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We have opened the plus size model applications for The Next Erzullie Icon (#TNEI2013). So far we have received around 954 plus size model applications and we are very grateful that we are being received positively by both the local and international plus size models.
The reason that I am writing about this topic --- of what is an Erzullie Icon --- is because one model actually asked how come I address all of our icons as so, "Erzullie Icon and Plus Size Model (insert name here)"? And then she noticed that when it came to one plus size model that is not part of the Erzullie Icon roster that we did feature, she was addressed as "plus size model" only. I am actually very happy that someone caught that because there is a difference. And for those who just submitted their application and is just about to, better read up on this one so that you know what you are getting into.
An Erzullie Icon above all is the representation of the Erzulliestas. She is the summation of what an Erzulliesta is. She is, in general perception, a fierce plus size woman. She treats herself just like any other woman and never saw her size as anything else than a number and a direction of what clothes size that will fit her. She loves fashion, manifesting goals and ambitions, being social and of course, empowering other women, plus size or not. She accepts all of herself. To her, there are no physical flaws but there can be in character. Should there be any character flaw, she still sees through that and accepts it, humbly trying to become a better person. So for short, an Erzullie Icon is a real and actual fierce plus size woman on or off camera.
To add, she does not usually fit the present modeling standards. Because she represents the rest of the Erzulliestas, she can look like anyone or represent a specific part of that sisterhood. She can be a short girl, tall girl, light or dark skinned, scarred or not etc. So if you are applying for this, you do not have to mind yourself of whether or not you are 'model perfect'. We want you to be "Erzullie perfect" instead, which is just being the fierce plus size woman that you are, no matter what you look like. In the end, we decide if you natural look would fit our current projects. So our selection has nothing to do with "who is the most beautiful" but more of "who can represent the spirit of the project the most". (A small note: we take pride that our models look real and natural. We do little editing as we want to promote that if you like or love the photo that you see, you should know that it is real and attainable.)
An Erzullie Icon does model for the brand and even support it both in belief and business wise, but the job does not end there. Ultimately, doing runway shows, photo shoots, interviews and being featured here and there is just 5% of her total work (maybe even less). The rest of it comprises being an active part of the local plus size fashion community, working towards strengthening it, empowering it and being a source of inspiration and idea that plus size women are just like any other women out there. We make things happen and we change the world one small step at a time.
Furthermore, being an Erzullie Icon is also not about being famous or becoming a celebrity. It is not guaranteed that when you become an Erzullie Icon you are now on the path of becoming one of the industry's most in demand plus size model. In the end, your stance here in the plus size fashion industry as a plus size model rests upon your choices, how you carry yourself, how you want to be perceived and how you handle the projects you find and is given to you. What being an Erzullie Icon do guarantee is that it will definitely change your perception of self in a positive way and in turn, others about you.
Finally, an Erzullie Icon is a woman who is also willing and sincerely want to be part of a big family who also believes and works in the cause. As such, she knows that being an Erzullie Icon is not just being "the star" of the team but part of the team, who knows her strength and skills, and is willing to use them for the promotion and strengthening of other fierce plus size women, just like the rest of the members.
So I hope that this clears things up on what being an Erzullie Icon is. Obviously, it is not just about plus size modeling and being a perfect manifestation of one. Being an Erzullie Icon is about a calling or a life purpose (if I can say boldly) to uplift, inspired and empower already empowered plus size women. So if you feel that empowering plus size women is your calling or if you are wanting this kind of life purpose, then we hope that we see your applications soon and hopefully, we can get to work with you. Because as I always say, there are a lot of plus size models out there willing to model, but only a few will actually want to do the work of an Icon.