Local Model Andria Williams Wants to Redefine the Plus Size Label
If it were possible to change the way plus size models were portrayed in the industry, Andria Williams would.
Known in the industry and by friends as “The Good Diva,” Williams has been a model, actor and voice talent since 1998, with a five-year break between then and now when she was an on-air DJ for Radio One. Identifying with words like curvy, ample and delicious, Williams did not recognize her figure as “plus size” from the beginning of career.
“I was aware that there was something about me that may not be mainstream,” Williams said. “I don’t refer to myself as plus size – that is something that the fashion industry has used and quite frankly, it’s a little fad.”
The industry’s definition of a plus size model is not what Williams envisions in her head when she thinks of the term.
“They (plus size models) are either average or above average, and because they’re not a size 0, 2 or 4, they’re considered to be in the plus size category,” Williams said.
Williams had a tough time before breaking into the industry because of her fear of getting rejected for her body type. Due to that fact, she is constantly encouraging men and women who are afraid of stepping into the world of fashion because of their body size, to see the possibilities of being a model in Columbus.
“It’s not just about walking down a runway, it’s about representing a product, and especially in the Ohio-area, they’re looking for average-looking people,” Williams said. “That’s what’s amazing about being in the industry and being on the curvy side — a client eventually will say, ‘Yep, she looks just like a mom who I will see on the streets.’”
While Williams is more involved as a voiceover talent and a print model, she still counts her blessings for being in Columbus where a budding fashion industry exists.
“We’ve had some really wonderful movers and shakers who have tried very, very hard to reproduce what New York, Miami and Atlanta have done,” Williams said. “There are so many things happening in the Columbus metropolitan area in regards to fashion because there are so many wonderful talented Columbus designers who are trying to showcase their fashion.”
When asked about the highlight of her career, Williams noted that it’s tough for her to choose an instance.
“Every time someone gets a job, they’re just excited to be chosen, and to get paid for it,” Williams explained. “There have been some notable things but I think I can go higher. I can be your next Oprah. The world is my oyster.”
Photos provided by Andria Williams.