We first heard about Mayra Louise de Wilde when we saw her featured on Plus-Size Models Unite. It was immediately clear that Mayra was a Real Beauty. Perhaps we were tipped off by the subtitle which read, “Model and Writer Mayra De Wilde Says, ‘I am so much more than a number on the scale or a number in a size chart.’” But it really was oh so much more than that. With poise and intellect, the Dutch model spoke of wanting women to happy with the bodies they’ve got, hoping for a change in people’s perception of what it beautiful and wanting to see more variety in the modeling industry. We loved her already.
We quickly shot an email to Angela (the co-creator of Plus-Size Models Unite) asking (err begging!) for an introduction to Mayra. And, low and behold, we sat down with the plus-sized model, journalist and Real Beauty!
Here, Mayra Louise de Wilde weighs in on Real Beauty.
What do you think makes someone beautiful?
As a model, I am surrounded by gorgeous women. But being beautiful on the outside does not define true beauty. It’s a cliché, but eventually it’s your personality and character that defines how beautiful you really are. I believe true beauty reflects from within. That’s why I also love my job as a plus size model. If I can just show one girl or woman that you are beautiful no matter what size you are, I’ve achieved my goal. Women should be proud of their beauty, body and brains. Most important, in this world of make-believe, it’s so important to stay true to yourself.
When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel most beautiful when I have a big smile on my face. Laughing and goofing around is very important to me. A giggle a day keeps the stress away! I tell myself I am beautiful every day. Don’t get me wrong, I have off days too but I always try to focus on the things I like when I look into a mirror. It’s so important for a woman to really love herself.
How do you deal with the pressure for body perfection in our culture?
I’m proud of my curves! I don’t really care about other people’s opinions about my body. It’s so important to accept yourself. And if you can’t: fix it yourself. Being a model isn’t always easy. Clients look at me as a product, not a person. It’s a hard business. I am a size 18 and most clients prefer size 12. It sucks to be rejected because you simply don’t fit the clothes.
I do struggle with my weight. My weight is a reflection of my state of mind. When I’m stressed or sad, I eat crappy foods and lots of chocolate. The last couple of years I’ve gained about 30 pounds. I promised myself to work on shedding those pounds this year. I will have a lot of me-time this year.’
If you could give your younger self advice about beauty, what would it be?
Don’t listen to hairdressers! I took me years to find a good hairdresser. When I was younger I ended up looking like a sheep after a haircut most of the time. Curls are hard to cut. I’ve learned the hard way, haha!
What’s your one, can’t-live-without-it beauty product?
Curl Cream from Bumble&Bumble! I love it! It makes my curls look so fly. It really nourishes my hair. Curl cream is very expensive in the Netherlands so I spend most of my beauty budget on my hair. But I also like to indulge in skin cream. And I love Kiehl’s! Honestly, I overspend on beauty products most of the time!
Who is your beauty role model?
I don’t really have a beauty role model. I’m inspired by a lot of women. It can be a model in a magazine or a woman walking down the street. Seeing someone’s happiness or sharing a smile is amazingly inspirational!