Issuu on Google+












Tara Taylor






Tiffany Bank, Yve Edmond Deborah Friedman, Shannon Hiett, Lari ssa L aur el Michelle Rene, Colleen Stovall GRAPHIC DESIGNER


Crystina Lindoerfer MARKETI NG ASSISTANT

Chr issy Alvey PUBLISHER

3G Publishing, Inc.

\tVc love to hear fro1n von! rfell us what you think of the 1nagazine! \iVe would love to kno"v what vou would W(.e to see. your feedback on all things plus size rroln fashion, to 1nodeling, to television, or just because, share your voice! ~

Big thank you for the ma le spotlight feature on page 160 of June's plus model magazine! Very excited/grateful - Jumz Aitkin {PMM first male model}




loving this issue. PMM you've done it again. Hudge nod to the size and color diversity in this issue. Happy to be apart of it. - Sommer Green

HOT summer Fashion




Until I found this magazine, I had always thought my kind of body should be hated . I tried every summer, to lose weight. and I never could. So I hated myself . I looked into the regular magazines and saw the skinny "healthy" gir ls and w ished so badly that I could be them. When I came across your magazine, it shocked me to know that my body is actually beautiful. I slowly came to realize I have a curvy andpretty shape. All this time I had thought I needed to be a size two to function in life. So, now I'm pursuing plus modeling, and it's definitely made me love myself. Just want to thank you guys for such a lovely magazine. -An iss a Moussa I just wanted to mention that this magazine is a fantastic idea. It is great to celebrate women no matter who they are and what they look like. It is upsetting to see our society so closed minded to change. - Losa I just became a fan of your page, and I would like to say thanks! Thanks for making plus size girls look hot! You have the bravery that I commend and I love it! -Kelly Larkin


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: plusmodelmag

model magazine 6th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE CONTENTS INSIGHT inspirati on letter from t he editor rea der's react BEAUTY tara: tried & true beauty artemis: d.i.y. sexy, wild summer hair top beauty favorites with jasmine FASHION executive fashion director monique: fresh & bbq chic reah: look your best in a sundress! marie: new kids on the block EDITOR IAL curves and passion i am plus jakaliene river a is fiercely r eal fiercely rea l editorial feat ure ENTERTAINMENT your top 10 pmm covers pmm celebrating 6 years in virtual print the great xscape ... latocha scott the marcy minute the diary of r&b diva nicci gilbert health at every size get to know blogger sabrina in the bag: jese's favor ites spotlight model: shadia PM M AR OUND TOWN fffw wr ap-up cult of ca recap



e1ne ones Editor-in-Chief Welcome to our Anniversary Issue! It's hard to believe PLUS Model Magazine has been in v irtual print for six consecutive years. When Valery and I put our first issue together, there was nothing comparable for the plus size industry and thus we decided to take it upon ourselves to create an outlet where plus size fash ion and the modeling industry would be celebrated. Since then we have grown by leaps and bounds, w ith millions of readers. page views, and social media views a month as well as 250+ media stories and countless blogs since January 201 2 alone. How did it all happen and did we know that it would happen this way? The answer is no, we have grown organically by listening to you, our readers. We have been led by passion for the plus size industry and have worked collectively to bring more of what our readers want to see. This month Tyra Bank's Fierce ly Real model search winner, Jakal iene Rivera graces the cover of PLUS Model Magazine. She's young and passionate about the industry and of her Latina roots. T his curvy Puerto Rican beauty has been on our radar and we are happy to see her career taking off.

I'm a 90 's girl at hea rt so when I heard Nicci Gi lbert, lead singer of the R&B group, Brownstone, was designing for plus size women, I was jumping for joy. This month we bring you a heart-to-hea r t exc lus ive interview with Nicci about life, her new show R&B Divas and Curvato Clot hing. We have images from her debut du r ing Full Figured Fashion Week - NY and a complete wrap up of the week's events. Congratulations to Gwen DeVoe and the entire team of FFFWeek. Simply amazing! I want to take this t ime t o thank all of the models who have supported PMM over the years: my incredible staff, past and present: and our loyal r eaders without you PMM would not be where it is today. Lastly, I want to t hank the industry fo r embracing us - without the support of the br ands, designer s, industry professionals and agencies who read this publication ou r efforts would be in vain. Enjoy! Madeline J ones




Products that sta1

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.I. . Se Summer



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Summer hair should be fuss-free! Taking a break from heat styling will allow your hair a chance to repair. Here are some ways to wet set your hair into beautiful summer waves and curls!

Me,~maid Beach Hair



for ul, i mcue s< yli ng

Start out with wet, towel-dried hair and work in a styling cream for hold. Spritz a sea salt spray into your hair. Begin braiding small sections of hair and secure with small elastics. The tighter the braid, the wavier the hair will be! When your hair is completely dry, finger comb it and let your beach waves flow!


Styling products: Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray ~ 60.oz. l77 mL

Kenra Styling Creme 70

Photo credits: (L) Whitney Morris for Victoria Janashvili Photographf't (Top R) Lexi Placourakis for Inez Lewis Photography, (Bottom R) Yanderis Lodos for Victoria Janashvili Photography.

Siren Waves You need slightly damp hair, about 80°/o dry. Spray gel will help you create hold so that you will achieve a controlled wave. Create a loose bun


at the top of your head. For shoulder length hair, create 2-4 smaller buns for a similar result. Use hair pins to hold the buns in place and hairspray. After at least an hour, you can take it down, flip your hair over and shake it out! You will have beautiful, voluminous hair! Styling Products: Redken Layer Lift 07 Length Elevating Spray-Gel KMS California Hair Stay Maximum Hold Spray



0 1

Sea Nymph Curls Work a volumizing mousse into damp hair, and allow


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Take 1-2 inch pieces of hair and wrap them around your finger.


