I’m Maddie Cruz and I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. I’m a diplomacy major, a writer, a plus size model and a body positivity advocate. Just like any other 20-something from my hometown, I’m just out here working my way around this whole adulting thing and trying to make it.
How will you describe your fashion style?
I would say it’s pretty unpredictable. On most days, you’d see me sporting an all-black ensemble. On other days, you’d see me wearing really loud or unmissable colors or prints. Sometimes, I go for that ‘off-duty’ look – leggings, a basic shirt and sneakers. Sometimes, I feel like going a little extra and I show up in make up, tons of accessories and heels. It really depends on how I’m feeling for that particular day.
Honestly, where I’m from, people still get a little shook whenever they see a plus sized woman feeling herself and just rocking that outfit unapologetically. And I guess, that’s the subliminal message I want to express with my fashion style – you’re free to wear whatever you want, never mind the stares, as long as it’s appropriate to the occasion and you’re not deliberately offending or hurting anybody.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
I’m going to try to make this as brief as possible: recently, at my school, they decided to hold a pageant that’s intended solely for plus size women. It’s the first time they ever came up with something like that and I won the title.
I think I consider it my proudest achievement so far because it’s able to encompass so many aspects of my life: having lived through abuse, rising above my body image issues, moving out at 19, working multiple jobs, battling with depression and anxiety, and so on.
It’s been a real struggle since I decided to go back to school. Winning that pageant just really put a lot of things into perspective. More so, it gave me a platform that enables me to speak to a larger audience about body positivity.
Which is the best compliment you have received?
There was this one time a follower messaged me on Instagram saying, “You were able to open my eyes to see things differently and now I see clearly that there are so many reasons to love life despite my size.”
It’s great when people compliment your style, your looks or even your achievements. But when someone, even just one person, tells you that what you do adds value to your life, that’s on a whole different level. Nothing compares to the kind of joy being able to help brings.
Is there any food or drink you can’t live without?
Milk tea, chicken wings, cheese and rice.
What hobbies and interests do you have?
I honestly think I’m a pretty boring person because all I ever do is go to school and TRY (emphasis on try) to get all the things on my to-do list done. I barely have time to fully commit to a hobby or sport.
I love dogs though. All of them. And history. And indoor cycling. I would rather do indoor cycling than go to a club.
If you can drop everything and go on a road trip, where will be your destination?
I’m not sure if this counts as a road trip as it involves riding a plane but if money wasn’t an object and time wasn’t an issue – I would go on a trip to London. I have always been an anglophile.
What do you not get about the opposite sex?
Whatever I don’t get about the men also applies to women. So yeah, nevermind. Lol! Haha.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Maddie. One question before we end, how do you define “sexy”?
I think being sexy goes beyond how you look or how much you weigh. To me, being sexy is all about how well you’re able to embrace yourself in a world that ceaselessly convinces you you’re never going to be enough. It’s possessing the type of energy that’s so contagious it doesn’t just draw people towards you – it uplifts them and inspires them to love life and be the best version of themselves.
Follow the stunning Maddie Cruz on:
MY STORY: psimonmyway.com/give-yourself-a-chance
Images courtesy of Maddie Cruz
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