This was a bit of an impromptu blog. I’ve been working with Diane on adding new features to the website and she approached me about building a page that would spotlight Diane and how her brand supports figure diversity.
She said “I want to showcase you as our full figured model. I want you to have your own page and I want ladies to be able to see you wearing my clothes.”
When I first met Diane I explained my life in fashion, how I came to be a full sized model, what it meant and most importantly why I continued to do it. It was that conversation that eventually lead to our working relationship and inevitably lead me here.
Now, I've heard the criticism many times in the past. "How can you be a full size model?"
Well the truth is that I'm a size 12/14. In good months I'm a 12 sometimes even closer to an 11 and the rest of the time, like now (thanks french food) I'm a size 14.
I know I may not look it sometimes but I'm also 5'9. I'm taller so there's more places for my weight to go. Hahaha!
In any case weight is like -THE ISSUE- for many of us women. Model or not we've had our bouts of obsessing over size, food, and working out.
Well, I'm here to say forget it. Just forget it! Life is stressful enough without having to worry about every little calorie that goes in.
As someone who has always had to struggle with her weight, criticism from her peers and criticism from her industry (yeah, even when you're deemed a "full figured model" you STILL get criticized within the industry) I feel like I have enough authority to say just forget all the stress and worry about your body - because it's beautiful.
So, as a full figured model and normal person who just ate bacon and bread for lunch here are some lessons I have learned from my 20ish years of life as a "model".
Some People Will Criticize You no Matter What - So Forget Those Fools
When I was 17 my ex nicknamed me buck-fifty because I weighed 150lbs. When I was 18 I lost a bunch of weight really fast so then he started to call me too skinny and lanky. Even then at the big modelling agencies I was ask to lose another 4 inches off my thighs.
The point is, if anyone anywhere is criticizing you - it's because they want to control you. Fit you into their mould of who you should be. Those people don't deserve a place in your life or in your mind. Period.
Beauty is a Mindset
I am a female and as a female I have a tendency to worry every now and then...or maybe more than that. I know this. It's something I am constantly improving.
I've done shoots where I did a cleanse a week before and I've done shoots where I did the exact opposite. As a model, I pick apart every photo I take and I've started to discover something.
My best photos are the ones where I'm actually feeling mentally good about myself. When I truly feel beautiful that's when I take the best photo. That cleanse, the food, has so little to do with it. A lot of my look is in my mind.
When I'm telling myself I feel big, I actually look bigger and when I'm telling myself I'm looking good, I actually look better. Don't believe me? Try it.
For a month tell yourself you're looking good everyday.You will see a difference and it will blow your mind how much your thoughts effect your appearance!
My Life Only Got Better When I Stopped Apologizing For Myself
I remember the shift in my modelling career. I was scouted by an agency and they asked me how I felt about my body.
I told them "I'm happy with my body. I love my curves and I don't want to work with anyone who doesn't accept me the way I am." They gave me a high five and a contract.
A year later I got signed by the biggest diverse agency in Toronto and in the following years I walked for Mastercard World Fashion Week and was featured in National campaigns.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Seriously, this is one of the biggest things I've learned to embrace in my life. There are times where I'll be on the best fitness regime. I love exercise because I really feel the difference in my energy level when I stick to it - but I have bouts of days/weeks/months where I do nothing. Maybe I'll get a day in here or there but generally it's just not happening and you know what - it's okay. I'm not mad at myself for it.
There are times where I'm all about those lettuce wraps and then there's days/months where I'm eating french cheese and belgium beer and baguettes. Am I gaining some weight, ya a bit. Does it mean I've abandoned salad forever? No not really.
The best way to be happy is to live your life and enjoy it. Sometimes that means a super food smoothy, sometimes that means foie gras on a patio in the South of France. Who cares! Do it and enjoy it!
Finally, Invest In Brands that Invest In You!
We all need to wear clothes and most of the time we love to wear them. We love to shop and find new pieces but sometimes we try them on and - wait- this says it's a size twelve but I'm squeezing into it like its a flipping size 4! What the hell?!
Well it's about time that we stop trying to fit in clothes and start finding clothes built to fit us! Finding clothes that are designed to accentuate your body is the name of the shopping game. I know, in the past there weren't may options in the 14 and up market.
But that's truly in the past. My mom is a size 18 and I actually got her wearing jeans again last year! She was so happy and they looked great on her.
One of the reasons why I like Diane Kroe so much and have continued to work for her is because I have never met a person more dedicated to her clients. She's taken then time, done the research, found out what her clients needed and delivered.
Diane Kroe makes all clothes up to size 20 and she does custom sizing! Can you name one other store you know that would customize your top if you're smaller in the bust and larger in the hip? I can't.
That's why I use the term invest. When you invest in a company that looks after you in that way it enables them to keep doing so. It's a win win. Great clothes that are made to look good on you!
At the end of the day it's boils down to this. Your body is yours and yours alone. It has lived your whole life with you. It's felt all your sadness and all your happiness. For many of you it's helped give you children! Actual human beings! You truly are a life giving Goddess. Our bodies were not put here to be scrutinized and criticized. As women we are strong and we have the ability to rise above all the drama that bad body image can create.
So in the spirit of celebration we have created the We Love Curves page! Dedicated to promoting clothes designed to fit every woman!
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