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Old 16th June 2011   #1
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Lindsey Interview, Part Two

Today, one week after we published the first segment of our two-part interview with gorgeous plus-size model Lindsey Garbelman, we are delighted to release part two.

The timing is carefully chosen, as June 16th marks the official launch of Full-Figured Fashion Week 2011, while both parts of our interview with Lindsey were set in the context of FFFWeek 2010, where her runway work was the highlight of the event.

This portion of the interview offers further insights from Lindsey about her New York catwalk adventure, but it also delves much deeper into who this beautiful model really is. In a passage that is sure to resonate with many full-figured readers, we discover the terrible weight-related bullying that Lindsey experienced in her youth, and how she overcame it. We find out what it takes to terrify this otherwise fearless young woman--fearless indeed, for not only is Lindsey given to embarking on harrowing pursuits such as skydiving, but she has witnessed life-threatening violence first hand, to the point of watching someone's life blood draining away right before her eyes.

The size-16 beauty also shares with us her passionate opinions about some of the most controversial issues in the realm of plus-size modelling, even broaching forbidden topics such as the use of narcotics in the fashion world, and how she has managed to steer clear of such pitfalls.

But the interview also features many light-hearted moments--which is inevitable, given that Lindsey has a keen sense of humour and a warm, giving spirit. Her generous nature and her winning personality leap off the page, especially in the audio excerpts, which allow fans to hear her voice first-hand.

Enough preamble. Sit back and enjoy this in-depth look at one of the most gorgeous plus-size models in the industry today.

Lindsey walking the runway for IGIGI at FFFWeek 2010. Photograph courtesy Richard Lew (

- Click to read Lindsey interview, part two

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Old 16th June 2011   #2
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Default Re: Lindsey Interview, Part Two

It took a while to read, because it's a long text, but I loved every word. The first part of Lindsey's interview showed her in the context of a fashion model, but this part presented the other side of Lindsey, as a real woman with real-life concerns, from childhood bullying to airport hassles to furniture building. I really enjoyed that. It helped me relate to her. She's obviously an intelligent, well-rounded young women, and I mean that in terms of character as well as appearance.

Where I admire Lindsey most is in her stance that models who show plus-size clothing should actually look full-figured.

LINDSEY: If youíre going to be plus-size, if youíre going to be a plus-size model, be plus-size. If they want to start a whole new industry of a size 6 to a 10 or 12, or whatever, go for it. But donít consider that plus-size.
LINDSEY: When it comes to the plus-size industry, Iím on the bigger side of plus size. But when I go into a plus-size store, Iím the smallest size. So it makes no sense to me. Itís absurd that people model for plus-size who canít even fit in the clothes. If you canít walk into a plus-size store, then why are you a plus-size model?

The second point is really powerful. Just think about it: at a size 16, Lindsey is on the curvier side of the modelling industry, as it exists today, but the majority of plus-size girls and women who actually shop for full-figured fashions are all bigger than she is.

That's unjust. At a size 16, Lindsey should be the smallest that a plus-size model can be, and then the industry should include many models who are fuller-figured than she is as well, to represent their curvier customers.

The other moment that made me want to applaud out loud was this passage:

LINDSEY: When Glamour printed the issue with all of the naked plus-size models, besides Ashley Graham, the rest of them are a size 10 or smaller. They canít shop at plus-size stores. I donít know if you saw this or not, but they were all on Ellen. And it really made me mad, because these girls all got their start as plus-size models. And now theyíre trying to say,ĒWe donít want to be called plus-size anymore. We just want to be called regular size.Ē

HSG: [groans] I know.

LINDSEY: I thought, ďDid you really just say that? Really? Because you got your start being a plus-size model, and now youíre trying to turn your back on it?Ē That was disappointing.

I wish more plus-size models would really embrace their full-figured identity and proudly present themselves as representatives for plus-size women, as Lindsey does, instead of always angling for the approval of the minus-size fashion clique.

I appreciate very much the fact that on these issues, Lindsey stands with the wishes of the general public, not with the anti-plus tastes of fashion insiders.
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Old 18th June 2011   #3
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Default Re: Lindsey Interview, Part Two

I would like to thank Lindsey for being so candid in these interviews. Many of the concerns that she discusses are common to many full-figured women; in fact, they're almost universal, but they seldom get a hearing in the media.

