get to know the cover models By Madeline Jones christina mendez How long have you been modeling? I entered the world of plus size modeling in 2006. But I modeled briefly in high school. How did you get started as a model? I always loved the world of fashion and while in high school, my Spanish teacher created a Fashion Committee where he taught us how to work a runway. The experience was like “love at first sight”. We did various fashion shows and photo shoots but nothing that I envisioned doing because my body type did not resemble the models in the media or in magazines. I later attended college and had a son who was diagnosed with severe Autism at two years old so my love for modeling was put on the back burner for many years. I dedicated all my time to researching Autism and finding ways to help my son better get better. As a young mother, all the stress and sleepless nights took a toll on my spirit, personality and appearance. But it was totally worth it. My son is now a teenager, who speaks multiple languages, can communicate via sign language and is friendly and outgoing. He achieved many of the things they said he wouldn’t. After experiencing the blessing of seeing my child blend in with the world, I was able to reflect on myself and collect a few things I left in the back burner… modeling was one of the things I decided to explore again. I saw a casting online for a runway show, booked it and the rest is history.