It's that time again, for a new model spotlight. I met this beautiful lady at Chasity's BET rip the runway viewing part. When I saw her, she was just so elegant and statuesque. I've seen her face quite a few places. And I'm so happy she agreed to be this month's model spotlight. Ladies meet Keisa Hamilton.
Name: Keisa Hamilton
Clothing Size: 16
Agency (if applicable): no agency
Blog name (if applicable): blog coming soon
1. What made you want to become a model?
I wanted to be a model to give a different view for young girls to look up to. Growing up I didn't see images that looked like me in the magazines and on runways. I saw rail thin women that I could not identify with but rather they helped create the doubt I had in myself and desire to be something and someone other then myself. I wanted to be a face, a body type, a hair texture, and complexion that my daughter, her friends and other young ladies of color could see their reflection in looking back at them and find inspiration.
2. What are some of the brands that you have worked with? To name a few,I have worked with Curvaceous Boutique, Tru Diva Designs, and I'm currently the "face" of the Oceana collection by Shanda Freeman, Walked for FFFweek 2013, editorial spread in Pose Mag August 2013 and will walk in Plus Night Out 2013.
3. How long have you been working?
Close to 4 years
4. So many girls want to become a model what advice would give them? What should they expect?
I would tell them to do their homework. Research research research! It is key to everything. Learn what agencies are looking for, studying posing and walking. Decide which type of modeling you want to do. Runway, print, fit, which modeling are you? It helps to have a plan and a direction you want to start in. What essential tools do you need in your model bag? Spanx, shoes, bras, etc. Being properly prepared is a MUST. Understand that This is truly an investment in YOU. In order to get quality work you will have to pay for quality service that represents you. Not all free services are going to give you the type of images that will get you noticed. Get a good clear head shot and body shot that shows your natural beauty, face and shape. Make sure before shooting with a photographer to research them, see their work and whom they have worked with. There are a lot of people who will claim to be a reputable and professional photographer and they are not. Your safety should always come first. It's also helpful to work with a photographer that is comfortable shooting plus models. Not all know how to capture us in our best angles and our full beauty. When doing a shoot its essential to have a hairstylist and makeup artist as part of the team. These are key elements to a successful shoot. Take advantage of the wonderful networking events the plus industry has to offer. It gives you great exposure and this is a great way to meet designers, stylist, mua's, photographers and other models. But overall have fun, don't be afraid to try things outside the box.
They should expect and be ready to hear NO more than YES. The key to it is take each NO in stride, as a learning opportunity and most of all not personally. You may not be what they are looking for at the moment and that's ok. Not every job of for you. But when the YES comes and it will be ready. Be professional at all times, be prepared, be a joy to work with, be yourself and most importantly be humble. These key things can be key factors to being booked again by a client.
5. A common misconception is that plus size/curvy/thick models live unhealthy life styles. What do you say to people who think like that?
I disagree with the fact that because we are plus models, we are living unhealthy lifestyles. There are many smaller women that have health issues, have poor eating habits, and don't exercise. While there are many plus women that have no health issues, eat healthy and workout. I don't have high blood pressure or diabetes. I'm very physically fit to be honest. I workout and love it! I do zumba, water aerobics, weight training, swimming, heavy cardio and I box...Yes boxing. I love it, it's actually the best total body workout that I have found. I have not fully grasped the eating concept but I'm getting into juicing and it growing on me.
6. Was this your dream career?
Yes most certainly. While it is not my full-time career at the moment, I'm making strides towards it becoming my reality.
7. How did you get to this point in your career? My career started with working with Curvaceous Boutique. The wonderful Cassandra Savage, owner, gave me a amazing opportunity to shoot with her which turned into a great exposure opportunity as well as a great friendship of support and encouragement to go after my dream. That was almost 4 years ago and I haven't looked back.
8. If you could be doing anything else other than modeling, what would it be?
I would be physical therapist or a massage therapist. I still may pursue one of these, you never know.
9. Where do you get your confidence from?
I draw my confidence from how I want my daughter to be. I have to a living example of self love and acceptance for her. If I don't like and believe in me who will? I have to show her how to hold your head high past the negatively and believe in herself. There are going to always be people that don't believe in you and your dreams, tell you no and everything else to shut you down but as long you believe in yourself, trust God and step out of faith that one day the NO IS going to be YES you will succeed.
10. How do you stay in a positive frame of mind?
I remind myself that I could be far worse off than what I am. We are not going to always have good days but we can't let the bad days define us. They are in place to make us treasure and value the good days and the better ones to come.
11. Why do you think it so important for plus size/curvy/thick models to have the same respect as straight size models?
It's very important that we receive the same respect because we are all WOMEN! All women want to feel sexy and be seen as beautiful beings. We want to find clothes that are comfortable, affordable, stylish and trendy that for us and compliment our shape. I'm sure that if we did a blind survey of women( not knowing anything about them just that they are female) in a range of sizes from 0 to 32 and above we would find that we all want the same basic foundations on fashion. The needs and desires of fashion bond us as women not the size. Why should a label of plus or standard define the beauty that each woman beholds?
12. So many girls grow with such low self esteem. Were you ever like that? If so what advice would you give young girls struggling with her self esteem?
Growing up I was very self conscious. I hated my body because I was always the biggest or the tallest and I just felt very uncomfortable. I wanted to be skinny so bad that I would try to starve myself to look like the other girls. But things changed the older I got. People wanted my height and to have more of a fuller shape like mine. I started to see other women in the world comfortable in their skin and said hey I look like them, I can love myself too. It was truly a journey to self love and acceptance but is one I can share and hopefully make the next young girl who doubts themselves to believe they are perfect just the way they are. I would advise any young girl struggling with self esteem to find 5 things about themselves they like and look in the mirror everyday and tell themselves they are beautiful they are loved and list the things they like about themselves to themselves. I would share my story of where I was and where I am. I would tell them that loving themselves first is more important and special than anything else because if they can't love themselves and be happy with who they are, they will not draw that type of love to them.
The last couple questions are just to have fun with….
1.Hagen Daz or Ben & Jerry?
Hagen Daz of course!
2. Favorite tv show growing up?
Anything on Nickelodeon
3. Favorite Halloween costume?
A Japanese Geisha
4. Louis Vitton or Hermes?
5. Buying your boyfriend his favorite video game or those new pair of shoes?
New shoes! I wear a 12 and they are hard to find. The video game can be found in s million different stores my shoes can't!!!
There you have it loves. See you next month.
To find out more about Keisa...
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