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Proud mother touts daughter’s full figure success

Proud mother Vanessa and Monique

Proud mother Vanessa and Monique

Proud mother touts daughter’s full figure success

By Derek Joy

There are countless reasons for mothers to be proud of their children. Some multiply when it is an only child – a daughter.

That is the case for Vanessa Thomas when she speaks of her daughter, Monique Robinson.

It all begins with the obstacles Thomas had to overcome in being a single parent while raising Robinson.

The obstacles were no less daunting for Robinson, a 2000 graduate of Pompano Beach Blanche Ely High School, who went on to earn an undergraduate degree in psychology from Clark Atlanta University and graduate degree in mental health counseling from Nova Southeastern University.

“I’m just a proud parent. She’s my only child. She’s from Pompano. I cried myself to sleep many nights because I didn’t know where I’d get the money to support us,” said Thomas, a stock clerk with Broward District Schools.

“I lived in public housing for seven years, longer than I wanted to. I worked three jobs at times, two jobs while I was pregnant with her, did that until I reached nine months.”

Mother and daughter persevered through the rough times. That Robinson graduated from high school was indeed a challenge and an accomplishment. Earning undergraduate and graduate degrees were elevated challenges conquered by Robinson.

Obviously, such academic success in the face of daunting odds is ample reason to make any parent proud. But there is more.

There were deaths in the family to cope with, in addition to the pressures of coming from a single parent home where that parent works two and three jobs to make ends meet.

“She’s in Queens, N.Y., working as a case manager for Safe Heaven Group Home for girls who were forced into prostitution against their will,” Thomas said, in giving another reason she is proud of Robinson.

“And she’s really progressing as a full figure model. This month she is on the cover of Plus Size Model Magazine.  They list her among the Top 10 Plus Size Models for 2014. She’s the only Black on that list.

“My daughter has gone further than some of the other full figure models who have been in the business much longer.  I just want her to know how proud I am of her. Just something I want to do to let her know I love her in case something happens to me.”

Added reason for a mother to be proud, so, too, is Robinson’s success as a Plus Size Model for Ashley Stewart during Fashion Week Show in New York.

Being tabbed as one of the Top 10 Plus Size Models to look for in 2014 signals heightened success for Robinson, 32, and for Thomas, 53. The best seems yet to come for both.

“It’s a good thing for full figure models to finally get some recognition. They have been disrespecting the full figure woman. Major designers don’t have any women of color on the runway.

“It’s changing now. I’m glad because plus size women are beautiful. Like they say; ‘to each his own’. I’m happy about how my daughter turned out, especially coming from a single parent home,” added Thomas, who noted her daughter, Robinson, is a size 16.

Thomas also sees her daughter’s success as an inspiration, not only to full figure women, but women in general who face daunting challenges in life.

“The plus size industry is really growing now. What people don’t know is that the aver-age size woman is now a 12. That’s why the plus size is growing. People are beginning to realize that all women are not the size of the models you see in magazines and fashion shows,” said Thomas.


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