. Actor. Dancer. Agent. Ph tographer. Lesley Pedraza has conquered the world 路de modeling industry from straight size to plus, m Milan to New York, from Vogue to BBW, in fron of the camera and behind. Lesley shares her uniq e perspective and valuable insight on the modeling world. by Tulin Reid


I have know n Lesley for years, as she was my agent at L.A. Models. We recently reconnected on a gorgeous day in New port Beach, California to talk about the modeling industry, and her experiences; having worked with top photographers worldwide and having appeared in the pages of Vogue, cover of Cosmo, walked the runway for designers like Thierry Mugler, and clients ranging from Missoni to Hermes. Lesley Pedraza is a powerhouse of information.

L: Yves Saint Laurent. Donna Magazine, I had the covers twice. Italian Vogue. I had the cover of German Cosmo. I did fashion shows fo r so many of the big names. SportMax, Missoni, Her mes, and Pierre Cardin. They put weights on the bottoms of their gowns, so that when you move, the gowns move with you. It's outrageous!

T: How did you get into the wor ld of

L: After Europe I decided that I had to go to New Yor k. I lived in NY for three years and I worked well ther e, but my size was always an issue. At 5'11" and 140 pounds, they always wanted me to lose 10 pounds and with the emotional issues that I had, chocolate was my crutch. I was alone in another continent; ther e were no cell phones, no internet and so, that's how I coped. I did better than some; a lot of models got into drugs. That was the heavy t ime of cocaine and heroin and so on. I went to NY, and I decided that I wanted to act. So I studied acting . I took dance classes with American Dance Machine, which was headed up by one of the actors from West Side Story, the movie. One day I was babysitting, because I wanted to have children, and I didn't have a husband, but I wanted to be around kids. The father of the childr en I was babysitting for, the father was a producer and I chatted about things with him and he told me he was doing something. You know how it is, "Is there a part in it for me?" "Not really . .. " <laughter > Six months later, I went to a casting for "Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" and they called me back and said, "We ar e doing call backs in two hour s." I took my sister's jeans, padded my bra and I was cast.

modeling?

L: I was brought up in Canada, and I went to see my cousin in Toronto and she set up a photoshoot and I was hooked. That summer we went to Europe with my family and I went to see an agency in Paris while we were there. The agency was City Models and they said, "Oh, stay!" I said, "Well I can't really stay, I have to go back and get my clothes." I did come back by myself. I ended up on their door step after 24 hours of tr avel and they said, "Oh no, we can't use you." So, I found another agency shortly thereafter and I started in Paris. I lived in Paris for a year and then, they sent me to Italy to do the fash ion shows and I made more money in a week, then I made in a year in Paris, so off I went to Italy. I loved Italy! They appreciated who I was as a blonde, they loved life, and so I lear ned Italian. I already spoke French coming from Canada. I had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing photographer s in the world, both in Paris and Milan. .

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T: You have had an Impr eSSIVe modeling career. Who have you modeled for?

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T: After modeling in Europe, you decided to head to the States; can you tell me a bit about that time in your life?

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I got to sing and dance and signed a contract. Guess who walked in the door? The guy I was babysitting for! So, we toured for six months. The first five months were on the East Coast and it rained! And then we came to LA and the weather was perfect, I was hooked and never wanted to leave. So I moved from NY to LA and I was having t rouble, through t ime, with my weight and it finally blew up and I was so ill. It was hypothyroid and I started to gain weight. People don't kn ow as much as they do now about how to handle it, so my agent took me aside and said, "If you go up to a size 12 you'll work really well in this town." I said, "I can't! I never want to be a size 12! No." But sure enough, it happened, and then it took off. Everything that was a liability was now an asset. My broad shoulders, my height, my big legs, you know, everything! I knew how to move in front of a camera.

T: What did you learn from your time as a straight size model versus as a plus size model? L: For me, there is no separation between a beautiful woman who is a size two, and a beautiful woman who is a size 14, and a beautiful woman who is a size 20. You have to know your body for you. The beauty is the beauty. What happened was the other plus size girls I was wor king with, the other models, they were having pictures taken and I was appalled that the crew didn't see the beauty. So I thought, I have got to be able to take these pictures better than some of these people and it put the wheels in motion for me to become a photographer.

T: At that t ime in the plus size modeling industry, clients weren't putting the care into the Plus Size models that they were into the straight size gir ls? L: Clients, photographers, etc. just didn't understand it. Nor did they want to see the beauty in each person, which is key, so if you're doing a job and you're being paid, and you don't see the beauty in that person, it's just not fa ir! So I started taking pictures and it was just magic! What I saw behind the

camera was taking my breath away and what happened after it was processed, because that's when they were doing fi lm, was even more breathtaking to me and I thought, I am hooked. So, I did that for a while and my agent took me aside and said, "I have AIDS. I probably have two or three more years to live. Invest in my agency and I'll train you. You'll have your own business." So that's what happened. He went away and enjoyed the last few years of his life and I had my own modeling agency. It was very successful right away, but it was bad t iming because Ford opened up six months after I did. After some time, I closed my agency and I went off into the corporate world, but once you are in fashion, you just can't go back into the corporate world. So I ended up back in fashion, at LA Models, for six years. I really, really enjoyed working there. I worked in the classic division and they had plus sizes and it was called LA Talent Print, with my partner, Ken Steckla. Very reputable company, I learned a lot from them. I really appreciated all my time


there and I really enjoyed that. I stil l wanted to be a photographer. And f inally I said to my husband, "I want to do it. I want to do it NOW!" So I got myself a little studio and I spent the last four years only spending money on photography equipment. It's the absolute joy of my life. I love photography. I love seeing the beauty in people. When I get the chance to be with a person and see what they need to improve their career, I can fill in the blanks because I have the background in photography, as an agent. as a print agent. in Europe, in The States. I have worked with some of the best photographers in the world, and I have such a strong background.

