It’s not easy! Pressures that come with being a plus size model

A size 16 model has revealed the hidden body pressures faced by plus-size catwalk stars.

Sonny Turner, 20, of Birmingham, has worked for brands including Asos and Primark and has strutted her stuff on the runway in London and New York.

She explained that while the rise of plus-size means there’s greater diversity in fashion, there are still ‘restraints’ placed on how they should look.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, she said:

‘Even within the plus-size industry there’s still pressure to look a certain way, and a preference to be hourglass.

‘You can be fat but not too fat and you can be plus-size, but you’ve still got to have a flat stomach. It’s annoying because plus-size is supposed to mean being whatever size you are – but within that, there are still restraints.’

Sonny, who is represented by Milk Model Management, admitted there is also still a stigma attached to plus-size models, with some critics wrongly assuming they must be unfit.

‘I’ve still got to be cautious and watch what I eat, and I still have to go to the gym,’ she said. ‘I think the misconception is that we’re all unhealthy but if I was, I wouldn’t be able to do this job.’

 The model was scouted on Instagram by Milk founder Anna Shillinglaw, who worked as both a ‘straight’ and curve model before starting the agency.

Sonny, who owes her striking features to her Swedish and Jamaican heritage, started out as a size 12 but frequently found herself being asked to ‘pad’ in order to make herself bigger for plus-size shoots.

‘This fat is making me money,’ she said in a Channel 5 documentary about the agency that aired last year. ‘I do feel like if I was as slim as I was when I first started then I wouldn’t have as many jobs.’

She continued: ‘What happened to me when I first signed to Milk, I was definitely not plus-size, but I was not skinny enough to be a straight-sized model [either].

‘They were like “we really want to sign you, you have a great face and great hair but you have to wear this fat padding”.

‘Every casting and every job, especially if it was a plus-size brand I used to have to wear hip padding around the hips, a** padding.’

Sonny said on the show that wearing padding was not out of the ordinary and was openly discussed during casting.

She continued: ‘Yes it was an open thing people used to talk about it and say “can you pad up twice?”

‘I was a size 12 and it would make me look a size 16, which is the size I am now. Which is just like crazy.’

-Daily Mail

She Gets The Last Laugh! Teenager Bullied For Having a Big Forehead Gets Crowned a Beauty Queen

A female student who was taunted by bullies who called her ugly for having a large forehead has had the last laugh – after being crowned a beauty queen.

Shola Harriman, 18, from Braunstone, Leicester, lost all her confidence after cruel classmates began tormenting her when she started secondary school seven years ago.

One lunchtime evil bullies even threw a bowl of pasta in her face and pulled her hair and as well as mocking her for having a ‘big forehead’.

Shola moved to Bosworth College after a year, where things got a lot better. She made new friends and her confidence slowly came back

Shola was left depressed and skipped school for two months because she says teachers did nothing to help her during her 12 months of torment.

But two years later she was given a confidence boost when she was scouted to enter Miss Teen UK in 2014. And after entering the regional legs of Miss Great Britain this March she was stunned to be crowned Miss Leicestershire on May 20.

Shola, who lives with beautician mum Tarnya Parrott, 39, and sisters said: ‘I was just over the moon: ‘I was so excited with all my family and friends around me, but I really didn’t expect to win it.’

Shola Harriman, 18, from Braunstone, Leicester, lost all her confidence after cruel classmates began tormenting her when she started secondary school seven years ago

It just shows how self-confident I am now. I was really depressed when I was 13, but I want this to prove to everyone you can get through it.’

Shola, who is doing her A levels and looking to study law at Leicester University next year, was picked on when she moved to Fullhurst School in Braunstone.

She said: ‘I think it’s because I was the new girl in school. Nobody really knew me so I was on my own all the time and an easy target. At first I was just excluded from everything, then it was mainly verbal abuse.’

One lunchtime evil bullies even threw a bowl of pasta in her face and pulled her hair and as well as mocking her for having a 'big forehead' (Shola is pictured here at the time she was at school)

‘One lunchtime a girl threw pasta in my face and pulled my hair. But other than that it was just calling me names, like ugly and stupid. They used to say I have a big forehead and it really affected me because I was so young.

‘It went on for about a year, but the school did nothing. A lot of people were getting bullied there and I just don’t think they knew how to deal with it.

She continues: ‘I didn’t want to go to school. I wouldn’t get out of bed and skipped classes for about two months. Mum would drop me off at the school gates and I’d pretend to go, but sneak off into town. I didn’t want to make friends for so long after.

Shola, pictured here after being crowned a beauty queen, who is doing her A levels and looking to study law at Leicester University next year, was picked on when she moved to Fullhurst School in Braunstone 

Now after winning the competition held in Leicester, last week, Shola will now compete with 80 other beauty queens for Miss Great Britain.

Shola said: ‘I only entered Miss Leicestershire for a laugh. But now I’ve won it I want to help other people who went through what I went through. I’m very shocked, and I just hope I can be a good role model.’

Shola struts her stuff on the catwalk as she competes for the Miss Leicestershire crown

Cheryl Cole lookalike Shola, shoes off her stunning looks that clinched the Miss Leicestershire title for her













Daily Mail

Kenya’s Top Male Models

Modelling for men is hard but not as hard as it is for women, I feel like designers have to put in extra work on women because of the nature of the female body especially the  curves.

For men however to maintain a certain body type can be quite the journey, but lucky for them there is no pregnancy or periods that bring with them bloated stomach and “sickness”. Models in general have to keep their bodies in shape and basically look the part hoping they will be hired.

