Recently I had the opportunity to work with model Maggie Judge. A super cool and enthusiastic person Maggie made it really fun to shoot and create with on the fly. As a result I got a little inspired and decided to pick her brain a bit. So heres a little bit more about Maggie and her thought towards modeling, making art, and the things she likes.
JG: So who is Maggie Judge? Where are you from etc.?
MJ: I am from Chicago originally, but Moved to the Houston area about eight years ago. I am a Mother of four amazing, beautiful girls. I also work full time as a Hospice RN. I asked my best friend how she would describe me and she said I am a strong, confident, soulful, nature loving, inspiring friend and mother.JG: Woooo Another Chicagoan like myself! And a lovely mother indeed. And tell us how long you’ve been modeling?
MJ: I have been modeling for seven months! I won a free Boudoir photo session and when I received the photos from that shoot I started posting them on Facebook local modeling pages where a photographer saw my work and wanted to work with me. So I started the month of December 2017 with 227 Instagram followers and in 7 months I’m a little over 25, 000 organic followers!
JG: What kind of investments and sacrifices have you made that you think aspiring models should be prepared for mentally?
MJ: The main investment is time. Working full time and being a mother of four can make that very challenging. I try to balance it by utilizing weekends when my children are with their father to do most shoots. I work a night shift so I also spend several days per week doing shoots as well as networking and preparing therefore sacrificing sleep! Social media networking has been a large part of growing my network and booking work. I spend probably eight hours per day on that alone. Newsflash: new Models don’t make much money! Until you build your portfolio up enough to begin to bring in people who want to shoot you and will pay you for your time. So you have to factor in using your own money on attire, makeup, travel etc.
JG: This is very true, so you’ve been modeling for only a few months now and have clearly already made a huge impact- where do you see your modeling career in the next few years?
MJ: In a few years I hope to have the ability to make a living in this industry full time. I am currently working on a family travel show and several movie scripts. I would love to see that my greatest success would be changing beauty standards and helping future generations of women find true beauty in themselves and be comfortable in their own bodies. And if I can dream wildly for a moment? I want to work with Zach Braff on my movie! I’m a huge nerd, I know, but I add #zachbraff #zachbraffreadmyscript to just about every post I make. Who knows, maybe one day it will happen!
JG: I definitely have that celebrity “List” of people I want to work with so I feel you on that Zach Braff action. So in terms of parenting have you found it difficult to juggle being a mother of four with your new modeling career?
MJ: Time management is key. My girls will always be my priority. Most models don’t have children so the industry is not always familiar with working around that schedule. I feel that my girls witnessing the confidence and acceptance of someone “atypical” to modeling is great for their self image. I feel that the world needs to know beauty and success comes in all shapes and sizes.
JG: I totally agree. Being a plus size model I could imagine that you’ve faced a lot of praise as well as maybe some criticism, how have you over come the obstacles of being in the ‘public eye’?
MJ: Safety is my primary concern. Being aware of my surroundings and being selective about who I interact with and allow into my space is very important. I know that anyone in this situation will be criticized for SOMETHING. You have to know who you are and believe in that person and realize that the public eye doesn’t know who you actually are they only see you as they want to see you.
JG: In terms of fashion and style, what “Defines” your style? I guess what I mean is what inspires you and what do you like to wear that makes you feel extra sexy, confident or fashion forward?
MJ: I feel the sexiest when I am honest and true about myself. I feel at one in nature and I like my style to reflect that as well. I love lace! It can be intimidating when youre meeting with fashionistas, so I dress for myself, not for them. That is when I feel my most confident.
JG: What are your thoughts on the future of plus sized fashion? And even more importantly what do you think could be improved?
MJ: I think that it is the future. I think it’s time that the fashion industry really starts to Market to real women and make them feel empowered instead of making them feel bad that they don’t look like an airbrushed version of someone much younger than them. My one issue with the plus-size modeling world is the need to have to label them as plus-sized. I think that we are all models and we should be labeled as such. Traditional models do not have to label themselves as traditional model so why should I have to label myself as a plus-size model!
JG: I say the same thing to people a lot, I really want to kind of eliminate the term “Plus-sized”. So recently we had a chance to shoot and that went really well, I could honestly say you’re a pleasure to work with and we definitely got some cool edgy shots done in no time! And had a lot of good laughs. So being a Chicagoan like myself what do you miss the most about our beloved city? Fashion wise and culture wise?
MJ: I would have to say I miss the month of September in Chicago. There is magic in the air. The sun is shining and it is warm but the breeze is cool and has that smell of winter. It reminds you of the impending doom of six months of below zero weather! And you can see the frenzy in everyone around you. Everyone is outside as much as possible trying to soak up all the sunshine they can get. And I really really miss wearing big jackets and sweaters and boots and that winter Garb. You cannot wear that stuff here in Houston! In fact I have this gorgeous Guess wool coat that I have not worn in years because it never gets cold enough here!
JG: I love my winter clothes, I miss my winter clothes. So do you have any future projects coming up?
MJ: Yes many projects! I am working with Carol Jillian dress designer for some wedding shoots for spring publication. There’s even a cross-country road trip editorial and I’m really excited about putting on my first fashion show the middle of September at George R Brown with Uplyft Studios. It’s a gaming and fashion charity event showcasing non-traditional models which is going to be incredible!
JG: Thats exciting indeed! So lets get a few words of inspiration, what message do you have for young men and women out there who share your dream?
MJ: Don’t give up. I know sometimes that’s easier said than done but if you wake up in the morning and all you can think about is your dream, then you have to do everything in your power with an open and honest heart to make that dream come true.
Thanks Maggie! You can see more of Maggie as well as her current and past projects by following her on Instagram at: