Model Mondays: Meet Bishamber Das, Britain’s First South Asian Plus Model

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I am always excited when it comes to diversity within the modeling industry! You may or may not have heard the name Bishamber Das recently, but she has taken Britain by storm. 29-year-old Bishamber Das made history in 2014 as the first plus size model to win a title at the international Miss India Europe competition that year and she’s been on the continuous grind to normalize body shapes of all sorts ever since.

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Here’s what Das said on why she wanted to become a model:

“I am of Indian/Malaysian heritage. All my life I have been plump, and growing up I would constantly hear comments on how I was pretty for a fat girl. Elders from my community used to feel it was their right to tell me that if I did not lose weight, no man would love or marry me. I was sick of people looking at my physical appearance and deciding I was not worth anything when in fact I was a bright young woman who had already achieved so much in her academic and professional life. It is about time a woman of my color came forward and showed the world real diversity.”

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Growing up in a British-Asian community with an alcoholic, abusive father, she turned to food for comfort and subsequently struggled with her self-image. When asked if she had any advice for young girls and women going through the same thing she commented:

“Too often we are told how we should dress or look — just do your thing, [and know that the] best things come from when we’re out of our comfort zone. Explore yourself without fear, wear what you like, live your life. We’re so lucky in today’s day and age to have social media. There are so many public figures we can turn to for inspiration…or we can even put our own personal campaigns out for the world to view. Breaking into this industry can be very challenging, so just stay focused and offer the world your experiences. It worked for me.”

I am very proud of her and wish her the absolute best!

Model Mondays: Congratulations to Tyra Banks!

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Happy Monday! It’s February 1st, which means today is the first day of Black History Month. I wanted to start off the week with an upbeat and heartfelt post!

Congratulations to Ms. Top Model herself, Tyra Banks. Banks welcomed a baby boy, York, into the world on Wednesday, January 28th with her photographer boyfriend, Erik Asla. I am so happy for this diva because she has always been a strong woman and a trailblazer for black women in the modeling realm.

She hasn’t released any photos of her son as of yet, but I am excited to see him! Tyra opened up a few years ago about her infertility issues and her unhappiness about not having children: “When I turned 40, the one thing I was not happy about is that I did not have kids. When you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m just going to do it,’ then it’s not so easy as you get older.”

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Banks, 42, now says that despite being a renowned model, entrepreneur and fashion icon, her life is more complete with the welcoming of York Banks Aslsa.

She began her career at the age of 15 and was the first Black woman to cover GQ and Sports Illustrated magazines and is one of the original Victoria’s Secret angels. She has appeared in various movies such as Life-Size alongside Lindsay Lohan and the classic Love & Basketball. She also had roles in television shows such as Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Gossip Girl. She launched her long-running television show America’s Next Top Model in 2003 and had her own talk show.

In 2010, she published a young adult novel titled Modelland, based on her life as a model which topped The New York Times Best Seller list in 2011.Banks is one of four African-American and seven women to be repeatedly ranked among the world’s most influential people by TIME magazine.

Tyra Banks is one of my model idols! She is the epitome of a smart model by capitalizing on her brand and fame to create new revenues of incomes while educating the masses, introducing new stars & doing what she loves! I have watched her business moves for years to get inspiration! She has even inspired me with my Life Of A Working Model BootCamps & other entrepreneurial projects I have in line right now.

#FridayFavorites Liris on Pix11 News about the new CURVY, TALL & PETITE Barbies!

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Happy Friday! This Friday is one of my favorites because I got to chitchat with fellow #TeamCurvy gals ,Sukanya & Tahiry, at Pix11 News about Mattel Barbie’s new take on diversity with their dolls now! I’m so excited that they come in various shapes, complexions & hairstyles! This is a step in the right direction for all of humanity! Will you be purchasing a Barbie for you or a child you love? Watch the video below to see what you missed!

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Friday Favorites: January 22, 2016

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It’s Friday & I hope you had an amazing week cause I have some amazing finds!! First up is the book “The Art Of Dressing Curves” by Celebrity stylist & curvy pioneer Susan Moses. With over two decades in the business, Susan has dressed curves on stars like Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Brandy, Chaka Khan, Wynona Judd, Nikki Blonsky and Mary Mary to name a few! She has styled me and I even had her speak at my Life Of A Working Model Bootcamp! Now she is sharing her secrets so you can look your best too! It is available for pre-order now HERE!

