Bed Rest, Bed Thoughts…

  • Just a heads up: This is a rant. This is not like my normal blog posts. It isn’t meant to be. This is a stream of thought. I believe we all have a right to these. I appreciate that this type of platform exists. I appreciate my vulnerability and your eyes and thoughts. You are loved dear ones. Thank you for letting me share…. @curvy_capone

I couldn’t breathe when I woke up in the middle of the night. It felt that way. That wasn’t the case of course I was breathing. They were short, and shallow. I could catch my breathe. I couldn’t really swallow either. I found myself frantically looking for ibuprofen to just get the swelling down and to go back to sleep; to just try to get some kind of sleep. Of course I couldn’t wait anymore; 6am hit me and I knew something was wrong. I threw on what I could and called an uber to take me to the ER about 8 blocks away from me. (Perks of living where I do in Manhattan. New York Presbyterian is right there and ranked well in the country.) I walked in and barely able to speak gave the front desk my information. They acted quickly and I was called in immediately. I saw the doctor immediately and was given oxygen and an IV hooked up to a steroid to make sure that they could stop the swelling in my throat. I was alone. Yet surrounded by strangers all there for some reason. The nicest nurse named Sam took care of me. He was understaffed but doing all that he could to make sure I was comfortable. He assured me that it would be okay and that they were going to do tests and call in an ENT to for a scope of my throat. I won’t lie, I was scared even though I knew I would be okay. The man who came in after me and was in the room next to me had two seizures while I was there. It was heartbreaking, scary to hear and I sat there praying he had a family; anyone to know he was okay. This had me thinking. I don’t think people understand how lonely this city can be. Even surrounded by thousands of people on a regular basis. I don’t think people know some of the heartache people have been through here. Other than some of my closest friends and family most have no idea that I was supposed to be married. I was cheated on and kicked out of an apartment I built with my ex. He cheated on me with multiple women and I was homeless for several months, all while working toward my goals as a model and actress. I still remember walking into our apartment and seeing her dirty pink flip flops in the living room next to the sneaker I bought him that Christmas. I remember my heart sinking into the ground; knowing that another woman was in the bed we shared. I know I also made mistakes, cheated on him myself, after the first time he cheated. I did it out of spite and hurt. Maybe some kind of revenge, I remember slapping him. Probably the lowest moment for myself. I felt like. monster. I still regret that and not telling him right away about what I did. 3 years ago I was almost killed in a bus crash. I suffered internal bleeding and had to go into surgery immediately. I woke up pinned under a bus seat and had no feeling in my legs. I thought I was paralyzed.

I have learned about heartache, about triumph about what love really is and isn’t. I have been blessed to be raised by incredibly strong parents who have been happily together for almost 30 years. I have a sister who is the kindest, most creative and talented human whom Ive ever had the privilege of being related to and another sister who is a brilliant teacher who created two beautiful nephews that I love dearly. I have a best friend who is the sunshine of the world who has endured pain I don’t wish upon any human being but continues to fight for this beautiful world and the people in it. My other best friend who truly is the light that I wish to see in the world everyday. His talent, kindness and hope are unmatched. He held me that day that I got the call two days after I got the ring. The call where he told me it was over. He had helped pick out the ring and was there to see my world come crashing down. We both cried that day. They also both went through that crash with me; those best friends…

I have people who have touched my life in such a beautiful way and there are too many to even count. If I could I would sit here all night and write about each and every one of them. Ive learned that we all have trauma and that it is even scarier than being in a hospital room to share that with someone else. I have learned that even when we feel alone. We aren’t. Not even close. We are all tied to something. Humanity.

I want to live from a place of love. As I am stuck here on bed rest for the next few days, feeling a little trapped in my space I realize that I’ve been given the gift of time. My body told me to STOP and to really just stop. I am reflecting now and my whole purpose of writing this is to share my experience. I think its very important to do that. I think that even my rambling can connect with someone out there. I want you to know you are’t alone. We are all created out of the universe and the universe believes in love. We have our trauma but be kind dear ones. You don’t know what someone else has been through. Also stop and listen to yourself especially your body. When you feel tired IT IS OKAY TO STOP. You are not failing by stopping and breathing even for a few minutes. In a world run by money, social status and corporations it is so important to realize that we are humans. Hug the people you love. If you ever get a chance to hug the people you have hurt or have hurt you I encourage you do that too. There are days that I wish for just one more hug from those I’ve lost. You don’t have to bring them back into your life. I believe in boundaries, safety and growing forward but even if its a virtual hug; let yourself heal. Let yourself be vulnerable and feel because you never know; you may wake up one day and not be able to breathe. Stay safe my friends. Believe in love again…

How Dating a Full-Figured Man Made me see the world’s Fat-Phobia.

