Chenese Lewis at red carpet event in Hollywood
|Born||Chenese Tharis Lewis
November 14, 1979
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, Host, Plus-Size Model|
|Years active||2000 - present|
Chenese Tharis Lewis born November 14 from 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.
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. The Miss Plus America Pageant crowned Lewis the title of Miss Plus America Lifetime, a lifetime achievement award, in the form of a never ending reign, for her outstanding work in the area of positive body image.
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 “The Gorgeous Queen Diva Supreme” where she played an overly confident dater.
Lewis has modeled for Torrid, 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 graced the cover of the UK anniversary issue of VICE Magazine. Chenese is currently the face of Aida Cosmetics’ “Confidence and Glamour” campaign.
Lewis is the Immediate Past 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 withAmerica’s Next Top Model, Whitney Thompson, garnered international media attention and magnified her role as a leading positive body image advocate.
Lewis served as the spokesperson for the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA). The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) was founded to help those who have binge eating disorder, their friends and family, and those who treat the disorder. BEDA provides individuals who suffer from binge eating disorder with the recognition and resources they deserve to begin a safe journey toward a healthy recovery. BEDA also serves as a resource for treatment providers to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat the disorder.