LVG Contributor Series: Model, Lornalitz Baez. Dicen que beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So my kind of beautiful (and I tend to think it should be everyone’s idea of beauty) is the kind that is comfortable in their own skin. The type of belleza that is beyond the body. The mind and the soul. The kind of person you are. (News flash: A “beautiful” face or body fades over time). So young girls shouldn’t idolize the “models” that show their ass on Instagram for fame. They should idolize strong women who fight every day to change the stereotype of what it means to be beautiful. The women who think having a career and their own money is beautiful. The women who stand for other women and don’t feel the need to break them apart in order to rise is beautiful. The women who refuse to conform to societal standards set by people with outdated beliefs and ignorant principals are beautiful. I personally find a woman who is smart, funny, adventurous, supports other women and isn’t afraid to give props when props are due is beautiful. The kind of woman who is truly happy when another woman succeeds, or finds love, or gets a new opportunity, no envy, is beautiful.
My kind of beautiful also consists of belleza’s like Lornalitz who supports the very notion of being comfortable with who you are, just as you are and making a career out of it. I had the chance to chat with this charismatic and self-assertive beauty when I first met her at a party last summer. The mutual adoration was instant and so was the support of praising each other’s accomplishments. When I had to think about the next person to feature for the LVG Contributor series, Lorna was a no brainer. Entonces aqui esta my interview.
LVG: What inspired you to start modeling and what was your first move?
LB: As a little girl, I remember running in front of the camera to strike a pose at family functions. Having no clue that what I was doing would one day turn into my career (smile). My mother signed me up to compete in Beauty pageants. I finished 1st runner up for the Miss Puerto Rico national day pageant and my big break came when I auditioned for Jennifer Lopez, J.LO clothing model search in New York City. There were over 1300 beautiful Latinas auditioning, I made Top 3 in NYC and was given the opportunity to meet with Jennifer and her fashion company. This experience opened the door to the beginning of what was to come of my modeling career.
LVG: What life experiences led you to this point?
LB: Having supporting parents. Believing in myself enough to know I can do anything my heart desires and most importantly putting God first.
LVG: What are some beauty tips that you can’t live without?
LB: As a Model, I am constantly in hair and makeup and usually working with different hair/makeup artists, which means that my skin and hair are subjected to the style of that particular stylist. I am under harsh lights and I travel constantly. With my demanding schedule, keeping hydrated is important. I drink 1 gallon of water every day. Before a big work day, I get at least 7-8 hours of rest. After a long shoot day, I wipe off the makeup to let my face breathe (unless I have a special event to attend that evening). I am a Curvy woman who loves to work out and it is part of my daily life routine. I keep my body in shape by rotating different workouts weekly. Dance, Spinning, Pilates and Circuit training is what keeps me fit. Lastly, on my days off I give my hair and skin a break, this means I am makeup free and hair up in a loose bun 🙂
LVG: What are some of your all-time beauty products?
LB: I like to wash my face with products which will protect the natural oils my face produces without clogging my pores. I found Cetaphil cleanser to work best on my skin. The moisturizer cream I use is CeraVe because it helps my skin stay hydrated and nourished. For my hair, I do an at home hair mask, once a week, which is pretty much either Olive oil and/or Avocado. Simple yet effective.
LVG: Does your Latin heritage have any influence with your fashion and makeup style?
Maybe. LOL. I think being of Puerto Rican decent, born and raised in New York City could sometimes play a part in my fashion and makeup style. Especially the moments I decide to wear a fitted t-shirt, tight jeans, heels and hoop earrings (haha). I dress depending on my mood and the weather. I don’t really follow fashion trends but I am not opposed to them. My fashion style is somewhere in between Edgy Rocker Style to Sassy Trendy Chic.
LVG: Any advice for any girls looking to break into this industry?
Yes! Never allow anyone to define who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. You must have thick skin and a positive attitude to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Know your worth. Perfect your talent. Believe in yourself and keep moving forward. Despite what you do, you can’t please everyone. So focus on doing you.
LVG: What are some key things that you learned along the way?
LB: This is a good question and one I think I haven’t been asked before. I’ve learned a lot and I continue to learn each passing day but the most important key thing I have learned has to do with, ME. Working in an industry which depicts you from your height, size and ethnicity can be discouraging. What I try to promote is not only size diversity but diversity all around. Throughout my modeling career, I was told you’re too fat or too small, too dark or you’re not “Latina” enough. “You’re too this and you’re too that” is what it could feel like most of the time. I could’ve allowed this negativity to affect me but I decided instead to take a stand. I am Latina, Puerto Rican with Asian mix, I have Curly hair, Tanned skin and Curvy Fit Body. I am an advocate for healthy fit curves as well as pushing ethnic diversity within the fashion industry. I own who I am.
LVG: How was your transition from standard modeling to plus size modeling and are you happy with your decision? What led you to this decision?
LB: At the age of 12, I wore a size 12 and was told I needed to lose weight to have a successful modeling career. Being so naïve and easily manipulated I fell into what most young models fall into today, developing an eating disorder. As I matured into a young woman, I began to see how beautiful my curvy body was and I fell in love with the way God created me. With the support of close family and friends I began to gain my healthy weight back and confidence. Shortly after, I was presented with the opportunity to appear on a reality show which led me to star in another reality show called “Curvy Girls”, a show based around the lives of successful full-figured models. I am very happy. Making the choice to Love myself was the best decision I’ve made for my career by far.
LVG: Any misconceptions about the modeling industry that you would like to clear up?
LB: The misconception in which Plus size models don’t work out and eat bad. I can only speak for myself when I say this but this is wrong because I exercise. I work out for three reasons; For good health, It’s a mood regulator and I love it
LVG: What’s next for you? Any new projects?
LB: I work full time modeling for top clients; Torrid, NYDJ, Nordstrom, Charlotte Russe, Macy’s, Forever21, Just Fab, to name a few. I am in the process of developing a program to connect with the female younger generation and women, on the importance of living a healthy fit lifestyle as a Curvy girl/woman. As well as continuing to use my platform as a Model who’s proud of her Curves, Curls and Tanned complexion, to bring awareness to the need of all around Diversity in Fashion & Film. I am also taking my Acting career to the next level, auditioning this pilot season. Fingers crossed!