From mass comm to model: Loyola alumna inspires women as plus-size model


Courtesy of Dani DMC

Maleigh Crespo, Design Chief

Content creator and plus-size model, Dani Carbonari, professionally known as Dani DMC, found her passion for entertainment while anchoring for The Maroon Minute during her undergraduate career at Loyola. 

Now, with a platform that has half a million followers, Carbonari said she is grateful for her time at Loyola. 

“Loyola helped me so much. There’s no doubt about it,” she said. 

Carbonari spent two years at Loyola after transferring from Robert Morris University. Carbonari said she was initially drawn to Loyola’s music industry program because, at the time, she wanted to be a manager. 

It was in one of her music industry classes where she said she had an epiphany.

“It really hit me: why would I be a manager when I’m the talent, when I have so much to give?” Carbonari said.

She added that Loyola offered many opportunities to try new things, and The Maroon Minute was one that captivated her immediately.

However, she quickly realized that she didn’t love the professionality that comes with anchoring. Still, she loved being on camera.

After graduating from Loyola, despite being advised to pursue broadcast journalism, Carbonari moved to Los Angeles to pursue modeling instead. 

“I just stuck to my gut,” she said. “I’m going to utilize the bits and pieces I got from Loyola and  turn it into something.”

After only two weeks in Los Angeles, Carbonari was signed by a modeling agency. She spent the year focused on modeling, traveling back and forth between Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. But when the year was up and the excitement wore off, Carbonari realized she wanted more. 

She said she loved modeling and being on set, but she also saw many issues within the industry, especially as a plus-sized model. 

“My body was constantly airbrushed. My cellulite. My stretch marks. I even had people contort my body post-shoot with editing,” she said. 

Being in the industry made her begin to lose the confidence she once had, Carbonari said, so she started her YouTube channel, which gave her the opportunity to showcase her personality and regain that confidence.

But in early 2018, there weren’t many plus-size creators on the platform, Carbonari said.

“I wanted to bring the essence of my confidence,” she said, “I didn’t want people to just look at me and think, ‘I wish I could be like them.’ I wanted people to look at me and think, ‘Wow, she makes me feel like I can be like that.’”

She said she wanted to show that you could be the best dressed in the room, no matter what size you are. 

“I was super consistent and let my work ethic speak for itself,” she said. “It was like a whirlwind, and it all just took off.”

With the following Carbonari has, she could hire an editor, as most people with her status do, yet she continues to edit all of her own videos. 

She credits former Loyola professor Robert Racine for teaching her everything she knows, spending hours teaching her how to edit, which she said instilled a love and passion in her.

“I love editing my own stuff. I love being in control of it, and I love knowing exactly what I’m doing,” Carbonari said.

Carbonari encourages Loyola students to take advantage of their programs. 

“There were so many things I learned being a broadcast journalism major that led to my career now,” she said. 

Still, Carbonari advises not to be afraid to go against the grain. 

“Don’t just conform to what the university wants you to do, or your program wants you to do, or what the traditional path looks like. Try something new, take a risk, challenge yourself, get outside of your comfort zone because that is where greatness happens,” she said. “And you never know what your life could look like. Take me as a prime example: I graduated college, having no idea what I wanted to do, and never in a million years did I dream that this would be my life.”