That being said, the modelling industry has grown in many ways and many models are able to live of their careers. Here is a list of men who have made it through modelling. You may have seen them gracing different catwalks or even on tv and print media. They also grace fashion /product launches and are common faces in corporate ads including FAFA (Festival or fashions and Arts)

Some of these men stand over 6 feet tall and have graced almost all of the biggest fashion shows within East Africa. Once they got into the lime light they never looked back since then.

Rugene Emo – 

Rugene Mike Emo -Image/Thomsonphotography

Jo Kisila 

Jo kisila – Image/Thomsonphotography

Patrick Kimathi Macbul


Lwanda Jawar


Brian Ahenda aka Dat Guy Brayo 






Top Five High Fashion Female Models

In a seemingly cut throat industry, unique looks,  beauty and the body will take you places your school certificates will not, and  I stand to be corrected on that. Designers keenly study a models body before she is put to work.

Cosmetic companies are also not left behind either as they want someone who can make their product shine. Unlike clothes designers, cosmetics companies source for models with a certain bone structure depending on the type of makeup being advertised. Jewelry is a wide scope so the designer may choose a different set of models to market different products.

Below is a list of some of the best fashion models we have around. Some of them have done runway, commercial  and print adverts for both local and international brands  like the Swahili Fashion week, Nairobi fashion market, Zanzibar fashion festival etc.

Deliah Ipupa – Image/Deliahfacebook
sandy joan
Sandy Joan – Image/Sandyfacebook
Claudia Tindah- Image/Claudiafacebook
Maureen Theo – Image/Maureenfacebook
Knicco Hodge – Image/Kniccofacebook


Street Style at New York Fashion Week

Fashion week brings out the craze in matters clothes as show-goers are not ones to shy away from prints, patterns, bold colours and accesories. The 2015 New York Fashion Week (NYFW) wasn’t any different. Forget the runway, notable moments happen on the streets and seem to set presidence for some of the trends we shall be seeing on our streets soon fashion week aside. Monochromes, ripped jeans, fur, wide leg pants, and colour all ruled the streets . What style trends will we pick up from #NYFW street fashion? Check some of the photos below


Wide leg pants

Ripped Jeans


Five ways the government can contribute to fashion

Like other elements of the creative sector – music, visual arts, theatre and television – fashion will need support to turn precious artistic prowess into economic success. It isn’t a flattering portrayal of our country that many of those designers – and other artists – whose creativity we celebrate and label as genius, may never be able to translate it into commercially viable production that can sustainably give decent livelihoods to them, and several others who work long and hard to bring beauty into our world. What can be done by the various levels of government, in collaboration with the fashion industry, to advance these producers’ creativity? What would invite even more creative young entrepreneurs to find livelihoods doing work they are passionate and good at?

State-of-the-art facilities
It is ironic that while fashion consumers desire to keep up with trends, Kenya’s fashion infrastructure and facilities remain threadbare and outdated. The industry needs a state- of-the-art resource centre for both accessories and apparel – with its technology updated annually as one would do at a bank or mobile phone company. This high tech centre could be self-sustaining, shared by and available to creative entrepreneurs to use at a cost. It would include small-scale manufacturing capacity and labs to facilitate production of prototypes of new textiles, patterns and much more.

Encourage retailers to carry local designers
One of the major problems local designers face is the fact that the retail market is heavily titled against them. As the retail sector is increasingly dominated by malls, the retail shelves that would yield the greatest sales are closed off to most local producers – and more so to upcoming, low capital fashion houses. Even in welcoming international clothing chains, the government could, as it did with the media industry, require that fashion stores stock at least five per cent locally produced brands – promoting the Made in Kenya label. Like has been evident in television, this could lead to an increase both in quality and suitability to the market of available products.

Made In Kenya (more than a tee-shirt slogan)
Using the same logic that sets aside and supports exporting processing zones, the government should set aside zones across Nairobi and other major urban centres that are set up to deliberately support higher scale production and host designer controlled retail spaces. This would lead to small artist districts, specially zoned with subsidies on electricity and utilities, and serving the breadth of participants in the fashion industry. These zones can be leased conditionally to private owners adhering to set guidelines that support the development of the fashion industry.

Fashion Tourism – make Nairobi an African fashion destination
Like the arts, music and culture, fashion can contribute valuable tourism traffic into the country. Just as Kenyans and others value and seek Nigerian, Malian, Ghanaian and Congolese style, a built up local industry would have the capacity to tap into demand for quality and diversity from beyond our borders. There is a need to allocate resources for an annual design fair and buyers’ market at which investors can discover creative entrepreneurs and local producers can reach bulk buyers from across the world. With East African integration an important priority, this should also allow knowledge and cultural exchange with our neighbours who would also participate in this market.

Cotton and textile production
Proceeding from the precepts laid out above, it is important that Kenya has the capacity to produce and develop its own textiles – natural and synthetic. There is potential here that the cultural renaissance spoken of above, also lead to industrial development and growth in rural Kenya. There is a need to revive cotton ginneries and to invest in textile manufacturing that supplies fabric to the local industry. Beyond cotton, the wool and leather industries need to be scaled up significantly.

With these five proposals implemented, it is possible to considerably augment the contribution the fashion industry makes to the national economy. Young, innovative, competitive and flexible, this industry, along with much of the creative economy has the potential to contribute to both the service and manufacturing sectors in jobs, wealth and national prestige.


You Will Agree These are The Most Beautiful BuoArt Models

BuoArt has established itself as the standard for photo shoots and in extension photography in Kenya. Several socialites have started their ‘career’ here and the list of those hoping to follow is long.

Among Kevin Buo’s clientele is Vera Sidika, Huddah Monroe, Vanessa Chettle, Corazon Kwamboka and even Eric Omondi.

I was going through their Facebook profile and I must say I’m impressed by the many beautiful faces and bodies on offer.

Here are the ones that pleased me. You may spot some familiar faces.