View Full Version : Our interview with Caralyn Mirand

26th March 2010, 17:29
<br>Not long after the "Fiercely Real" teen model contest aired on the <i>Tyra</i> show, it was our great pleasure to interview 17-year-old Caralyn Mirand, who was the first runner up in the competition but the "real" winner to almost everyone who watched the program--not just here at the Judgment of Paris, but wherever the contest was discussed.

Such televised modelling events make instant celebrities of their participants and are quite significant in popular culture. While magazines may have a certain cachet in the fashion world, the general public largely forms its impressions of models from what they see on television. Far more young girls will derive their notion of a "plus-size model" from the <i>Tyra</I> show, or from <i>America's Next Top Model,</i> than they will from fashion publications that they will never personally read.

We have always found conversing with the participants of televised modelling programs to be eye-opening experiences. When we chatted with her, Caralyn generously revealed a number of behind-the-scenes secrets about the filming--including one disclosure that utterly astonished us because it likely affected the outcome of the judging.

We also found our conversation with Miss Mirand fascinating because it provided an in-depth look at the world of contemporary teen girls--what pressures they face, what interests they hold, and what significance plus-size beauty and anorexia-inducing fashion have for them. Caralyn is a representative individual of her age group, yet one who is extremely intelligent and able to speak articulately and perceptively about the most acute social concerns among her peers.

As fans will discover as they read the interview, she is also a <i>lot</i> of fun to talk to. She has a keen sense of humour and a sparkling personality. Most significantly, as the screencaps of the "Fiercely Real" contest demonstrate, she is an extraordinarily beautiful and precociously talented model, one who could greatly benefit the plus-size fashion industry by her presence. We earnestly hope for her success.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/caralyn/cap162.jpg"></center><p>- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/caralyn/">Click here to read interview</a>

27th March 2010, 00:24
What a bright, articulate, and beautiful young woman. Miss Mirand is indeed a "model" for girls who seek comfort and confidence in themselves and their natural bodies.

27th March 2010, 14:54
I LOVED this interview. Caralyn is fun and energetic, but has a really inspiring message too.

I like the fact that, unlike so many plus-size-model bios, her story doesn't begin with a dark period of turmoil or anything like that. Yes, she had self-confidence issues, but she overcame them, and now it really sounds like she loves her figure. It's so rewarding to read about that experience.

This was a great quote:

HSG: What would you describe as your best features in terms of physical beauty?

CARALYN: I love my eyes and my eyebrows, and just my curves and the shape of my body.
I'm so happy that she did refer to her figure as something she's proud of! All curvy girls should feel this way.

I also appreciate what she said when asked if she would ever diminish herself:

CARALYN: I donít think that I would look good at a smaller size! I think I would lose all my curves and my shape, and I donít think I would be as successful as I could be as a plus-size model.
How encouraging that she sees her size in such a positive way, as something that adds to her beauty. That's exactly the right message to be sending. It also happens to be true!

And I love how she debunks the myth that emaciated models are good at selling clothing:

When I see that very, very unhealthy, skinny look in the magazines, that does not make me want to buy the shirt that sheís wearing. Itís almost distracting. And I think to see someone like myself in a magazine would [make girls] say, ďHey, Iím about her size. I could totally rock that.Ē
YES. The fashion industry keeps using the excuse that "curves distract from the clothing," but nothing could be further from the truth. Womanly fullness gives clothes shape and makes them look beautiful.

As Caralyn says, it's actually the androgynous models who are distracting. When I see their protruding bones and shrivelled limbs, that's all I notice. I can never get past their anorexic appearance to even look at what they're wearing.

Terrific interview. I'd love to see more images of Caralyn in the future. She is such a beautiful model and a great spokesperson for curvy girls.

27th March 2010, 17:50
Caralyn is uncommonly perceptive and thoughtful, especially at such a young age.

I loved every section of the interview, which covered an amazing variety of topics. But what I found most delightful and subversive were the passages in which Caralyn enthused about her love of food and eating! In the audio excerpts, you can hear the smile in her voice as she makes these delicious pronouncements:

CARALYN: I do not diet at all. Heh, heh.

HSG: Bravo.

CARALYN: I do indulge in treats and, you know, foods that we all love.

HSG: You do? Marvellous. Whatís your favourite food or dessert?

CARALYN: Ooh, thatís a hard one. [giggles] I love breads and cheese and all that. And I am a sucker for chocolate. I will say that.
HSG: How have you managed to resist such pressure [to starve], if some of your friends have given in?

