Iskra Lawrence is slowly becoming a household name in the fashion industry. She, alongside the likes of Ashley Graham and Sabina Karlsson, is changing the way mainstream audiences see plus-size models. They are representing the new wave of fashion models who showcase “real” figures and not the size 0 dresses that often sashay down the runway.
Iskra Lawrence: Redefining Beauty
For those of you who are not familiar with this English beauty, Iskra Lawrence actually rose to fame after being featured in Aerie, a clothing brand from American Eagle Outfitters. She is known to be one of the few models who do not allow any digital retouching, even in her Instagram photos. Lawrence regularly reminds her followers that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and in a candid interview with Brit.co, the plus-size models dishes on her role as an AerieReal girl.
✨ I didn’t know @alexandra_ramirez92 until she DMed me today asking if I could share her @gofundme to raise money for her father whose just had open heart surgery but doesn’t have health insurance. link is in my bioI’m so grateful that I have this platform and may be able to help a man and family I have never met. God bless you and I pray for his fast recovery never be afraid to ask for help, we will all need it at some point.. by @jbadou wearing @aerie #iskralawrence #everyBODYisbeautiful #payitforward #leanin
B+C: What’s one life habit you try to keep up to help maintain a healthy body image?
Iskra Lawrence: Everything in moderation. I look after myself by working out and eating nutritious foods, but at the same time, I don’t worry about eating pizza or dessert. I also set realistic, achievable goals, like cooking at home one more night a week, so I can make healthy choices without setting myself up for failure.
B+C: What are your thoughts on all the attention the plus-size modeling world has received over the last couple of years?
Iskra Lawrence: I’m so excited to be a part of this evolution and witness diversity and inclusivity in the modeling world. The more attention this movement receives, the more it can help both men and women realize that there are alternatives to the traditional standards of beauty and that they aren’t defined by a certain look or size.
B+C: What is one change you would like to see in the plus-size fashion + modeling world in the foreseeable future?
Iskra Lawrence: I would like to get rid of labels altogether to create a seamless inclusion of models of all sizes. Beauty is more than skin-deep, and I hope to one day open up a magazine and see curvier models in campaigns and editorials and have that be the norm. We’ve made a lot of progress so far, but there’s still work to be done for the industry to be truly diverse and inclusive.
B+C: What’s been the most inspiring moment for you during your time as an Aerie Real girl?
Iskra Lawrence: It’s been such an incredible experience working with Aerie, so it’s hard to pick one. Whenever I travel to different stores and meet girls from different cities and backgrounds, I am continually humbled by their stories and how we are all connected by the similar battles we face with ourselves and our bodies. I love listening and learning about what they’ve gone through and how they’ve been inspired by the #aeriereal campaign and other changes in the industry.
✨ this raw screen grab (so no retouching or photoshop) from my shoot yesterday @adoreme means so much to me. Thank goodness I’ve gotten to the place where I don’t compare myself to others. From when I started modelling at 13 to around 19 (when I was only about a UK 10 or US 6/8) I would have crumbled inside standing next to these two beautiful women and would have been way too insecure to share a pic like this. Because I hated that my body couldn’t be slim. I was told like most of you (from magazines to TV and films) that to be a successful model or women (get the guy, have money, an enviable lifestyle) you had to be slim. And it took me many years to come to terms with the fact I won’t have skinny legs or a thigh gap and that’s ok. Because this is my body and my beauty is not defined by my size. I am classed in the fashion industry as plus-size. I could not give a flying F what I’m labelled but I would prefer not to be. The visibility I have (at only a UK14/US12) has many of you questioning well if she’s plus-size what am I❓I would prefer that no one was labelled. I don’t believe anyone should be categorised by their size; colour, gender, sexuality or religion. Isn’t that the beauty of humanity that no two people are the same and that therefore makes us special❓. For real this pic has me buzzing I’m so damn proud to be able to model without worrying about diets or trying to be perfect because I’m happy and healthy and that’s what’s important. I want to be the model I needed to see growing up in the media showing me it’s ok to be imperfect and have flaws and be different that’s actually what’s so beautiful about you. Thank you to all the brands who work towards inclusivity and those celebrating diversity and of course all 2.3 million of you – I wouldn’t be here without your support ILY ✨ #iskralawrence #everyBODYisbeautiful H&M @donnafumoso @hairandmakeupbyjosephine models @bregjeheinen @simonevillasboas AD @corinneaa @mosadek @morganhw Photog @udophotography styling @ariannalevin
B+C: Have there been any defining moments in your modeling career that have helped you really accept, appreciate and love your body?
Iskra Lawrence: I will never forget the moment I saw myself on a billboard in Times Square. It was a swim campaign with Aerie and was completely unretouched. After 10 years in the industry constantly being told I was either too big or too small and feeling unworthy as a model, seeing myself and my body on that billboard finally gave me the self-confidence I had been denying myself. My dream is to help every woman and man who struggles with the same feelings discover their true, individual beauty and learn to love themselves just the way they are.
No one can deny that the plus-size industry is fast rising. It has raked in roughly $18 billion in revenue and represents a lot of women around America alone. Yet its victory is short-lived as women still face discrimination and shaming worldwide. Iskra Lawrence is just one of the many models who promote body positivity, and with their powerful voice, it won’t take long for the industry to realize that true beauty does go beyond an individual’s size.