 Today I went to google for some research and I typed in the word “couple” Scrolling through the photos, I saw something I never noticed before. There were absolutely no couples that were “plus-size” or bigger than maybe a size 8, male or female. In main stream media I could not find one picture under the definition of  a “couple” that I could see myself in. This got me to thinking, and better yet to writing.

For almost all of my romantic life I have dated what the world calls “straight size men”; I dated others who were considered “fit” or at least assumed healthy because they looked like well your “average guy” Each relationship brought something to me (#thankunext). I will always be grateful for each of them but it wasn’t until my current relationship that I ever noticed, oddly enough, the true stigmas of my own body and the world’s fat phobia .

As a plus model and having been in a plus body for all of my life I am fully aware of my body to a certain degree. Knowing when I won’t fit into a certain seat or sliding behind someone at a crowded restaurant you are bound to brush your butt on them but these past few months have been…different. Watching people watch my boyfriend and I  when we go to sit down on the train, huff and puff over having to move over an inch. I’ve especially seen looks when we are intimate, or show affection. I have seen the disapproving looks like plus people can’t express love or affection? Is this an actual thing? Or is this all in my head? I don’t ever remember seeing this with my other partners.

But now reflecting on it I do recall my ex describing me to his friends as being “different” then other girlfriends of the past.  Was I missing this the whole time? Is it hard to believe that two people no matter what size or shape could be happy? Maybe even have a healthy relationship?  Full disclosure this is the first relationship I’ve been in in which my body is not a topic of conversation or a reason to be with me. The first relationship that we both take care of each other’s eating habits, work out together, support each other and communicate openly.

Is it because we are bigger? Does it matter at all? To be quite honest it is no one else’s business. If you are currently in a relationship  with someone who speaks about you in this way or says that your “weight” is a problem instead of seeing YOU, then maybe its time to re-evaluate.love-couple-for-blog-2If you have a problem seeing plus-size men and women together or in relationships at all, well frankly that sounds like an issue with YOU. Let people love who they love. Does my body have to dictate your standards? Look, everyone has preferences or feel what they like. I agree that attraction can just be simple but do we have to comment on it? Does that make me less worthy of a loving committed relationship? HELL NO! Fatphobia is a real thing. We are surrounded by a society that profits on others insecurities but for me, it does not belong in my love life. “Love is love is love is love is love”-(Lin Manuel) 

I am not going to be categorized by this vessel that carries my soul and my capacity for love. I am dating a man, call him full-figured, call him whatever you want. I call him mine and your fat phobia can stay away from us. 

 

For More Articles/Videos and More Follow @Curvy_Capone on IG! img_1269

 
 
 
 

Throwing an Axe at”Big Body” Stigmas

For as long as I can remember sports have been in my life. “What? A plus-size woman can play sports?” Are we over this yet? This idea that full-figured woman can’t be fit and strong? I wanted to put this myth to rest. I wanted to push my body and show everyone that your full figured body DOES NOT LIMIT YOU! With the help of my new and only sports bra from Curvy Couture Intimates, I set out to try three new adventures and push my body. 

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No It’s my curves!

When my friend first invited me to come his trapeze class, I laughed. I told him that there was no way that I was going to be able to carry myself. He continued by saying  “trapeze is so much more than just swinging on a bar Jonna.  I have coached lots of body types. The goal is to face your fears and feel what its like to fly and truly let go.” Let me start by saying this: Everyone should go take a trapeze class period. Everyone deserves to feel this feeling of total freedom. According to the instructor half of the people’s biggest goal is to just get up the ladder that leads you to the jumping off platform. Therefore this was going to be my goal, just get up the little ladder. Now you would think that would be super simple but this ladder is pretty darn high. This location, Trapeze School Pier 40(https://hudsonriverpark.org/explore-the-park/activities/trapeze) is on top of a roof overlooking the piers and specifically the Statue of Liberty. Talk about one powerful lady giving another powerful lady some serious strength.  Of course I went through the training and once I was up there I told myself  “You can do this. Just don’t let go of the bar.” I listened to the cues, I trusted the instructor that was holding me and within seconds I just Let Go. I proceeded to just do this 5 times; No fancy tricks; Just practicing my form and hoping to God I didn’t drop. ( Side note on my last turn I did in fact drop but I did it beautifully) I learned that letting my expectations of my body go allowed me to truly…fly.

