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    Friday, December 01, 2006
    Jean Paul Gaultier's Size 28 Runway Model Talks to Entertainment Tonight....

    Plus-Size Velvet's Eating Disorder Past

    VELVET d'AMOUR is the plus-sized model who made waves and international headlines last month when she walked the runway at JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER's fashion show in lacy black lingerie.

    Now, our KEVIN FRAZIER is in Paris as Velvet shows him how she makes big women beautiful and how she's hoping to change the perception of beauty.

    "If I'm fat [or] if I'm thin, I feel like I'm beautiful," Velvet tells Kevin. "I think that is more about confidence than how one looks physically."

    But Velvet wasn't always so accepting of her body. When she was a teen, Velvet had tried modeling in the States, but even at a svelte 120 pounds, agents told her she was too big.

    "In order to stay thin, one avoided eating for all necessity," she tells Kevin. "I would have jello, and I would mix it with hot water, and I would drink it before it was set so that I would feel a sensation of being full, when I was quite hungry, in fact."

    But it didn't quite work like she expected. "I was literally so hungry that I was obsessed by food," she says.

    "There was a time when I very much hated my body, when I started gaining weight after I had tried so very much to lose weight," she explains. "In that cycle I would starve myself to death and i would eat tons of food."

    But now, Velvet has a healthier body image and confidence to spare, and it's something she exudes for photographer PASCAL BOISSIER as she poses for a photo shoot. This confidence is something she hopes to inspire in other plus-sized models.

    "Twenty-eight," she says matter-of-factly when asked her size. "Not a size 20 as has been purported on the Internet. Clearly, if you weigh near 300 pounds, you're not a size 20."

    While she does model now, Velvet began as a photographer, and that remains her first love. Kevin caught up with Velvet to watch her work behind the camera as she shot photos of three "BBWs" -- "Big Beautiful Women." And she doesn't shy away from the sexy shots with her plus-sized models.

    "I think part of what is powerful is sexuality and being sexy and feeling sexy," she says.

    Velvet has found the positive in being big instead of the negative of not being stick thin. "If you want to spend your life hating yourself and being with people who don't like you, that's an option," she says. "But certainly you have the option to love yourself and to live in the moment."

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