Pantea grew up in Vancouver until she was 7, where she entered pageantry, had won many titles & would be come to known only as the “black-haired Shirley Temple” singing, dancing, acting, and modeling classes continued till at the age of 7 she moved to her Hometown of Washington D.C. Northern Virginia. Growing up in the DMV, she pursued her modeling, & if she wasn’t behind a camera, she was on a stage, or in a booth spitting off bars that would make Missy proud. Her main goals would be to continue Plus Modeling while releasing her mix-tapes and be able to share her body positive movement with the world. Her prerogative is to empower women into realizing how confident they are! & loving their curves! Curves are beautiful & she wants to make sure everyone knows it! Using her hashtag #LuckyToBeCurvy to share their photos & be able to show the world that curvy is confidence, sexy, and here to slay! Pantea is here to change the industry for the better!
Congratulations on all of your success as a Plus Size Model. How did you get started modeling?
I began at a very young age, as a baby model, I was known as the “black-haired Shirley Temple.” My plus modeling started at the young age of 14, when I was asked by a Professional friend if I would be interested in modeling for an indie designer.
What has been your favourite experience thus far – the one you are most proud of?
It would have to be my first runway show as a plus model. I got a last-minute call from my agent and had to take the positon of one of the main models for DMV. Every single outfit that I was required to wear had minimal to zero coverage, but I remember getting on the runway and it was as if this light turned on, now suddenly I was feeling as confident as I could ever be! Walking down the runway in lingerie, glamor dresses, and even a fur piece that was pretty much a long piece of faux fur that was wrapped around the certain parts of me. It made me so proud to be able to not only take the place of this missing model, but do it with such confidence that I had models backstage asking me what the “secret” was. This day was one of the proudest moments of my career as I realized how beautiful my curves always have been and how the confidence was there this whole time.
Just like any craft there is a learning curve – how did you learn how to model – both print and runway if applicable?
The training from my childhood set me up to be able to move with the camera and find the best poses for me. It’s always a learning experience, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” –Socrates. You are always learning something new.
Did you have mentors or role models who helped and inspired you along the way?
My number one mentor would have to be my mother, Dr. Ferrie Sepehrar. Being raised by a single mother who always gave me everything she could, she was always there to motivate me when I was feeling down. When I began Plus modeling, she always told me “we are Lucky to be Curvy! You are beautiful! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!” Those words always stick with me to this day. She taught me that we are all beautiful and no one has the power to control us, power is control and control is power. Ashley Graham has been one of my inspirations as a plus model. Her ability to do what we are set out to do with this industry – Change it! Watching her just take over the plus size industry and not letting anyone tell her no. She has been an inspiration since the beginning!
The Plus Size Industry has changed and continues to evolve – how do you think as a model you are able to help make an impact in how the world sees plus size women?
As a Mixed-race woman, I’m making an impact with my work alone! The plus size industry still has trouble accepting different backgrounds and bigger sizes! I think misconception is that plus models are promoting “obesity” or “unhealthy lifestyles.” In my career, I have always advocated for more diversity in the industry and will continue to move forward to change the industry for the better!
You exude confidence with every step you take, were you always this confident? Tell us a little bit about the journey to confidence.
I wasn’t always this confident! It was buried deep inside me after years of bullying as a child. One of my breaks into confidence was my first time on a runway! I was draped in faux fur & I knew one wrong move would have caused a wardrobe malfunction. But I had this calm come over me. I just whipped into action and started working that runway! After struggling with an eating disorder and serious fluctuating of weights, I had trouble with my body. Plus modeling opened another door for me and changed my life completely! Starting my body positive empowerment movement, Lucky To Be Curvy on Instagram has made me so proud. My goal is to encourage, inspire, and motivate those who wouldn’t dare even post a picture of themselves or have been bullied or harassed! My blog has grown over 2000 reposts and tons of messages from individuals that may have been in a bad place or just wanted to let me know that I have inspired them to pursue plus modeling, to post a picture of themselves, and even sharing the love for their body to the world!
For our readers who are interested in starting a plus model career, what would you suggest are some top tips to get started?
Find yourself a professional photographer! Get yourself some professional photos! You want to build yourself a professional portfolio before you search for an agent/agency. The main tip I would give – BE YOURSELF – LOVE YOURSELF. The one thing you must realize is you must find that confidence inside of you! Show the world your beauty and never look back!
As a model you’ve had the opportunity to wear a variety of different styles, but what would we catch you in on an “off duty” day? What would you call your fashion sense and how has this evolved through your modeling career?
Hood Rich. That’s all you can call it! You can catch me in Nike Air Force Hi-tops with leggings and a Tupac shirt reading “THUG LIFE” That’s just my style! I could be rocking a faux fur vest with skinny jeans, thigh high boots, and gold chain. It’s just how and what mood I’m in that day! On an off day, you would probably catch me in the same type of outfit! I tend to add my own rich to my outfit! From criss cross leggings to boho cardigans to ball caps and crop tops! What I realized thorough my career is that style is what you make it! I’ve worn the most creative pieces you could ever think of! Things dreams are made of! But that’s style! You make your own!
What are you some of your favourite places to shop your style?
I LOVE Forever21! I’m very eclectic with how I shop. I could be at Torrid one day and H&M the next! Mixing and matching my pieces from each shop to create my own custom look! In my book Bralettes are crop-tops!
What does life look for you outside of the modeling world?
You can catch me in a studio working on my album! University takes a lot of my time! Classes and studio time are hard to juggle while having photoshoots that may take longer than you expected! I’m involved with various Body positive/plus size events as well as mental health events/fundraisers.
Thank you for taking time to chat with us today! What is one message you would like to leave with our readers today?
Always remember! We are Lucky to be Curvy! Don’t worry about anyone but yourself! Power is Control, Control is Power. You have the POWER to CONTROL how you feel! What you want to do and wear! You are beautiful! Confidence is in all of us! Show everyone yours!