In 1955, the average model was a size 12. We seem to have deviated quite a bit from the old norm, now equating the “perfect” body to a leaner, thinner shape and size. I recently met more than 10 beautiful women over 180 lbs in the fashion industry and asked these members of the local community questions about beauty. All but two people I spoke with were “slim” according to society. I met a beautiful 5’11 Islander by the name of Becca Moeia with the dream of becoming a PLUS model in high fashion. Becca has been trying to break into the industry and learn what that means in Seattle, Washington. Our newly minted organization, NEWShine was created with women like her in mind.
The NEWShine Organization is a nonprofit I founded to support women with dreams just like Becca. She is a working, single mom who is capable of so many things, yet being seen by society as “Runway Material” is more difficult, as she is shamed for being the size of more than 42% of average women in the U.S.
At a recent NEWShine event, we spent two days perfecting the idea that a woman who is aspiring to accomplish her dreams can set out, become successful and help others along the way. Our team consisted of artists like Carlisia Minins, a local designer and owner of MAC Fashion House who has been collaborating on projects, dressing models and showing her work for more than 15 years, Vera Mikhaylik, a hair and makeup artist who is a based out of Seattle and works on fashion, editorial, and commercial photo and video shoots, Jamie Christine is a local and global design photographer with an out-going personality shines through her work as does her giving, free-spirited character, and Ava Holmes a trendy intellectual from a diverse background, whose SULÉY ERA, is a multimedia promotional platform for ambitious and talented individuals in fashion, film, music, arts, and entrepreneurship.
In working with this group of powerful, beautiful women, not once did I consider their size. Perhaps it was the fact that it didn’t matter in the measurement of their intellect; or maybe that we all have the same ultimate goal. To make a difference, change minds, and do it together while being REAL women. With a team of caring professionals to assure she reaches her goal, Becca will be on a runway from here on out. It was a favorable opportunity to work side by side with such talented women. I asked Becca how she felt about the Full-Figured industry and the experience overall “I appreciated more their ambition and dedication than anything else. There should be more recognition of this in every industry – being a model was easy, being a muse is even easier, but being the mind behind it renders yourself the most objectified to criticism making it the hardest job of all.”