With the season premiere of TLC’s Big Sexy less than a week away, there is really some buzz around the “Sexy 5” (Yup, we just made that up). The cast includes an incredible lineup of women in the fashion and modeling industry: Audrey Lea Curry, Heather Roach, Leslie Medlick, Nikki Gomez, and Tiffany Bank. And, with the new commercial now on youtube, the excitement has really ramped up!
Last week, we got a chance to chat with Tiffany Bank. This week, it’s time to hang with Nikki Gomez. Gomez is an experienced professional plus size print and fit model. She is also a professional fashion photographer and stylist (She says choosing one of her trades over the other is like picking a favorite child). Even with all that’s going on, the excitement of her new show, and the season premiere coming up in less than a week, Gomez still found some time to speak with us and show us her bold! And, boy did she. What a fun and awesome woman to represent the plus size industry in Big Sexy. Here’s how it all happened!:
Bold Magazine: So, other than the TLC show, you’re a model, photographer, and stylist. Tell us about all three of your roles. Which do you like most?
Nikki Gomez: I do really love all three and for me they go hand in hand. Different times in my life require me to focus on each one. Right now I am into modeling so that’s where my focus is. I will never give up my photography, I just had to put that on hold for a little while since things are so hectic with the show and modeling. Photography is my passion without a doubt. I need to be creative and that is the best outlet. I constantly have images in my head that I have to create. I hope to get back to my photography soon.
BM: If you were at a cocktail party and everyone had to write who or “what” they were on their name tag, what would you write on yours?
NG: This is a great question! I think I would have to write something like… Nikki Gomez (jack of all trades) or Nikki Gomez modphotogstylist? I have to think about that some more. I think when I speak to most people about what I do and who I am, I usually say I am a plus size model and photographer.
BM: Tell us about Big Sexy.
NG: Well, “Big Sexy” is a show about my life and the lives of my 4 friends. You can see us in our personal and professional lives dealing with our day to day issues in the fashion industry and New York as plus size women.
BM: How did you like it?
NG: I loved every moment of it. I cherish all of my blessings in life because I know things could have been very different for me.
BM: What did you learn during the filming? What do you think WE’LL learn?
NG: I learned a lot about my friends and their own struggles and dreams. I think this experience brought us even closer. We now share an experience no one else in our inner circle has been though. We are better friends because of it. I hope people will learn not to stereotype people based solely on appearance. We are all unique. We all bring something new and interesting to the show. You will learn about us.
BM: What made you decide to become a model?
NG: When I was 17 I went to a model search to support a friend of mine that was interested. Much to my surprise the agent there was very impressed with me and wanted me to contact her. I never contacted her but kept the idea in the back of my mind. Several years later I entered the MODE magazine model search and was not chosen. I never gave up on the idea of modeling so I tried again a few years later and it finally worked for me!
NG: My first go see (Bold Note: A “Go See” is an audition) was to walk for SAKS FIFTH AVE. They did hire me for that show. I was actually surprised at how quickly I started to see progress. From there things just picked up for me. I have been very blessed.
BM: How have you seen the plus size industry change since you began?
NG: The fashion options have gotten so much better! As a model it’s important to be professional so we don’t give our opinions on the styles of the clothing. We do our best to make them look great. There were some great options when I started but, now the options are much more stylish and youthful. The fits are flattering the quality has improved. Now, with a little research, plus size women can find clothing that better suits their personal style not just their size. It’s so refreshing.
BM: So, your prince charming magically whisks you away on vacation. You have 5 minutes to pack a suitcase. What’s in it?
NG: I have to ask… who is this prince charming and where can I find him? [Laughs]
Well, if he’s taking me somewhere warm and tropical I will automatically throw in my mini and maxi dresses. In the summer I LIVE in dresses. I recently got into wearing shorts so I would also take a couple of cute rompers, my bathing suit and some flip flops. I am trying to learn how to pack light so dresses and rompers keep things simple and light for me.
BM: What are your hopes after the show for you personally?
NG: I hope to travel more this coming year. My first priority is to spend time with my family. We have been separated for a while now and I really want to reconnect with them. I miss them terribly. Then, I’d love to make time to visit friends in the west coast and eventually take a trip to Europe with my best friend. Traveling is my top priority for the near future.
BM: OK, great. How about for professionally?
NG: Professionally, I hope to do more modeling and see where that takes me. There are a lot of things I love to do and want to try so who knows… my name tag at that party might get a little stranger in the future. I just don’t want to limit myself and when I see a great opportunity to grow I do usually take it.
NG: I am BOLD because I overcame the odds. I grew up in extreme poverty with very little available to me. I pushed forward to make my dreams come true and make the most of my life. When I set my mind on something I go for it and make it happen all while staying true to my integrity and morals. I fight for what I believe in and the people I love. I am loyal and supportive. I am confident and love my body.