T: Do you instinctually know what a model needs when they come to shoot with you? L: Yes. Or they will ask me a question and I'll know the answer. Or they w il l ask for my opinion. I was completely mismanaged most of my career and I

don't want that to happen to anyone, that's why I became an agent in the first place. But it works in photography too. Because they can ask questions and I can say, do this, remember that, and think this way, and look at this.

T: How have you seen the plus industry change in the last 20 years? Where is it going? What would you like to see in the future? What would you like to see the girls develop so that they are at the top of their game? L: Ok, there are some things that are changing radically and some things that stay the same. When I first started, the plus industry was not respected like it is now and they were treated differently, they were shot differently, they were styled differently. Everything was a bit old fashioned. But as I started into it, the business itself was changing, and I think that's why I was so well received. I thought more like a straight size model in how I moved. That was really exciting. There was a period of time there where they really went for size 14/16's and it was solid, and there was a lot of advertising. And then when the economy went bad, they had to consolidate their advertising. So they took a lot of their "extras" out. The "extras" being the petite, plus size, and exotics. And then they realized that their customers were more exotic and more plus then what they were applying, so they had to grow out again. I have really seen plus go through peaks and valleys and the clients are trying to do the best they can, but they are not catering to the people and so the people speak up. It takes a while. I have seen two or three ebbs and flows like this. As far as where it is now, I am really excited because I can really see the styling coming into play and the self-esteem coming into play because that's really the core of it all. If a plus size woman feels that she's, you know, the same as any other woman and to her core believes that, then it comes true. The camera sees everything. There is no lying to your camera. I can take a picture of someone and if in her head she's thinking, "I am not good enough" it comes through. If she's thinking, "I am who I am and


I am not apologizing for one second because I love who I am" the camer a sees it, too.

the smize, is huge. You have to have a connection with the camera! So, even practice w ith your friends and your family. Give them a smile and see what T: When models or model hopefuls come happens. Just take you r personal ener gy to you, how to you get them r eady for a out wherever you have it, and practice shoot with you? pu lling in someone else. When you're in f r ont of the camer a you're telling a L: My procedure is I'll have the person story. Whatever the story is in your head, send a picture to me of them, because LA you can make it up. You can talk to the is so spread out that it's really difficult to photographer , or a have it come from the get together. And then from that picture ar t dir ector, but without the stor y, people or couple of pictures I usually get a pretty won't connect w ith you . good idea of how to market them. I select images that I know are appropr iate from T: Talki ng to Lesley the former agent, not magazines. I scan them, put them in my the photographer, how str ongly do you computer, and then send them a collection, feel about testing? like nine pictures, and out of that I have them choose., I say, "Listen, this is how I L: It's very important. It's very difficult see you." And I name each one, this one for agents because they know that the will be a commercial head shot, this will be money you're making to the money you're a fash ion thing, this one a lingerie, this a investing is not always where you want it bathing suit, whatever and pick the five top to be. But if you don't continue to invest choices that you feel comfortable with and the money, you don't continue to improve, give me a sixth choice as well. And that and then the clients don't see it. Let me way they have the five images that they are see it the other way around. L et's say you working w ith in front of them. We do clean do a test in September and the pictures looks to fu ll on makeup so that they can get go online and the client, a regular client like through the day and have five completely Target or Kohl's says, "Oooh I like her, but I differ ent looks tailor ed to them at the end don't know if she has enough experience." of the day or at least thr ee or four. Then March comes around and they have a whole new test and they can see that you T: What are some tips that you can give have improved. That you're more solid. girls? For example, I used to look in the You look great. They want that continuity. mirror and work on my jaw and facial Then they might take the chance, maybe . expressions. they wait for the 3rd time to take the chance. What the client is spending to do L: I looked in the mirror for the whole 30 the photo shoot is so astronomical that years that I modeled. Even now, if I have to they can't chance it. The tests and the be in front of the camera, I'll check myself in continuity of tests over time gives them a the mirr or. You look at yourself objectively chance to say, "This per son is solid. They and look at, not flaws, but things that you ar en't going to gain or lose weight. They might want to shift up. Whether it's tension didn't change their hair . They didn't botox in your jaw, or you want your eyes a little themselves into oblivion." It's extr emely bigger. You look at what might be the most important. pleasing to the camer a. Look at your body. Look at how all the girls in the magazines T: Where are you located? move. You don't have to look at just plus size. Look at a size two, see how she L: I am located in San Dimas. The r eally moves and how it might help you. Watch good thing about that is it's very close to a ANTM, it gives you a lot of good tips. And lot of areas. It's only an hour from Orange that whole thing about the story in the eyes, County, an hour and a half from Palms


Springs and LA. No matter where you're coming from, it's only about an hour, and all of the freeways merge there! There is no problem with people. There is beautiful, beautifu l landscaping. A magic forest with a stream, a lake, there are hills and horses, and beautiful structures with everything from Spanish doors to modernistic buildings. There is tons of access to natural light because it's not all chopped up with buildings. We have different setups in the studio which gives us many different looks and we can go back and forth as the light per mits.

If she's thinking, "I am who I am and I am not apologizing for one second because I love who I am" the camera sees it, too.

Lesley's Shoot Tips • Models need to be 100% ready to shoot • Eyebrows are done • Nose hairs are clipped • Hair is the appropriate length & color • Quality hair cut • Mani & pedi no polish • Sleep well • Eat well • Have a great time

www.lesleypedraza.com

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PLUS Model Magazine: January 2012 Issue Plus Size Featuring Kasia from ANTM Cycle 16