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Rising Stars: Meet Hayley Herms

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

Hi Hayley, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Growing up, I always wanted to be a singer/performer and in the entertainment industry from a very early age. Naturally, that lead me into child acting and a few years later, I was discovered by a photographer on MySpace that wanted me to shoot a campaign with them! I was 12 and they had found my acting photos. It quickly made me feel like a chameleon like acting did (before the age of social media). But by the time I was in high school and social media came about – more and more opportunities were coming about for plus-size models and I knew I wanted to pursue it seriously full time. Skip forward to today after being in the industry over ten years – I’ve now been in Vogue Italia, a commercial in Times Square, a billboard on Sunset Blvd. and so much more. I feel so blessed, but it couldn’t have been possible without my dedication, consistency, and faith in myself and my dream!!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road has not been smooth at all between growing up facing diversity as a fat, female child and dealing with daily child abuse – I was struggling. Modeling and music were the only things that gave me hope and I literally had to fight for my life and my dreams Every. Single. Day.

While facing my own personal struggles at home, the industry almost had no work for plus size models or performers unless it was with a small independent brand or company and you were about 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 it cost a lot of personal time and money.

Slowly, but surely I never gave up and kept going. And when social media started growing, luckily so did the plus-size industry as well! Now the industry has made huge strides and we are seeing more diversity whether it is the models themselves, as well as the options for plus size assortment and variety in clothing. However, the plus-size industry still has SO much further to go and improvements it can make and grow in.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Overall, I am an entertainer – plus-size model, performer, songwriter, and actress. I am mostly known for being a plus-size supermodel. I’ve been in Vogue Italia, billboards, magazines, TV shows and more! What I am most proud of recently is a campaign I did for UOMA Beauty – not only did it make a giant billboard on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, you can now find my face in Nordstroms and Morphe Brush stores all over the United States!! Another career accomplishment I am known for and specialize in is – I started the first course for plus-size models on ‘How To Become A Plus Size Model’ and I independently coach and consult aspiring plus size models as well as help elevate established plus-size models careers. I got this question SO much for so many years from so many people so I am so happy I can help other people do the same and find success!

One amazing thing about me that sets me apart from most people is that I always knew what I wanted to do. I always knew I was going to be an entertainer and be a star which I think is very rare for a lot of people.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
The most amazing source of knowledge I have and listen to is my mentor and self-proclaimed “business bitch” – Brianne aka @the_huntswoman. I love Brianne because she has a “no bull shit” approach to everything even business. She is transparent, supportive, and her advice, website, and articles have single handily help me take my career to the next level and a few years ago, become a full-time model and content creator!! I highly recommend following her and reading/listening to ANYTHING she says, lol!

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Image Credits
Photographer @mendozaweiss Styling @annarothmilner Make up @josecorella Hair @michaelsilvahair

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