Denise Bidot is breaking ground in the fashion industry. A size 14, she has walked the runways at New York Fashion Week and represented brands like Levi’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Victoria's Secret and Forever 21. Her latest project is a Mother’s Day campaign for Lane Bryant that features both Bidot and her 7-year-old daughter, Joselyn.
Bidot, who is of Puerto Rican and Kuwaiti descent, has been taking her daughter with her to work since Joselyn was a toddler, but she says the "Thank You, Mom" shoot for Lane Bryant was one of the most special of her career.
“My daughter expressed interest in being a model. Of course, I hesitated about it,” Bidot told Fox News Latino.
“But the day we did the mommy-and-me shoot, it was like everything just came together. This is the only industry she’s known. She’s soaking it in from the inside-out. She’s had a lot of opportunities seeing models, and what they really look like without makeup. She understands the full-production, and then there’s the retouching. She knows that people don’t really look like the end result.”
Bidot says her own mother has been one of her biggest supporters and inspirations.
She says her mother grew up part of a generation that believed in the thin-is-beautiful aesthetic, going so far as to yo-yo with her weight on diets for much of her life. Nevertheless, Bidot is who she is because of her mother – and even rebelled against the fashion establishment in becoming a model with curves.
“My mom has helped my daughter understand that there’s a beauty in diversity," Bidot said, "and my career has helped my mom find her beauty, and she’s finally accepted her body.”
Bidot says the movement of plus-size modeling is bigger than just utilizing models with a variety of body types in the world of fashion – it’s about changing definitions of beauty.
“We’re chopping at the ice block, but we’re in such a beautiful place. I always say there’s no wrong way to be a woman. It’s not about being curvy or skinny – it’s about being happy and finding your beauty regardless of the outside,” Bidot said.
“To be in 2016 and in the year of the woman is really powerful. For every girl out there who feels like the underdog or felt like she wasn’t pretty enough," Bidot said, "she’s just got to look in the mirror and know that she’s beautiful.”