Thousands of women are entering a competition to find the UK's next plus-size models, showing that big(ger) is indeed beautiful.
According to SLiNK's editor Rivkie Baum, the volume of entries (which far exceeds the straight-size version of the competition) show that women are rejecting the one-size-fits-all attitude to the female body.
"Women of every size are getting more confident," she tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle. "They want to flaunt their curves rather than strive for a single body shape."
Entrants are asked to upload a 'selfie' (n. photograph an individual takes of themselves) to Instagram using the hashtag #MakeMeaModels1Curvy.
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Rivkie explained that the decision to use social media was deliberate.
"It can be really intimidating to go into an agency," she told HuffPost UK Lifestyle. "This comp allowed women to take their shots in their own time and environment, and be comfortable."
Although the majority of work in the fashion industry is reserved for 'straight-size' models, Rivkie is confident that plus-size models can still enjoy successful careers.
"I think it is a harder market for plus-size women as there are less opportunities both editorially and commercially," she said. "But times are changing and curvy models are booking bigger and better campaigns all the time. Take Robyn Lawley, she has worked with Ralph Lauren, French Elle and Italian Vogue."
She adds: "I believe that this is just the start!"
Also on HuffPost:
Speaking to US Elle for their December issue, Jennifer Lawrence pioneer for positive body image in Hollywood and all-round breath of fresh air says: <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/11/jennifer-lawrence-considered-a-fat-actress/" target="_blank">“I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner’…I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong—not thin and underfed.”</a>
After the media focused on her <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/lady-gaga-shows-off-25-pound-weight-gain-in-tight-outfit-2012229">alleged weight gain</a> in September 2012, Gaga hit back at critics by baring her body in photographs, sharing her struggles with an eating disorder, and inviting her fans to join her in a <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2012/09/26/lady-gaga-puts-bulimia-and-body-image-on-the-table-in-a-big-way/">"body revolution."</a>
Adele says she <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-57376080-10391709/adele-talks-about-her-body-image-and-weight/">tries not to worry</a> about her body image and doesn't want to be a "skinny minnie." "The first thing to do is be happy with yourself and appreciate your body -- only then should you try to change things about yourself."
"I am always in support of someone who is willing and comfortable in their own skin enough to embrace it," the singer said in a<a href="http://www.ianslive.in/index.php?param=news/Aguilera_wants_to_empower_women-389922/ENTERTAINMENT/15"> recent interview</a>.
At the 2012 New Yorker Festival, the magazine's TV critic, Emily Nussbaum, asked Lena Dunham, producer, creator and star of the hit HBO show "Girls," why <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/lena-dunham-new-yorker-festival-emily-nussbaum_n_1948596.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women">Dunham is naked in so many scenes</a>. Dunham responded, "I realized that what was missing in movies for me was the presence of bodies I understood." She said she plans to live until she is 105 and show her thighs every day.
Chung <a href="http://fashionista.com/2012/10/alexa-chung-on-her-upcoming-line-and-struggling-with-body-image/2/">responded to critics</a> who suggested that her slight frame made her a bad role model for young women, saying: "Just because I exist in this shape doesn't mean that I'm, like, advocating it."
The NYU student started the amazing <a href="http://thebodyloveblog.tumblr.com/">Body Love Blog</a>, where she posted this picture of herself and wrote an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stella-boonshoft/self-portrait-ask-me-why-_b_1987406.html" target="_hplink">open letter to those who feel entitled to shame others</a> for the size or look of their bodies.
This 5-foot-tall, 200-pound singer spoke openly about her weight to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/beth-ditto-talks-skinny-privilege-fiancee-body-image_n_2057290.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women">The Advocate</a>, saying, "I feel sorry ... for people who've had skinny privilege and then have it taken away from them. I have had a lifetime to adjust to seeing how people treat women who aren't their idea of beautiful and therefore aren't their idea of useful, and I had to find ways to become useful to myself."