Being a nature lover myself, and working alongside the curve industry, I was instantly drawn to Tia Provost a couple years ago when on the search for inspirational women. A curve model with the same love of nature, animals and food as me, Tia is a big inspiration for self love, confidence and loving natural beauty. I got the chance to interview Tia about her favourite types of shoots, the modelling industry and who inspires her!
You sport an amazing and enviable curvy figure. Have you ever felt pressure to look a certain way before modelling?
“Thank you!! I didn’t feel I was at a comfortable size when I was a teenager, and like many individuals out there, I suffered with my self esteem and confidence – not that many people knew, I was very good at masking it, but I’m a sensitive soul and things would cut straight to my very being. I would never have my thighs or tummy on display! I would always dress to conceal and distract through my cleavage. I thought if they were looking there then the weren’t looking elsewhere. I didn’t see myself as beautiful or attractive, or even worthy of being with someone. I wasn’t a pretty popular girl that could flaunt around in a bikini. I would avoid the beach, and I didn’t own my first pair of denim shorts until I was 20!!”
Before modelling, did you have another kind of profession dream?
“I just wanted to travel and see the world – and still do!!
I always said that whatever career I choose it would have to involve travelling…and meeting new people (I love talking! :D) and luckily I stumbled upon my dream career with modelling as it allows me to do all that. But I can’t lie…I still get itchy feet badly! My backpacking side is still in there bursting to get out.”
You’ve modelled everything from high glamour lingerie to raw and natural black and whites. What is your favourite type of shoot?
“Anything in nature! Especially by water! I don’t care what the temperature is or if I have to be out there for 12hrs…I just love being by nature. Its me at my true essence.
Im pretty cruisy, and see everything for its own beauty in its own unique way. Location shoots are great fun as you really vibe off your surroundings and you take on the entire story, it adds another dimension for you. But then theres something so gorgeous about having a clean cut studio shoot. Like everything in life theres pros and cons to all sides.”
Do you have a “night before” beauty regime in preparation for a photo shoot the next day?
“It depends what type of shoot I’m doing, but honestly – lots of water and sleep!! Staying away from fatty, heavy greasy foods or anything that is going to weigh down on my skin. I want it to be healthy and refreshed so I reflect that in what I fuel my body with, because after all – it starts from inside. I dry brush every morning upon waking and after my shower I use a Natural Instinct moisturiser for my face and chest and organic virgin coconut oil for my legs and tummy. After a shoot is where my whole regime comes in. I take all my make up off straight away, with coconut oil, using my hands to really give my face a good rub and massage, then get a cloth with hot water to wipe off. I do a green tea face mask to help clear my skin and rejuvenate.”
You inspire so many girls, (including me!) to love the skin you’re in, and embrace our natural beauty. But who inspires you?
“My parents 🙂 They are so supportive and encouraging. The best role models to have guiding me through this life. Our fridge would always be covered in positive sayings and affirmations, and every year we’d repaint it and start again. Mum’s so strong and has amazing believes that she stands by. She has always been into the natural way of life and was frowned upon for how she choose to bring us up, in an organic chemical free household. She’s an avid gardener and I remember sitting outside in the sunshine watching her work away. Both my parents are extremely talented business owners and I grew up working in the shops from a very young age, which taught me so many useful life skills, such as dealing with people and communication skills. My dad always reminds me of an old willow tree, so peaceful and calming yet so strong and powerful! He has always told me ‘whatever your mind can believe it can achieve’. Louise Hay is also a fabulous uplifting teacher. Actually one of the first things I remember from my childhood is my mum singing her song to us while we were growing up
“I love myself, the way I am, theres nothing I need to change, Ill always be the perfect me, theres nothing to rearrange, I’m beautiful and capable of being the best me I can, and I love myself, just the way I am”
Last year, a SFU study suggested that plus size models could be sending out an unhealthy message. What is your opinion on this?
“I don’t think it’s a promotion of an unhealthy message I think its a promotion of accepting yourself as you are. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to improve on yourself. I am constantly trying to improve myself! But until you love and accept yourself as you are right now in this moment – nothing will change no matter how hard you try as your mindset isn’t there. We all come in different shapes and sizes. For me its not about promoting plus size or straight size or this size or that size, its about promoting whats healthy for you, for your own body.”
What defines a healthy body for you?
“At the end of the day we’re all individuals, and what works for me or what is healthy for me isn’t for the person next to me. I think theres too much of this comparing one another to each other. I can look at someone and see their beauty and their strengths and weaknesses without putting it beside my own and feeling that I’m coming up short. Genetically its impossible to be exactly the same as someone else – and thats what so amazing!!!”
The fashion industry can be a demanding and fierce world. How do you stay confident and positive when many designers are still avoiding using plus models?
“I’m lucky that I have a really good supportive family who keep me very grounded and give me encouragement to keep going. They always have a different perspective for me to consider, which is quiet refreshing to get someones opinion who is outside of the industry, who can look upon something with fresh eyes and see what I’ve been missing with my own. My parents are my best friends. I tell them everything and talk through decisions, getting their advise. I even take them to events when I can! Hahaha. I am also careful on who I choose to surround myself with. My closest friends are some of the most down to earth people that just love rolling around in the grass with animals crawling all over them 🙂 like me, not worrying about what we look like. I am very aware of the industry I’m in…but also that I’m not that industry. So through my friends and family…and my upbringing, I’m kept quiet grounded. The more mainstream its getting the more designers will open up to using curvier girls. But if not everyone does…well thats their choice.”
What has been your favourite shoot of all time?
“There’s been a couple that have stood out to me for one reason or another.
Recently I did a shoot for a new brand launching in the next few months, and I love the product and the designer! But then I found out who the photographer was…Jez Smith! It was such an honour to work with him! I have never been so nervous for a shoot!!! Hahaha. I also have to say the shoot I did in NYC for Plus Model Mag, April Issue. It was my first ever cover shoot and for it to be with PMM was such a privilege! The entire team there are so lovely and welcoming its like i’ve immediately been accepted into this one big family. I cant express my love for those guys enough! Maddy – Lucas…you guys are phenomenal!!!”
Many girls are not coming forward and wanting to get into plus modelling. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to represent the “average” sized woman?
“If you have always wanted to try modelling then 100% go for it! Life is to short to have regrets and ‘should have’s’. The biggest advice I can give you – be prepared for rejection. I know thats quiet harsh, but it’s apart of the industry and its gonna happen more times then your accepted. But you need to understand that its not personal, its business, and if you are not what that director is looking for then thats it. Good self esteem as digital photography shows everything! Theres no hiding once you’re in front of that camera. And of course grounded people around you because you can get quiet inflated by your own ego.”
What can we expect to see from you in the rest of 2016?
“If you follow me on snap lots of food; Buddha my dog, and nature hahaha. As I’ve just moved back to Aus to be based here, continue to build myself up within this market, I want to start moving towards more TV roles, and also I’m starting to look at the States and getting my foot in the door in that market…but I am home and struggling with wanting to relax and get lost in nature – but still work at the same time 😀 hahaha Its all a balance after all!”
Tia Provost Official