Pin it in place with a "duckbill clip". When the


hair is completely dry, take out the pins and

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spray. If you want to keep it curly, then finger comb. However, if you desire a softer curl, use a brush. Styling Products: Ouidad Playcurl Volumizing Foam Tresame 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray


ReahNorman Executive Fashion Director We came, we saw, we celebrated! NYC's Full- Figured Fashion Week has come and gone in what seems li ke an exhilar ating blink! The months of pr e-pr oduction , schedu ling, fashion show preparation, and outfit planning, all done in four monumental days! Ther e is no other t ime in plus size fashion when everyone can come together- industry AND commun ity, and celebr ate our one common bond- plus size fash ion. I was thr illed to connect with brand r epr esentatives, designer s, blogger s, and indust ry pr ofessionals, as well as talk in per son with so many faces that I know and conver se with virtually through social media. This is such an exciting t ime in plus fash ion, with so much momentum behind designers and brands. I was very impr essed w ith the fash ion I saw on the runway from both independent designers and existing fash ion houses and I can honestly say I think that this year's FFF Week was the best yet! I left NYC completely excited, inspired, and empowered to share it all with the world . In this month's issue of PMM we are

re -capping all the highlights from NYC's FFF Week, as well as embracing the summer of sun & fun! Fashion & Style Editor, Marie showcases some of the "New Kids on the Block"- emerging designers to watch. Also. Shopping Editor, Monique shares all the best looks to keep you cool in style for your favor ite outdoor festivities in "Fresh & BBQ Chic", and I have highlighted how to choose your perfect summer dress in "Look Your Best in A Sundress". On a beauty note, East Coast Beauty Editor, Tara Taylor highlights "Tried & True Beauty" staples for everyone, and West Coast Beauty Editor. Artemis teaches us how to "D. I.Y. Wild , Sexy Beach Ha ir". I hope you all are enjoying your summer. embracing al l the amazing plus fashion we have at our fingertips, and when choosing your fantast ic wardrobe this season. remember to "think outside the fashion box"!

xoxo. Reah

The New Kids on the Block ... 4 Emerging Plus Size Designers to Watch by Marie Denee Fresh off the heels of Full Figured Fashion Week, we have come down from our hig long featured Fall collections in February, plus size women and fashionistas alike he: June. What the plus size designers gave us was the perfect showcase of the mar ric But this was only the beginning of our excitement! As we ready ourselves for Fall, tr the community. Those who wowed showed for Full Figured Fashion Week. Those dE quo, think far outside any box, and deliver fashion w ith an extra dose of attitude; the~ To help you on your quest to find that plus size fashion that delivers all of the above, collections will have your curves singing w ith glee!

YDUTHEARY KHMER I get so much joy seeing a woman wear one of my designs. I put my heart and soul into creating more than just a pretty dress, but being a part of making someone feel beautiful. Their pain, struggle and sacrifice, is my pain, struggle and sacrifice. Cambodian model-turned-stylist-turned-designer, Theary Sim is the force behind the sassy contemporary and chic collection, Youtheary Khmer . Taking a cue from creating custom garments for her clients as a styl ist, Theary channeled her creativity to deliver a collection that spoke to her edgy, playful, and confident consumers. Her first collection in 2008 was created initially for the straight sized community. After hearing the cry and seeing the demand in 2010, Theary re-launched Youtheary Khmer for the curvy woman. Playfully sweet. modernly contemporary, elegantly sophisticated, all of these round out and up the Youtheary Khmer collection. You can learn more about the Youtheary Khmer collection by visiting


h of plus size fashion. As traditional fashion shows have ld the chance to preview what to expect for Fall, this past 3ge of plus size and fashion.

1ere are a few new plus size designers making noise within 3signers with a cult-like following, who cha llenge the status .; are the new kids on the block. we have rounded up some of the newest designers whose

savannahred Fun and flirty is how the designer behind Savannah Red, Anslee Connell, would describe her collection. The Georgia-born singer, photographer, and full-figured clothing designer, made her home in Austin, Texas after falling in love with an eco-friendly culture full of local artists, musicians and crafters. On her inspiration, Anslee quickly embraced the f lavor of Austin and began fas hi oning her own spunky pieces of artistic flair - all while ditching t he plus size stereotype and Savannah Red was born.

"Be inspired, not influenced."

Savannah Red designs is an eco friendly brand that produces fun , fresh, and inspired by vintage silhouettes, all made for full figured women. Referencing eco friend ly, most of Savannah Red's pieces are made from up-cycled garments or otherwise recklessly abandoned fabrics and are uniquely one of a kind! You can learn more about the brand by visiting

I began to embrace my Curves along with the idea that I could inspire other full figured women to embrace theirs... R&B group lead, Nicci Gilbert of Brownstone drew from her own personal strugg les in entertainment as a plus size woman to fashion the plus size collection, Curvato. Battling the embarrassment, shame, and the push and pul l to adhere to a societal ideal of attractive, Nicci rea lized that being pretty had NOTH ING to do with her size and that being healthy is more important than being pretty and that being pretty does not mean she had to be thin . Coming full circle with this revelation and renewed mindset. Curvato was created. In the quest to design clothing that would complement not cover, Curvatos goal is to appeal to women who have discovered that being beautiful, sexy and empowered is only enhanced by clothing and style, not created by it. You can learn more about Curvato on Facebook at

What does th is mean for plus size fashion? We now have choic had as the only choice has now expanded into a bevy of aesthet to suit the many moods of you. the plus size woman.

