There are seemingly endless standards for comparison out there as a Plus Size Model. Every day, I look at other models that are achieving success and compare myself to them. Clients are doing the same thing, as are agents, fans, photographers, and other models.
For me, it's important to tap into my unique traits, because that's what helps me to approach my work as a model from a place of authenticity and realness, which leads to better, more powerful images than if I were trying to assimilate and obscure what is unique about me.
You see it in this video that Candice Huffine recently starred in for Models.com--she is completely in her body, accepting of herself, and free. She radiates beauty, glamour, and confidence. If she were sitting there thinking about how her body doesn't look like Ashley Graham's, we wouldn't get to see what is so beautiful, special, and unique about her!
I've said before that what makes you unique is ultimately what makes you interesting. But it's more than that. Letting your unique traits shine through is also important because that's where your greatest gifts lie. And if you don't tap into those things, you're literally depriving the world of your greatness.
I love Unique Vintage's #iamunique campaign because it celebrates the unique qualities of all women, and it acknowledges the important linkage between how we feel about ourselves, how we present ourselves to the world through fashion, and what we're here to contribute. This message is empowering, because it gives us permission to love ourselves as we are and celebrate the things about ourselves that are unique. Not only does this feel great, but it actually propels our success, as well.
In the #iamunique campaign, Unique Vintage showcases some different women styled in Unique Vintage clothing, embodying their identities as uniquely awesome women: a Mother, a Survivor, a Fabulous Transgender, an Advocate, a Bombshell, a Badass, a Classic Lady, and a #ladyboss. Their message is all about encouraging women to express what is unique about themselves through fashion, which is a great way to tap into your greatness!
Personally, I feel that what is uniquely great about me is my ability to model, and the way I use that to serve the world is by helping women to feel empowered and inspired regardless of their size. Read more in my post, "Why I Model." When I am taking photos like this, I try to convey a command of my presence that reflects this acceptance and confidence. This photo was taken by Justin Clynes, hair and make-up by Lauren O'Leary, two very beautiful individuals who helped create this moment!
Whether you're using fashion as a mechanism to do this or not, find a way to tap into what it uniquely great about yourself today, and share it with world!