by MIKE CHAIKEN
Miami native and model, Natalia Lorenzo, caught the public eye during December’s Miami Art Week.
And in short time, Natalie, who is represented by DAS Model Management, has attracted the attention of the general public as the fashion industry embraces body diversity in women.
The Colombian-born fashion model’s journey began just a short while ago, when she began to reach out to modeling agencies in the Miami beach area.
DAS, which has experience with guiding and managing plus size models, and signed her.
During Miami Art Week, Natalia, 19, participated in an independent exhibit produced by a photographer friend, entitled “The Art of Beauty.” The Dec. 10 exhibit, which was held in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District on Dec. 10, featured some revealing photography of Natalia. The pieces were then displayed on a five-foot tall poster size canvas. The theme of the exhibition, which Natalia attended during its opening, was about women embracing their bodies and individual beauty as an art form.
Subsequently, Natalia received overwhelming positive response from those who saw her photos.
A curvy model, Natalia is part of the movement of young models who are blazing a new trail for women in the fashion world.
If someone told her when she was 14 that she would be a fashion model at 19, Natalia said, “I really wouldn’t have believed it and would have thought it was not possible.”
“In my teenage years,” Natalia said in an email interview from Florida, “I didn’t think I would meet the standards of being a model or consider myself pretty enough. I’ve always considered it to be the hardest industry to break in to.”
“Just like any teenager,” said Natalia, “I would look through the women’s fashion magazines and think how much of a dream it would be to have that type of career – working with the top designers in amazing locations and on some of the world’s best runways.”
“Since signing with DAS Model Management in Miami Beach, my dream has started coming true.”
Natalia is being celebrated now, but she said, “I didn’t like looking in the mirror until recently. I would see every flaw with my stomach, stretch marks, cellulite, and every imperfect detail that would bring my confidence down. I would see myself as an easy target for criticism and would often get picked on at school.”
“People would say ‘you have a pretty face,’ which really bothered me,” said Natalia. “I was constantly being told to drop my weight. I was constantly battling against other people’s perceptions and subsequently my own.”
When she looked at magazines, every model seemed to be size 0 and stood at 6 feet. No one on the pages of the glossies looked like her.
“This made me feel alone and isolated as an outcast, because I never felt as though I would fit in or be categorized as a beautiful girl,” said Natalia. “I felt as if I was an outsider.”
“I always thought those models were perfect and happy with their personal confidence and were living a great life because of the way they looked. I even wanted to be like the really skinny models that were wafer thin – but I soon realized that even the slimmest of models had their own personal issues about the way they looked, even though I thought they were ideal,” said Natalia.
Now that she is a model, Natalia said her self-perception is evolving.
“I’m now a lot more confident and I like the fact that I have curves and have matured to realize this is what a real woman’s body looks like,” said Natalia. “I eventually changed my self-perception towards believing I have the body of the natural women.”
“I think my face, size and shape is attractive, encompassing the entire look of an attractive woman. I think I am beautiful,” said Natalia.
“The sudden attention is great and I enjoy expressing myself and speaking out to inspire other people – men and women,” said Natalia. “I’ve had a lot of messages from people who are encouraged about my story.”
That said, the model explained, “I’ve also had some negative attention from people who think I should live a lot healthier and that my body image doesn’t portray what the media likes to cover. They are wrong. The media is now reporting on the real woman and celebrating the body shape that many women have in the real world.
“Even well-known sports brands have started to pay tribute to the curvaceous female with their own line of swimwear for that specific body type,” said Natalia. “Overall there has been mostly positive attention and heart-warming feedback.”
Natalia’s burgeoning success also is giving other young women something she did not have when she was growing—a chance to see woman just like them in magazines and on the runway.
“It feels amazing,” said Natalia. “I never thought I would be a role model…Knowing that I can be someone who inspires people is so thrilling… Working with DAS Model Management has allowed me to start my ambition to become a catalyst for the plus-size industry and showing others how a girl next door can fulfill their dream if they have the belief…. They are truly world class experts in the industry.
In terms of her own personal role models, Natalia cited models Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence as her favorites. “Ashley is a plus-size model and made it big being an advocate for real women. Iskra Lawrence was even told that she was not large enough to make it as a plus-size model and had to conform to the standards in order to have a successful career. Both women excelled at their goals and took the fashion world by storm. I would like to follow in their footsteps as a Latina.”
As far as brands, magazines and designers she would like to represent as her career takes off, Natalia said, “I would love to work with Sports illustrated. Now that I’ve seen more models like me representing well-known brands and dancing to their own rhythm, it makes me feel so encouraged and enthusiastic. Modeling for Louis Vuitton or Versace would be amazing as well. I would love to walk for a Lane Bryant fashion show, because I love what they stand for in the world of body positivity.”
In the long run, Natalia said, “My goal is to inspire and help people while doing something I love. I want to be the person I needed when I was growing up. Being a mentor to people who are struggling with weight issues or body perception would make me very happy. Through my new modeling career with DAS Model Management, I would love to gain as much exposure as possible by being part of plus size campaigns, representing brands and fashion forward organizations that stand for women’s self expression, body positivity and the real life image of women today.
Follow Natalia on Instagram @lordenzo_ or Twitter @oknatt_ and her journey with DAS Model Management @dasmodelmanagement
Photos courtesy of DAS Model Management