Posted on: 02/21/2015

Model Denise Bidot Hopes the Term "Plus-Size"

Beauty is beauty, no matter its size. That"s the belief of Denise Bidot, the first plus-size model to walk in New York Fashion Week. "I think other people have a problem with [the term "plus-size"] more than I do," she told Cosmopolitan. "I don"t care what you call me. I"m glad to even have a place in this fashion industry. Plus-size, straight-size, in-betweenie � I don"t care regardless." She does hope, however, that one day people won"t be defined by such a limited term. "I"m just a woman," she continues. "I"m a curvy woman, and hopefully someday they do end up cutting out the word "plus-size." But for right now it"s nice to just have a section for us." Before pursuing modeling, Bidot auditioned for acting roles and was often criticized for her weight. "I was always sassy and curvaceous growing up, and when I got into acting, I was told that was a flaw," she explains. "It was always, "If you lost 10-15 lbs. you"d be perfect, because you have the leading lady personality but the best friend body type." I was like, what are all these rules? I don"t want to lose those 10-15 lbs. I have no problem with my shape." Part of her confidence came from seeing other curvy women in the mainstream media. "I never wanted to waste my time trying to fit in with an ideal of perfection," says Bidot. "I grew up in a generation that had the Jennifer Lopezes and the Beyonces, and all these women coming out proving that you can be curvaceous and still be accepted and be mainstream or beautiful." Her self-confidence inspired others, and helped her become even more comfortable in her own skin. "I started getting messages from girls about how much they were inspired by my pictures, and somewhere in the process of finding myself and these girls reaching out, I found my confidence," says the model. "I had to stand up for what I believed in because I didn"t realize there were women out there struggling because they didn"t have someone to stand up for them." Now the mother of a 6�-year-old daughter, Bidot is even more aware of the importance of a healthy self-image. "There"s this extra fire," she says. "Now that I have a kid, I have way more to prove than I did before. I always tell her, "You"re perfect just the way you are." I want her to feel fully confident in who she is."