15/08/2016 12:35 BST | Updated 15/08/2017 06:12 BST

Plus Size Models Matter Too

Being a female is hard work right?

Society is telling me I am meant to have heaving boobs, a 20inch waist and a booty that twerks its way down the street like I am in some music video.

In reality, I have little B cups, which may I add, I love, a 26inch waist that enjoys a pizza or two and big child-bearing hips that swing side to side as I walk, sometimes banging into things as I forget how large they are.

Oh, but that is not all. Being female also means I must spend my mornings contouring my face, making that nose slimmer, erasing my chin away with my favourite Iconic London Contour kit and dusting myself with shimmer because without it I don't look like a Kardashian, which seems to be most girls on Instagram's life goals at present. Sad but true.

The above is why I think we NEED to see more realistic models in the media. We need more plus size models.

Okay, so the likes of Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence are doing their thing taking the plus size industry by storm, however its just not enough.

Women need to be able to relate to the model - how can you envisage yourself in an outfit if a teenage girl with a body of a boy is modelling it? I want to open a magazine and see all types of bodies looking back at me, because the world does not come in one dress size. Everybody is different and that is what makes us beautiful.

The average British female is a size 16, and with that she more than likely to have cellulite on her upper thighs and some stretch marks from childbirth. That's life, that's real. However that is not represented. Larger models are used in magazines as a one-off special "how to dress for your curves" when it should be normal to open a magazine and see a healthy selection of different shaped models and less of the airbrushing please!

Also, where are the black plus size models? I mean these are the women who are born with those natural curves but why are they not represented? Black women wear clothes too! I mean come on guys, it's 2016, is it not time we embraced each other and the different beauty the world has to offer?

Why is fashion still stuck in the times where lighter skin is beauty?

Model Philomena Kwao is a Ghanaian-British model who appears in the Swimsuits For All campaign but is pretty much a one of a kind as the modelling industry still hasn't become diverse enough with regards to skin colour.

I spoke to Models Of Diversity model Netsai Tinaresse Dandajena, a dark skinned beauty who has big dreams and shuns society's ideals of beauty.

I caught up with her on her views of the absence of dark skinned models.

"One of the reasons I wanted to be a model was to mark my looks as beautiful, dark skin, curly hair, large hips, larger than most models."


Modelling for My Milauk photo credit Cellisphoto

Her inspirations in the plus size industry come in the form of dark skinned models Philomena Kwao, Simone Charles and Rose Concencion.

She added "When I looked at them I felt like I had a chance and maybe one day I will be the reason why another black girl can dream big! Usually when I walk into a casting I am one of the only dark or black girls."

I feel the modelling industry will take a light skin girl before they take on a dark skin girl because they believe people will relate to that skin tone as beautiful before they do the dark skinned model. The modelling industry follows trends that are set by society. They present beauty according to society and unfortunately we are still trying to convince society that big black girls are beautiful too."


Photo Credit Chima Luke Okafor

Diversity is important! Let's teach the next generation to accept all types of beauty. As a mother to a little girl I tell her everyday she is beautiful because I want her to grow up knowing she is. I want her to reach for a magazine and relate to what she is presented with and never have to question herself if she is beautiful and never have to question if her dark skinned friend is beautiful either.

Model Jerri Hoath can relate, as a single mother of two she has had her battles when her daughter was bullied at just five years old! Jerri had to pull her daughter out of school and began to home school her herself.


Jerri flaunting her curves photo credit Jovon Lennon

Jerri tells Models Of Diversity of her experiences: "My daughter was bullied so badly to the point I had to home school her and it left me trying to find ways to teach her how to love herself - hard when you don't know who you are yourself. During that time my daughter urged me to enter a modelling competition and although it terrified me I did. I wanted her to see nothing was impossible."

Entering that competition changed her life, working professionally for well known plus sized brands, winning an award for best international model of 2015 and her latest success of being up for nominations for best model at the prestigious plus size awards.

Jerri continues: "I have gained confidence which led me to go back to University last year and graduate. My life is hectic and I don't get much down time but I feel blessed and thankful. The feeling I get walking down a catwalk knowing my daughters are at the bottom of it cheering me on is amazing like no other."


Jerri modelling for Rosie Red Corsetry photo credit Wolf Media

Two stories from two inspirational women. So if you have thighs that touch, ebony skin or are a single mum DO NOT let these things hold you back. Because these girls prove that dreams come true if you believe in YOU!

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