Marilyn Melo Redefines What it Means to be a Model

by Thomas Herd

Throughout modern history, the fashion industry has perennially been on the cutting edge, ushering in new trends throughout the decades and offering the opportunity to make statements through style. Still, this same innovation has been largely lost when it comes to booking models, as runways, photoshoots and the like have been dominated by towering and stick-figured girls for more than half a century. Recently, fashion has begun warming up to women of all shapes and sizes thanks to the power of social media, and this shift toward diversity has been emulated no better than by Marilyn Melo, a 5’4” exotic beauty that’s set both Instagram and the modeling world on fire.

Melo’s drop-dead gorgeous looks and matching curves got the Dominican Republic native scouted to model in a Philadelphia restaurant back in 2017, immediately breaking barriers in the industry about just how tall and skinny a model needs to be. Though fresh to her at the time, Melo’s stunningly unique features made her an instant hit across the country, quickly landing her jobs for major brands like True Religion and booking major runway shows in events like swim week and fashion week. After signing with power player agency Wilhelmina Los Angeles, Melo’s beauty and style garnered her massive amounts of attention across social media channels, boosting Melo’s Instagram follower count to an impressive 816,000-strong and growing.

As an entrepreneur, Melo spreads her talents into a number of different self-owned businesses, including her own full service Philadelphia hair salon, Diosa, and accompanying beauty line. Outside of the world of glam, Melo enjoys passing her time tapping into her former military roots by going clay shooting, as well as spending off days with feel-good activities hiking and thrifting.

When not strutting her stuff on the runway or posing in front of the camera, Melo likewise turns her attention to acting as a different kind of model: a role model, that is. As one of the key figures behind theMelo Rodriguez Foundation, founded alongside her family, Melo lends a hand to those less fortunate, providing aid through scholarships, donations and mentorship to kids in need. Theorganization particularly focuses on economically challenged children in third world countries, a cause near to Melo’s heart after witnessing poverty in her family’s home country of the Dominican Republic.

Chances are, you’ve come across at least Melo’s sultry snaps on social media before —  but when it comes to the boundary-breaking beauty, there’s plenty more than just meets the eye, making the multifaceted Melo one of the most must-follow models of the moment.

Opinions expressed by Daily Front Row contributors are their own.

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