I was surprised by her painful tale of the difficulties that she faced when she was growing up as a curvy girl. I think many of us assume that plus-size models, being models, are always treated as goddesses. But Lindsey experienced some hardships when she was younger with which many girls can relate.

There's an audio clip that comes with this passage in the interview, and if anything, to hear Lindsey relate this in her own words is even more affecting.

When I was younger, some people would make fun of me. I donít think I ever got the little fatty-fatty two-by-four song, or whatever, but people would say stuff, and it was very hard for me, especially in elementary school and middle school. When I got to high school, I kind of grew into my body, and I started learning how to dress and do my makeup, so it wasnít that hard in high school. Plus, I was friends with everyone, so no one really ever said anything then. But definitely, when I was in elementary and middle school, I had very low self-confidence. I didnít have plus-size friends at all, ever. Iíve never had friends who were plus-size. All my friends are, I would say, a size 8 and below. It has just always been that way. And now that Iíve gotten into modelling, Iím friends with a lot of plus-size models. It just wasnít very common where I grew up, in school. So that definitely was hard.

I think that not only modelling has helped me with self confidence, but just growing up and being comfortable with yourself and loving yourself, because if you donít love yourself, how can someone else love you?

This passage is a real duckling-to-swan story, but in real life:

LINDSEY: Well, when I was younger, I had some awkward moments. [laughs] I was very tomboy when I was younger. Until I was in the eighth grade. Because my grandma, God rest her soul, she took me shopping at Lane Bryant when I was in eighth grade, and I bought real clothes. Anytime before that, when I was younger, I had cute little clothes, but when I was in fifth, sixth, seventh grade, I didnít know myself. I was very uncomfortable, very awkward. I wore Adidas shorts and a white t-shirt and tennis shoes to school. I used to wear boyís clothes. And I had really short hair, because I used to get bad migraines because my hair was so thick.

HSG: You told me that. Thatís right.

LINDSEY: I had really short hair when I was in middle school. I had braces. So it was a very awkward time for me. I got my braces off the day before I started eighth grade. And then my grandma took me shopping. I started wearing makeup. Everything clicked into place, and I started becoming the woman I am now.

It's worth reflecting that Lindsey achieved this transformation without starving herself, without developing an eating disorder, without wasting her life inside a gym prison. Rather than diminishing her natural figure, she simply learned to bring out the beauty that she already possessed, and arrived at peace with her body. If, instead, she'd devoted all her efforts to creating an underweight version of herself, she'd have sentenced herself to a lifetime of suffering, because her whole identity and self-image would have been invested in this artificially narrow version of herself, which she would have suffered forever trying to maintain.

"Learning to love yourself" is almost a cliche, but this is a rare, real-world example of a beautiful young lady who achieved this feat and what it meant to her. I'm glad she shared this personal history with all of us.
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Old 28th June 2011   #4
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Default Re: Lindsey Interview, Part Two

Although I especially admire Lindsey for her pro-curvy comments, since others have noted those I will single out the passage that absolutely riveted me.

I remember even in the previous part of the interview, there was talk that Lindsey would describe how she watched someone nearly die, right before her eyes. That was no exaggeration. The full story, as she recounts it, is tense and nail-biting.

LINDSEY: I was at work. I start work at 5. I walked downstairs to get some napkins or ice or something. I walked back upstairs. I hear this guy saying something. I wasnít really paying attention. And I hear something hit the floor. It sounded like someone threw up. And I looked around the corner. And this guy got stabbed in the neck. And it literally went likeÖ I mean, it was like a movie. There was so much blood. He said, ďCall 911.Ē And he was a regular. I knew him. Iíve had tons of conversations with him. And our bartender asked, ďWhy do I need to call 911?Ē And he moved his hand, and the blood just starts spurting out.

And Iím the type of person where, in the situation, I can get things done. Iím good at getting things done, but when I know I canít do anything else, I completely lose it. So I thought, ďOkay, I have to call 911.Ē Well, she was calling 911 already, so ďItís okay, I donít need to call 911.Ē

In my mindÖ I donít know why, but in my mind I thought, ďI have to get a man. I have to get a man to protect us,Ē or whatever. There were 15 men standing around me. I literally did not see any of them. I only saw the guy who got stabbed and our bartender. I didnít see anyone. It was literallyÖ I felt like it was just the three of us there.

