Archive for the Mia Mail Category

Mia Amber’s Curvy Mail

Posted in Mia Mail, Modeling Advice on April 20, 2011 by miaamber

I received the following letter via email:

Hi Mia,

First and foremost I want to say that I look up to you. You are an inspiration to all women that are curvy and you have shown the world that curvier women are beautiful.

I know you get a lot of mail so I want to thank you for reading this. I am really trying to become a successful full figure model and I don’t know where to start.

How do you know if you have what it takes to model and should I get an agent or contact designers directly?

Thank you,

Thanks for writing, Shelly! 

My honest answer is that you should do whatever it takes– WITHIN REASON–until you get your fashionable foot in the door.  Visiting open calls and submitting your photos via the web to reputable agencies (don’t pay anyone ANY money up front) is  a great way to get started. Check out this post I did on OPEN CALLS!

You also mentioned contacting designers directly which I think is a potentially good idea. 

As an actress I would never turn down a great role in a student film with a student director.  The general rule of thumb is that you never know how far that director may go as a filmmaker so it’s best to get in on the “ground floor” with them and they will always remember you!

I say all that to make a comparison to new designers.  A designer who is just starting out may be looking for models to work with and you never know how their career’s may take off.

When you submit to agencies and designers be sure to send the proper photos– no nudity, pets or friends in the photos with you!   Also, do as much reasearch as possible regarding the person/company you are submitting to. 

Another bit of advice is this– be ready! 

If you submitted to an agency tomorrow and they called you in, would you be ready to work?  Would you know how to pose, find your light and behave on set?   Would you know the differences between fit, showroom, print, commercial, high fashion, lifestyle and runway modeling?   Do you know your measurements?  Would you know where you fit in within the industry?

How you match up with industry standards is very important in knowing whether or not you have a “shot” at making a career in modeling. You asked me how to know if you have what it takes– Confidence goes a mighty long way and knowing that you have something to offer will take you even further.

I visited my current agency six times (open calls) before they called me in for a meeting.  Each time they said “no” I just kept working on my own and building my portfolio.  One day, they just called me in and I was ready.

If you aren’t ready, get ready!  Your passion could be realized and you don’t want to miss any opportunity to feed your soul.




Hair Help

Posted in Mia Amber's Model Mail, Mia Mail on October 26, 2010 by miaamber

Here’s a letter I received from an aspiring model:

Hi Mia,

I am currently pursuing my passion for plus size modeling and I’m seeking representation. I currently have a long, full weave but my natural hair is short and relaxed.   Is it ok to have a variety of pictures in my portfolio with both long and short hair?

When looking for work with my short hair will some agencies or casting directors be turned off from my short hair? Or if they think my hair would look better long, will they suggest I get extensions before the shoot?
I just don’t want to sell myself short by going back to my natural, relaxed short hair. 


Thanks for writing, C!  You asked about two different things.

In my opinion, when it comes to modeling, having diverse looks in your portfolio is an asset.  I recently had a client look through my portfolio and chose a hairstyle for my booking with them!  Models need to be chameleons but don’t get locked into a look unless it is highly demanded of you and easy to manipulate for work.

When it comes to meeting Casting Directors, it’s been my experience that they like you to look exactly like your headshot.  For example if you have a short afro on your headshot, you should not show up with a 26″ bone straight weave when you arrive for your audition.

If possible, take a look at the portfolios, comp cards and headshots of working models and actors to see what they are doing right!

The bottom line in both situations is to be comfortable being yourself… a blank canvas is easier to work with and if someone if “turned off” by the “real you” keep it moving!

I hope this helps.




Help! I Need Full Figured Fashion Tips!

Posted in Mia Amber Style, Mia Mail on September 7, 2010 by miaamber

Essence writes:

Dear Mia,

I’m 19 and a  size 24. I’m 5’10, wear a 3x  and a size 12 shoe so it’s really hard to find nice clothes that  fit and are fashionable for my age.

In my town in Chicago we have Rainbow, Dots, and Ashley Stewart.  They have the nicest stuff but I’m tired of them because I go there all the time!  I just need any tips that you can offer because I want to stand out, be beautiful and feel comfortable in my skin.

I need hair, makeup, clothes, shoes and accessories tips!

Thanx, love ya!


Hi Essence,

Thanks so much for writing! We have a lot in common from being full figured and fabulous with size 12 feet to sometimes getting bored with what’s out there on the plus size market!

I love your confidence and willingness to seek out new things!

My advice to you is this… if the stores you frequent on a regular basis aren’t giving you enough of what you want then find new stores and let your fingers do the walking!

If there aren’t any in your area and you’re unable or unwilling to make a day-trip out of a shopping adventure with some friends, brands like Torrid, Faith 21, ASOS Curve, Evans UK and Fashion to Figure have fantastic on-line offerings that are young and trendy with great fits and they won’t break your budget!

I know that shopping on-line isn’t ideal but it’s a start and all of the brands I mentioned have great fit and in my opinion, run true to size.  Also, every store I’ve mentioned has

awesome accessories!

As for shoes, my favorite place to shop in Chicago is Nordstrom Rack! They carry marked down designer shoes in up to size 14.

My old standby for shoes is Payless!

Did you know that if you see a shoe you love at Payless but they don’t have any in a size 12 you have two options…

You can go to the register and ask for a style look up of the shoe you like in your size (sometimes you even get a coupon just for doing a look up) or  you can go online and order the shoe in a size 12.

Often  shoes are available in all sizes on line but the stores only carry a limited quantity.

As for you hair and make up… PLAY!! While you’re online look up photos of your favorite celebs and save them into an inspiration folder on your computer. Later try to copy their hair and make up trends using your own twist on the styles.  You could also do this by pulling pics from magazines and taping the pics on your bathroom mirror while doing your hair and make up.

I hope this helps! The bottom line is don’t be afraid to try new things! Stepping out of your comfort zone is a guaranteed way to switch up your style and get noticed.

You’re already beautiful so remember that smiling helps, too!



P.S. Let me know how it goes!