Beauty and the Muse

Interview with Curvy Model: Christina Mendez

Posted on: August 29, 2013

This curvy Latina is not only a bodacious plus-size model, but she is also a T.V. personality. Her modeling projects go far and wide, but here are a few: Source Magazine, Essence, Apple Bottoms, Baby Phat, Ashley Sterwart, and BET’s “Rip The Runway”. During the interview process, Christina was actually gearing up and prepping to model for a list of shows, one of which is for New York Fashion Week. We definitely wish you the best of luck. Christina is down to earth, drop-dead gorgeous, and her charisma alone will take her far.

Christina Mendez - Black Lace

LV: Since you are a bombshell now. How was it growing up for you? Were you always this confident? Or was it something you had to learn as you matured?

CM: I grew up around strong minded women who were (and still are) stylish. The women in my family are a spectrum of sizes, so they instilled in me at an early age to embrace my style and celebrate my curves. When I got older, I definitely learned how to accentuate my curves to their fullest potential 🙂

LV: What was your style growing up?

CM: My style growing up varied in stages because growing up around women I had a lot of girlie clothing (ex: dress, frilly skirts, etc) as a child, but my teen years….LOL that’s another story. It was the era of everything hip hop, so I blended my style of femininity from my family and edginess of hip hop music and home of New York. 

LV: How would you describe your style now?

CM: I’m a chameleon when it comes to style so I don’t have a set style per say. My style changes on my mood definitely…there are sometimes I want to have just a classic look for a red carpet or event, but then there are sometime where I want to be glamorous in a classy way.

Christina - NEW(2)

LV: How and when did you decide you wanted to become a model and a T.V personality?

CM: I dabbled in modeling during high school and college, but embraced plus size modeling in 2006. My big break came in 2008 when BET had an open call for “Rip The Runway” and I was selected to walk the catwalk that year.  As a model, many people think that you just stand and smile, but you need to have a personality as well. I am naturally talkative and want to get to know people, so I’ve been fortunate early in my career to have opportunities to meet producers who wanted me to be a correspondent for various projects.

LV: What type of setbacks or obstacles have you faced as a curvy, or woman who is a minority?

CM: Sadly “curvy” models are not viewed the same as a model that’s a 2 or 4, but it’s slowly changing. In the beginning of my modeling career I had someone suggest that I try surgery to fit into the smaller division of models that were in demand constantly versus the division I was in at the time. I made it a point that day that if I wanted to lose weight I would do it in a healthy way.

***Note: I think I’m doing okay at the size I am ;)***

LV: What’s the best campaign you worked for/on?

CM: I’m grateful for all the campaigns I’ve worked for and will work for in the future so it’s really difficult to just pinpoint one campaign in particular. Each campaign holds a special to me because each campaign trusted what I would be able to bring to set and their overall vision.

Christina Mendez - Outside Shot

LV: What are some big projects you’ve worked on and are working on currently?

CM: Actually, I just finished 2 clothing campaigns:  1) “Nostalgia” Collection for designer Qristyl Frazier, and 2) Ann Nahari’s latest lingerie collection. For August, I was honored to be in the pages of Tropics Magazine’s Curves Issue ( as cover model and featured story) and my Q & A Interviews with MSN Latino and should be hitting the internet very soon.

 Also, I am prepping to model during New York Fashion Week S/S 14 for a major brand, and I will be in a few upcoming magazine editorials coming out in October / November.

 **I am proud to say this is the second season, I am involved in either a runway show or showcase during NYFW**

LV: What advice would you give other women (or dudes) who are in your position or want to get to your position?

CM: Practice your craft and ALWAYS be prepared. There are aspiring models that attend casting calls in sneakers and flip flops (which is great on the way to the audition), but casting directors and clients want to make sure you are comfortable in heels and able to walk the runway. Other tips:

  • Network but we aware of what you post and where you post. Many girls are eager to give all their information out without thinking about the repercussions. In this day and age, your safety is priority #1
  • Start modeling locally in some shows to get a feel of the runway and how you feel in front of the camera
  • RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH to familiarize yourself with the brand or organization you are working
  • Please know excessive partying can show in your face and performance as a model (clients always notice)
  • Research different options of modeling, many women just see runway and print. Besides runway and print there are opportunities to be a fit models (depending on measurements) and Commercial / TV models as well

I share a lot of industry tips on my blog “Happy Curvy You”-

Christina Mendez- Natural (1)

LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

CM: I’ll leave you with 2 quotes:

“Don’t look at how far you have to go, thank God for how far he brought you”


“Work your plan and plan your work!!”

Social Media Links:

Official Site

Happy Curvy You (blog)

Twitter – @ChristinaMendez

Instagram – modelchristinamendez


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Over pizza, a friend and I talked openly about hijab and sexism we’d experienced around it. 
Many people assumed that because I wear hijab it means I’m married. Hence, the idea of a woman wears hijab for a man and not herself or for God. 
She shared a story about going to a club with her hijab and being told that she shouldn’t be there by random Muslim men because she was hijabi. She bluntly replied, “Neither you or I should be in the club as Muslims.” Her story triggered me because I too had been through the same scenario. In addition to that I remember when my ex used to constantly tell me that I didn’t love God enough or I wasn’t Muslim because I doubted wearing hijab. But the chick he ended up going out with, during our marriage, was a non-hijabi 🤔 
My friend said something that resonated with me. “If it’s so easy to wear hijab, then why don’t men do it? They won’t. Because it makes them visible.” Being visibly Muslim, for some of us, isn’t easy. To wear or continue to wear hijab isn’t always easy. So, why are we so harsh on non-hijabis? 
When I went to California this summer, I decided that I was going to wear a bathing suit and ditch my hijab. For so long, I always wondered what it’d be like. Although, I felt guilty for showing my body as a Muslim I also felt empowered because I had the choice. And that I was very much so still Muslim whether I was covered or not. 
As a Muslim woman, I applaud you for wearing hijab, but I also understand if you aren’t there yet. Not all Muslims come in one size fits all. 
What are some common misconceptions about Muslim women that you’ve heard? What’s your take on hijabi vs non-hijabi? And anyone can chime in on this discussion ☕️
Photo: @funlens 
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