San Diego native and recent college graduate, Ash ley Nell Tipton came out of the gate swinging with her freshman col lection. But do not let her yout h fool you. Sewing since the tender age of seven, Ash ley spent her days worki ng and re-worki ng clothes for her Barbies and learned to use her grandmother's sewi ng machine as a r esult. At t he end of her senior year of high school, she completed her first collection, inspired by her love for the hippie generation. Ash ley fine-tuned her craft in college with the help of a trip to Paris and London to visit fellow design students at the Atelier Chandan Savard School. It was there she found her voice, direction, and inspiration for the Ashley Nell Collection. Created for the female that is chic with a rocker-edge, Ashley Nell Tipton is a collection that combines the perfect elements of glamour and street. This collection does not shy away from color or bold patterns; it is THIS aesthetic that Ash ley Nell Tipton defies the black is slimming mindset. Ashley Nell Tipton Col lect ion will be available at the top of January 2013, and you can learn more at


PLUS Model Magazine - July 2012


ByYve Edmond YVE : You've been a working model for qu ite some time now. How did you get into modeling?

is most definitely an appropriate adjective to describe Ms. JAKALIENE RIVERA. Represented by IPM Models, Jakaliene has managed to prove to the plus size community that she has secured a place in this curvy world and is here to stay.The recent victor of Tyro Banks, Fiercely Real title, Jakaliene is gaining momentum and has no plans to slow her roll any time soon . Join PLUS Model Magazine as we delve into Jakaliene,s world.

JAKALIENE: I became involved in modeli ng after I did the Miss New York competition. After that experience, I wanted to do something in which I could represent curvy women and I was introduced to the plus modeling industry and from there it took off. YVE : What is one of your funniest moments to date in modeling? JAKALIENE: My funniest moments are every day at work. I love my job and the support and people around me always provide laughter. YVE : Please share with us about your "Fiercely Real" experience and working with such industry professionals. What was the best advice you received through this process? JAKALIENE: It was a beautiful and amazing experience. Tyra Banks showed me a lot of different poses and

FIERCELY REAL Joko liene Rivero movements like sm ize. And working with industry professiona ls was such a good opportun ity. I learned so much and the whole experience was f ierce! YVE : For years, PLUS has been st riving to increase opportunities for women of color, sizes 12+, and has addressed barriers related to t hese issues which women face daily. How impor tant do you feel this work is for the next generation & how do envision giving back to your community with your current platform? JAKALIENE: What I love about the industry is that we all come together and we feel so passionate about fashion and loving our bod ies. I feel so happy and excited for the generation because they ar e seeing girls li ke them modeling and that is such great message to show the girls that we are all f ierce. By giving back to the commun ity I plan on talking to girls about self-esteem and confidence. I need to let them know that they are al l beautiful and never to think differently.

cause every girl loves pink. It is the co lor in the crayon box every girl wants to pick out and draw w ith!! YVE : What is one of your secrets to success? JAKALIENE : My secret to success is to never give up and keep the passion in you and use that towards your career. If you are determined, anyth ing is possible.

.Jakaliene Rivera is represented by IPM Models in NYC.


YVE : What is a typical working day like for you? JAKALIENE: A typically work day for me is to wake up positive and enjoy the ctay and keep send ing the message that curves are beautiful. YVE : I've seen some of your recent images and they are amazing!! What is your key to a successful shoot? JAKALIENE: The key is to move and work the camera; smize, be fierce and- sll_o\11{ --t he camera how much you embrace and love your curves!! YVE : If you were in a box of crayons, which color would you be? How would you win t he artist over in choosing y60 to wor~ _ with? JAKALIENE:

I would choose pink be-



Tia: When did you start to sing? Did you get clearance f rom the pastor, because my father was not the pastor of the overalways know singing was your call ing? all church at the time . There were a lot LaTocha: I started sing ing at the age of of rules and regu lations we had to overtwo I was always surrounded by music. come. The pastor ended up being very My father is a musician, as well as a paslenient and just told us not to forget our tor. He had a group called the Scott 3 roots. that consisted of his brothers and they traveled around town and I was able to Tia: How did Xscape start, and how did be inspired by them. I always wanted to the group pick the name XSCAP E? harmonize and just watch them as artLaTocha: Well actually Kandi and my sisists. Definitely inspired by my father. ter were good f riends in high school and Tia: Your father was also a Reverend, Kandi would come over to our house a how did your family accept you singing lot and she would come and spend the R&B? night or we would go to church together. So late at night they would start singing . LaTocha: Because my father sang R&B At that time I was a part of my own group before he was really committed to gospel, called Precise. When Kandi and Tamika he was more open-minded and so was were singing I wou ld always tell them you my mother. It was actually the church shou ld sing it this way, you need to add and the foundation that had a problem this note. Kand i said, Well why don't you with it at first. The church was very hesijust sing w ith us? So I did . We start ed tant about my sister and I wanting to be a sing ing in churches all over Atlanta and part of the industt"'y. So my mom had to then we met Tiny when she came and did her audition and then we started singing from there. We had so many names at one point we were called Atla nta's Best Kept Secret (laughs) . One day I said we are not like the other girls we are an XSCAPE we should call ourselves XSCAPE. The girls thought it was corny but I told them that was a good name for us and it

".. .the~ told me I was too big to be a singer, too dark.... I definite!~ defied the odds with being a full figured woman m~self and just doing it."


