Who is Gigi Marie ?
I’m a pin up model based in southern California. I have been modeling since I was 14 years old but just recently go into pin up modeling in 2010. I am the California state leader for a charity organization named “ Pin-ups for Patriots” and Model for Pinnacle Clothing.
What sparked your interest in modeling ?
I started modeling at a very young age. I began participating in pageants at age 11 and by age 14 I started acting and modeling. Modeling was just something that I always had an interest in even at such a young age. I started subscribing to fashion magazines and watching the sports illustrated swimsuit videos (owned by my father lol). My venture into pin-up modeling began in 2010 after I graduated high school and started college. That is when my body started changing when I started to develop a move curvaceous body. I had began to fall out of the high fashion world and realized that I always had a strong interest in vintage fashion. I was given a few opportunities to dress pin-up style and totally fell in love with it. Now I have been an active part of the pin-up community being affiliated with multiple clothing lines and charity organizations.
Describe Your First Modeling Gig ?
My very first gig when I was 15 years old called red-eye clothing, a juniors clothing line based out of Arizona and California. It was an exciting experience, from the shoot my photos were placed in all the malls in southern California and Arizona. I had many people recognize me from that. I was really proud of the fact that I embodied a real girl who was going to school, doing well in my academics, being involved in extracurricular activities like school clubs and sports and still able to pursue modeling. It showed that you can still be a “real” person and be a “model” at the same time. This was a great stepping stone for me and is why I advocate for people to both pursue their dreams and an education.
Any sort of role models that you looked up to ?
Nicki Taylor was my idol growing up. As a model she had campaigns for cover girl and sports illustrated. She just always had such a positive outlook on life and always wore the most beautiful smile on her face no matter what she was going through. There were a lot of rough times for Nicki, Her sister passed away then she was involved in a very serious car accident that nearly took her own life as well. But she always kept that great big smile on her face and remained positive throughout it all.
How would you say that your idol Nicki Taylor helped you personally in your modeling career ?
I would say that seeing her photos and seeing her positivity made me smile, and made me happy as well. It inspired me to show that there are local woman who could be role models to other girls. It helped me a lot when participating in my pageants. The type of pageants I took part of were not your average “Toddlers and Tiara’s” style events. These pageants focused on you as an individual, your community involvement and how well you participated in school. I did a lot of volunteer work, Community service, I was involved in 6 different programs/clubs and 3 different sports in high school. And throughout all that I was still actively modeling and acting on the side. I choose school over moving to L.A. because I wanted to show girls that you can do both things, you didn’t have to choose only 1.
What were you doing before modeling ?
Like I was saying earlier I have modeled since I was 14 years old but before pin-up modeling, I was going to school full-time and working several part-time jobs, trying to figure out my place in the world as far as work was concerned. I have worked in many fields , I was always interested in hair and makeup so I had always done that as a hobby. And about 4 years ago and began hair styling and makeup artistry professionally and I actually do that as my full-time job. I work on weddings, editorials, magazines ,catalogs, film sets and commercials as well, pretty much anything that comes up.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t modeling ?
I think that I would still be in the industry in one way, shape or form. My whole like I have always been interested in being in the entertainment industry. When I was young I was convinced that I would either become an actress or a model, do hair and makeup or a screenwriter or a coach. I always was interested in the entertainment and artist aspect of it. I enjoy writing I enjoy film I enjoy acting and everything. I just like making people happy.
Who Is your favorite designer ?
That is a hard question for me, I have never really been a person that is into labels. I have always been the type of person that likes to go to thrift stores and find unique one of kind pieces that no one else has. So usually if it is something that is branded and has viable labels I tend to stray away from it. I have always been an individual when it comes to the way I dress . I don’t really follow trends as much as most people, I have been made fun of my entire life for it, but I’ve always kind of done my own thing.
If you could work with anyone in the fashion or modeling industry, who would it be and why ?
