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Lindsey Pelas: “Strength is Not a Goal. It’s Just Who I Am.”

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You’re originally from the South, Louisiana to be exact. Were you ever treated differently as a model there versus how you’re treated in L.A.?

I think so. In Louisiana, because I’m curvy and busty, just walking to the grocery store wearing a tank top, people are outwardly mean about it there. They don’t accept body types. They relate showing skin to being a character flaw. I remember when I left, I saw this Facebook post about a [local] seafood restaurant that posted signs [refusing service] to women in tank tops or maxi dresses, anything that showed shoulder. I think people in the South like to get away with whatever they legally can. I find it really nasty. They’re not huge fans of women or people making it their own way.

Who are your biggest style influences?

That’s tough. I love Erica James and Dorit Kemsley. Anyone on Bravo, I’m pretty much copying.

You definitely get a lot of male attention on your Instagram. How do you handle the ones who are aggressive?

I don’t give it too much attention. The problem is, with trolls, all they really want is attention. They like a response, good or bad, so I try not to engage. The only time I engage is when I can make an example or a joke. On Twitter, I’ll try to keep it funny or sometimes I’ll tweet a response to show people that this stuff really happens all of the time. It’s less about how it affects me. I’ll only respond if it serves a purpose. I could care less about what anyone thinks. I don’t think anyone who insults me online actually means it.

With your glamorous persona, do you feel pressure to dress up or look sexy every time you leave the house or is getting dressed up something you naturally love to do?

I definitely feel the pressure to be more glamorous. I [once] had a TV camera and photographers waiting for me at the airport. I looked so bad and felt so gross. I just couldn’t be filmed like that. I missed an opportunity to engage with someone because I wasn’t dressed up.

More of this interview on the next page …

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