\; I

just stuck. Tia: Xscape was such a huge group for girls who grew up in the 1990's and 2000's. Is there a chance we can expect a complete reunion with you, your s ister Tamika, Kandi, and Tiny? LaTocha: I am not opposed to that. I talked with Tiny the other day and we talked about the music for a second. You know she has a family now and working on her rea lity TV stuff. I was thinking maybe they wou ld do a song on my album, but I would love an Xscape reunion. I don't know how the other girls fee l about that but I would love it! Tia: Kandi and Tiny are both reality stars now. Can we expect you on a reality show anytime soon? LaTocha: I have been approached but it is all about the music now and when you think about Xscape you think about the music. I might entertain the thought later on. Music is my first love. Tia: When you first arrived on the music scene it was not often you would see avoluptuous plus size woman. Tell me some of the challenges you face w ith being full f igured in the public eye and in the entertainment industry? LaTocha: Back then it was not embraced

like it is now. I was in a group with girls who were a size two -six at that time and I was like, Oh my goodness. Then I got the title the big girl and it did not sit too well with me. I already had self-esteem issues growing up being dark skinned and I was like, "Oh my gosh another challenge. So what I did is I just threw myself into what I loved the most, which was the music and a lot of t imes people would say, You know that big girl can sing but they didn 't know my name. I could not believe that they still did not know my name and I was very much determined for people to know who LaTocha was. It was very challenging especially when you have gir ls in the group saying we wanna wear something sexy, when at the time we were all wearing the same outfit. I wou ld hear it from them as well as the company telling me I need to lose weight. Sometimes I fe lt bad ly, but I had my mom and my aunt and they were very supportive and they always told me, It's not about the size its about how you feel about yourself. So it was very chal lenging. Tia: As a television producer I always hear another producer or media executive telling talent they need to lose weight. How exactly did the music executive approach you about your weight?


LaTocha: It is funny that you ask this because I have a book coming out that talks about all of this. I remember one time we were in rehearsal and Tiny said she wanted a cheeseburger and I said I wanted a cheeseburger too, and when the lady came back with the lunch she gave me a bowl of soup. She told me, "You don't need cheeseburgers, you need to be eating salads." I just threw the bag back at her and said, "This is not what I asked for and if a cheeseburger is what I want to eat, you should bring that to me because I'm paying for it. So we had a big blowout. She took me to the side and said, "I'm not gonna talk behind your back and say what other people are saying. So at that point it meant people were really talking. It was never nice when the industry came after me. It was always, you need to lose weight, you need to have a membership at the gym. Sometimes it kind of hurts for a little, but the reality is that you can do something about it if you want. well. There's just a point in your life you Tia: Did Jermaine Dupri say anything have to look in the mirror and love what you see outside of what people say you personal to you? are and know who you are and be confiLaTocha: Jermaine never said anything dent in your own skin. Whether you are he was more adamant about the music. a singer or an actor, doctor, you can do He kept it professional he really did; that whatever you wanna do. Just do it. I' m a was one person that never really said living example. Because they told me I anything. He always made sure I was do- was too big to be a singer, too dark. You ing what I love and of course he was en- know at the time it was all light skinned joying the success of the group. It wasnt and long hair skinny girls performing and a big deal for him . being successful. I definitely defied the Tia: If you could give any advice to the odds with being a fu ll figured woman myself and just doing it. young fu ll figured LaTocha what would you give? If you enjoyed this interview and what LaTocha Scott had to say make sure to LaTocha: I would say love yourself and never deny yourself. Never allow some- check out her new single "Bad Timing" on ones negative opinions to become your iTunes . Also visit her website www.Latofor tour dates and fo llow rea lity. That's what I would definitely tell a young LaTocha, and to other people as her on twitter @IAmlaTocha.

Colleen: One of your web shows include, The Marcy Minute, what inspired you to start it?

Marcy: I was at a place in my life where my job was fair ly uncreat ive. I had plans to quit, lose weight, and pursue my on camera career, but what I realized is that too often we wait for something when we have the power to do it now. Especially with forums like YouTube and being able to create your own website or blog: the time is NOW. So I got the courage up, opened a You Tube account and shot my first video. About a year later, Cali Ann L ee, the former Managing Editor of SKORCH Magazine reached out to me to do videos for their plus-size videos, which floored me and was com pletely out of nowhere and the rest is history. SKORC H allowed me the platform and that is how M arie Claire found me. I am so grateful that one night, on my parent's couch, I got the nerve up> to just do it.


Colleen: The world learned more TO TI-IJNKYOUARE PRETTY about you through realit,:: TV. You DARJV SPECJAL TO WANT TO thought you were comldeting to be "The Next It Girl" only to fi Ad out you were bePURSUE ANY CAREER JNTl-TE ing cast for VH1 's reality show, You're PUBLIC EYE... Cut Off. Do you feel the show helped you grow as a P,erson? fierce and fabu lous we plus-sized gi Is can be; however,_u r.lfGrtunately they Marc : The show was a great opporspin your audition into a web of what tunity for me to gain some exposur e ana makes for good TV. Spoiled brats are w as ultimately the beg inning of my fifmuch more fun to watch than well-ad-teen minutes. (I hope they stretch over justed young women. I have never lived a LONG period of time). It was an eye with roommates and have grown up opening experience to be a part of such with a housekeeper, so the show expea large scale production. I had been on rience taught me that it is DIFFICULT to movie and television sets, but you don't live with seven other women and that I realize how much goes into reality TV value cleanliness. As a kid I learned to until you are in the midst of it. The actual scrub and sweep and vacuum, but this prem ise of the show was a strange one gave me the chance to use those skills. for me, since I aud itioned to be AmeriIt was also an exercise in communica ca 's Next It Girl, I wanted to show how tion as there were times when I was


THE :MARCY :MINUTE Marcy Guevara example of curvy gumption. It isn't always easy and I understand that. I want them to know that I am just like them. Good days and bad days, L ouis Vuitton wallet with only $50 inside some days and just got paid days too, trying to look and fee l stylish, sexy and cute. Whether it is a question about which bra, dress or shoe line to shop, I want them to know they can come t o me and I will have the answer.

