An Interview with Self-Acceptance Advocate Brandee J By Guest Writer Emma Medeiros FabUplus Magazine:…Read More →
Good Morning and Happy Model Monday again! We’d like to introduce you to Brittany Wilborn.
Brittany Wilborn is a Hartford, CT native who is truly invested in seeing her community thrive.
“I work in the human services field, centered on youth development, community outreach and case management. I am also a lover of the arts and am a freelance plus size model, dancer and actress. I have modeled in over 25 fashion shows in different states, published in magazines and this will be my 3rd musical with ActUP Theater. I want to use my educational, professional and personal experiences to pour into the youth in the community.” – Brittany Wilborn
Wilborn does this by helping them establish limits, boundaries and encouraging healthy relationships, a sense of community, responsibility, and accountability.
“I want to encourage others to go for their dreams no matter the obstacles they face and to always remain faithful in pursuing their purpose.” – Brittany Wilborn
Wilborn is a model and influencer. She’s also one of our fabUffiliates!
Name: Brittany Wilborn
Facebook: Brittany Wilborn
fabUplus Magazine: What type of modeling do you do? How did you get started as a model?
Brittany Wilborn: I am a runway, print/commercial and editorial plus size model. I went to a casting call for a well-known Fashion Show in Connecticut created by Ricky Da’Vista called The 6th Annual Trendy Walk Fashion Show Gala in 2015 and that was the beginning of my modeling journey. I remember I practiced in London Trash (brand of shoe) Metallic gold and black leopard platform heels and was called Midas Touch and crazy because we were walking down a winding staircase. I was determined to set myself apart as we all work black to practice in…….just be different and memorable; two things of many my model coach Jeannie Ferguson has taught me.
fabUplus Magazine: What’s an average work week like for you?
Brittany Wilborn: An average work week for me consists of looking up casting calls, researching brands and going through my photo shoots to see how to market myself and make new connections. I am always looking to grow and learn from other models and influencers. I work a full time 8-5 job and as soon as I am off I am in model, actress, dancer mode to find new opportunities.
fabUplus Magazine: For our readers who struggle with being comfortable in their own skin and wearing what they want, what are some practical things you would recommend they do to help them get to the level of confidence you have?
Brittany Wilborn: I would tell readers who struggle with being comfortable in their own skin to 1st look in the mirror and see themselves for who they are and find things they like about themselves. I believe confidence starts from within and falling in love with who we are mind body and soul is vitally important. Secondly look within and self-reflect, asking questions and giving yourself honest transparent answers. And whatever you want to change make sure it isn’t for a reason that is dependent on what other feel or think and based on a personal reason or goal. One of my favorite Gospel artists Jonathan McReynolds has a song called “Comparison Kills” and if we stopped comparing who we are to others than we all would have room to nourish ourselves and grow.
fabUplus Magazine: What does life outside of modeling look like for you?
Brittany Wilborn: Life outside of modeling consist of my full-time job as a Career Transition Specialist with Hartford Job Corps; where I help young adults with basic needs, interview prep, resume work, Job placement and retention and any other resources they may need. I build relationships with employers and community resource agencies. I am an avid reader and lover of The Harry Potter series. I am a nerd and love learning and going to school as I have an Associates Degree in Health Sciences and will be finishing my Bachelors degree in Social work. I attend church regularly and hold the position of choir director, youth leader and I am liturgical dancer. I am an actress and have acted in several musicals with ActUp Theater here in Hartford, CT over the past 2 years as Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray, Grace in Annie and my next role is the Step mother in Cinderella. I have been dancing since I was in 1st grade and continue to do so as an adult with both professional and leisure training. My hobbies are writing and drawing and I enjoy working out consistently. My family is very important to me as I am the youngest by 10 years having an older sister. I am my dads only child and unfortunately lost him 3 years ago from diabetic complications. While going through that my family was right there as a support system and continue to be there for me as I am them.
fabUplus Magazine: What are your goals and dreams as an influencer or model? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Brittany Wilborn: My goals and dreams as a model are to encourage others to go for their dreams and to hopefully help pave the way for more women and men to pursue their goals. Too often we are told what we can and cant do being defined by height and weight; as a petite plus size model I want to grace the runway in NY and Paris, turn the pages of magazines and see myself a petite plus size melanin queen with natural hair that can help represent a majority of women out there and to continue to help change the narrative on what a “model” is supposed to look like overall. I also want to be a tangible resource for my community and role model for others to relate too. Some of my accomplishments are opening up National Curves Day 2017 in Maryland modeling for Velve Dore’, Placing top 3 in Face Of Kurvacious a plus size modeling competition in New York and most recently co-hosting a workshop on woman empowerment by sharing my experience and journey thus far as a plus size model dancer and actress.
fabUplus Magazine: How have you seen the fashion, retail, or modeling industry change in the past decade – specifically with regards to diversity and inclusivity? What work still needs to be done?
