From modeling for big brands like Nordstrom and Ralph Lauren to documenting her adventures on her blog Wave Provocateur, Australian model Bree Warren is the epitome of every girl's dream. But Bree is much more than an awesome Australian accent and pretty face. As a plus-size model, Bree has stepped into a body positive activist role and has become an inspiration to many women and young girls alike.
Needless to say, when I was given the opportunity to talk to this amazing and empowering woman, I was beyond excited. Check out the interview below:
Spoon University: When did you begin modeling?
Bree Warren: I was actually scouted as a teenager twice but I never really started seriously thinking about modeling until I was in college in Australia. Then I went on a summer vacation to New York and that's when I was signed to a major agency.
Spoon: You’ve modeled for an impressive list of clients, such as ASOS, Nordstrom, Forever 21, and Ralph Lauren. Do you have a favorite photoshoot?
Bree: That’s such a hard question! I’ve been modeling for six years now, so it's really hard to choose. Honestly, the brand isn't what makes a photoshoot stand out. It’s more of the team or the photographer I get to work with or even the location. So my favorite locations have probably been either Tulum or the beach in Australia.
Spoon: I noticed you worked on a swimwear campaign for Tigerlily (an Aussie swim label) this year. Can you tell me a little bit about it?
Bree: Tigerlily was the first major swimwear brand in Australia to use plus-size models, so I think that’s pretty exciting. I had grown up with Tigerlily and had always loved the brand. It’s important for young girls to see not just one type of body, but a range of body sizes, so I think this campaign is a great step in the right direction and I really hope more brands begin to do this too.
Spoon: How did it feel when you found out you were considered a “plus-size” model?
Bree: At first, I wasn’t sure if this was something I wanted to do or if I wanted to be "that" girl. But once I started I totally took it on board. I may be considered plus-size, but it doesn’t bother me now. I don’t view myself as a number. Honestly, I know so many amazing models who are considered plus-size. It’s awesome because it’s a new era of modeling now.
Spoon: Have you ever been forced to change something about yourself for a shoot?
Bree: No, I’ve been very lucky! I’ve always been healthy and fit. Also, I’ve been extremely lucky to have the clients and agents that I have. They’re always supportive.
Spoon: If you could change anything about the fashion industry, what would it be?
Bree: I think that it’s important for young girls to see a range of body types in fashion. We now have much more diversity in fashion, which is awesome, but the majority of shoots still only feature one size. So we still have a long way to go. When you can look in a magazine and see a range of body types, that’s when we'll know that we have achieved.
Spoon: How do you think the fashion industry has affected people’s views of body image?
Bree: I grew up in a time where models were particularly small. This is the type of body we usually see. Now there’s a history of bad body image because we’ve only seen this one type of body. So, we need to change this cycle for the next generation by showing a range of body types.
Spoon: What is the best message you have ever received about body positivity?
Bree: Oh wow that’s hard! I’ve received a lot of great messages and there are definitely a lot of great quotes I’ve read. I think the best messages I’ve ever gotten are from girls on social media. I used to think that I didn’t have a voice or a place or anything to offer, but that all changed when I realized I could help young girls believe in themselves and be more confident. Some of these girls have said “you’re more than just your size” and I think this quote is a great message.
Spoon: What advice would you give your teen self now?
Bree: I think I would go back and tell myself to not worry about the small stuff and to take more risks. Oh, and to have more confidence in my body! I was a little bit bigger, broader, and taller than others, so I always felt so much bigger than other kids. I think when we’re that age we tend to compare ourselves to that skinny ideal so much more. So, I guess I just wish I had been much more confident and didn’t worry about my size.
Spoon: If you could give women or young girls advice about loving their bodies and feeling comfortable in their own skin, what would you say?
Bree: We’re all created differently and that’s ok! I would tell them to be healthy and active, as well as happy and confident. You also have to live and have fun. There’s so much more to life than worrying about your size.
Spoon: I understand that photoshoots can be very long. What is your favorite go-to snack to keep you going through the day?
Bree: Tough question! We actually don’t get to choose what we eat when we’re on set because it’s usually catering. But if I could choose, I’d want bananas, almond butter, raw cacao, and black chia seeds. It keeps you fuller longer and it gives you energy. I also love green smoothies!
Spoon: I know that you are a pretty healthy eater, but do you have a favorite junk food?
Bree: I don’t actually have a sweet tooth, but I love pizza and pasta. They’re my go-to indulgences. Oh! Definitely wine too.
Spoon: I saw your blog, Wave Provocateur. It looks like you have gotten to travel to a lot of cool places. What was your favorite place you have visited so far?
Bree: Oh gosh, it’s so hard to narrow it down to just one! It’s not on the blog just yet, but so far this year I visited Panama. There’s this area that you get to by boat. There’s a bungalow over the water, a bar, and an awesome surf spot. It was amazing!
Spoon: What is the strangest thing you have eaten while traveling?
Bree: I actually haven’t eaten that many strange things, so I guess like snails in France. Oh! I ate camel meat once! I wouldn’t recommend it at all. It’s so gross. I don’t know if this is strange, but I’ve also eaten alligator. It’s weird because it tastes like chicken. I’m not really into trying new and crazy foods.