Connecticut Families

A Norwich executive's 'surreal' runway experience teaches acceptance and self-love

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) - What happens when a book begs the question: where will you be in five years?  If you're longtime marketing executive Maria Miranda, you take a leap - or a strut - of faith. 

"It said, 'What are some things you’re really passionate about?'" says Miranda, owner of Miranda Creative.  "One thing for me was a passion for fashion." 

On a lark, she signed-up for a runway training class in New York and wouldn't you know it, she'd found a new talent. 

"Come close of session, the woman who ran it came over to me and said, 'I’d like you to be in my show," says Miranda, noting her dream became a reality in late June.  "So, I’d never been on a runway in my life and I was going to a fashion week in New York."

The 53-year-old joined a group called the Silver Foxes, mixing with professional models as she walked the runway seven times.  Behind-the-scenes at Full Figured Fashion Week, there were surprises. 

"There are no mirrors - you have no idea what you look like," she explains.  "It's about letting-go of all those judgments of yourself and letting yourself be admired by others for who you are.  How often to we get to do that in life?"

There were laughs. 

"People would start grabbing clothes off you and that was a liberating experience," she says.  "At one point, I’m leaning on two men trying to get high heeled shoes into leggings without impaling him or breaking a hip!" 

And there were poignant moments. 

"Before we began one woman asked for a prayer circle," she remembers.  "We all held hands to grace our moment and honor who we are."

As she looks at mementos, like a hair piece from the show or a gorgeous dress she was gifted, this Norwich woman hopes her style inspires us all to find confidence and embrace our personal journeys.

"Beauty is not about a size or an age or a skin tone, it comes from within," says Miranda.

Will she enjoy the spotlight again?  Seems the door is 'open'! 

"I have no idea if it’s going to be anything in the future but whatever is meant to be is meant to be - clearly," she says with a smile.


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