Wrapping My Curves around a Pole…

I’m sure my title is pretty self-explanatory but yes friends I went pole dancing! Curvy Capone tried her hand at pole dancing class and let me say WOW! This was nothing what I expected. The class at S Factor NYC (https://www.sfactor.com includes all types of people, with all types of bodies, each for a different reason. Some of the ladies there, their friends dragged them, or they were going through some hard times and needed to find some empowerment and some needed to spice up their personal lives. No matter the issue we all became one class and learned not only about pole dancing but our own power and what is actually a true art form. We started with a much-needed stretch session and ab workouts. Then it was onto the pole to learn a few moves. Let me tell you, it was NOT easy. However, our instructor filled us with encouraging words to make us completely comfortable. I could feel myself tap into another level of me and any ideas about my body went out the door. I was lifting up my own body and feeling the tension of the pole gave me such a sense of strength. We then had the privilege of watching a demonstration from our teacher. I was moved to tears as she danced. I NEVER thought I would say that someone dancing around and on a pole would ever make me feel emotional. Go now and take a class. Grab your best girlfriends or your sister or a stranger whatever floats your boat but you must GO! No matter your body type there is a pole for you.

Throwing the Final Axe Down on “Plus-Size ” Body Limitations….

Did you know there was an axe throwing league? Yes a LEAGUE of men and women who throw axes together! It’s amazing and not to toot my horn but I am pretty good at it. I have always been really self-conscious of my arms and the idea of my arms jiggly while I threw an axe was not happening in my mind. However, as I worked through and practiced with the coach I found my long sleeves to be quite constricting. So I let my arms fly and instead of seeing them as a fault I recognized my strong, thick arms to be quite an advantage against other opponents. I highly recommend going to Kick Axe(https://www.kickaxe.com) in Brooklyn. A great place to test your strength while also enjoying snacks, cozy chairs and a couple of brewskis as well.

Support is Key. Period.

This amazing sport bra from Curvy Couture Intimates is a must!!

I learned several things about myself, my body and especially how other’s perceived me. The biggest lesson I learned was that conquering body fears is about support. First and foremost invest in great companies who give you great support! Through each activity I wore my favorite and only sports bras from Curvy Couture Intimates The support and structure of each bra truly gave me worriless wear during each activity. The second type of support that you will need are the people who come with you. The people that don’t look at you for your body but for your bravery. The ones who are cheering for each axe throw and each swing through the sky or on the pole. Finally, it is about supporting your own abilities. You have the power inside you  to go out there and to try physical activites. You can start small or you can start on a trapeze. Either way if we start, we can start ending the stigmas of full figured body ability. So, who’s joining the axe the league with me?

A Model in a Mazda

Vroom Vroom! My first ride in the new 2018 Mazda!

How one car set the standard for all my future rides..

Now I have a confession that I don’t usually tell people but I failed my driver’s test…. twice. Of course I eventually passed it the third time around. It is true what they say, “Third times the charm.” I will say that I have taken a lot of pride in being told that I am an excellent driver. I attest that to my first face plant attempt when it came to driving. No doubt that it certainly helps when you have an amazing car to drive. That was indeed the case when I got the chance to drive the latest 2018 Mazda6 and I am incredibly excited to share my experience! 

Ultimate “cool factor” car experience

When it comes to the “cool factor” of any car this one certainly took home some honorable mentions. The newly available Soul Red Crystal paint color with shimmery finish made it perfect for my Valentine’s day getaway! 

Of course when it comes to “ cool factor” gadgets and modern technology the Mazda6 comes fully loaded with a standard MAZDA CONNECTTM infotainment system with 8-inch full-color touchscreen display amongst other things! Including ventilated front seat and vibration absorbing foam seats. It certainly made me feel like a superhero seeing my speed limit projected in front of me and beautiful Bose speaker access at my finger tips. 

