Thick Fab Life (TFL) is excited to bring you our first official interview—a chat with the tenacious Denise Bidot—a proud mom with a growing career as an international plus size model. Here, she talks about her career, home life, her definition of sexy… and her views of what we at TFL call the FUN STUFF! Look for a feature on Denise in the September 2010 issue of Glamour Magazine!
Chel/TFL: Your pictures exude amazing confidence and strength. Have you always been this comfortable in front of a camera?
DB: Thank you so much! I can assure you that I have NOT always been as comfortable as I am now in front of the camera :). I think modeling lingerie as my first modeling job (Hips & Curves) surely released a bit of my insecurities. I had to be in barely any clothes, with a fan in front of me for 8 hours, and I think by the 3rd hour I started believing in myself. I remember, I was like “I am sexy” this is awesome!!
How did you get into modeling?
I used to be a Makeup Artist and I met a plus size model who asked me to do a TFP (Trade for Pictures) with the amazing photographer, Sita Mae Edwards, and I so agreed and I remember thinking to myself, “why not?” When I got there they were both amazingly sweet and after the shoot the photographer asked if I had ever considered plus size modeling and in all honestly until that moment, back in 2006 I hadn’t. She took my pictures and posted them on a message board and soon after I was contacted by Hips and Curves and started modeling professionally. I owe it all to that photo-shoot. To this day, the model is one of my closest friends.
Have you ever battled with your weight? What is your way of best dealing with your weight?
I have always been “big boned” and, being of Puerto Rican and Arabic descent, I have always been very curvy. Growing up I tried every diet out there. I was always trying to fit into a “perfect mold” and it never quite worked for me. It wasn’t until Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce came out that I began to accept my shape. After that, I learned how to dress my curves and what things work with my body. I fell in love with fashion when I saw women with similar figures as myself that I could relate to, wearing them.
What size are you? (I ask this simply so that readers can identify.)
At the moment I am very close to a size 14. Usually, I fluctuate between a 12-14.
You have great fashion sense—what are some of your favorite clothing brands and places to shop?
I LOVE FASHION!! I genuinely enjoy shopping at Torrid, they always seen to have all the stuff I’m looking for. I also like the Gap (they are always so classic). Svoboda Jeans are the BEST! I’m also a huge fan of H&M and Monif C. You’d also be surprised what you can find at Target.
What are some of your biggest career and personal achievements?
Career wise, I have to say there are few things that are better than being booked for Glamour Magazine (I will be featured in the September 2010 issue alongside Katherine Schwarzenegger). Also working for Kohl’s was pretty intimidating because they flew me out to Wisconsin when it was 11 degrees out and I am a total Miami girl. It was for only one shirt, which was so insane to think of. I was like, “All this for ONE shirt!” (She laughs). It was such an amazing experience and the cheese there is truly to die for!!! As far as personal achievements go, I have a precious two year-old daughter that is my pride and joy and I feel extremely blessed to have found a career that I love whole-heartedly and that can keep my creativity growing as I evolve.
What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time!? Who has that? (Laughs.) Did I mention I have a two year old? When I am not working, I really enjoy movie time. My daughter is at that stage where she can sit though movies (at home only) and I truly cherish spending those moments with her. I am usually working on my cooking skills when I’m home as well. I have to admit, I am obsessed with Paula Deen.
What are you currently up to/working on?
Well, I just got signed to Brigitte Models in Germany and they are looking to promote me in Europe. I am hoping to begin expanding my career and start possibly working overseas. It has always been a dream of mine to travel the world and I’m getting very close to having that be a reality and so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I start to get work out there.
Where can our readers follow you and keep up with your career?
I am VERY accessible. Follow me on Twitter.com/DeniseBidot . Also there are links on my website: www.DeniseBidot.com to other social networking sites that I am on. I am always on the internet, via my phone, so feel free to drop me a note. I tend to reply.
Is there any advice you can give to thick women chasing their dreams?
All I can say is that the only person that can stop you from achieving your goals is yourself. If you believe, then everyone else will too. Be proud of who you are and don’t change for anyone. The first time I went to a casting for Torrid, I was told that I was not “right for their company” and not even a year later I got booked. I was persistent and now I have shot three Look Books for them. Just learn from every moment.
*Denise & the FUN STUFF*
Denise Bidot on the “Fun Stuff”–stuff you will be learning about all of our TFL guests!
Definition of Sexy:
CONFIDENCE, there is nothing sexier.
At a photoshoot, to get into the zone, I play…
Anything by Christina Aguilera, for sure Ciara, Beyonce, Usher, Drake– can’t have enough of Justin Timberlake or Trey Songz. But I’m also pretty easy-going and can jam to anything.
For a night out with the girls, I love to “rock”…
My 5 1/2 inch Gucci Heels, those babies only come out for special occasions and my girls are definitely it!!
Sexiest male musician, actor, model or celebrity?
I’m going to give you my top 5 men; #1: Johnny Depp, #2 Ashton Kutcher, #3 Robert Patterson, #4 David Beckham, #5 Leonardo DiCaprio.
What brand is your favorite fitting pair of jeans?
At the moment my favorite pair of jeans is from the Gap. They are really flattering to my curves. But I’m sure that will be changing soon because I am waiting on some Svoboda Jeans that I recently ordered.
Any beauty secrets you would like to share?
Moisturize daily. I think it really makes a difference. Drinking a lot of water is something I’ve started doing recently and I can see my skin looking fresher every day. So that is my biggest beauty secret.