1. Marquita Pring
In her 2011 interview with New York Magazine’s fashion blog, “The Cut,” Pring articulated it best:
“I think we need to phase out the category ‘plus-size models.’ I’m a model. I’m doing the same catalogue and editorial jobs as the ‘normal’ models. Slowly, as designers start incorporating bigger girls into their shows and campaigns, I’m confident people will start seeing us as normal, healthy models who are just as beautiful and capable as the girls we are used to seeing.”
She also maintains that diet and exercise do not necessarily have a direct connection with losing weight, and that, above all else, she does them because they make her feel good.
2. Courtney & Laura Wells
I put these two ladies together, one, because they are sisters and who doesn’t love that, but two, because they are a great example of what it means to embrace your differences (Courtney is considered a straight-size model, and Laura is considered plus-size). The two exemplified this in an August 2010 photo shoot with Cosmo Australia when they stood side by side, wearing the same styles by the same designers so as to highlight how the season’s trends could be worn on different body types.
When probed about the discrepancy in size at the shoot, Courtney responded, “My sister and I have lived in the same house since we’ve been born, we still live together, we were eating the same foods growing up. You can’t change your body shape, people are just different sizes, and you just got to work with what God gave you.”
Laura took a more direct approach: “There’s no excuse now [for high-fashion designers to limit their sizing].”
3. Robyn Lawley
“Curves don’t epitomize a woman,” Lawley said in her August 2013 feature in HuffPost Style. “Saying, ‘Skinny is ugly’ should be no more acceptable than saying fat is. I find all this stuff a very controlling and effective way of making women obsess over their weight… We could be getting angry about unequal pay and unequal opportunities, but we’re too busy being told we’re not thin enough or curvy enough. We’re holding ourselves back.”
And that was the day the universe bowed down.
4. Toccara Jones
Jones is best known for her appearance on America’s Next Top Model. She was also on Celebrity Fit Club in 2008 during which time she slimmed down and came under subsequent fire for no longer being heavy enough to be considered plus-size (whatever that means). Jones responded by taking the stance that you are what you say you are, and no one else can dictate it.
“Yes I’ve lost weight, but I’m still a plus-size model, no matter what people’s opinions may be,” she said in a May 2013 interview with The Mastercopy. “I’ve never tried to be a straight-size model; I always wanted to be curvy and healthy – not a number. They say things out of ignorance and I would say they can kiss my curvy, round voluptuous a**!”
Indeed, Miss Jones. Indeed.
5. Crystal Renn
This raven-haired lovely is no stranger to the extremes of the fashion world. When she first started her career, she was a 95-pound teenager who struggled with anorexia. Once she overcame this she filled out and became one of the most sought after plus-size models out there.
Since then, however, Renn has slimmed down to a size that’s somewhere in the middle and, strangely enough, is now taking flack from many who say her weight loss is a result of pressure from the industry. Renn says otherwise:
“I had a horrible break-up… and I made a decision that I kind of wanted to take my future into my hands. My dream was to go to Patagonia and I wanted to go hiking and I wanted to see the glaciers, so I went with my grandmother and it was a really intense three weeks. Sometimes it was fifteen-hour hiking. I remember being on the glacier and thinking, you know, this is the type of environment I want to be in. I’m being active, I’m being healthy, I feel very good, but I don’t see numbers, I don’t see calories that I’m burning.”