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PostHeaderIcon 10 Questions With a Plus-Size Model

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In 2012, we will be featuring more stories of Inspirational people doing what they love to do. We're wrapping up 2011 with a chat with Tasha Bartholomew, a Hayward woman who first began walking the runways and posing for the camera this summer after going to an open casting call for the 8 Plus Divas "Diary of a Curvy Diva" Fashion Show in Oakland. Here is a little more about what she is doing and where she hopes to go with her new plus-size modeling passion.

ANNB: How and when did you first become interested in plus-size modeling?
TB: I’ve been interested in plus-size modeling for at least five years now, but I’ve always loved fashion. I only decided to pursue modeling last summer when I saw an ad for a fashion show called “Diary of a Curvy Diva” that was presented by the ladies of 8 Plus Divas in August. I was excited to see a plus-size fashion show come to Oakland and wondered whether they were going to need models. So I checked their website and saw that they were going to hold an open casting call for the show and that’s when I decided to give it shot.

ANNB: Tell us a little about your experiences so far, such as what shows and shoots you have done?
TB: I’ve been fortunate to have done the 8 Plus Divas “Diary of a Curvy Diva” Plus Fashion Show, as well as the fashionART Santa Cruz Runway Show in September where I walked for plus designer Jill Alexander Designs. I have done several photo shoots, including an outdoors shoot at Lake Merritt in Oakland and a Pin-Up Girl photo shoot that took place on the beach in Alameda.

ANNB: Is walking the runway scary or do you feel you are a natural?
TB: Honestly, I feel very comfortable when I’m on the runway. Maybe it’s because I have a natural strut when I walk around every day. I do get little butterflies in my stomach before each show, but they tend to disappear the second I hit the runway.

ANNB: What types of clothes/accessories do you most like to model?
TB: I like to model everything, but I do tend to favor dresses. I especially like to rock cool accessories like belts, big earrings and bangles. Accessories can really make an outfit come alive. One item I haven’t really modeled yet is hats. I adore hats and would love to model them in a show someday soon.

ANNB: Tell us why the company you are working with 8Plus Divas is a good "fit" for you and others interested in plus-size modeling?
TB: 8 Plus Divas is a wonderful company because they really celebrate the curvy woman’s body, regardless of size or height. Many people may not know this, but even in mainstream plus-size modeling there are still certain standards models have to abide by. For example, they still prefer models to be at least 5’7 or 5’8 in height and they prefer models not to be over a size 18. Most models used in major ad campaigns tend to be on the smaller side of plus-size, such as a size 10, 12 or 14. 8 Plus Divas gives models such as me, who may not be the right height or size for the mainstream plus modeling world, an opportunity to show that we are just as fashionable, beautiful and sexy as our counterparts.  
ANNB: Are you modeling with a message? How do you hope your modeling is working to encourage other plus-size, beautiful women to embrace their bodies?
TB: Yes, I’m modeling with a message for plus-size women and also for women in general and that is to love your body and curves no matter what size you are. I have many female friends and family members, of all sizes, who still struggle with body issues. So I just think it’s important that whether you’re a size 6 or 16, that you love yourself unconditionally and unapologetically.

ANNB:  Where do you hope to go with plus-size modeling?
TB: Honestly, I’m not really sure where I want to go with plus-size modeling. I have a successful career in public affairs, and I see modeling as something fun that I’m doing on the side right now. Although I’m pretty new to the industry, I’ve been fortunate to also do some fashion blogging for the 8 Plus Divas website, in addition to starting my own fashion blog.

ANNB: What is your background outside of modeling?

TB: I have a journalism degree from San Francisco State University and worked as a professional journalist in the Bay Area for seven years before I decided to change careers five years ago. Since then, I’ve been working in the public affairs department for a public transit agency in the Peninsula. 

ANNB: What have you learned about body image, nutrition and healthy lifestyles since starting this career?
TB: I’ve learned that even as a plus-size model, it is still important to eat properly and exercise to stay healthy and toned.

ANNB: Where can we see you next? 

TB:  I am a brand ambassador for 8 Plus Divas, so I can be seen at many of their upcoming events. I also have more fashion blogs coming for 8 Plus Divas at www.8plusdivas.com, as well as my own blog page http://misstashabplusmodel.blogspot.com/. Lastly, I have a few fashion shows coming up in 2012, so please read my blog to find out more details. --KB

Close up photo (left) courtesy of Tony Sparks, photo in hat (middle right) courtesy of  La'Keela Smith Photography and  picnic scene (top left) courtesy of YellowBubbles Photography.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 27 December 2011 03:50)


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