I haven’t really sat and thought about who I would like to work with. I usually just go with the true growth that I have developed and stayed on that path to see where I can go, just taking things one step at a time. As opposed to saying I need to be at this point in my life and I want to work with this certain person using it as some sort of “ultimate goal” because I would rather be happy working my way up. You never know who you’re going to meet and who you’re going to be involved with . I have worked with so many people who are not as well-known as others and have been able to do amazing things and are amazingly talented and not many people know about them.
What are some of the pros’ and cons of being a model in the curvy world ?
There is definitely a big sense of judgment working in the curvy community. There is always some sort of feedback whether it be negative of positive from almost every source, you’re going to have those people who completely embrace it and love it but on the opposite side of that you’re going to have the people who hate it, that just can’t stand the idea of someone not being the “perfect size” , I have personally gone through many different sizes in my life, when I was in high school I was very petite, very small. Then I became involved in sports which helped me develop a lot of muscle, then after high school I began gaining “other” weight from being stressed about work and becoming a developing woman, your body changes. Through gaining weight I realized how much more I liked my body. Not being stick thin and having curves on me made me feel good, it made me feel like a woman finally. Although I have always tried to stay healthy with it. I have had people say that they look up to me for embracing my body at the size that it is. I have always just wanted people to know that you can be beautiful and healthy no matter what size your body is. There are people that are made to be stick thin genetically as there are people that are genetically a bigger frame. You can’t force your body to be something that it isn’t, You can’t force yourself to become anorexic to achieve a size of a person who is made to be a small person. I like to advocate for people to love and embrace their natural bodies.
How do you feel about dieting in the modeling industry?
In this industry I have met many models that have eating disorders. Many lives are being affected by the mentality that you have to stay thin. A lot of those people end up hurting themselves because of that mentality . I honestly get happy when I come across straight sized models that eat regularly but maintain an active lifestyle to keep the weight off, because the reality of it is that if you are going to continue to be a straight size model you do have to maintain a certain weight. In plus size modeling we do have a little bit more leeway when it comes to diet and exercise. We can eat a little bit more and not workout as hard as straight models but still need to maintain a healthy diet. I personally am very healthy with my eating habits , I don’t eat out very often and stay away from fast food. I do most of my cooking at home which usually consist of chicken and veggies or fish and veggies for dinner. A normal breakfast for me oatmeal or egg whites or something along the lines, and my lunches are usually very sensible. I don’t overeat, I try to eat often and smart. I try to replace the bad choices with smart ones. I have always wondered about superstar celebrities like Scarlett Johansson who are thin but have naturally curvy bodies. Because they constantly get both positive and negative feedback.
Do you have any celebrity crushes ?
My crush may not be a typical celebrity crush but I have always been enamored by Angelina Jolie. Especially now with everything going on in her life due to her health. Her double mastectomy and removing her ovaries, pretty much reconstructing her body to save her health. To be here for her children and her family . She has always been a very beautiful specimen to look at (laughs) and is very interesting. I do admire her for all of the charity work that she has done.
Do you have any advice for an aspiring curvy model trying to break into this industry ?
You have to have a strong heart and a strong personality because you are always going to come in contact with people who are going to put you down and not be happy with you and point out each flaw that you have. You have to be confident in yourself and your body and love yourself fully and not let what other people think or say about you manipulate your view on yourself and what you should look like or what you should be happy with.
What is next for Gigi ?
I just want to continue to grow in both modeling and entertainment. I want to meet more people and see where this exciting path is going to take me. I want to open my horizons and work with as many people and not miss any good opportunities. Like this, I feel honored that curvy magazine has decided to talk to me and feature me in your publication. Who knows what opportunities will open up from this.
"What we long for is free, and what we stand for is to be." +COOKiE VALENTiNE+ Part time party girl and full time line stepper. Vegas is where I call home. I have a heart for music and an eye for fashion and would love to hear from you. See something cute, hear something juicy... send it to me at Jazzlyn@curvymagazine.com