The best part of what we do here at Daily Venus Diva involves shining a spotlight on the multiple roles of plus size women. Each month we feature a plus size model or celebrity on the cover while encouraging our readers to celebrate their curves 365 days of the year.
Our November cover model, Andrea Jackson has embraced her curves in a number of ways, including relocating from one state to another to follow her dreams of being a professional model. She’s a plus size model on the rise with a rich background in theater and an affinity for shopping at some of our favorite curvy spots.
Instead of discussing one aspect of Andrea’s life, I decided to conduct this interview in two parts; the modeling and the “other” important stuff!
What made you decide to become a plus size model?
I wanted to model as a pre-teen, but was turned away by a school because of my size. I never thought to pursue it again. After reaching adulthood, I used to hear so many people say that I was pretty, tall, and shapely. Eventually, I auditioned for a plus size runway show in my hometown. Although nervous and a bit self-conscious, I was selected. As soon as I hit the runway I knew that a seed had been planted. I began falling in love with my curves. After researching the industry, I came across a dynamic plus model, Mia Amber Davis. There was something about her that gave me the extra push to decide that plus modeling was for me. That was the start of a brand new Andrea.
Before becoming a model, what were you doing?
I was a part-time hairstylist and graduate student.
Do you model full time or partime?
Currently I model part-time. I am optimistic and interested in working full-time.
When not modeling, how do you make a living for yourself?
I work in the customer service field.
Do you think you would be doing as much if you had stayed in Chicago?
Chicago has a lucrative market for plus size, but it is smaller. I do not think that I would be doing less work, but the type would be different. I’d hope to be successful in both markets.
Have you ever thought about going back to Chicago and going down a different path?
Yes, I have. Before moving to New York, I considered options in Chicago. Thankfully transportation makes it easy to go back and forth. I am still open to exploring those paths. We never know what the future holds.
You also have acting experience, tell me about that?
My interest in acting was sparked back in sixth grade when I would mimic television stars at talent shows. More recently, I worked with Tennessee State University’s summer stock theater on a play called “Zooman and the Sign.” I learned a lot about character development and the dedication that it takes to deliver a powerful performance. I was later cast as an extra in a short film, “Keyed.” I look forward to more adventures as an actress.
Which one are you more passionate about acting or modeling?
I definitely am more passionate about modeling, but the two are so closely related that they may eventually become one in the same for me.
The “Other” Important Stuff
Where are your favorite places to shop for curvy fashions?
My closet is filled with fashions from: Lane Bryant (Sonsi), Ashley Stewart, New York & Company, Rainbow Shops, Target, Macys, Dots, and Old Navy (just to name a few).
What are your favorite ”Must-Haves” in your purse that you cannot leave home without:
Besides a wallet and keys, my “must-haves” are: MAC’s Studio Careblend pressed powder in Dark, MAC’s Fibre Rich Lash mascara in All Black, and MAC’s Plushglass in Big Baby. If you have not realized, I am a MAC-oholic. These three items will get me prepped for a last minute casting or a quick meeting.
What is the best place you’ve ever traveled to?
I have not traveled a lot, but I was blessed to go to Puerto Rico a couple of years ago. The weather was awesome, the accommodations were great, and the authentic food loved my curves as much as my curves loved it.
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
I have a great sense of humor and am usually the person who is making funny things happen. Nothing has happened to me yet. But I must say that the pick up lines that I have heard in New York have definitely made me laugh. I have had offers to be my workout partner, friend, escort, and even my shadow.
Things people would be surprised to know about you?
People may be surprised to know that I love roller skating, am a great dancer, and enjoy great music. Growing up in Chicago, roller skating was my favorite pass time. The “JB” style of skating is what has helped keep me fit. With the skates on or off, I enjoy a range of classical, old school, R&B, jazz, pop, alternative, house, and gospel music. But when the right song comes on, I do not mind dancing a smooth step, two, or more.
My greatest fear is that I will not fulfill my purpose. I know that I am here for a reason and I’d hate to fall short of that. I am a talented, intelligent, and beautiful woman, and I always have to be aware that what I do (or don’t) and say can impact my progress.
My greatest success is ongoing. It is the legacy that I leave with others and my family. However I have impacted others to do, be, live, etc will allow my life and works to stand the test of time. Being remembered as an inspiration and knowing that I gave my 100% is priceless.
What or who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from so many areas. Sometimes it is a little girl or woman who is not so comfortable with the way she looks and admires my beauty and confidence. Other times it is the child who is bullied for being different and wants to know how I embrace my unique look. Most times, I am inspired by my support system of family, friends, and mentors. But ultimately, I am inspired by my faith.
The one thing you must do in your lifetime?
See the world! I will start with the United States/Canada. Then I will expand to Africa, Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America. My hope is that I will be able to work in some of those locations as well.
Image Credit: Inez Lewis Photography