Wednesday 7 December 2016

7 models fighting for body confidence

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agencies

Published 17/11/2015 | 10:46

Model/designer Ashley Graham walks down the runway during the Addition Elle/Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection fashion show during the Spring 2016 Style 360 on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
Model/designer Ashley Graham walks down the runway during the Addition Elle/Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection fashion show during the Spring 2016 Style 360 on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 29: TV personality Tyra Banks arrives at the CW, CBS and Showtime 2013 summer TCA party on July 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
The photos that made Kate an internet sensation. She walks the runway in a barely there bikini for Beach Bunny Swimwear in Miami.
Model/designer Ashley Graham walks down the runway during the Addition Elle/Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection fashion show during the Spring 2016 Style 360 on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

There's no denying the fashion industry is a tough one, with many still idolising unrealistic body types and magazines airbrushing every 'flaw' in pursuit of the 'perfect' woman. But models are standing up for themselves and calling out body shaming, with Gigi Hadid and Kate Upton just two of the strong women leading the way.

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We take a look at all the ladies out there doing their bit for body confidence.

Scarlett Gray

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This 18-year-old model is a slim UK size 8 and was already underweight for her 5ft 10in frame when she was harshly advised to "tone up". She says Elite modelling agency told her she'd have to lose weight if she harboured dreams of walking in London Fashion Week. Scarlett, who has previously walked for the likes of Valentino, hasn't modelled since. Meanwhile, Elite claims it never told her to lose weight.

 

Gigi Hadid

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Anyone who watched Gigi in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show can vouch for the fact she has an amazing figure. But the star's confidence was seriously knocked when body shamers shared harsh criticism on Instagram. Luckily Gigi found her voice and posted an encouraging message on the social networking site.

"Yes, I have boobs. Yes, I have abs, I have a butt, I have thighs, but I'm not asking for special treatment. I'm fitting into the sample sizes. Your mean comments don't make me want to change my body, they don't make me want to say no to the designers that ask me to be in their shows, and they definitely don't change the designers opinions of me," she wrote.

 

Ashley Graham

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As a plus-size model, Ashley is helping to change the face of the fashion industry. She's never listened to jibes about her weight and knew she didn't have to slim down to make it.

"I got told at the very beginning, when I was about 12 years old, 'If you lost a ton of weight, you could be a major model,' and my mom just looked at the lady, started laughing and said, 'We won't be doing that,'" she said to The Coveteur. "That gave me so much confidence because if my mom didn't think I needed to lose weight, then obviously I didn't need to."

 

Charli Howard

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A tiny UK size 6, Charli left her agency when she felt body shamed. In a open letter, she called out the unfair pressure in the industry.

“The more you force us to lose weight and be small, the more designers have to make clothes to fit our sizes, and the more young girls are being made ill. It's no longer an image I choose to represent,” she wrote.

 

Kate Upton

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Gorgeous Kate Upton has been slammed for having curves but she's always laughed in the face of adversity by landing job after lucrative job.

"They would say, 'Just lose five more (pounds)' But I couldn't give a c**p. I still don't," she told Elle magazine. "To me, agents don’t necessarily understand the realities of the industry; they’re sitting behind a desk. I never listen I'm fine."

 

Tyra Banks

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She's one of the most major models in the industry, yet Tyra still made the time to hit out at body shaming. When Gigi posted her Instagram message, she responded with positive vibes and encouragement.

“I haven’t met you yet @gigihadid but I FEEL you so much,” she wrote. “Your words are powerful. Your words are necessary. Your words are vulnerable. Your words are real. Sending you love and hugs. From one model that had curves and a unique walk to another, Tyra.”

 

Chrissy Teigen

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If anyone knows how to keep it real, it's Chrissy. The model is always tweeting her opinions and doesn't let anyone silence her. While many in the industry feel the need to starve off a few pounds, Chrissy believes it's unhealthy.

"I eat pretty normally unless I’m getting ready for a bathing suit photo shoot, and I’ve been getting into juices for that - things like kale and apple, not those disgusting cleanses with the cayenne and the maple syrup," she explained. "I did that once and was staring at a cracker, and then I finally ate it and felt terrible about it! That’s no way to live."

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