Brittany Wilborn:The fashion industry has made many strides over the years in a great direction! Inclusivity has been a major change and I am proud to see it the more I look at brands, retailers and fashion shows. Not everyone has an hourglass shape and that was something I was seeing more of in magazines and shoots. As time has continued, I am seeing more shapes than the cookie cutter shape we are used to. When I look online for clothes with companies such as Torrid, Lane Bryant and Eloquii I am seeing women who are bigger like size 20-24 and I am seeing different shapes from Pear, top heavy and round and it is a beautiful thing that now everyone can see someone represent their look. One size 18 woman may not be built like the other and its about time we started to understand this. I am also seeing women being included who may have prosthetics or have loss a limb and are comfortable and confident being just who they are. There have been women in wheel chairs represented and other women who may have a mental health situation or medical diagnoses. This is long overdue and I am so happy to see everyone be acknowledged and no longer judged, shunned or forgotten about. I also love how women of other cultures are also being shown, such as the lovely Halima Aden who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated with a Hijab and a burkini and was the 1st to do it. That is what I call breaking barriers! Now- with that being said I believe the industry can do more. There shouldn’t be one Halima Aden or just one of any other models who are not known as the “ norm” to do it, we need more models to walk in those footsteps and continue to blaze trails so these instance are not one stop shops. Another thing I would like to see are more of us working together. In my 5 and a half years of modeling I have met some AMAZING people and I have seen some who do not understand that there is enough pie to go around for everyone to get a piece. Also there are others who are “cliquey” and rather than get to know a person they make a snap judgement and rule someone “out” of their group. This can be discouraging and can tear someone apart from the inside out. The things I believe need to be worked on won’t happen overnight but I feel with much self-reflection, team work and selflessness we can make that change.
fabUplus Magazine: What are some of your favorite shopping and styling tips?
Brittany Wilborn: Some of my favorite shopping and styling tips are be bold and colorful! Play with patterns and different prints! Plus size fashion has come along way since Fashion Bug (the store) was around. When I worked at Torrid I was known as the one who would NOT let anyone I shopped with pick out black! All of my customers said the same thing “ Black is slimming” While I LOVE a little black dress I also love being bold and bright. Colors are a beautiful thing and I love some leopard and please throw in a neon color too. Big girls can rock it all. Another tip I have is to pick out your right size clothing and undergarments! Bras and panties and spanx are the foundation of outfits, if they don’t fit our clothes wont fit right. Lastly be YOU! Being trendy is cool but being comfortable in your own skin and clothing is dope, Own it!
fabUplus Magazine: How has body image and self-esteem changed over the years?
Brittany Wilborn:My body image and self esteem has drastically changed over the past few years. I remember being in high school a solid size 12 and feeling cute but not confident. When I graduated high school and started college and working full time I packed on 60 pounds in the course of year! I was working 2 jobs one of them Torrid and I found myself. I fell in love with pink and red and yellow and leopard prints. I was open to wear different things and embraced my thicker body. I started to appreciate everything about me and my confidence grew. The more I learned about what looked good on me and what I liked I became more comfortable in my skin. I learned what self-worth and self-love were and stopped using societys’ standards for what beauty meant. Now here I am still loving me and my body and wanting to work on me for reasons that matter to me! Being healthy, feeling energized and living my best life to my standard. Can’t nobody tell me nothing- well except my trainer haha!
fabUplus Magazine: What do you have planned next?
Brittany Wilborn: What do I have planned next…Well, I am a lover of the arts and have been since a little girl. I have acted in several plays over the last year and a half and find myself ready to embark on that journey. I played Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray and Grace in Ebony Annie and was casted as the Step Mother in Cinderella Pre-COVID, the musical has been put on hold until its safe to resume. All of these musicals required me to push past my comfort zone and try new things. They also allowed me to combine my love of dance, singing and acting into one performance. I look at movies and TV shows and am starting to see some more representation of plus size women however there needs to be more. More plus size women need to play the love interest, the heroine and other dynamic lead roles that show we can be just as sexy, strong and magical as our smaller women. I am also looking into resources for starting a podcast to allow a space for these conversations and to highlight women doing what they love, living out their purpose and supporting them in the process. Stay Tuned!!
fabUplus Magazine: What message would you like to leave our readers with?
Brittany Wilborn:I want to leave the readers with this; stay true to who you are and your path. Allow yourself time to grow, learn from your mistakes and push forward. The process we go through is different for us all and no matter the hills and valleys we face it is all to make us stronger. Love yourself, flaws and all and remember that everyday is a new day with new Blessings and opportunities. Its also never to late to make changes or make your dreams a reality. Stay the course and be authentically you!