Meet TV’s newest Curvy Star Nikki Gomez! It was over a year ago when I first met the gorgeous Ms. Gomez at the Young, Fat, and Fabulous blogger meet up in New York. Even then she stood out and had a star quality presence. So its’ not to my surprise that Nikki is now co-starring in TLC’s grounding breaking reality show “Big Sexy“. Each episode will follow Nikki and cast mates Heather Roach, Audrey Curry, Leslie Medlik, and Tiffany Bank as they attend major industry events, parties and opportunities, all while giving a candid peek into the balancing of their personal, dating and family relationships as plus-size women. CURVY got a chance to sit down and talk to Ms. Gomez about her role in a finally “Curvy Friendly” reality show where we are NOT trying to lose weight.
Q. Tell us the story of how you were cast in the show?
Nikki: Hi Keke, thanks so much for the excitement and support over the show! Well, a good friend and fellow plus size model, Tiffany Bank answered a casting call and then recommended me for the show as well. I went in and met with the casting director. Once I found out what the show was about, I knew I had to be part of it. Thankfully, I was chosen out of about 50 women that auditioned for the show.
Nikki: It’s amazing! Not only are they all beautiful plus size women but, they truly are my good friends. I can relate to these women on so many levels personally and professionally. What I really love about them is how different they all are. I mean it’s such a great range of personalities and temperaments yet, we all seem to really compliment each other and we are all there to support each other. I know that no matter what is going on in my life I have these girls to hang out with and when life gets tough they have my back just as much as I have theirs. I am very lucky to call them my friends.
Q. Regarding Hollywood and Curvy women what are your thoughts?
Nikki: Well first and foremost I think beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. As a photographer, I can definitely appreciate all kinds of beauty. It doesn’t matter to me if a woman is thin, short, tall, plus size or super plus size beauty knows no boundaries. But, I think it’s time to see more diversity in Hollywood and the media in general. I’d love to see some full figured beauties get the “leading lady” roles. I’d love to see someone my size or shape the star of a romantic comedy.
Hollywood has a dangerous obsession with “thin”. It’s especially dangerous when children and young women think that is THE ONLY acceptable body type for them. I think when all we see as a society is one body type, we hold on to unrealistic expectations for ourselves. This is why so many women feel an intense pressure to be thin at all costs. I do think it contributes to eating disorders and even self loathing. It’s time to show people that plus size women have lives too! It’s time Hollywood accepts that and ditches the stereotypes they have of plus size women.
Q. How will “Big Sexy” break the myths and stereotypes of plus size women in media?
Nikki: “Big Sexy” is going to show plus size divas how they really are. We don’t hate our bodies. We don’t hide ourselves. We don’t sit at home on the couch crying about how terrible our lives are. We all live fabulous interesting lives. The girls of “Big Sexy” have dreams and goals and work hard in New York City to attain our dreams. We all know we are attractive and feel good about ourselves. I think most shows that have plus size women depict them as depressed or lonely. We aren’t those stereotypes at all. We are all just single women living our lives without making any apologies for ourselves. We don’t see ourselves the way most stereotypes of plus size women depict us. We love dressing our bodies in our favorite designers and brands. Size isn’t a real issue for us.
Q. We saw the sneak peek photos but could you give us a little insight of what our readers should expect to see with the show?
Nikki: Well, the show follows our lives day by day. Guess everyone will have to tune in to see what happens!
Q. All casts have their quirks so who are you on the show? The Diva, Drama Queen, Prankster, or the Good Girl?
Nikki: Oh, that’s a good question. It’s not easy for me to answer! I honestly don’t know but when I think of myself I don’t think I fit into one particular definition. People who know me, know that I have been working in the fashion industry very hard for a long time now. Perhaps my experience and knowledge will be shown. Also, I am a bit of a hopeless romantic so maybe… just maybe people will get to see that side of me. Again, you have to watch to find out for sure.
Q. The name of the show have been heavily debated amongst our readers. Does it bother you that TLC chose to name the show “BIG” Sexy?
