The cavernous photography studio in New York City is bustling with fashion assistants, hair and makeup stylists, and models chatting in white terry robes. All typical on a photo shoot, but when the robes come off, you see what’s different. Kate Dillon, Ashley Graham, Amy Lemons, Lizzie Miller, Crystal Renn, Jennie Runk and Anansa Sims— some of the top “plus-size” models working today—have beautiful curves, round shoulders, belly rolls and lots of other womanly stuff many of us see when we look in the mirror. Oh, and there’s lunch, which the models actually eat. “Gosh, it’s so nice that they’re feeding us,” says Lemons. “When I was doing runway, all I was ever offered was water and champagne, all day long.” But it’s not the food the models are excited about—it’s the mission. They’ve been assembled to help Glamour continue an extraordinary dialogue on body image that you, our readers, began.....
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Wanna know more about the models? Well.....read on!
- Kate Dillon, 35, spent four years walking the high-fashion runways before she dropped out of the industry—only to return as a Harvard degree-wielding plus-size star who’s been named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People.”
- Crystal Renn is the author of Hungry, a new memoir about her years as an anorexic high fashion model. Since making the switch to plus-size. Renn, 23, has starred in campaigns as diverse and Dolce & Gabbana and Lane Bryant and appeared everywhere form French Vogue to Glamour. “People said I’d never be successful, but I never doubted myself,” Renn says.
- Lizzie Miller, 21, a.k.a “The Woman on Page 194,” has been a plus-size model since age 13. My boyfriend looks at me and just says, ‘You’re beautiful,’ Miller notes. “He doesn’t pick and choose favorite parts—he loves the whole me, so I’ve learned to do the same."
- As a teenage runway model, Amy Lemons, 26, tried to fight her natural curves with constant exercise and dieting. “But my body rebelled, and I was sick all the time,” she says. “I’ve since learned that every body has its own healthy weight—it’s the one you get to by eating and exercising right, not by pushing yourself to the brink.”
- Anansa Sims, 24, is the daughter of one of the first major African American models, former Glamour cover star Beverly Johnson. After losing 40 pounds to become a straight-size model, she quit and went for M.B.A. Now a plus-size model, she frequently speaks to girls about body image. “I did a shoot in just a bra and panties,” Sims remembers. “I didn’t think much of it until my mom saw the picture and said, ‘Anansa, this is history.’”
- Having appeared in Seventeen, Vogue and Marie Claire, Jennie Runk, 21, loves the fact that she’s never had to diet for a job. As a plus-size model, she’s learned that “the true sign of a great designer is someone who can fit the curves.”
- Ashley Graham, 22, was profiled in a “shape issue” of Vogue. “I never assume people are looking at me because I’m a bigger girl,” she says. “They’re looking because I’m confident and beautiful. Why think otherwise?”