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Meet Hayley Herms

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hayley Herms.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Hayley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started modeling in the 7th grade. I grew up singing and acting, and child acting lead me naturally into modeling. I had posted some of my acting shots on Myspace when I was 12 (I had always looked older), and photographer hit me on Myspace and asked me if I would shoot for Ed Hardys plus size line at the time. I asked my mom, and she said yes, and I went on set the next week and felt like a chameleon – I LOVED it! By high school, I started taking modeling more and more seriously, and by junior year I dropped out, enrolled in a program to get a diploma and graduated high school a year early to pursue modeling and being an entertainer full time!

By the end of high school, social media had really become a great part of the world and was a tool I started using early on to get me seen by people and finding modeling jobs because most agencies at the time didn’t really have plus size divisions and/or castings esp. if you were over a size 12/14. I found Instagram and started using that as a platform which really helped open a lot of doors for me. There was finally space where plus size modeling was flourishing, could be found easily, and you could connect with others fast!

After hard work and constant dedication, countless hours practicing, and networking – I am where I am today! Today, I am one of the only size 20 plus size models in the WORLD, AND I am signed to three different agencies! I have started the FIRST online plus size modeling courses for aspiring models, I do what I love full time, and I’m constantly working to help others as well, achieve self-love.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has not been smooth at all. I started modeling when I was 12, but life was not easy growing up. I was struggling and hiding the fact that I was going through violent child abuse every day in my house. Modeling and music were the only things that gave me hope, but with constant bruises, no way to drive or leave, and emotional struggles, it was hard. I had to fight for myself and my dream every.single.day.

While facing my own personal struggles at home, the industry almost had no work for plus size models unless it was with a small independent brand or company and you were under a size 12/14 with no stomach, no arm fat, no nothing – everywhere was a big fat NO. I still loved working with small brands to gain the experience, but it almost NEVER paid and the drive was usually 2-3 hours one way. At some points, I felt like there was no hope for the industry or for me to be able to live full time as a model and pursue my dreams.

Slowly, but surely I never gave up and kept going, and now the industry has made huge strides since then in the past five years, but the PS industry still has sooo much further to go.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am an entertainer – plus-size model, singer, songwriter, rapper, and actress. I am mostly known for plus size modeling. You’ve seen me in places like Skorch Magazine, Buzzfeed, GL Magazine, and more! What I’m most proud of as of recent is started the first course for plus size models – my ‘How To Become A Plus Size Model’ online course. I get this question SO much, so I made a YouTube video about it, the video became so popular that it was and still is the second most viewed video about plus size modeling. Because of that, I decided to create a course that any person could take anywhere in the world to answer the burning question for thousands of people, how do I become a plus-size model!

What sets me apart from others is that I have a very different and unique background, so I always try to see things from every perspective. I work hard, I stay consistent, and I keep going no matter how hard things get. Nowadays people seem to give up fast when something doesn’t happen to them as fast as they thought or would have liked it too.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood just has to be my general memories of me performing whether it was me in musicals, talent shows, or performing solo – I just loved to perform, it’s always been my passion and probably always will be. Being able to express myself through different characters and songs gave me so much strength and courage and helped me focus on the brighter, better things in life.

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Image Credit:
Jessica Zepeda, Jessica Robles, Lou Monestime, Amanda Bourne, Brittany Berggren, Randall Williams, Stephanie Eloise

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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