San Jose native Mariesther Venegas got her start as a plus model in 2010, when she was discovered after entering a model search. Since then, she has worked with the likes of Torrid, IGIGI, and Plus Model Magazine. I had a chance to talk to Mariesther about getting her start in modeling, who she’d like to work with in the future, and her passion for motorcycles.
How did you get your start modeling?
I had coworkers, and a friend who was a straight (mainstream sized) model pushing me to do it. Forever 21 put on a contest for the debut of their plus line, and I was picked for the top 20 and ended up being one of the runners up. This was back in 2010.
Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
When I was younger I wanted to be on the covers of magazines, but I never really thought it was possible. As the plus size industry has started growing, it’s been a great opportunity for me. Now I wish I could have started younger!
Of the work you’ve done, do you have a favorite shoot?
Every shoot I’ve done has been special to me, but Torrid really got me out there and they’re such amazing people – they have a special place in my heart.
What inspires you?
Riding my Yamaha R1! (See video of Mariesther doing wheelies!)
Is there anyone you’d like to work with that you haven’t yet?
I really want to work with Lane Bryant. That’s something I hope to do soon. There are lots of people I’d like to work with. I just want to meet people and travel the world.
Why do you think we’re seeing an increase in the amount of plus size models in magazines, on TV, etc?
The average woman in the U.S. is wearing a size 14, 16, or 18, and they’ve been pushing for and supporting companies that make clothes in sizes that fit. Companies are listening to these women and getting behind it because it’s where the money’s at. They’re finally making clothes for real women with curves, and for women who have traditionally found it hard to find clothes that fit, it’s amazing!
Something we talk about a lot here at Chubstr is the elusive plus size male model. We’re convinced they don’t exist. Have you ever met one, or do you know where we can find them?
There’s an agency in Germany called Brigitte Models, and they have male plus models there. You don’t really see them normally. I have a friend I’ve told would be a great plus male model, but he’s just not the type to do that. They’re hard to find.
What do you do for fun?
I’m a movie buff, especially scary movies. I watch lots of TV, host dinners, hang out with friends and chill with family. It’s a nice balance – I dont get to see them much but when I do, it’s great.
What’s next for you?
I’ve got a casting at 2:00 today with hips and curves lingerie!