How Iskra Lawrence Defeated Body Shame
Culture Model Iskra Lawrence struggled with never having “the right body,” but acceptance brought her huge success.
British model Iskra Lawrence is proud of her curvy figure — and she wants other women to embrace their shapes, too.
"After years of battling with my own body image, I learned to love myself and my body from the inside out, which is something I hope to share with others," she says. "Through body empowerment and education, we can learn the tools to care for our mental, emotional and physical well-being, which is the best thing we can do for ourselves."
Self-acceptance did not come easily for Lawrence. "The first few years of my career were some of my darkest. I struggled to fit into sample sizes and was soon dropped by my agency. As I got older and my body began to develop even more, I turned to extreme dieting and exercise. I was desperately trying to change my body into something it was never meant to be, which was taking a toll on my well-being."
"Stop thinking about your body in terms of what it looks like and instead focus on what it can accomplish."
Lawrence, who is also the managing editor for the body-positive website Runway Riot, found other problems within the modeling industry. "I was excited when I heard about plus-size modeling, but even then I was told by agents I was too small. I didn't want to try and change my body once again. I began to accept and embrace my body for more than just its appearance, and as soon as I began looking after myself, my modeling career took off."
She has advice for other people struggling with how they look. "Never compare yourself to others. You can never be them and they can never be you — and that's what makes you so special. Also, no matter how much rejection you encounter along the way, if you believe in yourself and are willing to put in the work, you can accomplish anything. Stop thinking about your body in terms of what it looks like and instead focus on what it can accomplish. You deserve to love yourself and your body — not base it off of the opinions of others, the scale or a jean size."