When did you decide that you wanted to be a model?
Recently and seriously within the last 5 years, but when I think about it, I remember being fascinated by the fashion/modeling industry since I was about 5 or 6. The idea of me modeling has been engraved in my head since I can remember. My mom tried to get my brother and I signed as child models when we were young and then growing up she and other adults would always tell me I could be a model.
As a plus girl, was it hard to break into the fashion industry?
Yes and no. Yes because locally, here in Utah, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for plus models. The plus industry hasn’t quite caught on with local brands/retailers here. Aside from the big chain stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid, I can only name ONE local and independent store that’s exclusively plus size, and that’s Buxom Modern Plus Boutique. And then my no side of the answer: I’m so lucky that my agency (Niya Model Management), is so open-minded and willing to take chances! I submitted myself, and a few weeks later Niya met with me and signed me. She works hard for me and is my number one fan! She, like me, wants to change-up the game and show the world that body diversity is needed in this industry! With that, I feel like my opportunities and possibilities are endless!
For decades, the fashion industry has promoted the “thin ideal” ideology, and although the plus industry has made massive strides, magazines are still filled with prominently very slim and photoshopped women. Why do you think the media still holds on to this “thin ideal” idea?
I could take this conversation in so many different directions. In fact, I’ve already deleted and rewritten this answer three times. My most blunt and simple answer for this, is money. There are a ton of people getting rich off of people dying to get skinny. My focus is to show people who beauty comes in ALL sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors! People are starting to understand this, and our pleas for diversity are starting to be answered! We need strong role models to help ignite this fire of self-love and appreciation! The more society begins to accept themselves as who they are, the more diversity in all forms we will see in the media!
Your Instagram showcases how confident with your curves you are. Have you always been so confident?
HELL NO!!! I have struggled my entire life with my self-image and confidence. Since I could remember, I was always on a diet or comparing myself to other girls. I remember comparing my knee fat to other girls when I was in kindergarten, and thinking how I needed to lose weight and be skinny. At one point in high school I dropped 70 pounds by living off stolen diet pills and one salad a day. I’ve been in relationships where I was cheated on, and the first thing that would come to mind was “what did I do wrong? Is it because I’m fat?” How awful is that?? It wasn’t until about 3 years ago when I started to see a therapist that I came out of the darkness. I’m not perfect, and I certainly have low self-esteem moments/days, but more importantly, I know that my body and this experience called life is a tremendous gift. I don’t want to waste my time here hating my cellulite and not experiencing things just because I’m scared of my own belly rolls! It’s a daily requirement to remind myself that I am worthy of anything and I am just as beautiful of a being as Beyonce!
What is your favourite type of shoot?
I’ll keep this answer short and sweet: dramatic editorials! I LOVE to get creative!
What is your favourite clothing style the moment?
Anything camel colored and lace up! The moment I saw Kim Kardashian in that Givenchy lace up body suit, I fell in love!
A debate going round at the moment is keep the plus, or drop the plus. Where do you stand?
I’m cool with keeping it!
Finally, do you have any advice for girls wanting to get into the plus fashion industry?
I get this question a lot and I tend to say the same thing, but honestly, it’s really important: RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH! I read everything I could for a solid 2 years before I made a move and submitted myself to an agency! Interviews, articles, Blogs! Start local, and make sure you don’t fall victim to an agency scam! There are agencies out there that will sign and charge you for thousands of dollars claiming these costs go to training when in reality this isn’t needed. A reputable agent will train you themselves! If you don’t want to be represented by an agency, and just want to dabble into modeling to see what you can do, search local modeling groups on Facebook and see what kind of projects you can pick up from there!
Follow Anastasia on her instagram: @shmanishmasia for more plus model insight and more beautiful shots!