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, since a girl who failed her driver’s test twice should probably be concerned with such things as safety! Well, let me just say how amazing it was to have the 2018 Mazda’s Lane Departure Warning and car detectors available while driving through the jungle streets of NYC. Who knew that there were “cool factor” safety features! 

Final thoughts and driveways…

This model would say that she loved her Mazda! Of course, in every review I always try to be forth coming in my experience. The one thing I would say as a full-figured person I did find myself having a hard time getting out of the driver’s side of the car. There seemed to be more space further back in the car and I would have liked to have a little more head room for the driver.  My boyfriend who is a tall guy was incredibly comfortable however space wise we agreed that getting out just took an extra second of seat adjustment. Overall, I can’t rave more about how great it was to drive the Mazda6 Signature! The high-tech feel, the great gas mileage and the sunroof made it a car that I would recommend to anyone! Especially now because it is currently on sale!! Yep that’s right on sale right now! Check it out on Mazda.com and find your first car or your next car in the 2018 Mazda6! 

Getaway to Stay-Away

My first experience in a tiny house from Getaway House

As an influencer, blogger, actress and model I am always on the go! Answering emails, phone calls and scheduling keeps me on my phone more than I would like to admit. So when I was offered the chance to Getaway I jumped at it!

Initial Impressions..

Now I had heard of tiny houses before and have seen some pretty amazing examples online but I have to say I have never thought I would love them. As a plus-size body I like to have space and feel comfortable. As I drove up the 5 hours to the location I wondered how big it really would be. I wondered about being in the middle of the woods? What if I got stuck in a tiny space and had no-one to call? A pretty irrational inquiry but still it did cross my mind! As I approached the cabin I have to admit I burst into laughter. I don’t know what I thought I expected but I was floored by the size of the tiny house. It truly has earned its name as Tiny. However, all of my worries melted away as I walked up the cabin steps and entered the tiny house. I was happy to report that this Getaway house truly surprised me!

Accommodations & Amenities

Upon entering the cabin I noticed immediately the modern appliances and stainless steal counter top. There was space to move about the cabin and it was organized very well. I also saw both the heating units and a.c. unit for all season comfort. I also loved how everything was styled! They offered pots, pans, utensils, and awesomely funky dish ware. The bathroom had a full shower with beautiful tile work. An extra treat awaited me on the adorable dining table. A package filled with all the goodies to make my very own s’mores. I was thrilled to go outside and see my very own fire pit and picnic table perfect for my next, and warmer getaway. They also provided other amenities such as snacks, coffee and tea for sale. There is even a place that you can lock away your cellphone and really unplug from the outside. Although, the true beauty of this entire trip was waking up to the amazing snow covered view from my huge window in the morning. I was able to sleep in silence away from city noise, reflect, read, cook and just be in peace to truly Get Away.

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

So truth be told all of my worries about my first tiny house experience truly were shattered after my time at Getaway house. And no I didn’t get stuck and there were people around in case I did. You have neighbors and an amazing staff to help answer any questions you might have. I do have a few recommendations however. Even with the gorgeous snow covered scenery, I would recommend trying to be there when the weather is warmer and you can experience the picnic and fire pit area. It also helps lower the risk of frozen pipes or icy mishaps. I would also recommend to pack lightly and come with some basic groceries! Although there is space you aren’t going to have a closet or extra shelves to store a bunch! That includes the bathroom area as well. I would say that my least favorite part was maneuvering around the bathroom but once you do it enough you really get the swing of things. Getaway house is truly a brilliant idea and I give it two thumbs up! Go Check out how you can win your own Getaway on my Instagram @curvy_capone! Take some time for yourself to breathe, to get back to basics and to maybe even stay away more often. It is a beautiful world out there go explore with Getaway House.

In the Blink of an Eye…

My Review on Blink’s New Personalized App

As a plus-size model, actress and blogger my fitness schedule and goals can be quite a pain. I have set many goals especially this year for my overall health and wellness. Of course keeping track of these goals has now been made even easier with my personalized app from Blink Fitness. I was so excited as a member to link with Blink to share this amazing app!

