MODEL WHO WAS TOLD SHE WAS 'TOO BIG' TO WORK HAS OVERCOME EATING DISORDER TO BECOME PLUS SIZE MODEL

I read a story this morning about a woman called Danielle Braverman who, at a UK size 6, was told she was 'too big' to work as a model, but has now overcome an eating disorder to become a plus size model. 

Which is great and I'm really happy for her but I'm desperate to understand the society in which we live that even at the height of an eating disorder, this girl was TOO BIG to work, yet the minute she gets healthy she's accepted as 'Plus Size'.

Danielle says: "I started straight modelling at college - I was very thin and successfully modelled for years. But because naturally I am not that size I was constantly pushing against my curves."

"I was constantly told I needed to lose weight and people would even duct tape my chest down for photoshoots. I was endangering my health and sanity and it was very stressful. I was binging, had anorexia, I was taking diet pills and watching every calories. I was looking at an apple thinking if it had too many calories. I'd feel completely guilty about eating, I was exercising excessively and it became an obsession."

Thankfully however, Danielle eventually quit modelling, got married and ditched the unhealthy lifestyle, she says:

"I kind of had an epiphany after I had my daughter - I didn't want her to go through all that, and I just want her to accept herself. I started eating normally and being active and after having two children, was a size 12-14 and curvy."

"I feel like this is my true shape, and I am being my true shape. It took me a long time to stop picking on myself, but I got to a point of self-acceptance. I started to feel happy just letting me be me."

It was then that she started plus size modelling:

"The model in me never left. I've always loved modelling, once I was in a healthy state of mind I started plus size modelling. I've never been so happy. everyone has been so lovely and I have never been so accepted."

She has since launched a campaign called #EmbraceYourShape and says "we need more diverse bodies in modelling to reflect the wide range of women's bodies. I would love to become more of a voice, a body positive advocate and would love to continue to empower."

And I hope so too as I am really empowered by Danielle's bravery and I love that she is speaking out and doing something positive.

What I don't love however is the struggle that she has gone through, just to be accepted.

What we can see here is a woman beating herself up, starving herself and driving herself insane to try to be small enough for an industry, that despite being a size 6, she just would never have been small enough for.

Yet she gets healthy, has two babies and starts to regain her self control, only to then be accepted, as a 'plus-size model'.

Please don't get me wrong, I do LOVE that there is a wave of new models out there and I do think that the plus size movement is a positive one and I am incredibly happy that Danielle has found her calling.


But what I don't love is the distinct lack of middle ground here. What it feels like, is that even if you're starving yourself, you're probably going to be too big, yet the minute you get healthy you will be accepted, but only with the connotations that you are an oversized version of your former aspiration.

It means that healthy women are being labelled with this patronising term while we sit here knowing that really, the only girls with any hope of modelling career that isn't 'plus sized', are the ones willing to starve themselves.

I honestly don't know what the answer is here but I hope we can find one soon because the fact that Danielle even had to put herself through this in the first place simply isn't good enough.

I personally think the best thing we can do is get a big sponge, wipe the entire slate clean and work on the basis that as long as you're happy then that's all that matters. The fashion world wouldn't know what had hit them... 

Also, if there are any models reading this who have ever been told that they're 'too big' for anything, please get me the name of whoever said it to you, because I think in society as it is today, those two words are the cruelest things you can say to a girl.

Either way we wish Danielle all the luck and love in the world as she embarks on this stage of her career, keep eating, keep smiling and #EmbraceYourShape!