Colleen: Nicolette Mason is an amazing plus size fa shion advocate. What's it like working with her?

Marcy: Nicolette inspires me ev-

everyone's mother hen at one moment, and then it would turn on me and I was the gossip (since I knew everyone's business]. All in all, I try to live without regret. life is too short. I still keep in touch with a couple of t he girls and val ue them. as we experienced something that no one else w ill eve r~ understand in the same way.

Colleen: Congratulations on your position as host for Hearst Digital Media's new YouTube channel, Big Girl in a Skinny World. What take-aways do you hope plus size women will pull from the webisodes?

Marcy: The main thing we want women to walk away w ith is a bag of tricks so they can feel confident shopping where they shop, on their budget in their body. Our suggestions are cues for women to see what is trending, what t he designers are doing and then look for it on their terms. I aim to instill confi dence in women and stand as an

ery day. Her eye for beauty and innate sense of style are amazing. I love being able to share the Big Girl in a Skinny World platform with her and be associated with the plus-size style icon that she is. Nicolette has a unique sense of st yle and we are very different but I know that the Marie Claire team chose me t o complement her and build this amazing commun ity together.

Colleen: Which fashion icons inspire your sense of style?

Marcy: I have always loved television and film so many of my fashion icons come from that influence. I can remem ber dying for a flowy skirt and leotard like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing and making multiple attempts in my college days to channel Carrie Bradshaw. I love taking cues from red carpets and can remember icon ic moments from Cher, Elizabeth Taylor and Madonna that etched their way into my mind. There are so many and my video on Hello Style expresses it perfectly! ZW_7Ec&list=PLC85F7A889299DBA 9&index=2&feature=plpp_video



Marcy Guevara

Colleen: What are your top thr ee styling t ips for plus size wom en?

mentoring young women. Any updates on the show you are developing to reach them?

Marcy: 1 . Do not be afraid of shapewear. Invest in s ome and rock your body con dresses or mini-skirts. Beauty is pain. 2. Embrace your curves, don't try to hide t hem. Find silhouettes that work for y our beautiful body and play up your best assets- you have some. :23. Wear colors. patterns. prints. f lorals. and anything that makes your heart sing . Find ways to translate trends for your comfort level and body, but dont get stuck in an all-black rut

Collen: You have a lot of self-confidence that comes through the computer and hits us at home. Did you always have a positive self-image? How did you develop it?

a .... 路 I think that self-image is re-

ally something that develops over time and is affected by your circumstances, - - er:1vJconment. etc. My_earents have always raised me to be conf ident. stantl up straight. suck in my tummy, smile, be nice, be an individual. be a leader, and always dress up. Take pride in your appearance so as to look pretty and on and on. These things have shaped me. I always knew I wanted to entertain and I think that is often INSIDE a person. You have to t hink you are pr etty darn special to want to pursue any career in the public eye [which can be very difficult] , so in a way I think some people are just born confident or as Gaga says, "Born that Way". I encourage women toreally do what it takes to embrace themselves. Whether it is making a change, f inishing a project. taking t ime to journal. whatever it is. you have control over your outlook. happiness and self1mage. Colleen: One of your passions is '

Marcy: My dream is that young wom en would see me and believe that they to o can accomplish their dreams, no matter their size. I would love to host a makeover show that has nothing to do with weight Too many shows on TV fo cus on losing weight. Biggest Loser, Too Fat for Fifteen. I Used to be Fat and on and on. It really sickens me. My dream is to produce and host a show about living in the Skin You're In and dealing with the now.

Colleen: You have recently added consulting to your long list of talents. Which services do you offer and for which types of clients? arcy路 l do wardrobe consulting, image consulting, closet revamps, personal styling , etc. Anything and everything style! No matter your size, sometimes you need someone to step in-aneJ AeiJ3! I also work w i h several br ands on their product development and speak on confidence and style for private events. For more info on any of those services people can check out my website

Colleen: It seems li ke the curvy com munity can't get enough of you. What's next for you? Any new projects we can look out for?


That's very sweet!! I would love everyone t o subscribe to Hello Style and the BGSW Playlist and check me out on Coco Perez too! People can keep up with new projects and upcoming appearances via Twitter @themarcyminute and Facebook www.facebook. com/marcyfanpage

PLUS Model Magazine July 2012 -----~




Vibrant, positive, confident, rnotivational, intriguing and iconic are just some of the thoughts that con1e to mind when I reflect on 1ny intervie'v vvith Detroit native, Nicci Gilbert. Introduced to the 路vvorld in 1994, as the lead singer of Bro'Nnstone; Nicci gives PLUS Niodel Nlagazine an exclusive interview on her roller coaster ride to success as a plus sized R&B Diva. vVith the recent debut of Gilbert's Curvato Clothing line at Ne'v York's Full Figured Fashion vVeek and her nevv reality show R&B Diva's set to pren1iere on TV One August 20, 2012, this curvaceous beauty is moving at the speed of light. 1-Iolding nothing back and taking chances Nicci is sure to set the world on fire. Speaking candidly about weight-loss surgery, pressures of the m.usic industry, fashion, life, V\TOrking w-ith Niichael Jackson and Tyler Perry; every won1an is guaranteed to be inspired by her incredible j ow"ney.

TlA: Nicci, Take me back to 1994 really quickly. Let's remind our readers of your history. Talk to me about the excitement of 1994 the debut of the R&B group Brownstone, being signed to Michael Jackson's record label MJJ Records, what that time was like for you?

