Chenese Tharis Lewis, born November 14, 1979 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is an American actress, host, plus-size model, and a positive body image and self-esteem advocate. Lewis was an actress on the first season of the BET series, Hell Date, and was the first woman crowned Miss Plus America in 2003. She has hosted her podcast The Chenese Lewis Show since 2008.
Chenese Lewis at red carpet event in Hollywood
Chenese Tharis Lewis|
November 14, 1979
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
|Occupation||Actress, Host, Plus-Size Model|
|Years active||2000 - present|
Lewis’s career began in pageantry in 2002 when she stumbled upon a plus size beauty pageant on the Internet and entered as Miss Louisiana Plus America. Without any prior pageant experience or formal training she walked away with the national title of Miss Plus America, becoming the first woman to hold the title in 2003. She made history and set the standard of excellence for the organization by being one of the most recognizable and successful queens in the organization.
She moved to Los Angeles in 2004 to pursue a career in entertainment. She is best known for her role on the BET television series Hell Date. She appeared on four episodes, one where she was the lead as “The Gorgeous Queen Diva Supreme” where she played an overly confident dater. She has also made several television appearances as herself on shows such The Insider and The Cho Show and as an expert commentator on Dr. Phil.
Lewis has modeled for Torrid, served as a spokesperson for Ashley Stewart, appeared in the movie Phat Girlz as a Thick Madame Magazine Model, and appeared on the December 2007 cover of PLUS Model Magazine which coined her "A leader in the curvy revolution!”. In December 2012 she appeared on the cover of the UK anniversary issue of VICE Magazine. Chenese is currently the face of Aida Cosmetics’ “Confidence and Glamour” campaign.
Lewis is a former President of Hollywood NOW  National Organization for Women and also served as the Love Your Body Committee Chairperson for the local chapter. She created and produced a local event for Hollywood NOW to celebrate Love Your Body Day. Her 2010 Love Your Body Campaign, where she posed nude with America’s Next Top Model, Whitney Thompson, garnered international media attention and magnified her role as a leading positive body image advocate.
In 2014 Lewis was named by Ebony.com as one of the top "6 Plus Fashion Power Players On The Rise”. In 2015 Bustle.com listed Lewis as one of the "7 Plus Size Fashion Pioneers Who Were Ahead Of Their Time".
|2007||Hell Date||Herself||4 Episodes|
|2008||The Cho Show||Celebrity Judge||Episode: Cho-Universe Pageant|
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-23. Retrieved 2015-06-23.
- "Dr. Phil.com". Drphil.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- Stewart, Ashley. "Ashley Stewart launches Coast to Coast Curves, Plus Size Model Search hosted by Chenese Lewis and Plus Model Magazine". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- LLC, Venus Imaging Education,. "Chenese Lewis, a leader in the curvy revolution". Plusmodelmag.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "Vice magazine celebrates 10 years in the UK: 'News is more interesting than frivolity' – Press Gazette". Pressgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "[Curvy Plus] Chenese Lewis Announced as the Face of Aida Cosmetics - Ebony". Ebony.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "Five ways to celebrate your own beauty". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "America's Next Top Model Whitney Thompson Exposes Naked Truth About Body Image". Cbsnews.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "ANTM Winner Whitney Thompson Bares All in the Name of Love". Stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "[CURVY + PLUS] 6 Plus Fashion Power Players On the Rise - EBONY". Ebony.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- Dalessandro, Alysse. "7 Plus Size Fashion Pioneers Who Were Ahead Of Their Time". Bustle.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.