Wednesday 17 January 2018

Jean Callaghan Barrett

Alison O'Riordan


A curvy model generally constitutes a model over size 14. I'm currently a size 18 but I constantly fluctuate between a 14 and 18. I'm most comfortable when I'm a size 14, though, and that's the size at which a curvy model tends to get most bookings.

I try not to focus on the scales too much. Either way, I try to accept myself and be confident in my own skin.

We're surrounded by so much talk of diets and weight issues that it's hard not to get caught up in it sometimes. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and it should be celebrated; it's not about the number on the scales.

There are multiple reasons why somebody might be underweight or overweight, and with each there are health risks. I wasn't built to be a size six and if I strived towards that I would be putting my life at risk.

A size 14 is very healthy for me, and as long as you have a balanced diet and are getting all the right nutrients, the focus shouldn't be on the number on the scales. People should stop being so judgmental of each other when it comes to size.

Every woman should dress for her shape, regardless of her size. It's really important to learn how to accentuate your best assets. Despite my curves, it's still very much possible to wear what's on trend. Not everything is going to suit every body shape, but it's all about taking the key elements and working it into your outfit.

I feel no different in the industry, being curvier than other skinny models. I don't feel I'm treated any differently just because I'm a curvy model. The reality is that Ireland is a small pond when it comes to the modelling world, so there is only so much work to go around.

The straight-size models will always be the norm for the fashion industry. It can be easier to dress them, so I understand why there might be more of a market there.

The average woman is a size 12-14 these days and I think the fashion industry overall should be more representative of that.

There is more of a market for bigger models. Women find it tiresome, constantly being bombarded with images of slim models whose body shapes they will never be able to achieve simply because, genetically, they weren't made that way.

I'm currently in the middle of setting up a website about my life, weight issues, fashion and beauty. I'm really excited about it and I hope I can help other women and young girls feel comfortable in their skin.

I'm passionate about helping people realise they don't have to hide away just because they don't look like a six-foot Amazonian goddess.

Irish Independent

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