NlCCI: I probably had the most unfiltered passion and excitement zest and dedication. I remember being in college and not having any money and being really poor and wanting to go home, but being really excited about hanging out with my friends exploring new things. So it was like I know I shouldnt be here because I have no food and no place to live; and this was pre-1994 like 1992, 1991, before we got our deal. There was just knowledge in my heart and in my spirit that God had something greater for me. I knew that it was risky, but. I was really passionate about a career in music. I put out local auditions in a paper and I wanted to have this super

group of women that were not about being pretty faces in short mini dresses, it was really about our songs , our gift, the music. I have always been a little revolutionary, the stand up and accept yourself in whatever skin you are in at a younger age. So I put a group together and we had a few really great opportunities or so we thought that did not pan out. So one day stranded in the desert resulted in us having a meeting with a publisher who just happened to have a friend who ran Michael Jacksons label, but we did not find that out until after we got our contract. We signed to Michael Jackson's record label. It was one thing to have a record deal; it was really big deal to have a record deal with Michael Jackson. I was probably one of the most serious, dedicated 23/24 year olds you would have ever met (laughs).

TIA: I remember being in middle school in 1994 listening to your record and watching your videos on Video Sou l us-mode 1-mag .com

with Donnie Simpson; but I remember specifically you being signed to Michael Jackson and that was a big deal. Moving on, we all know Michael passed a couple of years ago and it was trag ic, and of course the media likes to focus on t he negative things instead of the positive. Is there a specific positive memory that you have of Michael?

NICCI: I remember we were at a convention and taking pictures with him. This was the first time I kinda had one-on-one dialogue w ith him. I just remember him saying ''I'm so proud of you guys, I'm so happy for you guys, I love you and I love the album, it's great." I remember saying, I'm so happy you like the album because it was a lot of pressure. He said "I signed you because you were great, and I signed you because you had a lot of potential and you have the potential to change the world. Don't allow the pressure of my accomplishments to affect that." That was very profound because I was shaking in my boots while taking this picture and for me to have an opportunity to keep it real w ith him and for him to respond the way he did was great. That was li ke the exhale moment for me because I would always shy away from pursu ing dialogue with him. I had a similar conversation with Tyler Perry and it just confirmed that nothing is by coincidence everyth ing is purpose driven, and, lm a f irm believer in God and him putting you in the places you are supposed to be.

number of changes. My passion is not in music right now. My passion is using my ability to empower women in different ways. Part of it whic h you w ill see on the show, t here were some really stressfu l t imes when I was in the music industry. 1 didn't feel free and feeling free is very imTIA: Any chance of having a Brownstone portant to me. reunion? TIA: I looked at a couple of the videos NICCI: Well, the Brownstone story is a and I noticed that you were more volupvery sensitive one for me r ight now. We tuous than the other girls. Did you conare very good frien ds we love each oth- sider yourself full figured then? When did er dearly. Anyone who has fo llowed the you really take on the title of plus sized/ group knows we have gone through a fu ll figured and have you always been a fu ll figured woman?


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NlCCI: Great question. I thought I was back together. You don't know what that is chubby as a child, but, looking back on the pictures I realized I was just tall. I wasn't heavy until I got into college because I was eating pizza every single night. I was a little chunky in high school too. When I got to California obviously my eyes opened . When I got into LA I was like, "Wow I am as big as a house." I started auditioning before I put the group together and I would always get "Oh you have such a cute face, but you need to lose weight," so I became really aware of it. When I was in the group, yes I was aware I was the big girl. Maxi is a size 2, Mimi was a size 4/6, and I was a size 22/24 so obviously I knew I was the bigger girl. I think that subconsciously I definitely had issues w ith that; but I would never really let people see me sweat. On that first album, in addition to putting the music together; the struggle for me was, how do I change my body? The record label said they wou ld advance me $27,000 to have cosmetic surgery. They found the doctor and they arranged the consultation and I had liposuction and a tummy tuck. My mom wasn't there and I just remember being in a lot of pain, I mean really in a lot of pain. I remember it fe lt like they had cut my stomach in half. I had no idea what the procedure was because I was only 25. You don't understand someone saying they are going to slice your stomach r ight in half superficia lly without moving any of your organs through the fat with a laser and then I'm going to staple you

but you want so desperately to be skinny and small and you do whatever you have to do. It was also encouraged by people around me which I don't have a problem discussing it now, but really! I think that was pretty irresponsible for people who were supposed to care about me. TI;\:Thataffectsso manyplussizewomen that aspire to do entertainment because if you want the dream badly enough, you will go overboard with the dieting which will eventually develop into an eating disorder for a lot of women.

NICCI: I will never forget I was a size eight and I went to my mother's house and she opened the door and said, "Oh my God, where's my Nicci?! They told me you were losing weight." And she had tears in her eyes. She asked me to sit down and talk to her and she said , "Please tell me yourenotdoingdrugs." I said, OhmyGod , you know I would not do drugs (laughs). At that time all I cared about was getting thin, I was a work out fanatic for like five years. It was crazy.

TIA: Recently you have transitioned into television I know you have "R&B Divas" debuting August 20th on the TV One Network. You have all-star cast of divas. Its going to be you, Faith Evans, Monifah Carter, Keke Wyatt, and Sylenna Johnson.

NICCI: Yes and we w ill also have some

PLUS Model Magazine July 2012 us-mode 1-mag .com

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TIA: I have a couple of questions for you about this reality show. A lot of celebrities do not want to do rea lity shows because it is so invasive and you are really giving a lot of yourself when you do it and it is very personal. You are not only in the show, but. you also created it and are executive producing it r ight?

