Plus-size model Katrina Gumabao has had a whirlwind year. From visiting new cities to falling in love, she’s also walked the runway for Pulp Fashion Week Paris, and most stunningly, New York Fashion Week.
Things are looking up for this gorgeous girl, who maintains that her healthy attitude in life comes from the grace of God. “Behind every milestone this year was perseverance, prayer and a lot of tears. It wasn’t smooth sailing from day one… but because of faith and love, it was all made possible by my Lord, Jesus Christ,” she shares on her Facebook page. And we learned that it’s that faith that continues to guide her even on difficult days when she struggles to find self-confidence.
We got to catch up with her to talk about her new journey as a US-based model, her experience competing in a modeling contest, and the things she’s grateful for.
Can you tell us about walking at NYFW for Torrid? What made you decide to join?
Walking for Torrid was an amazing experience. From the casting to the interview to the flights, and meeting the other models. [The] photoshoot, makeup, trying on the clothes for the first time…it was surreal! Something I pray I will do again.
I honestly decided to just go for it. I had my doubts. I was auditioning through their online process, and they had physical auditions that I couldn’t attend. So I thought to myself that this was a long shot, [but] when I got the email that they wanted to do a face-to-face Skype interview, I was speechless.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from the experience?
I learned that when the courage to chase your dreams is accompanied with audacious faith and prayer, miracles happen.
What drew you to modeling? Was it something that you felt passionate about since the beginning?
I think every little girl has this desire to being all made up and dressed up as a profession when she grows older. I had that aspiration too, but of course growing up to be big in a country that doesn’t celebrate diversity, I shook [off] that thought early on.
“Be yourself and express it in every way!“
I took my chance in 2016 and auditioned for Melbourne Fashion Week Plus, and the rest is history. I decided to really pursue it because I saw that FINALLY, the Philippines was ready. I saw the positive effect it had on others, and I saw the good it can bring to people. I also felt that people needed a reminder of how valuable it is to love themselves first, to stop conforming to society and its ideals of beauty for both men and women.
I think it’s refreshing that you’ve got such a healthy mindset about your body. Where does your self-confidence come from?
It comes from knowing that God loves me no matter who I am, what I weigh and how I look. I didn’t always have a healthy mindset about myself. There are days when I still struggle with it, but knowing that I am loved for who I am always gets me [back] on track.
It’s clear that spirituality is very much at the center of your life. Have you always felt close to God, or was there a tougher journey behind that?
I was raised in a Catholic house, [and I] attended an all-girl Catholic school. I have always believed in God, but my journey to Christianity – knowing Jesus and His love for me was not a walk in the park! My father became a pastor after continuous study of the gospel. He gave us new rules at home which included [going to] church and Bible studies, and I rebelled against him.
I disobeyed him–I did my best to get away from his new regulations and his new “religion.” But my father was patient with me, and so was my mother. They prayed for me all the time, and what started as me being forced to do what they asked turned into actually doing it because I wanted to. I began to really participate in church and listen to teachings. I attended Bible studies and even went to Bible school. And until this day, I keep learning everyday about the greatness of Jesus in my life.
In your list of “answered prayers,” you listed turning thirty. Was there any worry or fear on your part about turning the big 3-0? What wisdom can you pass on to those about to make that milestone?
I was worried and afraid about turning 30 when I was 24/25 years old, but when I actually turned 30, I wasn’t afraid at all. Age is really just a number, and pressure is only there because you allow it to exist. Live your life at your own pace – it’s not a race nor is it a competition.
Three things you’re looking forward to in 2018?
- More answered prayers and miracles.
- More learnings and new beginnings.
- More love, for everyone.
Final question: Any particular fashion advice you want to give for a plus size girl?
NONE! DRESS HOWEVER WAY YOU LIKE. DRESS FOR YOURSELF. Be yourself and express it in every way!
Source: Lifestyle Network