plus-sized in taiwan = size 4 US

This Friday will mark the end of my 5th month in Taipei–i.e. my half-way point!

I can’t believe how the time has flown.

With four hours of class each day this semester, my work load has more than doubled. Adding on rehearsals for the English teaching Sing-Along show, “Grandpa’s Dream” + prep work for A Nook for Rhyme Crooks events (post to follow in the next week!), all of my free-time for adventures + blogging has vanished.

I was sitting here thinking that I didn’t have any exciting new adventures to share, when I realized that I have yet to share my modeling experience with y’all!

So, two weeks ago I had my first legit catalog modeling shoot.

It. Was. Grueling.

40 looks. 10 hours.

Everyone from the company was lovely, but it was really, really hard work.

I tend to think of myself as someone with a good amount of self confidence, but it was hard to keep it up during the times when one pose took 10 minutes to capture properly. I found myself becoming really self-conscious, which is certain death when you’re standing in front of a camera trying to sell the clothes off your back.

It didn’t help that at one point, while I was changing–so, like, not wearing clothes, being dressed by three different people at once–two of the women started talking about how much they thought I weighed in Chinese.

It didn’t occur to me to feel immediately offended because that’s a cultural thing that happens all the time in Taiwan. But it definitely did not make me feel good about myself. Especially considering the fact that it was a “plus-size” modeling shoot.

In Taiwan, I really am a lot bigger than most women. So, at US size 4, I am plus-sized.

I really admire plus-size models Stateside + felt really strange taking this job because, at least by America’s standards, I am pretty fit + at the small end of normal. I couldn’t help feeling as though I was taking the job from someone more qualified.

Furthermore I felt as though I was perpetuating a false trope about size. But when I mentioned to a male teacher (who is Taiwanese) that I booked a  modeling gig for a plus-size clothing catalog, without batting an eye he nodded saying, “Yes, but Taiwanese girls.” He was implying that here I am very much larger.

Anyway, these are the first shots that I’ve gotten from the company:

IMG-20130425-WA0001 IMG-20130425-WA0002 IMG-20130425-WA0000

I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the shots come out, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to do another modelling gig anytime soon.

If only I could have summoned my inner RuPaul during those down moments… YOU. BETTAH. WERK.

4 responses to “plus-sized in taiwan = size 4 US

  1. So glad you are loving your experience over there! You are stunning, thin, fit, and beautiful and your photos look amazing. I miss you! Come back soon! Bring me pair of those shoes. ;D

  2. I’m about a size 4 or 6 in US sizes, plus I’m of Chinese descent, and I also feel out of place whenever shopping in China or Asia in general! At least you seem to have height on your side though!

  3. Pingback: culture shock | apples and azaleas·

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