Nikki: The show’s title is definitely an attention grabber and that’s great! After all we are not tiny and we are most definitely sexy! LOL. I think it’s important for people to focus on the content of the show more than it is to focus on the name of the show. It’s groundbreaking, it’s the first of it’s kind, it’s BIG (news) and it’s SEXY!
Q. Give us a little background on yourself, outside of reality TV what do you do?
Nikki: I am a plus size model and photographer. I got my start in modeling about 8 years ago. For a while that was my only passion and I still love modeling! I have been very fortunate to work as a model for quite some time. As a model I met a good friend who had a wholesale business that specialized in contemporary plus size fashion. I decided to work for her as a wholesale rep and that lead me to my passion of photography! For a while I put modeling on the side and focused on developing my photography portfolio. My specialty is photographing plus size models. I have been a freelance photographer for over 4 years now. Recently I have been modeling again and I am beyond excited to be back in the game and pursuing all of my dreams.
Nikki: Thanks. I had no idea what to wear for the shoot. The dress is actually from H&M. I searched the entire store for at least one XL or size 16 anything and I couldn’t find anything so, last minute I spotted that dress in a size Large and bought it without even trying it on. The dress doesn’t have much of a shape since it’s more of a baby-doll dress. My friend, Audrey (my “Big Sexy” co star) brought the really cute black belt so, I used that to cinch the dress at the waist and create more of a flattering shape. The shoes are Steve Madden that I purchased at one of their outlet stores a few months ago.
Q. Who are your favorite plus size designers right now?
Nikki: I have to say, I am so excited about the direction plus size fashion is going in. There are so many more options now than there were even 5 years ago! Plus size women can finally shop according to style and not just size.
1) SVOBODA: I used to rep them when I was a wholesale rep. Jessica SVOBODA is a beautiful plus size woman who designs her denim with curvy women in mind. She knows just where the rise on jeans should be so they don’t gap in the back and where to place the pockets so they flatter our backsides. It’s only the best premium denim and her jeans come in a variety of sizes and washes. They are the only jeans I wear!
2) Monif C.: I really believe the best plus size lines are from plus size designers. Monif C. makes an amazing dress called the Marylin Convertible Dress ( I was fortunate enough to model for her). As a self professed “girlie girl” I practically LIVE in dresses. I always need something new to wear to events and castings and that dress is so versatile that it can always look different. I think every girl should have one in her wardrobe!
3) eShakti: I recently started to scour the internet in search of some more evening appropriate but stylish dresses. I checked my usual favorites and didn’t find what I was looking for. Some friends recommended eShakti.com. I checked them out and so far I am so impressed! They have a good selection and they also do custom tailoring! I look forward to ordering from them.
4) ASOS: I’ve always been a fan of european fashion. They seem to have some amazing stylish options. So when I heard ASOS sold plus size clothing I was thrilled. So far I have 2 pieces from them. One super cute jumper for the summer and a pair of cu-lots I got for 20 dollars. I check their site daily for new pieces and sales.
Fave FIVE: 5 reasons why you love your curves:
Nikki: 1) I think curves are beautiful.
2) I feel even more feminine because I am curvy.
3) Dressing my curves is fun!
4) I love being soft (yet firm)
5) I love old Hollywood bombshells like Jane Mansfield and she was curvy!
Q. Do you have any upcoming projects we should look out for?
Nikki: For now I am focusing on my modeling. I have some things in the works that people will get to see soon but I can’t talk about them just yet! Stay tuned!
Q. Could you give our readers any advice regarding castings?
Nikki: If you’re going to model casting be sure to dress in something simple yet flattering. I like to wear a great pair of skinny jeans some flats and either a simple black t-shirt or a nice fitted top that compliments my shape and flatters me. Less is more so be sure not to wear too much makeup. You should only enhance your beauty don’t mask it. Keep the jewelry and perfume to a minimum. They want to see you and see what your potential as a model is. As a model you are a blank canvas so don’t distract from that. Most importantly, be yourself. Be on time and professional yet friendly and approachable. They want to know you will be easy to work with. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are; if you are hard to work with or unprofessional you won’t get the job. Best of luck and don’t give up!
Thanks for your time Nikki! Big Sexy premieres on TLC Tuesday August 30th at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)