Meet Abby! Our Monday Model.
What type of modeling do you do? How did you get started as a model? What’s an average work week like for you?
I do plus-size fashion/commercial/boudoir modeling!
I started modeling when I won a plus size modeling contest with the brand Curvy Angels. (www.thickcurvyangels.com) I worked with them modeling and writing blogs for their brand! I do modeling on the side right now, while I work full time in corporate merchandising. I have scheduled photo shoots, about every other week working with amazing photographers! I also own my own freelance hair and makeup business called GlamCiti and do my own hair and makeup for most of my shoots!
Describe your personal style. What are some of your signature colors, styles, and accessories?
My personal style would have to be sexy glam! I love a fitted dress that hugs my pear-shaped body, in a range of colors from bright red to black! Nothing better than a sexy black dress paired with gold jewelry and a strappy nude shoe. I love makeup and so I like to accessorize my look with different makeup. Change up a lipstick, to add a pop of color, add a pair of dramatic lashes, or add some sparkle for a night out!
What are some tips you’d like to share with aspiring influencers or models?
I think my biggest suggestion and tips would be authentic. Don’t agree to do something if it’s not what you want, and to trust your gut in all situations. There are a lot of people who will try and talk you into things or take advantage of you. Also, don’t expect it to happen overnight! It takes time, and the grind never stops. Own and grow your craft!
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a little girl, what would you tell her?
I would tell her that she is beautiful and that everything will work out. I would say I didn’t grow into my beauty until college. I had many years of braces, rough haircuts, and didn’t know how to dress my body. I grew up in a small town without any diversity and little to no acceptance of different body shapes. It wasn’t until I moved to a larger city in college/post-college that I started to realize that my body can be desirable and my worth is not derived from the scale. I remember a specific time in my life sophomore year of college. I was at a comedy show on campus and after I went up to the comedian to tell them how much I enjoyed the show and he looked at me and said: “Honey I can tell you don’t have confidence in yourself. You’re truly beautiful and your body is beautiful. Just wait, men are going to running after you, you just need to see your beauty.” I can’t tell you how much hearing that meant to me and really started to change my thinking that curvy bodies ARE beautiful.
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?
I would say start by looking in the mirror every morning and telling yourself you’re beautiful and worthy (even if you don’t feel that way). By doing this every day it will become a habit and your brain will start to think that. I would also work on figuring out what your body shape is. There are many gorgeous shapes of us curvy women and the key is to figure out what your shape is so that you can go out and buy styles that will enhance you! There are SO many blogs/articles on the internet that can help you pick styles that you will feel confident in. THEN once you’re feeling more confident you can start to wear anything you please because you know that you’re beautiful the way you are. SEXY is a mindset ladies!
What does life look like for you outside of blogging or modeling (day job, hobbies, family life, etc)?
Life outside of modeling is BUSY! I would say modeling is a way I can express myself and really feel like I’m making a difference. I also own my freelance hair and makeup business that I run with my sister called GlamCiti. We love empowering women to feel the best they can feel in their own skin and helping build confidence. In addition, I am a singer and recording artist! Currently, I’m working on an album! Lastly, my day job….I work in product development! I enjoy my day job but hope that one day I can do my side hustles full time!
What does being an influencer or model mean to you? What do you hope it means to others?
Being a plus size model means the world to me. If I’m able to reach even one young girl/woman and help them feel confident in the skin they’re in, then this ALL is worth it to me. I love receiving fan messages from other plus size gorgeous women saying I helped them buy a two-piece for the first time!
What are your goals and dreams as an influencer or model? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I would say my goal and dreams as a model are always changing. Once we stop dreaming and growing then that’s it. I NEVER want to get to that point. I always want to push myself to my next challenge. Some of my current short-term goals are to model for some of the best plus size brands in the game like Charlotte Russe Plus, Forever 21 Plus, and Torrid, ASOS, Boohoo, and Lane Bryant. Another goal of mine is to continue to keep building my IG presence so that I can continue to reach more women! My long-term goal is to be as influential as Ashley Graham (my all-time idol.) Another long-term goal is to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the largest size they’ve put on the cover!
Some of the accomplishments that I’m currently proud of is winning the plus size modeling contest with Curvy Angels 8 months ago. This really jump-started my dreams! Also, working with some of the top photographers in the Twin Cities areas. Lastly, getting this opportunity to interview with FabUPlus!
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?
The fashion/retail/modeling industry has come a LONG way in the past 10 years. When I was in high school I wouldn’t have imagined there would be plus size models gracing the cover of top magazines. With that said – I believe there is still room for growth in what and who is represented. Other than Tess Holiday there aren’t many diverse plus size bodies in the media. Honestly, “main-stream” plus size is a 12-14 when the average woman in America is a size 16 and up. Don’t get me wrong all PLUS size bodies are beautiful, but my hope is that more plus size women above a size 16 are showcased including all shapes.
What are some of your favorite shopping and styling tips?
Honestly, I don’t have the time to go shopping in person, I order the majority of my clothes online. My tips and advice to ladies are not to be afraid to order online! You can always send it back! There are SO many more options for us plus size women online than in the standard retail setting. A styling tip I have is DON’T afraid to show some skin. I have cellulite on my legs – but that doesn’t keep me from showing them off.
What does beauty mean to you?
To me, beauty comes from within. Comes from an inner shine that you give and portray to other people. There are a TON of people who are “beautiful” on the outside but their inside is “dark.” Beauty isn’t just an outwardly appearance. It’s the beauty inside that transpires to the outside appearance.
How has your body image and self-esteem changed over the years?
My body image and self-esteem has completely changed over the years. Things that I’m not proud of today are that I used to hurt my body and didn’t appreciate it. I would binge, purge, excess exercise, and starve my body to try and be this “perfect” person that doesn’t exist. Through years of therapy and working on my inside I realized that I am beautiful the way I am. Now I work out to be healthy and for energy and try to fuel my body with foods that will nourish it. AND if I want pizza or a hamburger or ice cream, I don’t punish myself. Life isn’t about deprivation it’s about moderation (which I still am trying to master.)
Which fashion brands and designers are leading the pack or doing something different and meaningful? Please give examples.
From a retail standpoint, I would say Torrid, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21 are leading the pack in promoting affordable stylish designs for plus size women! ASOS is a great example of a retailer with a high fashion feel paving the way for plus size women in the high fashion area. Calvin Klein has some of my favorite dresses in their collection in their size 16. They really have been doing great to fit the plus size woman (in my opinion.) Lastly, seeing Ashley Grahams work with Dolce & Gabbana and showcased in their fashion show is absolutely amazing!
From where do you draw inspiration for your work?
In my modeling, I draw inspiration through creative exploration. I love it when I work with a photographer who lets me put my own creative spin to it. I start by finding my outfit then move on to how I’m going to style my hair and makeup and lastly working on the best locations!
What can readers expect next – do you have anything exciting you would like to share with us?
I do have some projects in the works, but they’ll have to hold to their suspense until it’s launched!
Do you have a message you want to leave with our readers?
Be BOLD, be KIND, be CREATIVE, and be YOU.