Meet Tricia! Our Monday Model.
An interview with Plus-Size Model, Tricia Kilbrai.
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 am a new model I started in April of this year. Being a model and being able to show that women are beautiful no matter the size has always been something I have thought about doing. These last two years and this year especially. I have come to a stage in my life where I can finally say I love myself and the body I have. I have a friend who is in the modeling business who was a big inspiration for me and, helped guide me on how to get started. I joined a few modeling and photography pages on Facebook and just made a post saying I am a new model looking to build my portfolio. I also messaged a few photographers through Instagram asking if they would like to work together on a shoot.
I like to keep an open mind when doing shoots and bounce ideas back and forth between me and the photographer. Doing sexier boudoir shoots that show off my body is what I like to do most. I want to show confidence and being comfortable in my own skin. When doing a shoot that is high fashion and style is a great way to sow you can be curvier and still have a great sense of style. Being a new model I have not done too many shoots yet, during the week I have a full-time job in construction. Which keeps me very busy and always on the move. With my busy work schedule, I am not able to do shoots during the week which doesn’t work with some photographers. I am wanting to put more time and energy into my modeling and do at least 2 shoots every month, to get out there more and get more job opportunities in the modeling business.
Describe your personal style. What are some of your signature colors, styles, and accessories?
I would have to say my style is very casual but stylish. A staple piece for my wardrobe would have to be a cute high neck crop top or a comfy tight dress. I love to pair my crop tops with a nice pair of jeans or some leggings. I don’t like to wear a lot of bright colors. Pastel colors and neutral colors like white and black are what you can find most in my closet. I don’t wear accessories much – no necklace’s or bracelets anything like that. Any time I go out on the town is when I really get dressed to the nines, lots of jewelry and fancy heels and a sexy little black dress.
What are some tips you’d like to share with aspiring influencers or models?
Some tips I would give is, first of all, don’t be afraid. I know it is tough starting off as I still am. But don’t let that fear stop you from doing what you want. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help and reach out to people to get a little guidance on what you should do. Keep a notebook and write down what your goals are what you want to achieve, both short-term and long-term goals. Any information you think is important keep in there any dates of thing. Keep yourself organized to help your head stay clear and not have too much stress.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a little girl, what would you tell her?
If I could go back in time and have a talk with my younger self there is a lot I would have to say to her. But to keep it simple I would just say stop worrying about what other people think of you. Stop stressing over the little things in life you have no control over. And definitely stop giving time and love to people who do not deserve it. Just breathe and focus on you and what makes you happy and what you enjoy. Focus on your future and making it better not helping other people build their future that can do it on their own. What I would want to say to my younger self mostly is to remember that you are beautiful and you are an amazing person.
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?
You have to start small for sure if you want to be confident in yourself. You can’t just go crazy and wear a string bikini to the beach if you like to wear shorts and a tank top. Instead to start off try some high waist, full coverage bottoms. When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror find at least two good things to say about yourself. For example, things like my eyebrows are looking great today – nice and shapely and beautiful. Also surrounding yourself with family and friends who truly love you for you is a big part of getting confidence. Having self-confidence is not something you can get overnight it takes time and work. Like anything you want in life, it takes hard work and dedication.
What does life look like for you outside of modeling (day job, hobbies, family life, etc)?
My everyday kind of “normal life” that I have is one that keeps me very busy. I have a full-time job working in construction building things all day, putting my blood, sweat, and tears into my work. I also am on a slow-pitch softball team which I really enjoy doing. I played softball all throughout high school and played a few other sports here and there. I also like to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. I love to lift weights and gain muscle and get a good sweat going. Walking my dog or taking him to the beach with me are the best times of my life. Going camping with my family is something that we do every summer and it has really become a tradition for us. I love my big crazy, loud family, even though they drive me crazy – that is my family and they are what keeps me grounded.
What does being an influencer or model mean to you? What do you hope it means to others?
Being a model to me means that I am finally taking the steps I need to reach my goals in life. It means that dreams do come true and hard work pays off. I hope that for other people they see me being a model as, an inspiration. They can see me being confident and being myself and are motivated to love themselves and the skin they are in. To be confident and happy with the person they are and the person they have yet to become.
What are your goals and dreams as an influencer or a model? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
My biggest goal in life with being a model is I want young girls to see me and I want them to know they are beautiful. I want to show that beauty doesn’t have a size. That you can be confident, you can be sexy, you can walk down the street not caring what anyone else has to say about you. As long as you believe in yourself and you are happy and healthy that is all that really matters.
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?
I am so happy to see that more stores offer plus size clothes and that there are more beautiful curvy women shown in the media. The world I feel has definitely become more of an accepting place for not being judged by your size. I see more commercials showing plus size models even make up brands that have curvy women in their ads. But even though we have come a long way in 10 years with stores and brand offering more sizes and options for plus size woman, there is still work that needs to be done. There is still a certain type of plus model that is ideal and shopping for clothes if you’re not the right type of plus size well then the clothes are not going to fit the way you would like. If you have a little bit of a bigger stomach and smaller legs then you are not really considered the ideal plus size woman. I am sure in time we will figure out there is not one type of plus size and there will be more clothing option and more diversity of woman shown in media. But in till that day ladies no matter your size remember that you are beautiful.
What are some of your favorite shopping and styling tips?
Always wear things that you are comfortable in, never wear anything because it looks good. If you don’t feel completely comfortable in your clothes then do not wear it. Also, online shopping is a good idea just make sure the store has a good return policy.
What does beauty mean to you?
I feel that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and confidence is key. True beauty is being ok with who you are and loving the woman you are. Not trying to be what others want or trying to live up to expectations people say will make you beautiful. Love yourself for who you are – that is true beauty.
How has your body image and self-esteem changed over the years?
Over the years I have gone from having no confidence and a low self-esteem to being completely confident in whom I am. In high school, it was very hard and was made fun of for my weight quite often. I felt like I was nothing and never would be anything until I lost weight. Once I got out of high school and made real friends who loved me for me and were not just trying to get something from me, and realized in the real world, not just high school people don’t care about your size. I really have come to that stage in my life these last two years were I can say I love myself, where I can say I love the body I have. And it’s an amazing and in powering feeling to have.
Which fashion brands and designers are leading the pack or doing something different and meaningful? Please give examples.
I feel a pretty big brand is Additionelle. They are a store that carries clothes for plus size woman. They have some nice fashion-forward pieces that are a little on the more expensive side, but they are very good quality and worth the money. Another good brand I like is Fashion Nova. It is an online store that sells clothes in both plus and straight sizes. They have many good pieces and lots of options; they are more affordable clothing. I feel like these two stores are really making a difference because they don’t just sell plus size clothing to fit bigger women. They sell clothing that I would like to wear and they also have stuff my mother likes to wear. They do not restrict themselves to one type of person. They are reaching out and showing no matter the size or age you can be beautiful and feel good in what you are wearing.
From where do you draw inspiration for your work?
My biggest inspiration hands down has to be Ashely Graham. I have been following her journey since forever, and she is a hard working amazing woman who I feel is the one who really changed peoples view on plus-size models. She is and forever will be my biggest inspiration. I love the message she sends and all the body positivity she shows.
What can readers expect next – do you have anything exciting you would like to share with us?
You can expect to see a lot more of me I don’t plan on just being a small town model doing little things I have big dreams and big goals that I plan on achieving.
Do you have a message you want to leave with our readers?
I would just want to say life is short. Do what truly makes you happy in life.