So I ran to the back to get the guy from the kitchen. I said, ďOh, my God, so-and-so just got stabbed.Ē Freaking out. And heÖ I donít even know what he did. And Iím calling my manager, freaking out. Iím hysterical on the phone. Hysterical. I could not breathe. Because I get really bad anxiety attacks, so Iím having an anxiety attack on the phone. My manager says, ďJust breathe. Just breathe. Iím on my way.Ē It was awful.

And then I didnít even realize how much it affected me until the next week. The guy who had gotten stabbed came back in. Because I was saying, ďOh, Iím fine,Ē you know, whatever. I was saying, ďIím fine. I donít needÖĒ Because my manager was saying, ďIf you need to go to counseling,Ē you know, whatever. I was saying, ďNo, Iím fine.Ē He came back in the next week. It literally felt like it was all happening again. I could not look at him. As soon as he walked in, I started crying, I couldnít breathe. I had to walk away.

HSG: You were that close to actually watching someone die.

LINDSEY: The knife went all the way through. It was an inch from coming all the way out, going in and coming out the back of his neck. It was terrible. He literally almost died, and there was blood everywhere, and our bartender had blood all over her, and she was in the back there, freaking out, trying to wash it off. The whole situation was just awful.

Lindsey is even candid enough to admit how profoundly the incident continues to haunt her.

LINDSEY: I guess it still kind of does affect me, because there will be moments at work when Iím there, and Iím sitting there, and everything is just so calm, and especially if Iím not busy, Iíll just get this really anxious feeling: ďOh, my God, I donít want it to happen again.Ē It makes me nervous. Especially on Mondays, because it happened on a Monday. Itís just, ďItís so calm and peaceful. It shouldnít be like this. Something bad is going to happen.Ē I guess thatís the only thing I really have from that experience.

Almost the entire passage is recounted in an audio excerpt, and I've listened to it several times, because the way Lindsey tells it is truly harrowing.

In the midst of all of our talk of fashion and modelling, this incident is a reminder of how precious and fragile life is.

I'm glad that Lindsey shared this very sensitive story. It spurs a lot of reflection; at least, it did for me. I admire her for her courage as much as I admire her for her beauty.
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Old 4th July 2011   #5
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Default Re: Lindsey Interview, Part Two

It's so ridiculous whenever the apologists for the anorex-chic fashion industry try to resort to a "health" excuse when trying to defend their use of underweight girls instead of plus-size models. A well-fed, luscious girl like Lindsey is obviously far healthier than some size-0 walking cadaver with an eating disorder who is subsisting on meagre rations and thus has bad skin, has hair falling out, and is on the road to osteoporosis.

But Lindsey is healthier is another way too. One passage that really stood out to me in this interview appeared right near the end, when the issue of drug abuse came up (since this is a severe problem in the fashion world):

HSG: I wonít even ask about vices, because Iím sure that youíre not descending into the drug scene or anything like that.

LINDSEY: Oh, God. No! There is nothingÖ I just donít get these girls, because I do know models who do drugs and stuff like that . . . but there is nothing that anyone in this world could tell me to make me think it was a good idea to snort white powder up my nose. Thereís nothing anyone could tell me to make me think that was a good idea.

HSG: Thank heavens.

LINDSEY: [laughs] I donít get it. I think, ďReally?Ē

HSG: Itís just something about your city, or something about your profession, that makes girls vulnerable to such self-destructive behaviour. Is it the loneliness? Is it the peer pressure? Whatever it is, Iím glad you avoid it.

LINDSEY: Thank you, and I do, and I can tell you, one hundred percent, I donít do any drugs. I do drink occasionally.

HSG: Thereís nothing wrong with that.

LINDSEY: And Iím not saying Iím perfect or anything, because Iím far from it, but Iíve just never been one of those people. And I donít have an addictive personality, so itís just one of those things whereÖ Iíve seen people smoke weed or do coke or whatever, and thatís just not my style.

Lindsey is clear and unambiguous on this score. She rejects this toxic influence completely, and one senses in her words that she has the strength of character never to succumb to this self-destructive behaviour.

This too exemplifies how a plus-size model embodies a true definition of health. Any time the minus-size industry tries to play the "health" card, the public should laugh in its face, because in a comparison between sallow, starving, drug-addicted skeletal fashion waifs and robust, fleshy, abundantly nourished plus-size models, the matter of health wholly and completely favours the plus-size girls.

Bravo to Lindsey for scorning the toxic influences of the fashion world - both in its push for emaciation and in its rampant narcotics use - and showing that modelling can mean a clean and well-nourished lifestyle.
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