CARALYN: Well, I kind of realized that I canít really stick to that whole not-eating thing.

HSG: Thank goodness.

CARALYN: It was not going to work for me. And I knew that I was never going to be an itty-bitty size, and I kind of justÖ I enjoy food, and I enjoy being the size that I am.
It's so important for young girls to get this message- that they don't need to fight their appetite, but can genuinely enjoy eating whatever they like and as much as they like. There is so much ridiculous media propaganda out there aimed at young girls on the topic of weight, so it's wonderful to encounter a girl like Caralyn who is free of that media brainwashing, and has the natural, healthy, generous appetite of a young woman.

I hope she represents many girls her age in this regard, and isn't just a wonderful exception.

28th March 2010, 02:44
Great interview! Caralyn comes across as very self-assured and level-headed, a good role model.

29th March 2010, 06:35
I am still extremely impressed with the B.I.O. video that Caralyn filmed for the Tyra show, which aired as part of the second "Fiercely Real" episode. The question that she was asked about it was very important, and her answer was excellent.

Caralyn reaffirmed that she is NOT against the idea of beauty itself. She is not parroting the kind of feminist rhetoric that resents any expression of beauty. Rather, she wants to see true beauty restored, in place of the false beauty that permeates the media today. That allies her with the principles of this Web site. I loved her answer:

CARALYN: I think that itís a great thing that people can take pride in their appearance. And when they look good, they feel good, and thatís definitely not something that I would ever want to take away from anyone. I think that embracing beauty is a wonderful thing.
Applause. This is the all-important "third way", the way of timeless beauty (not modern artificiality, and not beauty-eradication either). I am so glad that this is her belief.

It also reflects itself in the way Caralyn cares about her own appearance:

CARALYN: Iíve always loved being in front of the camera and taking pictures, and Iíve always loved fashion, and Iíve always had a passion for dressing well.
That makes her an especially good choice to be both a fashion model and a spokesperson for curvy girls. As a model, and as such an attractive one, her ideas will gain much more ground with girls her age than they would if she were just an activist.

Great interview with a lovely, lovely girl.

30th March 2010, 08:53
Some of the passages that I liked best in the interview were those that suggested a charming touch of vanity on Caralyn's part. I think that she has experienced an awakening, or blossoming -- a discovery of the full measure of her beauty, after growing up with mixed feelings about her looks. As she explains, the contests revealed to her just how attractive she is.

She acknowledges her "outer" beauty right at the beginning:

HSG: What made you realize that you would be an ideal candidate for this contest?

CARALYN: I definitely knew that I had what they were looking for. They wanted someone who had that inner and outer beauty.
She admits to admiring herself in the mirror:

HSG: Have you gone to any modelling schools, or something of that nature?

CARALYN: Itís really just my love for being in front of the camera, and just spending those extra moments in the mirror, just finding your angles and what works. And I definitely think that I showed that on film.
This is one of my favourite exchanges, where she admits that she didn't just film her B.I.O. video to make a social point, but also to show off her looks:

HSG: Did you also have the ulterior modelling purpose of showing that you are just as glamorous and beautiful without a stitch of makeup as you are when youíre all dolled up?

CARALYN: Yes. I can say that. Yes. Definitely. [...] It proved that I was definitely comfortable with myself, all glammed up or with no makeup at all. It proved that I was comfortable either way.
She is willing to praise her own work:

HSG: Of the photographs that you took on the show, which do you like the best?

CARALYN: I loved the Torrid shoot. I loved the [arched] eyebrow, and my confidence really showed through in that shoot.
This is especially revealing -- her awareness that others have become jealous of her attractiveness:

HSG: Have you ever experienced envy from your friends at school due to your beauty?

CARALYN: Yes, especially more recently with this experience on the show.

HSG: And how difficult has that been to deal with?

CARALYN: Itís not easy, because you want to be accepted, and when youíre disliked because of that green-eyed monster thatís eating people up inside, itís almost uncomfortable, but you kind of have to just address it.
The final question sums it all up nicely:

HSG: When you look at yourself in the mirror now, do you acknowledge that you are beautiful?

CARALYN: Yes, I do. [...] I think itís more of a comfortable way of just being confident about myself.
Young girls need to hear plus-size models their age who are able to think about themselves this way. They need to absorb the idea that they deserve to consider themselves gorgeous. Then they will be able to celebrate their own naturally full-figured beauty.