I have just quit my job as an engineer in the manufacturing plant for a famous company due to health reasons when, on a whim, I figured I wanted to try modelling. It was out of curiosity, I guess, but partly I was also looking for alternatives, like a part-time where I can regain self-confidence after having a heart-break from loosing my job. One that does not involve taking health risks everyday.
I’ve thought about it few times, browsed numerous pages, and came the question: Is there really a place for me in an industry where most are slim and sexy? Especially in the Philippines, where plus-sized models are uncommon, and the chubby people are usually perceived: “Unhealthy and Undesirable.” It then hit me: I can try and become a plus size model. You know, someone like Chloe Marshall who happened to be my favorite plus size model up to now. Someone who would proudly shout out that, “I’m not skinny, I’m plus but so what?” Someone who could represent our body-type, with all those gorgeous curves, if I may.
It was really meant as a diversion at start, really. Other than the purpose of confidence booster, it was almost sort of a like a joke for the comments I seem to always like, “Alam mo, maganda ka sana, matangkad ka rin, pwede pang-model pero ang laki mo.” (You know, you are beautiful, you are also tall, you can be a model but you are big.) Have fun, get your pictures taken right when you are young, at the height of your curviness (yeah, without the sags!) and very pretty.
So I was able to land on a site where they are conducting sort of a model search for their brand, Erzullie. Luckily, I managed to talk to one of my closest friends, who also happens to be a plus-size, Miro and sort of convinced her on trying it out, get our portfolios ready and try if we could get in, all for fun.
So we searched for possible studios where we could go and get our pictures taken for the portfolio, when Miro came across Sir Vic Fabe’s page. She told me the details and concluded that what Sir Vic’s studio offers were really nice and tried to set an appointment. During that time, Sir Vic was already trying to come up with a magazine that features aspiring models, the Fabe Magazine.
So here comes the photoshoot: I was really nervous during the shoot since it was the first time getting myself pictures other than reasons like ID picture, Graduation picture, group pictures with friends, and the likes. This time, pictures of me were getting taken for the purpose of starting to build up my model portfolio.
In addition to that, Miro was really good at doing model poses, projecting, and with all her facial expressions -I thought, really model like- as I observed after Ken (the shoot’s HMUA) made me all pretty with light, natural make-up (not the heavy make-up I was anticipating) and fixed my troublesome hair. So when my turn came up for the first time (we posed with three different set of attires so when one changes, the other gets her pictures taken), I was really stiff. Even smiling was hard! So Sir Vic, suggested I sway, dance, try to have fun, and at the end of the day, I realized the experience was overall -refreshing. I had fun, Sir Vic and the people from the studio were really nice. The pictures, even the raw/unedited ones, turned out really nice.
After the photoshoot, I still wasn’t sure if I was confident enough to let my pictures be published on a magazine but after thinking about it I realized that if I were really to become a model, my photos would come out for the all the public to view, sooner or later anyway, so I might as well get it published with the Fabe Magazine’s first issue. After much thought, I decided to join the aspiring models to be featured and rush to the studio for the arrangements.
I submitted the portfolio for the plus-size model search online with Miro and we managed to make the cut-off for the go-see, unfortunately we did not made it to the final list of models who would do series of training, both for print and runway but overall it was also a nice experience.
I was able to meet some nice, sexy, and charming plus-size friends, many of whom I was able to re-establish my connections with, through a social networking site. Days flew, I grew more and more confident until I finally was able to decide to take on another step and study in a culinary school for my other passion, baking and pastry arts.
I attended the launching of the first issue of the Fabe Magazine with Miro but we were unable to join the fashion show due to our schedules (I was also busy preparing for our graduation ceremonies in the culinary school). The show was really nice, with models from different age groups walk through the runway. Pictures of the models featured in the magazine were also flashed in the background when I saw my picture and also Miro’s. I cannot express how nice I felt when I saw my picture being flashed for the audience to see. Then I realized it was the picture in the magazine, that very moment I felt that my self esteem and confidence really came back.
More than ever, interested in having a modelling career and through the group formed with fellow plus-sized ladies and friends in a social networking site, I was able to encounter another opportunity to try for another go-see, this time, for Tubby (the first premier specialty boutique shop in the Philippines to offer chic, fashion forward women’s apparel and accessories in plus-size.) I have prepared my portfolio, included mostly the pictures taken by Sir Vic and went to the go-see. This time, my efforts proved to be fruitful. I was accepted to model for Tubby for their collections and even had the opportunity to do a runway show last December in SM Pampanga.
Currently, as a chef and as I model, I have to juggle my schedule trying to squeeze in much time needed for both my chosen careers/passions and it was all thanks to the inspiration, confidence and opportunities I gained thanks to the very moment I saw my picture on the Fabe Magazine.