I was so honored to speak with Bree Woodley, the Face of Full Figured Fashion Week, taking place in New York City from and I quickly realized that she will definitely be someone to shake up the curvy industry. Read on to find out why!
EM: Why did you choose to become a plus size model and what do you like best and least about it?
BW: I am a natural model; I’m not associated with any modeling agencies. I’m just a photographer who enjoys being my own subject; with the exception of my latest modeling work, mostly images of myself, I’ve photographed. I guess a more direct way to answer this question is that I enjoy the freedom of being freelance.
EM: What were some of the challenges you faced when auditioning for Face and who was your biggest supporter?
BW: I didn’t feel much challenge. I believe that this was predestined for me. Everything fell into place accordingly, which made me even more sure that this was my golden opportunity. It happened so organically. It was beautiful working on my audition tape; I wrote and composed the video myself. If I search hard to find the real challenge, it would be conveying a message in a short, sweet 2 minutes.
EM: How do you feel that your studies in media arts and journalism at Long Island University have helped your career?
BW: My classes have definitely enhanced my interpersonal skills and I’ve met some amazing people. No one can teach you how to be uniquely you, but my classes help me understand the layout of my field and I add my special “stardust” in my approach. I’m a natural extrovert and each day when I encounter people I try to make personal connections, especially in this day and age where things can easily become so impersonal.
EM: What do you hope to do after you graduate from Long Island University?
BW: I look forward to graduating but I’m not necessarily waiting on graduation to accomplish what I set out to accomplish. Every day is a day for me to make power moves and connections. Once I graduate I only hope to be more evolved and better situated.
EM: Who is your favorite designer and why?
BW: I don’t really have a favorite designer. I love to thrift shop because I love vintage wears. But lately, my eye has been on some upcoming designers. I love the direction in which clothing for plus women is going. The designers behind Rue 114 and Jibri are so dope. I love their collection this season.
EM: Why do you think so many designers do not want to create plus size clothes?
BW: Sadly, it takes real balls to go against the grain and try something different. That’s why I respect all the innovative designers and pioneers of the game, not only in the plus community but industries in general. The idea of an inclusive community makes me so happy.
EM: What is Fryezone, why did you choose to become involved with it, and what do you hope to achieve through it?
BW: Fyrezone is a nonprofit organization that works with inner city middle school kids, helping them discover expression through music and art. The CEO, Bud Ramsay, is a very close friend of mine and he is extremely committed to this project. Fyrezone acts as a therapeutic outlet, since many of our kids carry heavy burdens in their personal life and the time spent enjoying themselves creatively is a great release. I am so honored to be involved in something so special.
EM: What advice would you give to aspiring plus size models?
BW: To anyone who wants to be noticed, as a model, photographer, etc, my advice to them is just to be sure of yourself. Be ready to not compromise just to fit a set standard if its not befitting to you. Also, never treat any situation as simply the means to an end because you will never get the most out of that situation. Spend time developing yourself mentally, physically, rationally, and emotionally because this industry comes with hard hits and you gotta duck and roll with the punches. I apply this to myself every day.
EM: What would you say to critics who claim that encouraging women to accept their bodies will add to the obesity epidemic?
BW: I’m strong in my promotion of healthy living. I just don’t like when people become too critical. The encouragement shouldn’t be only getting to size 4/6, it should be in the promotion of self love. I’m not trying to be skinny, I’m trying to be healthy and a size 4 doesn’t necessarily equal good health. We just have to respect our bodies and take care of ourselves.
EM: What are your hopes for yourself and the plus size fashion industry over the next 5 years?
BW: I have high expectations for myself and the industry over the next 5 years. I can go on forever about my plan to bring it… but for now… just stay tuned.. I’m so excited for June!
Find out more about Bree on:
To view the schedule and purchase tickets for Full Figured Fashion Week, visit: http://fffweek.com/2014/schedule-tickets/