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Next is the Ty-Lite, the ultimate phone case for selfie lovers brought to you by Beyonce’s creative director & stylist, Ty Hunter!! It’s a LED lighted phone case that offers three distinct light settings: Cool, Warm & Brilliant to accomodate almost any environment! Now you can always look flawless when you Facetime your Bae! It also acts as a protective case. I’m ordering mine today, are you? Order yours HERE!

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Next is this import from my favorite retailer in the UK, Evans! This black faux fur collar cardigan is a perfect winter staple that you can dress up or down, with jeans or over a dress. It’s warm, luxe and a perfect length. I wore it for my New Year’s eve dinner date & then to church! It’s on sale right now! Get yours HERE!

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I love t-shirts that have statements so to be immortalized with my fellow plus supermodels on this t-shirt by The Curvy Fashionista had me feeling proud & a little misty eyed! This was a total surprise! We are the models who try our best to represent you all in the plus fashion market so it’s great that you all can now wear this with pride just like women have for Naomi, Cindy & Claudia in the past. Order yours now!

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Lastly you all know I’m all about positivity so I was excited to see this line from Rashi Pinckney called PrayLoveStyle created to motivate, encourage, and inspire. They believe in promoting passion, purpose, and positivity. I’m all about that! Get yours so you can be stylish with a purpose.
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Life Of A Working Model Bootcamp Takes LA!

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I am so excited to announce that I will be taking my Life of A Working Bootcamp to the West Coast! Los Angeles I hope you are ready! There’s still time to register NOW and #InvestInYourself. Don’t do it tonight or tomorrow! I have women from across the country flying into LA for this fun-filled day and you could be one of them! We have a great agenda and FABULOUS panelists that will be in attendance all for YOU! Take a look for yourself below to see some faces you may recognize or someone you may want to network with! See you in LA! Click here to register.

!. Tocarra Jones – ANTM alumni & TV personality

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2. Mychael Knight – Project Runway alumni & Designer

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3. Rosie Mercado – Top Plus Model

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4. Jerris Mogul Madison – Noted Fashion Photographer & Publisher/Editor in Chief for Obvious Magazine

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5. Jen Wilder – Designer & Co-Owner of The Plus Bus

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6. Rashi D. Pinckney – Fashion Stylist & Owner of Praylovestyle

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7. Nicole Spruill – Top Model/Actress/Entrepreneur

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8. Theary Sim – Designer, Youtheary Khmer

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9. Tracy “Twinky” Byrd – Casting Director

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10. Keesh Winkler-Smith – Celebrity Makeup artist

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Workout Wednesdays: Trendy Workout Gear for the Curvy Gal

Happy #WorkoutWednesday! I know plenty of you all made a New Year’s Resolution to “get in shape”, “lose a couple of pounds”, or “be your best healthy”. Well, as January is slowly coming to an end, I want to encourage you all to stay committed to a healthy body and #healthycurves! Of course, while working out you want to look good! It can be difficult to find trendy fitness gear for the full-figured gals out there. But, have no fear! I have a few sites that offer GREAT (and affordable) for everyone!

1. Lola Getts Activewear at LolaGetts.com – offering sizes 14-24

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2. Full Beauty Active at FullBeauty.com – offering sizes 14-44

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3. Just Curves Active at JustCurves.net – offering sizes 14-28

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4. RainBeauCurves at RainBeau.com – offering sizes 14-28

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5. Livi Active at Lane Bryant – offering sizes 14-28

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#FridayFavorites Are Back With The Original Supermodels!

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Happy 2016 and may your year be filled with blessings and good times. It’s been a while since I’ve whipped up a fresh batch of my #FridayFavorites. This week’s will be a little different and I have A LOT of great things planned for this year so stay tuned!

I just want to take a minute to shoutout Balmain for their Spring 2016 featuring Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer aka the “original supermodels of the 90’s”. These three ladies look as beautiful as ever, proving that with ages comes even more beauty! The black and white photography adds an even more dramatic and flawless effect to the entire campaign! Take a look for yourself below!

