PBK: We are so excited to have you featured on the plus BKLYN blog! Where are in the world are you?
PBK: How do you feel about the term “plus size”? Is there a term you prefer?
MK: Calling me “plus size” is fine because those are the clothes I wear. But, I call myself fat all the time in person and on social media. I’m not ashamed of the word because it is a descriptor; I also have blue hair and blue eyes, but those aren’t negatively held words in our society. If I were to use “plus size” I usually just stop at “plus.” I will say “yeah, I am plus.”
PBK: Language is powerful, and I appreciate the nuance that you shared. We use "fat" as a descriptor at plus BKLYN, but overall we use "plus size" because it's less emotionally charged for people.
PBK: Why did you decide to start modeling? What/who inspired you to become a plus size or fat model?
MK: I started modeling in 2014 while I was running a photo studio in the LA Art District after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). I didn’t have many fat people to look up to through my childhood, besides my family.
When I got into college, Tess Holiday had just started her career and I was following it thinking “she is the closest to my body shape and style that I have ever seen represented in the media.” I remember having a conversation with my college roommate one night about some new pin-up photos Tess had posted. At the time I had already decided I was moving to LA after undergrad and I told my roommate that if I was ever going to model (joke, ha ha), that doing it in LA would be the place to start.
It would be another four years after that conversation that I would get in front of a camera. Now, my brand consists of modeling, blogging, intersectional feminism, and body positivity/fat positivity.
PBK: How has modeling impacted your life?
MK: My modeling developed out of filling the creative void left by quitting music. For about 13 years I studied music. I have a couple bachelor degrees in music. When I moved to LA, I decided I was burned out by performing and stopped cold turkey.
It wasn’t until I started modeling that I realized I had a huge creative void in my life. Modeling started to fill that void for me. It is part of the reason my modeling continues to be art-based. I feel like we live in a world where art is either for rich people, or depressed teenagers. However, art is for everyone and everyone deserves to love and appreciate art.
PBK: LOVE THAT. Art, creating and viewing it, is a lifelong pursuit. How would you describe your style?
MK: I have a personal style and then I have a modeling style. My personal style tends to be more vintage-inspired, unisex clothing, and comfortable. I like to mix fits - skinny jeans and oversize tees, or wide-leg pants and a tight crop top - as well as eras. Taking a 1950s chiffon robe and pairing it with 90s grunge jeans and current sneakers while my sunnies scream 1970 is something I like to do on a daily basis. Also tees and jeans. Like all day, everyday.
PBK: YES, VINTAGE. We recently started offering vintage in-store, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. How is your modeling style different?
MK: My modeling style is authentic and political. Being a fat woman on the internet is political, so add some fashion and some art...I piss people off. :) Like most artists, I want my work to reflect my emotions and my principles. I truly believe that fat people deserve everything thin people have and in our current society we do not receive what we are owed. I want to show representation to the women who don’t see their bodies or their emotions represented in mainstream media. I want people to know that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and those who are affected by it are amazing humans!
PBK: That is a powerful message, and you really do embody it. Switching gears, what plus BKLYN item do you feel best exemplifies your style? Why this piece?
The destructed longline denim jacket would be the best piece to showcase my style. It is retro/vintage, it has a political statement on the back, there are flowers, and its denim. Oh, and pockets.
MK: I want people to understand the biases and marginalization fat people face in our society. I want those who aren’t fat to learn how to be allies. I want fat people to learn they have a voice, that voice is valid, and their experiences are real. I want people to know fat jokes aren’t funny and the size of your pants relates in no way to how much you are allowed to be loved.
PBK: PREACH. What’s coming up that are you excited about?
MK: I AM TURNING 30 ON AUGUST 20TH! I know, most people aren’t excited about it, but the closer it gets, the more I am actually excited for it. I want to hit that milestone. Plus, I have my birthday outfit being custom made for me as we speak!
PBK: So exciting!! Anything else we should know?
I am in OBVIOUS Magazine’s The Model Issue on their “#MODELWATCH: Ones-to-Watch” list, and the only plus model! It is available for print and digital download now, and my full interview is on their site featuring photos by Irvin Rivera, Samantha Figueroa, Pedro Oros, Nick Holliday, and Joseph Cultice.