On body image and acceptance:
So many people have come up to me over the years—famous people, people I meet on the street, fans, everybody—and they say that very thing: “Thank you so much. I have the same type of body. I used to think I was fat, but now I feel beautiful.” My generation was very much focused on size 0 models. It was just so unattainable for most normal people, including me. My mom and my grandmother were the ones who drilled into me, “This is how we are, and this is what’s beautiful.” My dad loved my mom’s body—all the men in our family loved the women’s bodies. Being curvy or not being 6 feet tall was never a bad thing; it was actually something that was celebrated. And so, later on, when I brought that in front of the world, I wasn’t really trying to send a message. I was just being myself.
On why she always loved her curves:
They didn’t bother me at all. But I got a lot of flak for it from people in the industry. They’d say, “You should lose a few pounds,” or “You should do this or do that.” It finally got to the point that I was like, “This is who I am. I’m shaped like this.” Everybody I grew up with looked like that, and they were all beautiful to me. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I still don’t!
On her fitness regime:
I like to work out in the morning. It loosens me up, gets me ready for the day, and keeps me strong. I’m convinced that working out is part of what makes me so happy. I really believe that when you take care of yourself and work to stay healthy, you’re better able to take care of those you love.
… says 48 year-old Jennifer.
On trying to get into modeling years ago and how it affected her confidence:
It’s such a tough age, you’re developing, your body is going through those changes, you just don’t need that added pressure of worrying about your size. I was a 37 inches and they told me I had to be a 34…
You basically look at your body and you don’t understand why you can’t change the shape and size of it. It consumes you and that’s how it becomes an illness, you look at your body as a set of measurements.
It was very frustrating and you’re trying to fit into the one ideal, they said I was too small [for plus size modelling], that was a trigger to use it as a catalyst, sometimes you have to stop forward and be the representation.
… says Iskra.
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On body image and having a normal body:
Being a new mom was one of the happiest times of my life, but how I felt about my body really sucked… I also held onto all the “baby weight” for a long time. I wasn’t one of those women who just could nurse and lose the weight. Some people bounce back and don’t have to deal with that, and that’s wonderful for them. But for me, it was so hard to connect with my body again once I had a baby.
It wasn’t until my mind adjusted to not caring as much that I started to figure it all out. I realized that I am never going to be the same again, and that’s okay. I’ve learned to be proud of what my body does for me, and what it did while I was pregnant with my son.
Now, I’m happy to say that I have a pretty healthy relationship with my body. Of course, I’m 5’2″, so any kind of weight that I gain, I see it right away. And sure, I want to look good in my jeans, and I want to feel and look good. But I don’t need to be a super-skinny person. I’m normal, and I have a good relationship with food and indulging myself while being healthy and giving my body what it needs.
It’s hard for women every day, no matter what, to love their bodies. There’s pressures just from your friends and how they look, and trying to keep up.
It’s terrible that skinny is beautiful. There’s a new version of skinny that’s just…unreachable. It’s a really bad look. If we can just try to celebrate being individuals, and try to feel good instead of trying to fit in, I think that would be huge.
I have been trying to take more time to set my intention for the day and take a few deep breaths in the morning. It’s helped me be a more patient and understanding person not only with others, but with myself, too. To be kinder to myself.
… says Hilary.
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On body image:
This is me 🐼 it took me a while to understand what people meant by “listen to your body” – it’s not always easy feeling good in our own skin and it takes time, trust me im still learning😅 over the past year I ve discovered so much about my body, how it can change and evolve. One thing is for sure – only you know what’s best for you. 🤗♥️
… says Barbara on Instagram.
On being called a ‘fat model’:
‘I know I’m being a little petty by posting these stupid photos of somebody who wrote real model and fat model but I will let you know, nothing defines what a real model or a fat model or fake model is. Your weight, your skin, your hair, your religious background, none of that determines whether you’re a real model or not. To all those girls out there that have dreams and hopes, keep fighting for them and don’t let all the losers on Instagram stop you.’
… says Ashley on Instagram.
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