Jewels Hay is many things. She’s a plus sized model, a mother, a military spouse and a woman spreading positivity to everyone she comes into contact with. After becoming a straight sized model at a young age, Jewels took a break from the industry to live life, start a family and to be a wife and mother.
Years later, she stepped back into the world of modeling, but this time as a plus size model.
Since becoming a plus size model, Jewels has worked with many high profile clients. While her resume is impressive, the things that stand out about this 5’10 beauty isn’t the work that she’s done, it’s her outlook on life.
DailyVenusDiva.com: You’re the mother of a beautiful little girl. Does being a woman make raising a girl easier?
Jewels Hay: I am very thankful to have my little princess in my life. She is now eight years old and becoming more independent. I was used to picking her outfits for school the previous night, but recently we would be running behind because she didn’t agree with my choices. Then, I got some wise advice from another mom to have three outfits out and ready – letting her choose the one she prefers. So far, so good on that battle.
When it comes to raising a child of the same sex, it can be easier. I get to help her with skin care and all that fun “girl stuff”. My poor husband would probably have a mini panic attack attempting that alone. But there are Dads out there that play both roles to their children well.
How do you address the topic of body image with your daughter?
The MOST important thing is to help her keep a positive attitude. Did you know that 2% of 1st – 3rd grade girls want to be thinner? Girls’ self-esteem peaks at 9 years old, but by age 10, 80% of girls report being afraid of becoming fat. I have found some very empowering books from this site that I recommend looking into for young readers. See Hlntv.com for 10 books for boosting positive body image for girls. This site has a List of some helpful books that support our children thinking things in a positive light. For parents, go to Pbs.org for Body Image & Identity articles. I am learning how to help my little princess grow up to be self-confident and self-aware — with a critical eye towards the messages the media is marketing to her.
What was life like as a child for you?
I have some great memories, but did have some exposure to bullying. I know ALL about the cruelness of children and bullying. It is important that my daughter has compassion for others and I hope she stays away from the “mean girl” crowd. I teach her to be strong and stand up for others who may need assistance.
Were you drawn to modeling as a child or is that something that interest you as you got older?
When I was younger, I would dream that maybe one day I would look and feel as pretty as the women did in Seventeen Magazine. I had no clue on how to fix my hair or apply makeup, so my family enrolled me in a modeling school. They had hoped that I could learn how to sit and act like a lady. Modeling school did give me confidence to own and love my long legs, high cheekbones and a tiny body. Then, my father took me to a Model Search America Event in Dallas, TX. That was where I met the late Michael Evans Jr.. He was sitting with a group of top models and yelled at me across the room to come over. That was how my journey started modeling straight size. I had my first trip away from home to Baltimore and modeled for an agency called NOVA. My first real jobs as a model were for GOLDWELL, HEADSPORTSWEAR and JCPENNEYS. That was a Summer I will never forget. I left Oklahoma City with long light brown hair and returned with a platinum bob with bangs. My parents didn’t even recognize me when they went to pick me up at the airport.
Why plus size modeling?
I had no idea there was an opportunity for girls over a size eight! Many years later I got married and began my journey as a military spouse. A dear friend, who had seen my old portfolio when I was a straight-sized model thought it would be fun to shoot a modeling TEST. That TEST ended up the 2012 MAY Military Spouse Magazine COVER and my family and I had a double spread story inside. I couldn’t believe it! A magazine all over the world and my family and I on the cover! Then I started looking deeper into plus modeling business.
I am a part of THE SELF-LOVE MOVEMENT. Having a good self-image is ultimately about acceptance and loving yourself no matter what your body shape. I encourage businesses to use a variety of women and men to reach those clients to whom they are selling. I was one of those young girls thinking if I wasn’t small enough, I wasn’t my best. I want to empower women by promoting THE SELF-LOVE MOVEMENT.
As a plus size model, what is your stance on body shaming amongst plus size women?
I feel very strongly that people should not ignore abusive and bullying behavior. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, take a stance against body shaming. There will always be someone putting someone else down to make himself or herself feel better. But what takes lots of class is how you deal with it.
How would you handle someone shaming you or shaming someone else in your presence?
I have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut when I see abusive behavior. There is something special that I have hung above my mirror that I read every day and night. It says, “The truth about me is ALWAYS WHAT GOD SAYS! Not what I think or feel; not what others say, think or do. The Truest things about me IS WHAT GOD SAYS!”
Is there a moment or time that you thought to yourself, “Wow, I’m a model!”
When I started getting bookings and was able to call myself an official working model, it was a happy moment. But it is a gamble. Nothing is guaranteed and you have to work hard to be at your top game and compete with the other models that have been in the business a lot longer. I am very thankful to be a part of this movement that is hitting with the curvy community: THE SELF-LOVE MOVEMENT.
You’re also a military spouse. Tell me about that. How do you juggle motherhood, your career and being a wife?
I never seem to have a dull moment – that is for sure. When my little one was modeling as well, making her castings and mine made our schedule very crazy. She decided she is retiring for a little while. I think that was funny coming from an eight year old! I feel it is important to get her into the arts and sports. Let her enjoy being a child and not so focused on the business of modeling.
When you want to take time for yourself, what are some of your hobbies?
I grew up in a household full of art and music. I love to go out and buy a large canvas and some paints and create something. I used to sell my artwork years ago on EBAY under the name JewelsSki. Unfortunately, I got burnt out really fast. I do enjoy writing lyrics and melodies to music. All I need is someone to start playing something on their guitar or bass and I have melodies coming out of me. My biggest dream as a little girl was to perform live.
Having a beauty ritual is a must have. It is my time to relax by taking care of my skin. As a nighttime routine, I have my relaxing music on, slow down and do my skin routine. This ritual allows me to create a spa treatment feeling of refreshment.
What are some of your professional and personal goals as a model?
I want to help young women by teaching those steps to self-love as well as strengthen and work on who they are on the inside. Looks fade and go. But what is inside, how you treat others with compassion and respect can make you always shine the brightest in the room. I had struggles as a teen and I want to help others with my experiences.