Sharon D and her journey as a plus size model
“I never started out as a Plus size girl, in fact it was quite the opposite; I was the skinny one, the lanky one, the string bean one. As a baby I was so under weight that back then my mother was told to put cream in my cereal to fatten me up.
Growing up I was tall and at around the age of 18 when I had reached my 6 foot height I started filling out. After my first two children were born I started getting curves. I guess between not growing tall and motherhood plus genes caught up with me. My father always had a weight problem and it took its toll on him when he passed away aged 57 from his 9th heart attack.
Back in 1997 I contacted a Plus-size modelling agent in London and started working for them. I wasn’t working every week, just here and there to start with, but it slowly built and I became the face of Big Girls Paradise – a night club for Big Women and men that adored them.
In 2001 I decided to move to Ireland and stopped modelling for a number of years. During this time I went on to have 5 more children. I carried on my work and built up to become an Award Winning Hair and Make Up Artist.
One thing that would bug me time and time again was that as soon as a client would sit in my make up chair the first thing they would do is put themselves down. If you can do something with this (face) or Have you got a magic wand or I hate X,Y & Z about me. It occurred to me that women Young or Old, Small or Big, Tall or Short, it didn’t matter. Women were talking to themselves in a negative way every single day! Women are treating themselves far worst than they would ever let anyone treat them, women would leave a partner who abused them the way they are abusing themselves. It also occurred to me that not a lot has changed for Plus-size women in nearly 2 decades.
Fashion designers on the whole still avoid designing for plus size like the plague. Famous Plus size women are finding it hard to get dressed for red carpet affairs. Plus sizes are still seen as fat and lazy and frowned upon on the whole. If you then think that Plus size can start from a size 12 people are shocked, women don’t want that label and yet, 1 in 4 in Ireland today have stated they are obese!
I wanted to help people feel good about themselves, I owed it to me to feel good about myself once more. In 2014 I entered a small boutique competition to became the face of there brand. I became a finalist but didn’t win. Something happened that night, I was soon approached by agents, people who wanted my look. I signed with Assets Model Agency in Ireland. Shortly after that I signed back with my former UK Agent. From there I have been doing some modelling work both in Ireland and UK. Including gracing the catwalk for the biggest plus size London event Curvy Convention.
I also decided that I wanted to take on a challenge, something that showed not all plus sizes are on the couch eating and being lazy. On new years eve I decided I would do a Triathlon. I googled how to do it and self trained. I completed my first Triathlon in April this year, where all size 18 of me crossed the finish line into the arms of my supporting family. I raised money for the Irish Heart Foundation in honour of my dad. I visited slimming group giving talks about how I did it and raising awareness of heart disease.
This year I also entered Miss Curves Ireland and won. I want to use my title to promote my message to women out there. Women of all shapes and sizes that