Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mia Amber Davis: Plus Model and Advocate Gone Too Soon

On May 10, 2011, the plus model industry lost one of it’s brightest stars.
Mia Amber Davis paved the way for aspiring full figured models around the world. I was shocked and brought to tears when I discovered she died at only 36 after knee surgery. It was almost as if I lost one of my heroes.

Davis used every opportunity to set positive examples for women of every color, shape and size. Observing her effort inspired me to embrace who I am today while working toward being the best me possible. She was a model, an advocate for plus size acceptance and the kindest spirit I’ve ever witnessed.

In 2009, I remember watching a CNN special on obesity, where Davis defended overweight men and women, referring to size-ism as the “last acceptable prejudice”. Her argument was valid, however, I’m not sure if her words were respected. I understood exactly where she was going with her statements and at that point, I knew Mia Amber Davis was more than a pretty face. She was passionate about making a difference for those who thought they’d never have a chance in today’s society.

Prior to her appearance on CNN and before becoming (in my eyes) the most popular Black plus model to date, Davis appeared in the movie Road Trip and lost over 100 pounds shortly after. Davis said that in order for her to become a model, (even in the plus industry) she had to lose weight. She also felt necessary to do so after a nearly fatal car accident, where she found herself repeatedly telling the emergency crew “I’m sorry I’m fat” while they struggled to carry her from the crash. At that time, Davis was 300 pounds. She knew a change was needed for her to improve her life and as a result, began working out and eating healthy. After losing a tremendous amount of weight, Davis went on to model for Ashley Stewart, Monif C. and was a frequent runway model on BET’s Rip the Runway.

Through all of this, she still remained an advocate for men and women battling obesity.

To this day, I’m still in shock that one of my role models is gone. Just days before her death, I remember her tweeting that she was excited about her future. Her fight and her success inspire me to be as excited for my future as she was for her own. Her story is an example of determination and the result of hard work.

Mia Amber Davis’ legacy will live on through me as I plan on helping others love who they are while working toward a healthier, happier future. Mia was all about having a positive view of self regardless of outward appearance. I want to encourage the same mentality among my readers, friends, family and everyone else.

Mia Amber Davis, you will be missed but never forgotten. You were truly a blessing to me. Rest in Peace.

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