What I really love about this campaign is its model diversity with race and age. Just because a woman gets older doesn’t mean that she will stop buying clothes or doesn’t want to look fabulous and all three of these women display that well! I would love to see something like this in the plus fashion industry with models who paved the way like Angelika Morton, Kate Dillon, Tammy, Sharon Quinn, Natalie Laughlin & Michelle Griffin to name a few! I plan to slay the camera for years like my model mom Naomi so this just inspired me to have something to look forward to.

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Workout Wednesdays: Model Drops 200+ lbs & #HealthyCurves Giveaway!

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Thirty-five year old model, Rosie Mercado decided that enough was enough when she was told on a flight that she would have to buy two seats to accommodate her. Mercado admitted that this was her turning point and she began to cry.

“Blessed with a beautiful face, lofty cheekbones and a defined jawline, Rosie remembers how modelling agencies were wowed by photos showing the top half of her body, but would quickly lose interest after discovering her measurements – in particular, her 65-inch hips,” says the DailyMail.

After that incident on the plane, Rosie decided that it was up to her to take charge of her health and enrolled in a self-help course. Rosie also took other crucial steps such as improving her diet and following a strict regime. She cut out fast foods and in turn consumed more lean meats and fruits and vegetables.

Rosie now weighs 201 pounds, which is just 21 pounds short of her goal. In three years, she transformed from a size 34 and 65 inch hips to a size 16/18 and size 48 hips.

model moddel”It has not been the easiest journey, and I’ve had my ups and down,” she admitted. ”But, when I compare my quality of life now to how it used to be, I know it was worth it.”

This is truly an inspirational and amazing story and I am beyond thrilled for Rosie. Her Facebook video is even more heartfelt and touching! For every reason she listed of why she dropped the weight is pure common sense to me. I said this awhile back at the Plus Town Hall Meeting “plus women need to get real about their health & stop being in denial”. Some are sweeping it under the rug & masking it with handbags, hairdos & new outfits but meanwhile have a restricted quality of life. U can be plus size & be healthy so find your best healthy! It doesn’t mean being skinny just healthy! I want everyone around as long as possible. Glad Rosie found hers & will be around better for her kids.

 

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I also want to introduce the #LirisFit #HealthyCurves giveaway in collaboration with FullBeauty.com! One lucky winner will receive two pieces from the FullBeauty Fit collection!  As you all may know I recently have a tribute issue with Curvysta Magazine, which included a fitness spread. Above is my shot in the FullBeauty activewear in the issue!  #HealthyCurves have always been important to me and having a healthy body that you are happy with!

But, I want to hear from YOU! What do #HealthyCurves mean to you? I want to know your story and what is unique about you. Post your pic and make sure to hashtag #LirisFitGiveaway and #OwnYourCurves and tag @LirisC & @fullbeautystyle to be entered! A winner will be decided on Weds.Nov.11th!  Who knows, maybe you could be my lucky winner!

Surprise! Liris Crosse for Curvysta Magazine

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Hello! Hello! Well it has been a while, but I have a treat for you all! Well here it is, a tribute issue on me via Curvysta Magazine! They gave me creative control and I ran with it! I wanted to show how I want PLUS FASHION to go and my chameleon versatility! I have a few pictures below just for a sneak peek but you all can log onto to www.Curvysta.com to view the full issue!

I want to thank all of the photo shoot teams who were a part of making this happen from hair, makeup, photography, to assistants, designers, brands and base camp!

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Liris Crosse to walk in Project Runway finale TV show!

IMG_5778Well, I can finally let my secret out!!! For the first time ever, “Project Runway” is having plus models walk in their designer finale runway show and I’m one of them!! I’m so thankful to be a part of this historic moment especially since it’s going to be at the official New York Fashion Week tents. I haven’t done a show at the tents in years. I wish I could say what designer I’m walking for but NOPE you just have to tune in when the episode airs on Project Runway next month. You know I’m gonna slay on that runway as if my life depended on it! I’m praying that this helps opens more doors for plus models on the major fashion runways at NYFW & around the world. I would like to thank my new NY agency, IPM Models, for getting my the opportunity to showcase my runway skills & book this amazing job!! Wish me blessings everyone & stay tuned to my social media as always to follow my #LifeOfAWorkingModel . I am @LirisC on Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat plus Facebook.com/LirisC . Project Runway airs Thurdsays at 9pm EST/8pm CST on Lifetime. Below are a few great moments of me on the runway over the past couple years!

Liris the NYFW edition