Just last month, plus-size model Lyanna Lynette was featured in Talking Body, a new series of Elle magazine. Lynette emerged as the last year’s winner of Torrid model search out of 14,400 contestants. She previously worked at a hair salon in her hometown in Texas,, but after the winning, she’s been traveling around the country to model in several ads including the recently launched #InMyJeans campaign.
In her Talking Body interview, Lynette talks about her view as a plus-size model and why she thinks confidence should not be connected with the body size.
According to Lyanna, she was already in her 20s when she learned to love accept her body. She believes that if she wants somebody to like her, she needs to like herself first. Other people’s opinions on how she looks don’t matter. What’s important is how she feels, she feels beautiful without needing somebody’s approval.
Diversity, Beauty & Confidence at its FINEST!! This Denim Campaign was not only a great experience but I got to be apart of a great movement to express women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. Now THIS is a beautiful thing!! Make sure and go to a Torrid near you and take a pik-chaaaaa which ya girl!!!!! #Torrid #TorridModel #Beauty #Confidence #Diversity #PlusSize #Beautiful #Campaign #Denim #TorridFashion #Love #CelebrateMySize #InMyJeans
She grew up with her mom and her father never really stayed. She shared how it affected her badly and turned to food for comfort. For Lynette, food was her bestfriend, it made her happy whenever she’s sad and it’s always there when she needed it. Until she noticed that her weight had increased.
She also had her share of heartaches from abusive relationships, she was also a victim of bullying when she was in middle school until high school. All those struggles only made her stronger and now she’s sharing to the world her story in hope to inspire women across the world to be confident in their own skin and body no matter what size they have. She thought that’s her purpose in life.
“I never wanted to be a certain number on a scale.”
Lynette revealed how her grandma helped her shed 75 pounds off her weight. Growing up, she was close to her grandma who also had weight problems because of various health issues such as diabetes, high blood, and glaucoma, among others.
After her grandma died, that was when she realized that 310 lbs is not healthy for her 5 ft 8 in height—she needed to lose some weight. Not only that, she also started eating healthy. She didn’t want to be like her grandma who wasn’t able to hang out with her grandchildren because of her serious condition.
Lynette dreams to be active, to be able to do things that she wants to do. And that’s what drove her to lose weight. Later on, she started to appreciate her body. She noticed that she was feeling better, more energetic when she started losing weight. Finally, she has fallen in love with herself, although it took her a long time.
What happened to her grandma helped her in a way that that it opened her eyes to take extra care of the body that God had given her.
Lynette doesn’t want to be defined by the size of the pants she wears. To be able to wear anything that she want makes her feel great. She claimed that although she already love herself even when she was 310 lbs heavy, she love herself even more now that she’s slimmer, it boost her confidence. For her, losing weight means being healthy and being able to love herself enough to take care of herself.
“I have fallen in love with myself just all over again.”
Her health regimen includes healthy meals like egg whites, whole grains, or oatmeal with fruit, though she also has some cheat days, where she lets herself enjoy pizza and burgers. She also doesn’t eat greasy foods, and she does 30 minutes to one hour of walking. She’s not a gym person. Unlike other girls whose only dream is to achieve a size 0, Lyanna’s goal is to be healthy.
Lyanna is out to show the world that plus-size women are not overweight, that they too can be healthy. She wants people to accept women as they are, regardless of their size. If this happens, she believes the world would be a better place.
“Just because you’re plus-size doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy. Just because you’re straight-size doesn’t mean you’re healthy.”
Thanks to social media, she was able to tell her story, about growing up without a father, her experience being in violent relationships, and her weight struggle. She gained considerable followers on Instagram, Facebook, and even on Snapchat. She happily shares that there are those who regularly send her messages of thanks, saying they were inspired by her story.
Lynette recalled the number of times she got rejected when she was still trying to break into the modeling industry. She was told, “You’re too big” or “You’re not tall enough,” “You’re not six-foot,” “You’re not 5’11.” But those negative experiences didn’t dissuade her from pursuing her dream. She believes that as long as you know what you want and have the determination and passion for it, one day, your dream will come true. And after so many years of waiting, she was finally accepted by Torrid. “This is why I went through everything that I went through—to inspire other women.
“Don’t let one ‘no’ define your future, wait for that one ‘yes’—that’s what I did,” Lynette ends.