Meet Madeline Jones, Editor-in-Chief of Plus Model Magazine
Madeline Jones is the editor-in-chief of Plus Model Magazine, a magazine created and written by plus size women for plus size women. Looking to bring plus size women into a fashion-forward state of mind, in 2006 Madeline, along with friend and business partner Valery Amador, created what to curvy women everywhere would be known as the “Vogue” of the plus size community, Plus Model Magazine.
Plus Model Magazine is the mecca of curvy fashion. Every month their digital magazine sets the tone and brings us all the latest style trends in the plus size fashion world. How to wear, beauty, and topical news are just some of the topics you will find between their magnificent editorials and beautiful showcasing of true plus size models. Having been given the nickname of the “Anna Wintour” of the plus size magazine world, Madeline Jones is frequently asked for her expertise and insight in all aspects of the fashion world.
Her dream for the fashion world would be for plus size to be seen beautifully OUTSIDE the size 12 to 16 range, and for brands to market us plus size women with true size diversity. With Plus Model Magazine’s very first print copy of the magazine coming later this year, it looks like Ms. Figueroa-Jones will be doing more than enough to have those dreams come true. The devil will no longer be wearing Prada… rather, plus size.
As the Editor in Chief of Plus Model Magazine, we’d love to hear about how this all came to be – where did you start and why? My business partner and I started PLUS Model Magazine eleven years ago. We worked together at another online magazine and when that magazine folded she came to me with this brilliant idea to create a magazine that would celebrate plus size models. From that point on, the magazine has evolved to being inclusive of the community, fashion, and everyone that supports this amazing industry.
I’m sure that your own personal journey has played a large role in why you are so passionate about all you do. Can you share with us a little bit about your story and your journey to self-love? I think this is what is unique about working in an industry like this. I’m a plus-sized woman and have been plus-sized since I was a young teen. Even as a child I was always bigger than the other kids of the same age so I know firsthand what it’s like to live in a body that is not deemed acceptable in society.
I come from a very supportive immediate family but there were extended family members that would comment about my weight and size to my parents. Watching my mom fiercely defend me showed me that there was nothing wrong with me. If the woman who gave birth to me LOVED me unconditionally, I needed to do the same.
As an adult my weight has fluctuated due to many factors, I mean I LOVE TO EAT being number one. LOL. Also I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) almost ten years ago and it took a toll on me emotionally and at times physically as well. Working in an industry where we promote self-love while my own body was attacking me was very hard for me. I had to almost “re-learn” to love myself again.
You are very well connected in the industry and we see that the heart of Plus Model Magazine (and you) is about supporting one another and inspiring people to be their best selves. Why do you feel that this is such an important element in everything you do? I would not be who I am today if I did not have the support of a very selfless woman, my business partner Valery Amador. Since our roles in the company are so different you often don’t hear about her, but she is just as much the heart of this operation as I am. When I first started PMM I was 30 years old and worked in corporate America. I was used to fighting for my place as a young Latina in the corporate world but grew up watching my father be an incredibly kind person to everyone he came in touch with. I believe it’s my responsibility as an entrepreneur and leader in this industry to lead by example. While I’m not perfect by any means, I try hard to be kind in everything that I do and to support the people in the industry.
Plus size models and bloggers are really helping to change the game when it comes to what we see in media as well as how brands are able to reach their consumers. Why do you think this is so important and where do you see this going in the future? The truth is that we have more well-known plus size bloggers and influencers than models in the plus size industry! The reason is that the consumer feels much more comfortable with images of women similar to her. We would have never seen a brand like Lane Bryant post images of a model with stretch marks and belly peeking through her panties even five years ago but now it’s a regular occurrence and the brand is reaping the benefits of new customers and positive brand awareness.
“Maddy” is known for her drive and activism bringing plus size women into the fashion-forward light but it’s her consideration and kindness that shines through to everyone who knows her. Her compassion has been the gateway for many companies who are trying to break into the plus size industry. She has always supported the YONA New York brand and been a cheerleader for their message since Day One. It is for this reason that they have designed a dress in her honor: the “Maddy Dress.” As YONA continues to develop and grow by advancing into a luxury ready-to-wear inclusive line, Maddy remains a champion for them and it was wonderful to have her model in YONA’s collection for this feature.