Column: Let’s focus on body diversity

Now that I’ve introduced you to my life as a young model, dancer and that I’ve only shared my personal tips and tricks to achieve your modeling dreams, it’s time to talk about body diversity.

As said before, model agencies often found my body too muscular to be a model. But aren’t we just perfect the way we are? As a semi-professional dancer (from ballet to hiphop and urban) it’s normal that I’ve created some visible body changes and it shouldn’t hold me back from being a model at any moment. However it’s apparently very difficult to be a dancer at the same time as building my modeling career and finding an agency that doesn’t ask you to loose weight or to stop dancing isn’t so easy as it would seem like.

Everything would be so different if we had more diversity of models on the runways during Fashion Weeks!

Luckily I was scouted by YOUNG Model Management about two years ago but I have to be honest as they also asked me to loose some weight. Not the kind of reaction I was hoping for but once I explained to them that I’m a dancer, they advised me to get in touch with Terry Groenen, the founder of Inbetween Models, and that’s where it all changed for me.

Do you know about her story? Actually a few years ago Terry entered the Holland’s next Topmodel competition. When she ended up being one of the last twenty models, she had to leave the program as they told her that she wasn’t skinny enough to work in high fashion. She was also not heavy enough foor being a curvy model… Clearly at that time there waas no place for a model with size 36 (S) – 38 (M). And even this size is a completely normal and average women size, it should not decide whether you’re a perfect model or not. That’s why Terry decided to start her own agency with models that are (only) having size 36 (S) – 40 (L) and it opened doors for a lot of girls and other models like me.

In her agency she scouts girls not on the size but on how they are feeling about themselves, how they move in front of a camera, how the speak and laugh. Strong girls who are perfectly happy with the way they look are found by her! And thanks to these changes and her willpower we’re seeing that brands are starting to work with her more often. Even I’m experiencing the positive changes as I’ve been casted three times for a job in one year. One of these brands was @Royaums, an amazing shoe brand. I’m extremely thankful that Terry is giving us these kind of opportunities!

And that’s not the end of it! This week I also was in touch with Façon Jacmin, a Belgian brand with the same vision on body diversity and I can’t wait to work together on different campaigns in the near future.

Seeing all these changes inside the Modeling industry makes me very happy. It gives us all the opportunity to be able to express ourselves no matter what type of body we have. On RTL television they were also talking about it in this weeks reportage. There was an interview with some important people of the Dutch fashion industry and everybody was excited as the industry is starting to change bit by bit. Some pictures of my friend models from Inbetween where showed on television and I was so proud of her! But at the end, when the reporter asked: what can Inbetween Models do to get more jobs and be booked?, the fashion lady replied: “They can either start to eat more or they can loose some weight”.

It’s clear that she didn’t get the message yet and it’s once more showing that not everyone is ready for the changes!

This article has been written by @MARGAUX.DECKERS

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