Everybody is Different. Your Gym Should be too…

I absolutely love this slogan from Blink Fitness. I originally joined Blink Fitness a few years ago because of their body positive messages and quality service. I have never felt more welcome at a gym then when I stepped into a Blink Fitness for the first time. There were people of all shapes and sizes there and at different stages in their fitness journey. Blink Fitness gives quality gym access to ALL people and promotes overall wellness unlike any gym. How could it get any better? Well it has, with this new mobilized personal companion from Blink! I have been using this app now for the past week and I couldn’t be happier. Blink helps me set MY goals and gives me amazing suggestions, recipes, tips and tricks from pairing companies such as Self, Zumba, & Food and Wine. They don’t just help me track my workouts but help me with my overall wellness including improving my sleep patterns, my energy, my eating habits and introducing me to new exercises to keep me engaged. Easy to use, and personalized just for me, makes working out easier than ever.

Weight! There’s More!

I can’t thank Blink Fitness enough for teaming up with me to share this great application. I truly believe that overall health goes so far beyond just the gym. Blink has truly impressed me with its body positive attitude and message. Providing quality equipment and multiple locations coast to coast Blink continues to show its members how they matter with the release of this personalized app. You can download the app from the App Store and find more information at Blink’s webpage. http://www.blinkfitness.com  

Be sure to follow and see my experience on IG, Youtube and Facebook! http://www.instagram.com/curvy_caponehttp://www.facebook.com/jonnacapone


CALLING ALL MEN!!

The Truth behind Plussize Male modeling

Written By: Jonna E. Capone

In our industry we are always calling out for more representation. We have made some movement in the female plussize industry, although we still want more. However, what about the otherside? What about the male market?  I was more thoroughly introduced to a few plussize MALE models this past year especially with the showcase BaeWalks in Full Figured Fashion Week. I was curious about their experiences and the trials and tribulations of working in the Plussize Industry but as a man. I had the pleasure of speaking with two working male models Rob Robinson and Darnel Ghramm about the truth behind plussize male modeling.

With a passion for fashion both Rob and Darnel were inspired to see more fashion opportunites open up for men in the industry. “There are only a hand full of big and tall brands on the market, and only a couple of those on a global scale. Also these companies and brands are still learning big and tall men and their styles. (What they like, how they like their clothes to fit, etc.) So until we have more time to overcome these obstacles, we will not see big and tall men blossom like plussize women have” Rob shared with us. As a fashion enthusiast and novice to the big and tall model world, Darnel described his experience with clients. “Sometimes, I feel like potential clients don’t know how to incorporate my look, even though they like it, because some brands are still afraid to go head on and challenge the status quo.” Personally, as a female model, I know I have faced some of these challenges but I wanted to know more about a typical day and the sometimes seemingly double standards of male and female models.IMG_0009

The means behind the scenes for these two male models is still pretty similar for those of  us females in the plussize industry. As both freelance models Rob and Darnel work to stay connected with brands and to break barriers for their body types. Darnel shared “My day by day is never the same but a typical week as a model includes: Answering emails, scheduling/planning upcoming events, shooting new looks for my personal content and for clients, going to events and doing interviews (happens often but not weekly) and interacting with the Instagram community.” They both also have walked the runway and want to encourage and continue to showcase plussize male bodies. I wanna see change in the misconception that big men want “oversized clothing” WRONG! We want out clothes fitted as well as stylish” Rob explained. Both models are working in the industry to show that plussize bodies both male and female can be styled and don’t have to settle. They want to see more big and tall male models join the community and empower each other.2Q2A1465

So what does that mean for the future of male modeling? Well Darnel’s advice for those looking to expand the industry is to “forget the rules! People should be able to look at fashion ads and see themselves instead of unreachable beauty goals that only continue to create insecurities.” Rob and Darnel’s biggest influencers included Dewayne Johnson and Romeo Santos but they themseles want to set an example and bring about a brighter future for plussize male models.  Do not give up! You might get 100 NO’s before you get a yes, but keep going! Practice self love and acceptance. It doesn’t mean you don’t have insecurities, it’s just knowing you’re still worthy. We are not the standard, but although the industry is slowly changing to be more inclusive, we still need you to come and shake things up!”-Darnel.

