Fashion

Plus-size model speaks out about being the token curvy chick in the fashion industry

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Plus-size model speaks out about being the 'token curvy chick' in the fashion industry
(Picture: Jessica Vander Leahy/Instagram)

When it comes to fashion, diversity is in right now.

But just how genuine is the industrys commitment to representing women of all shapes and sizes?

Not very, one model suggests.

Like most regular-sized models, Jessica Vander Leahy has experienced a lot of discrimination throughout her career and now that shes landing top jobs, shes sick of being included as the token curvy chick in campaigns.

Despite having modelled for more than 10 years, she says that she still has to deal with poor practice.

On a recent shoot, she says that she was told to just smile and look happy, while thinner models were told to pose sexily.

We want to do the sexy things too, Jessica, also the founder of Project Womankind, tells Healthyish.

We want to do the same as what our thinner counterparts are doing. We dont want to be the one token curvy chick.

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She says that everyone deserves to look and feel beautiful, and that the industry has to be more considerate in what it pushes as an ideal of beauty.

But that doesnt have to ostracise smaller models either. The 30-year-old doesnt want to only celebrate plus-size bodies, but rather champion the fact that both of those ends of the spectrum deserve beautiful clothes.

We might be hearing more and more about body positivity these days, but in the fashion industry, regular-sized models still make up a tiny minority.

Larger women – in fashion and other industries – are often depicted as being funny, happy and non-threatening. Its incredibly rare for them to occupy sexual spaces (which presumably is why Ashley Graham is such a mega-star, as a bonafide sex siren).

Now that were seeing more larger bodies in fashion and beauty, perhaps the next fight is to allow them to be desired.

Its time to kill the funny fat friend stereotype.

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