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Did Lizzie Miller Start a Body Image Revolution?

Posted in Articles, Books, & Magazines, Beauty, Hair, & Make-up, Body Image, Celebrity, Confidence, Designers, Events, Family & Friends, Fashion, Fitness & Health, Inspiration, Models, News, Photographers, Plus-Size Modeling, Recipes & Food, Self-Esteem, Shopping, Trade Tips, Travel, Unique Beauty, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2010 by Liz

Photographed by Seth Sabal

Lizzie Miller caused quite a stir while posing nude for the 2009 September issue of Glamour magazine. She has been referred to as “the woman on page 194.” When we first saw her image in Glamour magazine, our initial thoughts were “Finally! What a breath of fresh air.”

Finally, the time had come to see an image of someone that we could relate to. It took someone like Lizzie to start a wave, to start a crusade for women everywhere. There is more to Lizzie than being “the woman on page 194.” We hope this interview will help you see the true beauty that radiates from within her.

Glamour Magazine – Photographed by Patrick Shaw

Please tell us where you are from, and how you got started in the modeling business.

I’m from San Jose, CA. I got started with my modeling career by going to a Model Search that I had heard about on the on the radio. My mom was convinced it was a scam, so I paid for part of it. The model search was held at a huge hotel in San Francisco and had all sorts of agencies there. I was called back by a few of the agencies. Since I was only thirteen, my dad kept in contact with the few agencies who called me back (including Wilhelmina) and we made a trip out to NY the following summer. I signed with Wilhelmina then.

Please tell us about your experience regarding the September issue of Glamour magazine, which featured you nude along with an article about feeling comfortable in your own skin.

It was my first nude shoot, so before it, I was a little nervous. But it was weird, as soon as I was on set; I was comfortable and felt confident. I pleasantly surprised myself that day! I thought I would be nervous! But, I actually felt really good. Everyone was really professional and made me feel even more comfortable.

Photographed by Rafa Galler

What misconceptions do you think society has of plus-size women?

I think the biggest misconception is that all plus-size women are unhealthy and overweight — which is not true. I guess that brings up the question: What qualifies as “Plus Size.” I’m a size 12-14 and 5’11, and for my body, it’s a comfortable size. I’ve always been athletic and have never been a skinny girl. But, I enjoy working out, playing sports, and eating right. Now, if I’m craving some sweets, I do let myself indulge but, it’s all about checks and balances. Let yourself have a cookie–not five.

Most of the fellow plus-size models I work with are proportionate and in shape. Their bodies just happen to rest comfortably at a size 12 or above.

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem or body image issues in the past? If so, how did you reach the point of accepting and loving your body as it is?

I think every girl, at some point, has struggled with body image (including me)! It’s a huge problem and it’s not talked about enough. I use to be so self-conscious that I wouldn’t even change in from of my friends and family; I would run to the bathroom. But, being in this industry has made me feel comfortable with myself because you HAVE to be. It started with me changing in front of one stylist, then another, and another. They’re not even looking at me; they’re more focused on getting the clothes ready, etc. So once I realized that they’re not staring at me, I became more comfortable. After 8 years of changing in front of many different people, you get used to it.

Another trick I would try when I was younger was that I would wear my bikini around my house before going to the beach so I could get use to the feeling of showing that much skin. The more you do it, the more comfortable you become.

Photographed by Rafa Galler

What advice would you give to young women who are struggling with self-esteem, confidence, or body image?

Do not be so hard on yourself. If you slip up and eat a lot of cookies one day, just workout the next day. Stop comparing yourselves to other people. Everyone has a different body shape and some people are just naturally skinny. It’s exhausting trying to be really skinny when your body is athletic and curvy. It was so liberating for me when I finally accepted myself the way I am and stopped comparing myself to other girls.

Plus-Size Models Unite embraces women of every shape, size, ethnicity, and age, which includes women who are short, tall, plus, thin, and every woman in between. We applaud diversity and support women to find the inner strength to accept, respect, and embrace their uniquely beautiful self. We know you feel the same way. Please tell us your thoughts about promoting the fact that beauty comes in every size.

I’ve always said beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I think skinny girls have just as many self-confidence issues as curvy girls. It comes down to the mind. If you think you are beautiful then you will be because your confidence will exude through you. Everyone has a different body type and the most important thing is recognizing which shape YOU are. Not what the girls looks like in magazines and not like what the girls look like on TV. We all need to stop comparing ourselves to unrealistic expectations of Beauty.

Photographed by Rafa Galler

What does being healthy mean to you?

Being healthy means getting enough sleep, staying active, and eating healthy food. I go by the color rule. Always try to have some color on your plate (greens, colorful fruits, etc); most unhealthy things are a brown color (or fried). Find exercise that’s fun! If it’s fun, it won’t feel like working out. I love to dance, so I take any dance classes that sound interesting to me–as long as it has great music! Music is definitely important for working out. If you’re not a runner and want to become one, make an
awesome upbeat playlist and it will be more fun as well. (I don’t jog on the treadmill that much–I prefer dance classes, but when I do run, a really good playlist helps me!)

Out of all the places your modeling has taken you – where is the most memorable?

The most memorable place I’ve been is Barcelona, Spain. I’ve always wanted to go there and the shoot happened to fall on Valentine’s Day weekend. Since I travel so much for work, I had acquired A LOT of frequent flyer miles. So I used those miles to get my boyfriend a ticket to go with me. It was such a great weekend!

Photographed by Rafa Galler

Where do you like to shop for clothes and who are your favorite designers?

I shop all over. I really like Mystique Boutique; it’s a small store that has several locations in New York. I also like Zara, Arden B., H&M, and Urban Outfitters. Some of my favorite designers are Max Azria, Roberto Cavalli, and others.

What are some of your favorite beauty products or must-haves?

MoroccanOil deep conditioner. (http://www.moroccanoil.com/)

Please tell us about your singing career.

I’ve been singing ever since I could. I was always in school choir and musicals. I’ve been taking one-on-one voice lessons for two years now and piano lessons as well. I write lyrics and come up with melody to songs. I’m learning piano, so the writing music part became easier.  I’m currently working on my demo tape and getting my written lyrics out there for people to hear.

What are you excited about right now?

I am really excited about an upcoming shoot in London that I have for Spririto Catalog! I have never been there before, and I always love to visit places that I have never seen!

*Thank you, Lizzie!

Lizzie Miller has been with Wilhelmina on the Plus Size Board since she started modeling at age thirteen. She told us that she has two sisters and a supportive mom and dad.

What do you think about Lizzie’s Glamour magazine shoot? Do you think Lizzie Miller started a body image revolution? How do you feel about your body image? We would love to hear your thoughts!

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