After talking with both of theses models I found some incredibly similarities. The bottom line is this. We all have insecurites and yes we can agree that women get hit the hardest and even more so if we are considered “plussize.” However, the plussize industry is moving forward, it may be moving slowly but it is moving. There are smaller agencies, companies, runway shows and more that are pushing full figured models to the front. It is important to realize that we share common insecurities and experiences. The standard of male models and female plusszie models may be different and we may face different challenges but the goal remains the same: To be seen, heard and accepted.  “The plus size movement is happening. Curves are IN, the way it should have been all along. We’re in this this together working just as hard towards a common goal.”-Darnel. I think it is incredibly important to help support each other on both sides to promote the work we want to see in the industry.  You can find more work from these two models on their social media pages and be sure to check out their latest endeavor of Bae Walks from FullFigured Fashion Week. For more articles and information subscribe today. Together we will continue to be heard and rock the curves!

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Follow these male models on IG: 

Rob Robinson (@builtuprealnice)

Darnel Ghramm (@dghramm)

For More from Curvy Capone Follow her IG : @Curvy_Capone

This article can also be found @ Queen Size Magazine Website

 

 

The Freelance Dance: What are Freelance Models Really up to?

An inside look into the world of freelance modeling

Written By: Jonna E. Capone

For most of my career as a model there has been an ongoing debate about the benefits of being signed with an agency or being a freelance model. Last article, I was able to interview two models that had been signed by agencies. This time I wanted to get the other side: a view of Freelance modeling. I found that both interviews opened my perspective to a few major ideas.  I got the pleasure of speaking with entrepreneur, model and 2017 Face of Full Figured Fashion Week, Mallory B. Richardson and Full Figured Fashion Week’s 2018 Model of the Year Jeannie Ferguson about their experiences as freelance models.

Being your own boss is one main reason that Mallory B. Richardson, a freelance model going on four years now, has chosen to be a freelance model. “As I am a professional and developing entrepreneur outside of the plus fashion arena, I must practice time 

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management and prioritize every aspect of my day.” Mallory explained. What is like then being your own boss? I wanted to find out more about  the work and upkeep of working as your own business.

The hustle for freelancing is no joke when it comes to freelance modeling. “When you work for yourself, you work twice as hard.” Jeannie shared. “There’s no time to take a break. Even on vacation you’re hustling. You handle all of your invoices Your scheduling, your responsible for building your clientele.  You have to stay on top of everything.” A typical day as a freelance model includes a ridgid routine. “I usually spend 2-3 hours a day on furthering leads for modeling, contacting new brands, reading and signing contracts, creating new social media content for posting, researching trends and other professional models, bloggers, influencers who are making strides in the community and beyond” Mallory shared.

Scheduling, seeking out castings, recording and keeping track of finances, shows and opportunities fall on you as a freelancer. However, if you find a system that works for you it can be truly beneficial in expanding opportunities. “Managing your own look, image, brand and bookings, as well as setting your own rate and schedule allows more flexibility of bookings, castings,and go sees. These are real benefits for me” explained Mallory.  As a freelance model you have to find the clients and companies that are casting which can be done but are there negatives of all this work?_PBK3655

Agency critics are nothing unique for these freelance models. “Are we a good fit for the next wave?  Will there be a need for plus petites as much as the average height model frequently requested?  Will we continue to see body and color diversity at the forefront? We don’t know.” Mallory explained. Most agencies dismiss certain sizes or shapes or especially heights because they don’t want to push the boundaries of what a plus size women “should” look like. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t work still out there and being a freelancer can serve you well. However, that doesn’t mean it is as consistent for all freelance models. Jeannie continued, “Research all clients. Know your worth know how to balance your time and budget your money. It’s important to learn how to network and build clientele. This means more work and dedication to doing your research and networking because you don’t have someone to do it for you.

Hearing these personal stories from actual freelance models may help guide you into your goals as a model yourself. One thing is certain whether you are signed or a freelancer the work and follow through that comes with being a model is not to be taken lightly. I hope that this information can help our readers make informed decisions about their modeling paths. Don’t forget we are all royalty and to be on the lookout for our next blog, as we go behind the scenes with plus size male models!  

Follow these models on IG!

