Thursday, July 20, 2006
A Meeting of the Minds
I recently had dinner with some of my close friends...most if not all can be considered "pioneers" in the plus model industry. It was a beautiful summer evening and we all decided to meet at Melba's on 114th Street & 8th Avenue in Harlem. In attendance along with myself were Lisa Scott, a 20 year veteran of the industry...one of the few black women I know who actually made their living completely from modeling. Lisa Scott was the first plus model I had ever seen, she was 19 years old and I saw her in a fashion show at Parsons modeling belts. I was in awe of her then and I still am to this day. Mama is a true chameleon, she understands that the key to success & longevity in this industry is the ability to reinvent yourself over and over again. AND she's a sweetheart to boot!
Gwen DeVoe - "DIVA" - AKA "The Mogul" this sista has been a champion of the plus sized model for as long as I can remember and that has to be close to 15 years! She's the CEO of The Plus Academy, The school that started out as a school for plus models but I believe will eventually morph into a new millenium sort of "Finishing School" for young women....She's gonna kill me when she reads this...lol. She is also the CEO and Executive Producer for Dangerous Curves...The Tour..the plus sized fashion tour/sample sale and Full Figured & Fabulous, the highly anticipated plus model competition to be held next weekend on July 29th in Baltimore, Md. Yours truly will be in the mix as a "Celebrity Guest" (lol) Judge....I am SOOOOOO Amped up for this ya'll!!
And then there was my homegirl Angellika....one of the most beautiful and most popular & successful plus models on the planet!!!! I am so in awe of this sista's beauty that I find myself staring at her stupidly most of the time. She reminds me soooo much of my mama when she was a young girl....simply stunning! A lot of people don't know how funny Angellika is, she keeps me in stitches! She is the coolest person to hang out with...both classy & sassy at the same time. I hadn't seen her in a very long time (and that's not the norm for us) and I was very glad to see her.
And....Mia Amber Davis...ya'll know Mia as the "Ashley Stewart" girl and the plus sized chick named Rhonda from the cult classic movie "Road Trip" (Yeah....I'm tryn'ta big up ya girl!!). I met Mia when she came to a casting that Diva held a few years ago...the moment I saw her I was absolutely floored by her beauty...she was a nervous wreck (lol...remember Mia?) but you could see she had the "it" factor immediately and I knew she had what it took to have a successful career. I have been watching her build her career for awhile now and I am so proud of her success that I don't know what to do. She's going to go on to do GREAT things in the future ya'll...mark my words.
And..Madeline Figueroa...Maddy is the plus model turned writer who is now publishing (am I getting that right Maddy?) a new magazine for plus women called PLUS MODEL Magazine. Maddy has always had a face that cameras love and she did very well as a plus model and her experience in front of the camera gives her the ability to write her articles with a different sort of view point than the normal reader would have. (Does that make sense???? I feel like I'm rambling....) lol. Kudos to you Maddy on the new mag and much success to you in the coming years.
And my sister in songs of the seventies..Tonya Giddens. Tonya is a plus model/makeup artist/runway instructor/music connoisseur (did I leave anything out Boogie?) who also has the incredible job of documenting historic moments like these (and trust me when I tell you...this WAS a historical moment). Tonya shot the beautiful photos that accompany this post...Thanks Tonya!
In the few hours that we were together we shared a wonderful dinner. great conversation and we all got caught up on each other's lives, Lisa Scott is moving steadily towards her movie career as is Angellika. Gwen DeVoe is preparing for her Full Figured & Fabulous Competition and is poised to take the plus sized industry by storm. Maddy is busily preparing to launch the next edition of Plus Model Mag. And I am fresh off the wrapping of Season 2 of Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance..I have begun auditioning for some shows (Musical Theater is one of my big loves) and I am ever diligent in my pursuit to make the world sit up and take notice of The ORIGINAL Runway Diva!...By the time dinner ended I announced that I would love to get them all together, cook for them and pick their brains because I am working on tracing the history of the plus model in fashion.
We all exchanged numbers, hugs and kisses and said our goodbyes it was amazing to me to be in the company of such phenomenal women. Lisa Scott Thank you for setting this up...it was a wonderful idea.