I can't imagine another job as fulfilling as making women feel good about themselves and their body image. Maddy Figueroa-Jones accomplishes that every time she publishes an issue of Plus Model, a plus size magazine she co-founded with another former model in the industry. Read on to hear how she's changing women's lives, one page at a time!
SavvySugar: How would you describe your job, and how did you fall into it?
Maddy Figueroa-Jones: I am a former plus size model turned editor. I’m the editor of Plus Magazine, a magazine that has been around for about five years. I have a business partner, also a former plus size model out in Seattle. The reason why we came up with this idea was because we did have a magazine called Mode, which fell under after 9/11. And at the time when we started the magazine, there were no plus size editorials that showed plus size models in their truest beauty, which was outside of commercial images — nobody was really interested in who these women were, what they did. They just weren’t just plus size models. They were moms, they were students, activists; there are so many different women out there, so we decided to put a magazine together that really celebrated the models. And it turned into celebrating the fashion and the industry as a whole as the magazine developed.
SS: How did the plus size industry evolve?
MJ: Our first plus size model was Emme Aronson, she together with this other model Natalie, were the two real super plus size models, probably about ten years ago. They were on billboards in Times Square, they had their own TV shows, Emme had her own Barbie doll. This was when the plus size industry had first started, Mode magazine was out. You had designers designing clothes for plus size women for the very first time, outside of the regular brands. So these women kind of came on the scene to give plus size women a voice and an image in fashion that we never had before. And that’s basically where it started.
To hear more about the industry, read on!