Miss International Philippines 2017 Mariel de Leon has since moved on from beauty queen status to fully-embracing a career as a plus-size model.
In an Instagram post, Mariel de Leon announced that she has been signed by a reputable Ne York-based fashion agency True Model Management.
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I’m so excited to finally announce that I am now signed to True Model Management (@truemodelmgt) in NYC! 🖤 As a ‘bigger’ girl, I never thought I’d be able to fulfill my dream of modeling in the U.S… I grew up being surrounded by + seeing + hearing what the public and media said was ‘model worthy’, ‘beauty queen worthy’ or even just ‘beautiful’ thinking that I’m supposed to drastically change myself into something that I’m not just so I could ‘fit in’ or succeed ; Especially coming from an Asian country wherein the standards are even harder to measure up to… Well, thank God times have changed and the industry is now more diverse and accepting of different types of women and men! No matter the size, color, race, or background: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE WORTHY! Through the years I have learned to love myself even through rough times and even if nobody else did. Now, I am the strong and confident woman I’ve always wanted to be. Or should I say ‘confidently beautiful’ and thicc! 🍑 Thank you True Model Management for taking a chance on me! I won’t let you down. See you soon, New York! ✨ Thank you, Lord. 🙏🏻 P.S. I’m still signed under LVD Management (@leovdominguez) for work in the Philippines! 🖤 Photography: @sevenbarrettophoto @sevenbarretto Styling: @aldrin.ramos Makeup: @carissacielomedved Hair: @kiel.hair #truemodelmanagement #truemodel #truecurves #curvymodel #curvyfashion #plussize #plussizemodel #curvesarebeautiful #curvyconfidence #nyc
According to de Leon, it has always been her dream to be a model in the US. She never thought that she will be able to fulfill just that.
De Leon thanks everyone for helping her get to where she is right now.
She also imparts a message to people like her, the dreamers:
“You are beautiful and you are worthy!”