Working in a world full of constant measures and ideals of perfection and stature can take a toll on you if your values are not firmly planted.
I am thankful for being a man that works in the beauty industry because it has offered me a glimpse into the psyche and notions of what is considered beautiful and acceptable.
Being from a Latin family, it is the norm to accept, and almost expect, color, boldness, flavor, and curves. I recall my mom’s passport photo vividly. She was in her early twenties when the photo was taken. I remember her raven black curly hair, matte porcelain skin, groomed eyebrows and turqoise eyeshadow offset by a dusty rose lipstick.
She has always been simple in dress, not showing too much skin, and accepting of her “non American” body frame.
I remember eating a large sandwich at a friend’s house and coming home after studying. I walked in and she offered me more food. “You look hungry. You’re getting so thin. You need to be robust”.
This has stuck with me because I have to constantly tell myself when working on set that we all come in different sizes. That I grew up around curves but now I work around sample sized models that fit beautifully in the clothing designs.
I am very lucky to work with all sized women (and men) from all lifestyles and walks of life. Actors, models, brides, mothers-to-be, professionals, and young high schoolers.
I have made many model friends that happen to be women. Real women. Some with curves. Some a size 2. Some with a wider nose. Some with small cup sizes. Shoe size 10 and some with back and knee problems.
But what resonates with me is that they all share one thing. I meet them with aspirations and goals. With feelings and fights just like everyone else.
Why does it have to be “plus size”? Why does it have a stigma? Shouldn’t it be about empowerment? What values you carry?
I guess men seem to be different. I rarely hear one guy say about another guy “He’s just so big!” “What does he get off being that size and wearing that?” “I don’t want to be in the picture because I feel fat”
I am constantly drawn to and inspired by women that live and accept their figure. Here are a couple of my all time favorites:
Maria Felix: One of the most beautiful and famous Mexican actresses
Dolores Del Rio: Considered among the most beautiful women in the 20’s, actress and singer, socialite, philanthropist
Sophia Loren: Arguably one of the most beautiful and famous icons. Italian curves, actress and model
Marilyn Monroe: Iconic and glamorous she will always be known as America’s sweetheart
Kate Upton: Has opened and closed many runway shows including Billabong and Guess
Jennie Runk: Here she is for H&M in a 2013 Swimwear Campaign
I had the honor of working with Bailey Culbreth, a plus sized model recently signed with MSA Models. Not only is she beautiful but she allowed herself to follow her instinct and pursue full figured modeling.
Here is her film:)
Be fit. Be healthy. Be you. We all have differences that are unique. Embrace your body and love yourself. This is what truly radiates as beauty!
Hair and Makeup: Walter Fuentes of WAFU Artistry http://www.wafuartistry.com
Photography: Nicollette Mollet http://www.nicolletemollet.com
Styling: Nicole Johnson
Muse: Bailey Culbreth