Stephanie, The Triple Threat
Emily discovered Stephanie on social media and there was something about her that stood out. After the stalking period, Em decided to reach out and with great surprise, got a happy response! We (thecnnekt) wanted to get to know on an intimate level and this is what the lovely Triple Threat revealed:
Miss BellaBombshel, what did you want to be when you were a little girl and how did that journey into your current path?
Well, funny enough I do remember having for many years in my childhood room a giant yellow hanging star I made in nursery school that read “When I grow up I want to be….a Princess!” Dream big right? I find that hilarious yet it also makes sense. I can attribute that "career goal" to my desire to lead, hope to present myself as a strong fierce female role model and conquer it all while in Full Glam.
Although today I have a very different idea of the Princess I'd be, I have to admit I've always been attracted to fabulous gowns, Disney's Princess perfect hair and makeup. You could say many times I have felt like royalty on set playing dress up as a Plus Model. I am so grateful I get to have that kind of fun yet I also feel that exact same way on a Tuesday stepping into the corner bodega. I love to get made up and express myself in different looks; I am trying to follow the motto of not waiting until the perfect occasion to wear your favorite things. However, if I went for that full force I'd have to stop myself from wearing a glitzy showgirl costume daily on the subway, but that's why I take to the stage. Another creative avenue where I get to express my inner 'Princess' traits has been as an actress, singer, and dancer. And maybe one day I will get to play that "Plus Size Princess" on stage yet I would like to take her further than the "traditional archetype" and show what a bad ass she is all on her own not living in search of a man, ruling for way more than her looks, and celebrating all the other great women alongside her.
Can you tell us a little bit about your passion of acting, modeling, and burlesque?
I've always had some form of performing in my life, starting from theatre camps, dance recitals, making up routines with cousins and I loved it all! I have always felt the happiest when working on a show, spending hours rehearsing, and the thrill of performing for a live audience. I studied acting throughout high school on Long Island and graduated with a BFA in Theatre from the University at Buffalo. While there, I also studied abroad in Romania performing alongside other countries as part of the International Theatre Institute's yearly festival in Bucharest. I've been very lucky to continue to perform in NY and the big dream is to grace that Broadway stage.
I'm working on it!
Acting, my first love, was the initial catalyst that led me into other areas like modeling and burlesque. I fell for the empowering sexiness of burlesque and am still in awe of this incredible art form where it seems all rules are left at the door and your unique creativity can shine. You'll find performers of all backgrounds, ages, genders, and shapes presenting acts of all sorts comedic, sexy, traditional, scary musical. You are free to go in any which way and I think that's a beautiful thing. Not to mention celebrating female sexuality, the body and again the total glam - feathers rhinestones sparkle that I die over. That was where the name Bella Bombshel was first born. Plus Modeling has been such an incredible journey that I never thought I'd be on. I have gotten to meet an entire army of women all inspiring one another to challenge the standards of beauty, to be themselves fiercely, and to support one another genuinely - that has been the greatest part of it. I love the photoshoots, working with designers, strutting the cat walk, but the family I've gained has been the greatest gift.
You call yourself a "body positive warrior" in an industry full of harsh critics. How do you deal with the pressure and stay positive?
I think because the industry is harsh you have to be a warrior as it seems you are always fighting against someones ideals, standards or new trend on what beauty is. I think now that I've been through it, the battle with myself my looks my body, I want to try to fight some of that fight for the young girls today. I don't want them to struggle with themselves and I want them to have more role models that look like them that have "imperfections" and are beautiful because of them rather than in spite of anything.
And not just for the curvy girl but for all women to love themselves. I think as I continue to put myself out there on social media I'm fighting that fight and the media is starting to listen. I think there's been huge leaps made and for the most part I've received way more positive than negative backlash. I don't let that get to me I just delete, block, and move on! It's so easy for those to bully anonymously on social media, but you can't take it seriously it says more about that person than about you. And that's why I get so much joy from building others up and I try to support and praise the women around me. I started a second page on Instagram @bombshelbellas to do just that, promote positive girl power and re-post images of other women out there killing it, all shapes and sizes. If you surround yourself with those positive messages you can't help but let it sink in. I felt the most warrior like in our Plus Model Magazine editorial where we exposed our body stories and our bodies literally in body paint. It was the ultimate body positive moment for me and an experience I'll never forget.
What was the best advice you can give to girls who want to pursue similar passions but don't fit the crazy "norms" of the entertainment industry.
The best advice I can give is to forget any and all "norms" pushed upon you. Never ever put limitations on what you can do or who you'd like to be. You can absolutely go after anything you want and you'll be surprised how the world will fall behind you if you truly believe it. I never thought I'd be doing half the things I've done and that's because I didn't believe I could for so long. You can. You're beautiful and more than enough to achieve all you want in life.
What is next for Stephanie?
I hope to continue to create inspiring body positive projects as I launch my website and blog stephaniemallick.com along with a BellaBombshel YouTube Channel. I have so much more I want to say and create that I can't always fully express on Instagram. I have also been approached to speak with girls at high schools about confidence and body image that I'd love to set in motion. I am currently rehearsing with Honest Accomplice Theatre on their next show ReconFIGURED, a show all about the body to open next year.
You can follow Stephanie's glamorous adventures here on instagram.
Interviewed by Emily