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NlCCI: Yes, Faith Evans and I are Co- gonna see adversity, you're gonna see triExecutive producers. I didn't look at the fact that we are singers; I looked at the fact that there was a void in reality television . I am a singer, playwright. director and producer. I see people getting super-duper wealthy off of these shows if you use the branding right; so that was the initial idea. I reached out to all of the ladies and I knew we needed an anchor someone that everyone knew, and someone that everyone loved. Faith and I have been friends since before she had a deal. I knew that she was the right person.

TIA: So, it's safe to say this won't be another"' Basketball Wives type of reality show, but there will definitely be some drama?

NICCI: You are going to see a lot. The beautiful thing about this cast is that everyone is so voca l and you're gonna see honesty, you're gonna see truth, you're b!¥lnt

umph, you're gonna see sisterhood, and you re gonna see love. You won't see a drink flying across the table, but you might see Keke cuss her husband out [laughs). There are definitely times when we have to check each other. You will definitely get those moments but every sing le one of those moments is protected by love. It's a lot of excitement, not a snooze fest. I

TIA: I love it! I love divas! Now my question to you is why TV One?

NICCI: Oh I'm so happy you asked me that question. TV One was my first and last choice period. There was nothing else out there. There were no other networks in my mind but TV One. The reason why is because I felt like TV One spoke to our demographic. TV One is also run by Radio One. If it wasn't for the Radio One family a lot of us wou ld probably be forgotten because they are the ones that keep us alive on radio. The fact that I knew TV One was run by black women; powerful black women who were not going to let the train wreck take priority. TV One has 60 million viewers tuning in and they are known for a certain level of quality. TV One was the obvious choice. TIA: I have to ask because I read some blogs about the show and a lot of them focus on Monifah. I read she had a bit




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of a substance abuse problem for seven years. Is that something that will be shown?

NICCI: Oh yes, you know the amazing thing about Monifah and I think it is so powerfu l coming off the Whitney Houston tragedy. In this business you have so much pressure and you're an artist so you are already sensitive. So when you are working hard and you are busting your ass and you're doing everything that you can do and then your father dies, and then your brother dies and you still have to work; its a lot. Unfortunately, in this business people dont teach you coping skills. For her to be able to open up and say I was addicted to cocaine for seven years and I was killing myself and was leaving a legacy of B.S. for my daughter is brave. To tell the whole world that is power!

She will address the situation where she stabbed her husband and you w ill have a chance to hear the entire story. When you hear it you will probably say I would have done that too or worse. The beauty is that we don't end in strugg le.

TIA: What about Syleena what are we

TIA: What can we expect to see from gonna see with her? Keke? She's a live w ire!

NICCI: Syleena is transitioning; she is

NICCI: Keke is the baby of the bunch . making a career decision. I had no idea She is one of the most honest people I have ever met; I love her dearly. She is probably one of the mostta lented singers of our time and people have no idea. Keke has six ch ildren now; she was in a very, very abusive relationship w ith her f irst husband. Keke is not crazy, she just does not have the ability to lie or sugar coat, so she says whatever is on her heart.

how talented she was. She has always had the struggle and I totally get it. She strugg les so much to come out of the shell of R. Kelly and out of the shell of the gir l that sang with Kanye West and out of the shell of her father; to rea lly be able to provide for her fam ily.

TIA: Now let's talk about Curvato Cloth-

PLUS Model Magazine July 2012


ing line. You have a lot going on (laughs). So tell me about your inspiration to do this clothing line, and when it will be made availa ble to the public?

lowing websites to keep up with Curvato Clothing and its availability: https:l/www. http:!/ vatoclothing Also follow Nicci on Twitter @ niccig ilbert . A lso look NICCI: Curvato was born in my disap- out for information on her Curvy Girls pointment in my inability to f ind clothes off Rock Extravaganza that will take place in the rack. Back to the group thing it was 2013. always li ke, "Oh what are we gonna do for you? I guess we will just have something custom made." And custom made always had a bad ring to it. I always pic tured a big bed sheet. Finally in my transition from music not wanting to do that MODEL MAGAZINE anymore, I felt like a clothing line was in the cards for me. Curvato is definitely a line that will cater towards professional women. The clothes f it such a wide variety of shapes and sizes. I wanted my line to be fashion forward and fun.

TIA: When can we start to purchase these pieces?

NICCI: The website will be active in the beg inning of July 2012. I will have pieces available at retail in the fa ll. I would like to open up a custom Curvato boutique in Atlanta. I believe every woman deserves to have a custom dress tailor made or custom f it.

Tit\: What advice what you like to offer to our readers about being Plus Positive?

NI CCI: I think to be plus positive and be plus confident is to always think about love, period. To love yourself, love God , and love whatever it is you do. If you are passionate about something, you will exceed and you will do very, very well because love never stops. True Love!! If you enjoyed this interview and what Nicci Gilbert had to say make sure to check out her new TV show, R&B Divas on TV One August 20, 2012. Also visit the fol-

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Interview withAuthor, Dr. Linda Bacon byShannon Hiett True or False: Fat Kills. True or False: Lose Weight to Live Longer. True or False: Anybody Can L ose Weight. And the surprising answer to all of the above is FALSE. It amazes me that society has trained my brain to think that being overweight is not only my fau lt, but it is an undoubted death sentence. After talking with Dr. Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size, below, my unwavering beliefs are now taking a major, unexpected blow. A plus positive blow! Delve into Dr. Bacon's interview with PLUS Model Magazine and be prepared to walk away enlightened, empowered, and feel ing muchbetteraboutyourself. I know I did!

