2013. május 10., péntek

Beauty With Plus movement - Samantha Lebbie, Plus size model (Washington, USA)

Ciao Bella,

My interview with Samantha Lebbie kicked off a bit hectic, partly due to the different time zones and her fully booked life - later I understood it takes a lot to keep up with the busy schedule of this Washington beauty. Then finally we chatted at an ad hoc appointment, she just arrived home after a photoshooting and as soon as we switched on the camera, I was blown away by her beauty which feeling only got stronger later on as our conversation started -  she truly has a lovely personality behind the beautiful face...

CUPCAKE&PEARLS: It is Sunday evening – as for me, late night in Europe – but instead of popcorn and movies you just arrived home from work?

SAMANTHA LEBBIE: That’s right – I just did an exciting photo shooting for an opening boutique for a stylist friend of mine. Just a typical Sunday with some cameras involved (she laughs)

C&P: Your face definitely draws attention – I spotted you on the cover of Daily Venus Diva magazine where I contribute sometimes. You looked amazing!

S.L.: Thank you - I felt honoured to be featured on such an iconic magazine to inspire curvy women around the globe! This is what I really love about my job, I motivate and inspire other women! I want to radiate that plus positive attitude which I own and change  the way women see themselves in the mirror as we all must love the skin we are in.

C&P: And Daily Venus Diva was just one of the milestones in your rising career – but before naming your projects, tell me how it all started!

S.L. : I can say I am fresh to modeling yet with much experience. I started only 1.5 years ago when I was encouraged by my environment to try myself in a new role as a model. I digged into the topic what it takes to become a model. I researched nonstop which I still do till this day. I did some small shows and took every possibility to work as a plus size model. The breakthrough happened last summer when I participated in  Full Figured Fashion Week – and then a lot of doors opened. I joined Tropical Divas show which empowers women regardless the age, height or size and rocked the runway of Curves Rock where I was the face of the event last year and this year (what an amazing opportunity) . I’ve modeled for Curvysta Plus, Qristyl Frazier, Ashley Stewart, YK Theary, Tru Divas, Jill Alexander just to name a few , I participated at DC & MD Fashion Week and I was on the cover of Full Blossom magazine and Rack Plus magazine, too.  Just recently, I signed with IPM Model Management so now they help a lot to manage my career.

C&P: So many projects in so little time –  that sounds like a full time job!

S.L.: Well, it may but besides that I also have an office job so a day consists of only 24 hours for me, too (she laughs). I really enjoy my job and I feel truly blessed to be able to do what I love.

C&P: What is the most important to keep in mind as a plus size model?

S.L.: You can’t take anything personal – this is business and not necessarily about you but about the garments, the project so I think this is the main rule in the industry. Anyway you can’t control other people’s thoughts or behaviour so do not take it too seriously and especially emotionally! Be always professional and stay humble – do not let the fame get into your head! Always stay true to yourself and focus on your own improvement  - as it is not a competition with others! I always focus on myself and my supporters who give me energy all the time!

C&P: You are really inspirational – but I wonder who is your inspiration?

S.L.: My biggest icon and source of inspiration was Mia Amber Davis. Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet her in person but I always saw her as an example of how I wanted to be as a model and as a person with her self-confidence and her stamina to gain positive acceptance for curvy women.

C&P: And what would be your advice, how to build self-confidence?

S.L.: I always say you gotta pick something you like about your body – it can be your eyes or the eyelashes but start loving yourself step by step. The journey to self-acceptance may take for a while but it is worth it as accepting and loving your body is a must in order to build confidence. Then put self-acceptance together with self-confidence and you are unstoppable! No wonder why plus models slowly take over in the US – we are aware of our pluses as you call in your movement and we are proud of them inside and out!

C&P:  What is that plus for you which can make a woman beautiful?

S.L.: Definitely her confidence! It is the most important and feminine feature a woman can have. It happens to me many times to step out of my home in the worst outfit ever and still I get compliments how great I look. You know the secret? My confidence can change even the worst outfit to shine like a star!

C&P.: Speaking of fashion – what is your favourite pieces nowadays?

S.L.: I am totally in love with peplum, especially from leather!  I also like wrapped dresses, paired with leather jackets and 10-12 cm (5-6 inches) heels! As for brands I love Ashley Stewart, Ellen Tracy,  Fashion to figure, Asos, New Look – just to name a few.

C&P: Thank you Samantha for the interview and for your support for Beauties with Plus!

I was listening to her packed May with fashion shows like Curves Rock, photo shootings for Bronze magazine and Ashley Stewart and seeing a humble, smiling, down-to-earth young lady on the other end of the camera. I always appreciate when people do not forget where they come from because I believe the more you learn the more you realize how much you still need to accomplish to become a better person. Samantha agreed on my view completely and when I wanted to find out her family background, how she grew to such a lovely and healthy woman – I got my answer. Her mom was nurishing her since a very young age like any other little girl – her size was never a matter as they always found clothes in her size. She was a bigger and curvier teenager but due to self-acceptance she was never bullied in school. She was the popular girl, the prom queen who loved herself the way she was. We both were laughing when she told the story how strange she felt when once in a group of plus size models whe was the only one who was never bullied at school as self-love occured at a very early age in her lifetime for which she feels blessed. I am really happy to have such a great person on board to support Beauties with Plus movement!

Samantha Lebbie on Facebook here
Twitter&Instagram: @SamanthaDModel

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