From The Curvy Trini– Becoming a plus sized model was never something on my radar. As a communications professional, I spent most of my life arranging video shoots and working in the background. I experienced a lot of body shaming growing up and never considered that I would have ever been considered beautiful, far less a model.
I share the magical story of how I became an Instagram influencer here (http://www.thecurvytrini.com/2018/04/09/thecurvytrinistory/) on my blog. While taking some professional courses in Manhattan, I met two incredible women who saw the light and the potential in me and provided me with a platform to help others and spread my messages of inspiration and empowerment to people all over the globe.
Through that experience, I started taking modelling courses learning to slay the catwalk and pose. I even tried out as a runway model for Full Figured Fashion Week 2018. Unfortunately I was not selected, but the experience allowed me to meet a group of other fabulous women who work in this field and have bodies like mine.
I learned that being a model also comes with developing thick skin and not taking rejection personally. More opportunities always come. I intend to move to New York or Toronto in the future, and will apply to modelling agencies when I am there and hopefully find the right one for me. When that time comes, you can look forward to more posts about the experiences I have attending open calls at the various agencies, my journey to the mainstream is still in progress.
Through Instagram, I have had the opportunity to model and create content for several size inclusive brands. I also worked with a local stylist and pop up shop owner and was featured in their advertising imagery.
I have found that describing myself as a model to people results in mixed reactions. Many people cannot understand that I am a model until I use the words “plus-sized”. According to Forbes.com
“The average size of an American woman is now between 16 and 18, according to a new study from the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education.”
Regular women have been ignored and stigmatized by brands and the media for many years. Why is there a phrase attached to the word model, when the size that is being described is the size of the vast majority? I, alongside many others, am working towards removing the stigma attached to these words.
I have dedicated my life to help shield others from the deep shame, insecurity and pain I suffered with in my early life due to the way society viewed the body I live in. If seeing a photo of me in a swimsuit can help another girl feel comfortable enough to walk around at the beach without a cover up, or finally cut ties with a man who only uses her in private for a booty call then I have done my job.
Bio: Sarah Hamel-Smith is a plus-sized model, communications professional, blogger, storyteller and Instagram influencer. She lives between the island she was born on, Trinidad and her soul’s home Manhattan, NYC. Follow her on Instagram @thecurvytrini and subscribe to her blog at www.thecurvytrini.com for regular doses of Style, Inspiration and Empowerment.From