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Interview With PLUS Model Magazine Cover Model… Valerie Lefkowitz, 7/01/2009
Valerie Lefkowitz
[Maddy] Models often want to expand their careers into acting and commercial acting. Tell me about your commercial experience and working with Isaac Mizrahi.  

[Valerie] Working with Isaac Mizrahi was fantastic!  I only wish I hadn't been so nervous, I would have taken the moments in much more.  I've always done commercials in addition to print over the years.  Not regularly, but as they come up. My first one was for Perkins Family Restaurant when I was a teenager.  I did have one commercial where I had a line, it was for MCI, and my line was, "Hi Mom", answering the phone obviously.  Commercials are so fun!  Somehow the same as doing print, but different in a good way of course.  I would love to do more!

[Maddy] Weight and size is always an issue in the modeling industry Did you find it harder to book jobs when you were a size 16/18?

[Valerie] Actually, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't working steadily at a size 16/18, I wasn't working at all.  My clients knew me at a size 12/14 and when I gained weight their sample sizes didn't fit.  I think that's one of the most important things for models to know.  When a client knows you a certain way and loves you, it's good for you to stay put, and any changes you make, hair, dress size, etc., it would be beneficial to talk to your steady clients about.  Or rather have your agency talk with them.  Or at the very least tell them before the next shoot. 

To further address size, my body is very happy and natural at a size 12/14.  It always has been since I've been an adult.  So the times when I have gained weight or lost weight have been times when I was struggling in other ways.  When I let my body do it's thing, and eat everything in moderation, no restrictions and no overdoing it, then I steady at 36C-D, 30, 44, and a size 12/14.  I guess it's my happy weight, I think we all have them.  And I love myself exactly the way that I am, isn't that the most important thing?  No matter what size you are?  Self-Love and Self-Acceptance and Appreciation for yourself just as you are, no matter where you are, I capitalize it because it's so important!  And I'm 5'8"!  So a size 12/14 on me is deliciously curvy! :-)

[Maddy] I read your story at the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness site. Tell me how you got involved with this organization and how you maintain such a positive body image. 

[Valerie] Oh what a wonderful organization!  I was featured in YM when I was around 20, and the founder and director of The Alliance read my story. We met in NYC at my agency and got along great! Her name is Johanna Kandel; she has a great story of her own.  I only wish we had met not during my busiest time as a model,   I would have been able to work with her more. 

As for maintaining such positive body image, well, I read a lot of books on the subject.  As a plus model it's always been something that has come up...meaning the positive influence we are able to set for women.  So it's good for me to be well read, right?  And the bottom line is, I know I'm worthy and deserving of the very best in life, as we all are.  This includes the choice to Love myself completely and totally as I am, exactly as I am.  All you have to do is be willing to learn to Love yourself and the door has been opened.  I remember recently sitting on the couch with my sister Jen.  We had just had a lovely dinner, and my stomach was feeling it!  So I looked down at my protruding belly full of good food, and gave it a rub  and said, "I Love you stomach".  We both laughed of course.  It was funny and sweet and true.

Photo Credits:
: Krista Svalbonas,
Makeup Artist: Layna Roberts, 
Stylist: Mia Amber,
Hairstylist: Eve Whittington,




PLUS Model Magazine | inspiration + style

PLUS Model Magazine inspires the style-savvy, fashion-forward, full-figured woman to embrace her curves.

PMM has become a thought-leader shaping the plus size industry and providing a barometer for the season’s latest style trends for curvy women. With a monthly magazine featuring stunning editorials showcasing plus models, as well as ‘How-to-wear’ columns and shopping guides at all price-points, PMM reports on style, beauty and topical news, all while engaging our reader in lively and meaningful conversation on our daily blog and social media.

Developed, designed and written by plus women, for plus women, PMM understands and speaks directly to the heart of our reader, because we are our reader.

Online since 2006, PMM is the #1 plus size fashion & beauty magazine, blog and social media outlet.

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