Jeannie Ferguson (@plusmodjeannief)

Mallory B. Richardson (@malthemodel)

You can also find this article on Queen Size Magazine Website

For More From Curvy Capone Follow @Curvy_Capone

 

 

So Now You’ve Been Signed!

An Inside look to the world of a signed model

Written By: Jonna E. Capone

“So it is common to think that once you are signed you’ve made it and you don’t have to work anymore. Wrong!!”-Gabby Fe.

This is a great quote to kick off Part Two of my latest blog series. After reading my first piece you may have decided if you were ready to be seen by an agency. Now what happens next?  I had the privilege of sitting down with two full figured models who are both signed with agencies: Gabby Fe and Florinda Estrada. I asked both ladies about their experience as signed models. They had a lot to say, but I found that there were three

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basic points straight from the models mouth, that anyone who has been recently signed with an agency should know.

Behind the Scenes Grind “Getting signed is the only beginning and then the real work starts” Gabby explained, about her first experiences after being signed with State MGMT. “You have to work on your look and brand” Gabby shares. “Common upkeep to modeling is making sure your nails are manicured, making sure your hair is trimmed/layered in whatever style your look is. Upkeep is growing your social media numbers so that you have a better chance at booking clients because the competition is fierce and they are looking for that nowadays.” It doesn’t stop there as Florinda, signed with Natural Models LA, continued. “Models shouldn’t necessarily rely on their agency to do everything for them. It’s important to hustle and work for yourself as well.” Florinda continued, “Be on the lookout for open casting calls, attend industry events, and know who your industry executives and professionals are as well. You never know who you may run into!”BFAD41A2-058A-4A4A-A858-B4D0DCBD5714

Know your Stuff!  Knowing the information about your contracts and what your agency expects of you is very important. It is key that you are communicating with them clearly and provide them with the best chances for you to gain work. Going to any classes they offer or researching clients they send you out for is essential.  It is also important for you to know the benefits of your agency and the details of the contracts you are agreeing to. “One of the benefits of being signed is the protection of an agent who has been doing this for a while and knows how much I should be getting paid and negotiates on my behalf. My agent gives me advice before going into a situation so that I know what to expect. If a client tries to lowball me inE76EC61D-7F1D-4982-A390-9414BDCFCB9F paying me for the extra time they held me at work, my agent makes sure I am paid.” Gabby reiterated.  Additionally Flo said “ Agencies usually have relationships with casting agencies, producers, companies, etc. — that models don’t necessarily have. Therefore, opportunities that would have been close to impossible to obtain as an unsigned model, are more abundant as a signed model.

Money! Money! Money!  It is no secret that finances play a huge part as well in dealing with agencies and their expectations of you. After you are signed your agency will ask that you have material that they can send that reflects you and the agency best. You need to know what that financial expectation might be. This includes the cost of test shots and Gabby shared that they can range from “$600-$1000. So save your money ladies and gents!” You also want to know the financial expectation your agents have of you. Both Gabby and Flo could not be more clear when they shared “Read through your contract. If you have any questions or concerns, ask! Know your contract! Gabby further expressed “Personally I don’t mind giving my agent 20% of every check to negotiate on my behalf so that I don’t have to worry about the hassle. I know some freelance models who are perfectly capable of negotiating price and they are content with that.”B42982EF-3F87-4BC5-8680-CB0619D173F0

Overall there are positives and negatives to being a signed model but being signed doesn’t mean you get a free pass! Following these three basic points may help you understand more of the world of being a signed model and guide you through your first few weeks. Be on the lookout for our next blog about the world of Freelance Modeling!

 

Follow Gabby on IG: gabtheguru

Follow Florinda on IG: Florinda_estrada

For More Follow @Curvy_Capone

#mobstercurves #curvycapone

 

Are You Ready for an Agency?

Many aspiring models always seem to ask me the same question. How did you get signed? Or What is your secret to getting signed? I always answer with the same response; “I came prepared”. What I mean by that is, I did my research and believed I was prepared to be signed with an agency. Now I don’t claim to be an expert even after being signed but I knew I had to follow some steps before moving forward and pursuing a modeling agency. When reflecting on this article, I wanted to find the most helpful tools, advice, tricks or tips that I could give aspiring models about getting ready for an agency. There are many factors that came with this preparation, including knowing which agencies I wanted to look into what contracts I might be presented with or standard procedures of an agency to follow.  I have broken the process down into six different categories that aspirin models can follow. That being said, everyone’s journey is different and these aren’t quick fixes to getting straight into an agency. These tips and tools will help however, to inform you on the questions and information you should have at your disposal to move forward.

