Born in California and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jessica Frieling is multi-talented. And busy. She is also one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet, not to mention gorgeous.
I met Jessica over a year ago working on a local community theater production of Picnic where she did the hair and makeup design. She is an inspiration to me, and not only because she has more talent in her little finger than I wish I had. She comes across as confident and comfortable in her own skin. She has that je ne sais quoi about her that makes you want to be her best friend. When I wanted to start writing about plus-size fashion, Jessica was the first person I reached out to. Who better to collaborate with than another plus-sized girl with great style and an even better attitude?
Jessica grew up in musical theater and fell into hair and makeup by chance. "My mother was a hairdresser and when I was real little, she and my father owned a salon. I sort of grew up around it." It was a production of Cabaret over 10 years ago that got Jessica really started in makeup design. "My best friend was playing Sally Bowles and she lent me her Kevyn Aucoin books to help inspire me. Well, it did and then some. Those books were an incredible starting place for me. I still will send them to people when they tell me they want to be a makeup artist. Kevyn Aucoin was a master!" In 2005, Jessica graduated from Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles, California. She spent three years working in LA on and off, and still goes back frequently for work (and Disneyland!).
"I am obsessed with Beth Ditto! That girl just exudes confidence and fearlessness! Cannot get enough of her!" [you may remember singer-songwriter Beth Ditto when she appeared nude on the cover of London's Love Magazine in 2009]
"My style is kind of all over the place! I love bright colors, Beatles tees and jeans and boho maxi dresses! Oh and sequins, obsessed with sequins! You can't go through over 20 years of theater and not have a little flair for the dramatic."
"Over the years, I've definitely struggled with my weight. I've lost a lot, and gained a lot. But, at some point I just decided to stop focusing on the scale, and focus more on working on myself. The most important thing to do at really any size is to learn how to love and accept yourself... It's not always easy to feel beautiful in a world of digitally enhanced perfection... It's very frustrating at times. We live in a country where the average sized woman is a 12 or 14, but you don't see that on TV, in movies or in fashion. A plus-size model is around a size 10. That just doesn't make sense to me! Sometimes, it feels all but impossible to just accept yourself at any size, large or small, because we've been taught to live up to unattainable standards of beauty."
"All women are beautiful. It's time to start loving our so called flaws and imperfections. I think in the end it all starts with yourself. Because if you can't change your perception of yourself, how can you ever change others' perceptions?"
Well said, girl.
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