All I know is that if you know me you KNOW I love me some Monif C. She is one of my fave plus designers in the industry and I had the pleasure of modeling for her "My Beach Is Better" swim event last week. She outdid herself and put together such a classy promotional event for bloggers to come see her new designs. She's makin' us curvy girls look delicious for the beach this summer!
Hey! How cool was it for WeWomen.Com to include me in this "10 Lessons in Self-Confidence from Plus Size Models" article??? I love that they did this. Thank you WeWomenUSA for all the love and inspiration. Check out the full article HERE.
As you can imagine, choosing to be in the entertainment industry comes with sacrifice and consequences. One of the consequences is feeling like you're in the middle of the ocean just trying to catch the next wave. Things were really slow for me at the beginning of the year and I started to get a bit depressed. Granted, this is how the industry works. Things are sometimes nuts and you get booked for jobs left and right and sometimes...you don't. So, I was feeling really low. I told myself that I would at least be useful during this slow period and put out some good lovin' towards the Universe. One of the ways I did this was by volunteering my time to be apart of an amazing cause and be in a play for charity. All the women involved donated their talents, efforts and time to give back to several charities involved with VDAY (an organization that helps end violence against women and children.) I was honored to be back on stage and play "Carmen" for Eve Ensler's "The Good Body", especially all for a great cause. I think its important that when you start to feel low that you spread love and kindness 10 times harder than you normally would and see how your life changes. The show was so well-received by women and men of all ages and it was such a pleasure to be apart of such kindness and love. Thank you to 4thU in Manhattan for putting together such a great show. Much love to the process.
So...I had this idea, right? Like, over 2 years ago, I had this vision with these images rolling around in my head of what I wanted to see as a woman and as a consumer who pays close attention to the details (details=ads, commercials, marketing in general). I wanted so badly to see images of a man, (and not just ANY man...the manliest man of all) with a plus size model speaking out loud the things we are very afraid to say. And while plus models have modeled with male models before I never saw what I wanted to see personally MYSELF in the mainstream. Calvin Klein and Sports Illustrated would probably never dare to dream this loud. So, after creating a vision board, building an amazing team, and asking my ridiculously hot/amazing Former Atlanta Falcons star and Pro-Boxer friend Ray to join in I flew to Atlanta to make the editorial a reality. After a couple failed attempts at making it happen and a few discouraging meetings I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. I tried so hard to figure out the perfect time to release these images and the perfect place to call them home and it just so happens that now is the time and PLUS Model Magazine is the place. This editorial means so much to me because it took a village, many many weeks, blood, sweat and tears to get here (insert dramatic violin music but its real life stuff) and I. am. thrilled.
I won't tell you what I see. I want this to speak to you how its meant to speak to you. But just know that each image was on purpose and the overall message is one of inclusion and liberation. I got tired of waiting for someone in charge to make the decision to be different...so I made it happen for myself. The conversation needs to happen & things may get weird but change wont happen unless things get a little uncomfortable.
Click on the photo below to see FULL the editorial in PLUS Model Magazine's new LOVE YOUR BODY Issue and PLEASE SHARE THE LINK TO EVERYONE (IG/Twiitter/Facebook/Tumblr):
My sincere thank you's:
I'm so thankful for the team I had to make this happen, especially photographer Allen Cooley, who was beyond patient with me in helping me express what I was trying to communicate and sharing my vision at the same time. Thankful to Jeremy for making me feel so super sexy and Jasmine and Vivian for the beautiful support on that day. Special thanks to Maddy and Valery at PLUS Model Magazine for giving me a platform to speak and just getting it. It means the world to me that you believe in me. Thanks to Diva, Marc (x2), Sissy and Malcolm for the constant encouragement.
And to my yummy beautiful friend Ray...thank you for fighting for me against all odds to make this happen with me and for being just as passionate about this mission as I am. I adore you.
If you would like to see/purchase the images in person please come by my No Limits exhibit in NYC this Friday! I would love to see you there. Let them know I sent ya ;)
I encourage you to fight the good fight and standup for your dreams ALWAYS. Show them what "YES" can look like in a sea full of "no". MUCH love to the process and to things making sense eventually.
Love and light.
ps. questions? comments? ----> firstname.lastname@example.org
So...people always ask me why I started modeling or what made me decide to model. Long story short, the image below.
Growing up I didn't have many images or role models in the mainstream to look up to for body confidence. There were not many relatable images that made me think I was accepted. I grew up in the Cindy Crawford era, where the All-American girl next door was the desired one. So, in 2006, when I was flipping through channels, I saw Velvet (shown above) on a major fashion runway in Paris. THIS was an image I could relate to and she felt familiar. And not only did she seem relatable but she was celebrated for who she was. In awe of this moment and of the fire in my belly I decided I would create the change I wanted to see. Fast forward 7 years, a few protests, and hundreds of emails later...I got the attention of a designer named Alhassan Toure who agreed to put me on his runway during New York Fashion Week. It wasn't in the tents or in Lincoln Center but that didn't matter. The moment of acceptance and the opportunity to be in a position to offer something different and what inclusion could look like was all that mattered to me. I invested time, gained his trust, pitched my ideas on why it was so important to put me on his runway and a miracle happened. He listened. He agreed. He helped. And after a year of planting seeds...it happened. I'm beyond thankful Toure Designs and his team gave me the opportunity to give someone else that same belly fire that Velvet gave me. This mission had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the next generation of girls/teens and women who need something to relate to. I did it for them. I've been told "no" SOOO many times, especially this past year, and this is what happens when you keep saying. I went and showed you what "YES" looks like. THANK YOU to everyone who posted about it, who showed love at the show and sent all the encouraging messages. I'm glad you liked it. #keepgoing #push #justkeepswimming
Click on the on the image below to see the behind-the-scenes video of the show and a little of my sass on the runway ;) Couldn't help myself!
My loves! It's SO hard to keep up with all these social networking sites! The BEST way to get my up-to-date/everyday randomness is via Instagram. So, if you are on IG please follow me at: MsTiffanyBank (also, I LOVE hearing from you so you can always send me a private message via my Facebook Fan Page here. I love hearing from you! MUCH love.
Cheers to an awesome summer that consisted of laughter, park dates, picnics, concerts and happy moments. I'll miss you so much. It surely was a beautiful summer...Thank you, NYC.
Well folks...today marks my 7 year anniversary in NYC. There's not enough time in the day to tell you about what these last few years have meant to me and what awesome crazy situations I've been in. I also won't sugar coat my story for you...it's. been. hard. But, I'm living proof that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. I don't know much but what Ive learned is that you can never give up. Much love to the process and journey. Here's to lucky number 7.
I ALWAYS have so much fun visiting the Monif C. showroom and working with the team there. Monif was one of the first designers I ever did runway for and she always has a special place in my heart. Curvy girls, go visit her if you are in NYC or visit her site! monifc.com (tell her I sent you ;)
The NYC life of a Cali girl.