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Photo by Fancycrave on Pexels.com

  1. Do your research!  

This is incredibly important in understanding the differences in agencies, what contracts you should look into, and if certain agencies are right for YOU. Not all agencies will be a perfect fit for you. Don’t forget that you have something to bring to the table as well. If you have put in the time, and have the knowledge of your craft you want to make sure that an agency you submit for or inquire about is an agency you can also be proud to stand behind and represent. I started off by reaching out to fellow signed models, googling different agencies and their submission requirements. I learned the difference between exclusive and non-exclusive contracts; the rules of percentages for models and agents. A specific “trick” that I learned was to actually go to the agencies websites and look at the models that were already signed. Look at their photos, measurements etc and try to decide if you would be a good pairing. This brings me to my number second point of preparedness for agencies.

  1. KNOW YOURSELF!!

This includes knowing your measurements! It is incredibly important to know your measurements not only to keep track of them but you will also be asked! Model calls that your agency sends you on or for meetings with agencies you WILL be measured so it is vital that you know these measurements. It makes you look very professional and is incredibly helpful to always have. It also keeps you consistent in your measurements, which is also key in booking agencies and clients. Knowing yourself also means knowing your strengths in the fashion industry but being willing to know your limits. Trying out new looks and styles shows versatility but knowing you are a strong print model, or runway model or that you have a commercial look are key in how you present yourself to an agency. You can show your diversity in looks with the material you present agents. Leading right into my third point

  1. Photos! Photos! Photos!

It isn’t enough to simply post pictures, tag agencies and wait for someone to call you. It is important that you actively search for photographers with different styles. Photographers that work just with natural light, or just shoot boudoir or only shoot outside; the list goes on and on. Working with different photographers, not only helps with more connections but also gets you to push your boundaries, and try out new angles. Being comfortable in front of the camera and in new experiences is for your benefit as a model overall and agencies will see that. You can find photographers via social media or pages like model mayhem that may be willing to collaborate with you on projects. This is a great way to save money on photos and to also network with people in the industry, which is also a vital key in preparing yourself for an agency. FRONT

  1. Networking is everything!

Once you have the material, photos business cards etc. you want to share them! It is easy to find events, and network with fellow models, designers and photographers! Even if you aren’t modeling in these events, going to the events is just as important! You should be prepared to have comp cards with you or business cards and ask questions! You can find out what agencies people work with and put your work out there. It is smart to get opinions about your photos and show up to events so that others can see you in person.

  1. Ask the tough questions!

Am I physically ready to be seen by an agency? Am I financially ready to gather materials or purchase comp cards? What are my strengths; commercial modeling; runway or high fashion, etc? What market would I realistically find work? Am I willing to travel? These are just some of the questions I asked myself. It is important to be honest with yourself about what you can do. Walking into an agency, they might ask you some of these questions and you want to be able to answer honestly and confidently. This leads me to my last point about preparing yourself for an agency.

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  1. Build your skin! You can submit to a lot of agencies, I know I did! Some of them turned me away or never even replied to me. There are some that I would still love to work with and I keep trying for. One model told me once it took her three years to work with the agency she works with now! You have to develop a thick skin and be patient. You may hear a lot of No’s from agencies; that doesn’t mean it is your only option. Find what works for you and makes you feel confident, strong and share your story. You may come to find that your place isn’t with an agency at all.

 

Preparing yourself for any task is never easy work but it is necessary. These tips, tools and tricks may help you go even further in taking your next steps from being an aspiring model to a signed model! You can find a list of agencies below that once you have prepared can take your submissions! You can also find more tips, tricks and advice from me Curvy Capone on my patreon page (www.patreon.com/curvy_capone) and social media outlets ( IG: curvy_capone)  Stay tuned for more from this series and to hear from professionals in the industry!

 

Agencies:

State MGMT

Bicoastal MGMT

MUSE

Dorothy Combs MOdels

Hampton Models & Talent

DNA Model MGMT

IMG MODELS