At times the entertainment and modeling industries are glamorized for the right and wrong reasons. We often forget that the photogenic images, fierce poses and amazing bodies that we praise for their exterior are equally as great internally. Our April cover model Samantha Davis was selected through our monthly model search and she proves that she’s more than just a pretty face.
In addition to being a plus size model, Samantha Davis is a Special Education teacher. She credits her grandfather for keeping her motivated in the areas of education and modeling. Unfortunately, her grandfather passed away a week before being selected as this month’s cover model but in Samantha’s eyes he is one of the many reasons that she continues to go after her dreams.
Continue reading as we get to know Samantha and find out what she’s working on.
Stephanie Penn: So many of our cover models have lives outside of modeling. Do you have a career other than modeling?
Samantha Davis: Yes, I am an elementary school teacher. I teach Kindergarten and First Grade Special Education kids. I have a Mild/Moderate Multiple Disabilities class.
Were you modeling before you began teaching?
I began modeling at the age of 15 years old in San Francisco, CA. I have been modeling since. When I graduated high school to choose Universities to go to I received various softball scholarships, but I knew I wanted to further my modeling career. So, I chose to go to school in Los Angeles because I felt it would be a great location to further my modeling career. So, yes I began modeling before my teaching career.
How has school and sports helped you in you quest towards being a model?
School and sports assisted me in my quest to become a model because I learned a lot about perseverance, teamwork, patience, etc. Those are all qualities that you also need in the world of modeling. I learned a lot about working well with others.
What types of opportunities have you had as a plus size model?
In the modeling world, if you work well with the designers/companies, etc. You can maintain a good relationship with the client, continue to get work, and also receive referrals for future work.
As a plus size model, I have had the opportunity to do print work, runway, and work with different companies while doing plus-fit modeling. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in televised shows and work with some well known actors/singers, etc. It has been a great journey.
In regards to fit, print or runway, Do you prefer one over the other?
I enjoy doing runway and have been doing it for years. I would love to do more print work. As far as fit modeling, this is my second year working as a fit model for my agency and I have enjoyed it. I’ve learned more about the clothing industry that I never knew before. As a plus-fit model I have assisted companies that hadn’t ventured into expanding their market into plus size clothing and worked with them in beginning their very first plus size lines. It’s an awesome feeling to be a part of something special like that. I enjoy doing all three (fit, print, and runway.)
At times it seems like fit modeling gets overlooked by aspiring models. Why do you think this is the case?
It may be overlooked by aspiring models because they may not know much about the importance of fit models and what they do. I don’t believe many aspiring models do much research in regards to the various types of plus size modeling. Some are so anxious to try to get their foot in the door without doing their research and studying their craft.
You bring up a great point. What advice would you give an aspiring model?
I receive a lot of inbox messages from some aspiring models. I always tell them to DO THEIR RESEARCH! In regards to photographer’s to work with and agencies….. research, research, research. I’ve always been one to say that it never hurts to ask a question. You will not know if you don’t ask. I definitely also refer aspiring models to many plus size magazine’s such as this one (Daily Venus Diva Magazine) and Plus Model Magazine where they can read up on information and inquiries for aspiring models.
What does modeling do for you?
Modeling is my passion and has always been my passion. I remember at the age of 5 years old telling my parent’s that I wanted to become a model. I have always been a bigger girl, but I never let that stop me. I love modeling and it brings me happiness to know that I can be an inspiration for other women of my size and help build their confidence to know that they can be fashionable, sexy, confident women.
If you could be on set with any plus size model for a day and witness them in action, who would it be and why?
I would love to follow around Ashley Graham and/or Maiysha. I would love to follow Ashley Graham because I have seen a lot of her work and I would love to learn from her. Maiysha, I love her work as well and would love to learn more from her. I would also like to ask her about her experience with being a plus size model of African American ethnicity and what the experience has been like for her in that regards.
In straight sized modeling the lack of diversity is often discussed. Do you think diversity from an African Americans perspective is an issue in plus size modeling?
I think that issue is around in both straight-sized and plus size modeling whether you are male and/or female.
What is your beauty routine like?
For teaching days, I wash my face with warm water and clean and clear foaming facial wash. Then, use a deep cleansing astringent. I try to keep my look pretty natural when teaching. I’ll finish my look with some eyeliner and nude lip gloss. For other activities, I maintain the same routine, but follow up with foundation, mascara, etc.
With spring here and summer right behind it, do you have any plans for the summer?
I enjoy the Summer time because that’s when I can model full time. During the Summer I try to network as much as possible, attend auditions, and use my time wisely to work out and go to the gym.
You’ve mentioned that family is important to you. How close were you to your grandfather and how did he support your career in modeling?
I was very close to my grandfather. He always instilled in us the importance of education/sports, and pursuing our dreams. He was a migrant worker who moved from Louisiana in the 1940’s to work in California. He also played baseball in the Negro Leagues.
He’s one of the reasons why I continued my education so far (bachelor’s, 2 teaching credentials, and my Master’s degree), and also received softball scholarships. He believed in the importance of following your dreams. I made the promise to my family to finish my education first prior to fully pursuing modeling. A promise that I fulfilled. My grandfather was a great part of that.
It sounds like he was a great man. Thank you for sharing that with us. What are you currently working on? What are your plans for the future?
In the future, I would love to continue and further my modeling career to the top. I have also just signed with a commercial agency, so I would love to begin working on a few commercials.
Congratulations! We can’t wait to see you in television commercials.
Cover Image Credit: Michelle Alexandra