If either Christina Thomas or Michelle Ploog nabs the position they are currently vying for online, they will absolutely be able to claim the latter. The women are contestants in Sunglass Hut’s “Full Time Fabulous,” a competition where the winner receives a one-year job as a fashion blogger for the sunglasses retailer.
As part of the job, the winner also lives for one year in a fully furnished apartment in New York City. They are paid $100,000 in compensation for their work, and given a $1,000-per-month styling allowance, plus VIP passes to fashion shows. If it sounds, well, fabulous, Thomas and Ploog are inclined to agree. Fabulous enough to entice the Neapolitans to enter an online contest, something neither had ever done before.
“I’m not shy, but I’m not one to upload videos of myself on the Internet,” said Thomas, 21, a senior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Creating a short segment to explain why she would be a good fit for the “Full Time Fabulous” blogging job was a bit terrifying, Ploog admitted.
“It scared me so much. It was a little out of character, to say the least,” said Ploog, 24, and the director at Bala Vinyasa yoga studio in North Naples. “But I had no reason not to do it and I had every reason to do it.”
In their videos, Thomas and Ploog give short introductions and describe their “Full Time Fabulous” qualifications. Thomas, who is majoring in advertising and public relations, currently writes for a website called Teen Diaries Online. She is often assigned to fashion and trend stories, and has cultivated an online audience, she said. Her column receives about 15,000 views a month. “I have an audience that’s reading my work,” she said. “I feel like I do have the experience.”
Ploog also writes for an online site, www.ASKinyourface.com, which is devoted to women’s health and fitness. She loves clothing – in her video, she notes how her bedroom was recently converted to a closet – and has considered pursuing fashion professionally. Ploog believes her writing experience, plus her fashion passion, would be an asset to the “Full Time Fabulous” position. “More than just clothes, fashion, to me, is about a representation of yourself,” Ploog said. “It’s about inspiring people to take on the world and their life.”
Both Thomas and Ploog have advanced in the voting and are among the top 100 videos featured on the competition’s website. Thomas ranks in the 30s, and Ploog is in the top 10. To view their videos and vote, go to www.fulltimefabulous.com. Voting ends Nov. 17.
The contestant who receives the most votes will be one of the 10 finalists for the “Full Time Fabulous” position. Then, a Sunglass Hut judging panel will select another nine contestants. Those 10 contestants will compete in a “blog-off” throughout December and be interviewed in person in New York City.
Thomas and Ploog believe they have what it takes to achieve full-time fabulousness.
They’ve been using social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, to promote themselves. Friends and family have helped to get the word out, too. Ploog even created her own “Full Time Fabulous” website, www.fulltimefabgirl.com, to help showcase her style sense and fashion skills. Of course, if either woman wins, it will mean leaving the Sunshine State for the Big Apple. Neither seems too concerned. If Thomas wins, she plans to finish her degree online. Hopefully, she’ll be on the path to an exciting new career, too, she said. As for Ploog, “Full Time Fabulous” could be the realization of her long-held dream to follow a career in fashion. “I always come back to it,” she said. “It’s always something I’ve wanted to do.”
View Michelle’s competition video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHwsDUmXtXI&feature=player_embedded