Body Image and Confidence with plus model Esther Andersen

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How did you get into modelling, and was it hard to break through the industry being plus size?

“3 years ago. I never thought that I’d be a model, truly. I was very shy and modest. My Family are religious and traditional which didn’t help me to be confident. I had got so many nicknames when I was a child and a teenager because of my weight until I decided to lose weight.  I had nicknames like “Flour Bag”, “Calfskin”, “Disgusting (a French pronunciation to say Ugly)”, and “Horrid”. But one bad moment which gave to me so much pain was when I was 8 and my teacher said to my classroom: “Who is the ugliest child of the classroom? It’s Esther!” Everybody laughed. That day I felt ashamed and mad because it was from an adult. These events taught me to be both stronger and courageous. Before, I thought modelling was reserved for slim women until the day I watched a documentary about plus size models in USA.  They were so confident with their bodies and were stunning as well. It was a “click” for me. I decided to accept myself and Show to everybody we can be Plump, Normal, Slim or Curvy. We are beautiful, whatever our body type. When I decided to be a plus-size model it was very difficult for me. No agency, no contacts so I decided to be creative and you know, there are agencies in France who hide their plus size models in their websites. I have an agency in France who hide their Plus size models in their website as well, it is very regrettable! So yes, it was hard for us to be accepted in fashion Iindustry. Just be positive and optimistic.”    

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Esther for RNG Magazine

Although there has been an amazing rise of plus models in the industry, there is still a distinct lack of plus size models being promoted in magazine and other media. Why do you think this is?

“In high couture as well they choose only the same models as Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk, Miranda Ker etc… In my opinion, the fashion industry is scared to change their old habits and that’s why we are here to fix it! But I also think they want us to identify with some models and plus sizes models but not several models otherwise people will be lost and won’t have a recognition model according to them.  I disagree with this. They have to show every body type. More diversity and every personality. It’s very important!”

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Photography by Lenaic Sanz

You’ve modelled in some gorgeous lingerie shoots. But what type of shoot is your favourite?

“It depends, each type of shooting are unique for me, but I’ll be glad to make more fashion shoots. It’s really sensitive sometimes to make a lingerie shoot because you cannot be someone else. I don’t mean I’m someone else when I make another type of shoot but I do not have words to explain this impression so much natural and humble with yourself.”

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Photography by Lenaic Sanz

Where do you shop for clothes that suit your curves?

“I don’t have specially Shops but I like New Look, Missguided,  Primark, Forever 21, Monif C, H&M and others. I like Zara’s design, however their size stop to 14 or 16, unfortunately.”

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Photograghy by Lenaic Sanz

You’ve modelled for Volup2, RNG, and Eva & Lola. Do you have any goal publications or brands you’d love to work with?

“I really liked working for My PePita with Donja Pitsh, Unlucky Lingerie with Velvet D’amour, RNG and Eva&Lola. It was unforgettable to work with them and I wanted to thanks them for their wonderful works. However I’m a Huge Fan of Moschino and Rick Owens’s publications. Furthermore, I’d love to work with brands which suit plus size women’s curves.”

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Esther for Insolente Magazine

You describe yourself as a plus size model. How do you feel about the “Drop the plus” campaign?

“I really appreciate the plus size term and if we drop this term, we would fall into banality.”  

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Photography by Stefan Bourson

 Many women have low self-esteem and lack confidence in the skin they are in. What advice would you give to women who struggle to love themselves?

“There are several factors to why we have a low self-esteem. Firstly, we were conditioned in a society who is based in the cult of thinness as you can see in magazines, movies, publications, TV shows, etc.  Secondly, people will be conditioned to think the beauty’s cult would be necessarily as societydescribe it and men, like women who are different to this beauty standard would be discriminated. And also will be subject of mockery and reject by the society. Advice which I can say is, I know it’s easy to say but difficult to do! If you have a lack confidence in yourself, people will feel it and they will see that you are mentally fragile ,at the opposite If you feel yourself gorgeous, confident in your body People will feel it as well and they will find you beautiful too. Even if you have a low self-esteem don’t give reason to them. Firstly prove to yourself thatyou are better than them. 98% of your lack of confidence is in your mind! Don’t change your appearance for anyone. You do not live for people, it is very important to know that. Live for yourself and only yourself! After that, life will be more easy for you. That is what I think.”

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Esther for RNG Magazine

Do you have any advice for aspiring plus size models?

“Stay Strong!”

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Photography by Donja Pitsh for MyPepita.com

Facebook: Esther Andersen
Twitter: @EstherFebruary
Instagram: @estheralaframboise
Tumblr: estheralaframboise.tumblr.com

 

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