Don’t Miss this giveaway!!! you could be the lucky winner of these AMAZING prizes…. though I’m not going to lie… I hope I am and not you ;) Hehe!
Meet Photographer and Curvy Canadian Model Mandi!
Height: 5′ 3.5″
Weight: 200 lbs
Hair color: Black
Hair length: Long
Eye color: Green
Will you please tell me and my CurveInspire readers your name, age, city you work in, and facebook or web link?
My name is Amanda, but my Friends and Family know me as “Mandi,” so it was an obvious choice for my Modeling name!
Funny story about my nickname; It actually came from my Grandma who had an old 1940′s coupe with the same name (long before I was born) that her and my grandfather lovingly restored. As a Mechanics Daughter and Auto Enthusiast, I can’t help but love that story!
I am 22 years old, and I work in the small town of Drayton Valley, In Alberta, Canada as a professional photographer, graphic artist, and of course, model!
How did having curves affect you growing up?
I was bullied a lot throughout school for my weight, so I tried to hide myself under baggy clothes, with short hair, ball caps, and hoodies; I mostly grew up as a tom boy, I was my Father’s “other son.” I would work in his shop sanding down cars, playing street hockey with my little brother, going 4x4ing and camping, or playing with tanks and guns at army cadets!
But I was my Mother’s princess on weekends, when I was with my mom, instead of camping and working on cars, I was shopping and putting on makeup like most teenage girls do. Both of these aspects of my life have greatly helped in shaping the woman that I am today; A tomboy who likes camping and 4x4ing, who’s not afraid to get dirty but still loves to play dress up on the weekends!
When I turned 18, I met the person who helped me the most in my journey to becoming a model, and in becoming the person that I am today, (other than my Amazing parents of course!) My best friend and business partner, who has helped me to find the confidence in myself, taught me to love myself, and helped me to accomplish all of my goals and my dreams, supported all of my decisions (both good and bad) has picked me up every time I’ve fallen down, and shown me that I am beautiful inside and out. Without him, I wouldn’t have the confidence to model; without him, I don’t know where I’d be.
How long have you been a pinup/What got you into the world of pinup modeling?
I have been a Pin-Up model for 3 years now. As a professional photographer I was constantly surrounded by beautiful, inspiring women each with their own unique story. Many of whom just didn’t feel beautiful any more as they had gotten caught up in their daily lives, as told to me with tears in their eyes how amazing it was to get their photos back and see how beautiful they looked! As I was caught up in their stories, sharing their happy moments with them and making them feel gorgeous, it was then I’d realized that I hadn’t taken any time to do that for myself. I had spent many years with low self-esteem due to being a “Curvy” girl. I never thought “I” could be a model, with my large hips, short legs (and small breasts) I felt largely inadequate. Begrudgingly, I finally decided to step in front of the camera myself. It started as just playing around in our studio with my business partner trying on wigs and goofing around with props, until I came to a black wig with short black bangs, “The Bettie Page Wig.” The look on my business partner’s face said it all. That was the one!
Shortly afterward, as I was talking with a fellow photographer who had expressed interest in doing a 50′s style shoot at a local diner, I volunteered as a model! With that Bettie wig still in mind, I made an appointment at my local hair dresser to dye my blond hair black, and of course, get the bangs!! I was so nervous stepping in front of the camera for another professional photographer
(other than my business partner.) But after seeing the photos, I was hooked, and I knew i had found “My Look,” My self-esteem began to rise as I did more and more photo shoots. I began to feel what my models felt, I began to see myself as beautiful -flaws and all! I began to love myself for the first time.
The shoot was Amazing!! (Those Bangs However…. Were not!..)
How do your curves Help you in your career as a model/pinup model?
I love the fact that I am a plus size/curvy pinup model. I am still shocked every time a woman tells me that, “I am an inspiration to her” I do it because I love it, and because it makes me feel good about myself. It gives me the confidence in myself that I had always lacked. I love to hear other women’s stories and their struggles and to share my own with them, as well. The photography and modeling industry is filled with some amazing and talented people, and I wish that I could thank each one of them individually as they have all helped me to become who I am today, (but that would make for a very long interview!!)
If I could give other aspiring models, and women in general. one piece of advice, I would say, LOVE YOURSELF and be true to who you are! An original is always worth more than a copy anyways. You can’t make everyone happy, so focus on making yourself happy. It’s a hard journey, but it’s worth it when you finally accept and love yourself, flaws and all! Don’t change yourself to fit what the media tells you that you should look like. Don’t worry about what others think of you. Not everyone will love you but those who genuinely do, will do so for the RIGHT reasons.
“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
— Marilyn Monroe