Shannon: Linda, your website is very informative and I love the thought provoking true and false questions; mainly the false statement that if you lose weight you live longer. Why is that false and why is it

that society's perception is that it is true?

Linda: We get pummeled on a regular basis with news reports that fat is killing us and weight loss is our salvation; it's not surprising people absorb that and believe it to be true. Even I was surprised when I went to the scientific research and found that it just wasn't supported: there have been many studies looking at weight loss and longevity and almost all show that the weight losers actually have shorter longevity than those who are weight stable. Even studies that have c o n t r o IIe d factors like smoking or preexisting illness come up with those results.

www. pIus-model-mag .com

Shannon: How long have you been studying the matters of fat and false perceptions of health being directly related to being overweight? Linda: Well over two decades now. I started on this journey because fat was such a painful issue for me-at a very young age, I believed that I was too fat and that if only I could lose

PLUS Model Magazine - 2012 weight, everything in my weight w ith health. People life would change for the have a lot of difficulty better: my parents would recognizing that you love me more, I would get cannot make assumptions more friends. The journey about someone's health towards f inding peace in or health habits just by my body led me to learn looking at their weight. that it was my mistaken beliefs that were the real problem.

not a size two. Have you received an outpouring of support from the plus size community? Is there any particular incident of an "ah ha" moment that sticks out to you?

Linda: Yes, I am happy to see so much support. Yet people Shannon:. lt may be are often surprised silly, but I have to ask, when they see me in is Bacon really your person and learn My goal is fairly szmple last name? that I am relatively thin. It was quite Linda: Do you educational for really think someone me to see that would make up a people did not get Dr Lmdd Bacon name like that!?! why it mattered The further irony to me to show so of my name is that I much support for grew up in a household fatter people, when where we kept kosher. they did not think (Keeping Kosher is a it was something Jewish tradition, and one I experienced for aspect is that you cannot myself. "Why are eat bacon.) Shannon: How do you you so comm itted to the feel about the plus size fight for the rights and Shannon: What do you industry and our pride for respect of others?" was hope to accomplish with our bodies just as they the general question I got. And here is what I want your book, Health at Every are? Size? to say. I did not originally Linda: I am so grateful for get into this work because Linda: My goal is fairly what you do. Hats off to of my compassion for simple. I would like to those of you who provide others or because I felt a change the world. support and products for particular affinity w ith the people who are typically fat community. I did it to Shannon: What's the marginalized and do not save myself. Whether I was number one misconception have access. You are filling fat or thin did not seem to that society has about fat an important need. matter-the fear of being and how do people react fat drove my pain. The fat when you tell them the Shannon: Personally, as acceptance move ment a plus size woman, I am is cr itical for people of all truth? quite happy with the truth sizes: we all need to know Linda: I am not sure that you have exposed with that it is okay living in a I would like to rank the your book and teachings. fat body so none of us misconceptions, but I I am exhausted with the needs to fear fat and we would like to bring attention perceptions that plus size can all feel free to accept to one that is particularly individuals are unhealthy ourselves and others. So challenging: equating simply because they are I am in this f ight until I am

PLUS Model Magazine - July 2012 convinced it is safe for academic year I am often can see my speaking anyone-including me-to teaching full -t ime and not schedule by visiting this as available for public talks, page: live in a fatt er body. www.lindabacon. You though I do some on the org/speaking.html. Shannon: Do you have weekends. Summertime can also follow me on a touring or teaching is when I do more public Twitter (www.twitter. schedule? Where can talks. I encourage anyone com/LindaBacon HAES), people come see you and interested to invite me Facebook (www. learn more abo ut the to your school, clinic,, or join my truth of fat? organization, workspace, mailing list (www.tinyurl. or wherever: I love com/LBmaillist) to stay in Linda: During the spreading the word. You the loop.

Shannon: You claim t hat it is false that just anyone can lose weight. I am the living proof that the theory is false. What's the science behind it? Linda: Rather than my reducing the science to sound bites, I would like to send you to more detailed sources t o get the skivvy. Those of you who are academically inclined, you will f ind the answer in this peer-reviewed journal article I co-authored, entitled Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift.

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By Tiffa11y Bank. What made you decide to become a plus size model? One day I accompanied a friend to a photography session and the photographer directly suggested I do a test shoot with him. I loved his photography and realized I could model and have been modeling ever since. Who are your favorite curvy role models? The beautiful Mia Amber [R IP) and Tara Lynn. Tara Lynn really has stood out in the plus industry and she is beautiful!

Finish this sentence: The plus industry is: The plus industry is an industry of beautiful, curvy women who are confident and believe in themselves . What was is like to shoot with Velvet D'Amour? Velvet is adorable. I adored working with her on this shoot. She is natural and sublime and it was such a pleasure to meet her! If you could pick the perfect plus modeling campaign for yourself, who would you want to work for? I would adore working with Jean Pau l Gau ltier, Dolce & Gabbana or Dior! What are your dreams , desires and goals as a plus model? I would like to see plus size models put in the same rank as the straight size

models. There are thin and curvy models that are gorgeous . Beauty is not measured by weight and I want to be the one of the models to prove it!

What can we look forward to you doing in the next year? I have just settled down in a new country. I left France to live in Canada and I have already had people contact me for projects! For now. I just hope to meet new people here. All my current events and updates will be on my official site: Who were the Photographers and Makeup Artists for the photos? David Ekue (Photographer) , Valiyii (MUA) . Julien Charlier (Hair Stylist). Ewa Cieskowska (photographer), Emy Lee (MUA) and Velvet D'Amour (Photographer) Vv\AIW.JADORESHACOM

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PLUS Model Magazine: July 2012 Plus Size Fiercely Real Contest Winner Cover Model