Iskra Lawrence, once dropped by agencies for being too big, has taken the modelling world by storm in the most genuine way possible.
The size 14 model is a breath of fresh air – and in a world where we are bombarded with photoshop and airbrush, it’s nice to see someone cut through the bullshit.
Lawrence has on numerous occasions outright refused to be airbrushed in her modelling photos, saying that she’s been so retouched in the past that she barely recognised herself.
And she has also seen the effect that retouching has had on her friends.
She told The Independent:
One girl was working with a lingerie company a few years ago and they dropped her for being too big, and yeah, she stopped eating. It really can just destroy you like that.
The way I deal with rejection now is by instead of thinking it’s about me, just thinking they just wanted to use that girl. This wasn’t the day they wanted to book Iskra, this was the day they wanted to book Emma. […] The more you work on your individuality and being unique, you become invaluable.
Explaining her decision to promote fuller figures she told the MailOnline: “I realised at around 18 that instead of trying to change my body to fit into sample sizes I would try to change the industry.”
Lawrence is now the ambassador of a highly praised anti-retouching, body positive campaign, and she’s recently taken up a role with lingerie company Aerie, who only publish unretouched photos of their models.
And she’s used her rise in modelling to show other women that real is sexy – she’s appeared in the #AerieREAL campaign, promoting unretouched bodies, and shared a non-airbrushed booty pic to promote body positivity to her 1.2 million followers. Which, as most of you may know, is the famous “tiger stripe” belfie.
✨💕 oh hey there.. Yes this is clearly a booty pic but do you see why? Because I haven’t airbrushed my tiger stripe stretch marks 🐯 or my cellulite lightening bolts ⚡️ or my back fat 🌮🍔🍕because this is my body, I love it it’s real and I love posting pictures showing how confident I am because society has taught us we have “flaws” and I’m telling you who gives a.. Because you are more than your body and you get to decide what beauty is❤️ #iskralawrence #everyBODYisbeautiful pic by @imruhul tag a friend who’s flaws are flawless & are imperfectly perfect 😚💕✨
And her success on social media is a testament to her claims about the value of being unique. The ‘tiger stripe belfie’ was met with hoards of support and struck a chord with many young girls and women.
Since her post went viral, she has received hundreds of messages asking her for advice on how to feel better about their bodies. She told The Independent that some of the messages are extremely worrying and indicative of how persuasive adverts, billboards, social media and the internet can be.
Although the mainstream still seems to consist of airbrushed and Photoshopped models, it’s clear that Lawrence will play a big part in turning the industry on its side. She is truly a breath of fresh air.