From skinny to curvy
Sometime ago I had a very particular experience that made me wonder: is this what I want for myself?
I I’m going to tell you what happened a year and a half after finishing my reign as Miss Universe. At that time I traveled a lot and slept more in an airplane than in my own home. I was trying out opportunities in the United States and had been hired by a modeling agency in Miami, agency that it later wanted to add me to their selection of models in New York.
Happily, I signed with the agency.
I kept traveling and working. I felt healthy and happy with my body. Three months passed by and I went back to the agency. Apparently, it had gone up one kilogram.
At the meeting they told me that they no longer considered me a model of catwalk and editorial, that I was no longer among the “skinny” and would be classified as a “plus size” model.
It was a “wow” moment. I was not offended to be told “curvy” or to go to another “category”, it was about how strange the term PLUS SIZE was (for me or any women that is in a perfect health condition). Under what standards can someone be considered plus size? And who decides those standards?
The truth is, I had spent so many years of criticism, so many opinions about my physique, my personality, my mentality and even my attitude, that it did not touch my nerves. But if it made me think, is this what I want for myself?
After my reign, I had a year and a half in which I dedicated myself to responsabilities that went beyond my image and challenged my mind. Activities in which I had to think, interact with others and show my personality. Going from that state of constant exploration and growth to being again only judged by my appearance seemed ridiculous to me. I knew I was not in the right place.
Modeling is part of who I am. I love my job and I appreciate everything that has brought to my life. Therefore, since I lived this experience I have committed to collaborate only with brands that align with my values and that do not require me to maintain absurd measures. Thus, I have managed to create a balance in my career that makes me feel full.
The good thing is that this, although slowly, is changing in fashion. Every time there is more presence of different body types, colors and ethnicities. I just hope that as a society we continue to question the brands, media and industries that continue to idealize bodies that are not real or necessarily more beautiful than others.
I believe that physical beauty can not be everything, it cannot be the focus of your work, your priority, in everything you think and where you direct all your energy. It is not healthy. When I’m 60 years old I’m going to look very different from what I am now and if I just concentrate on that, what will become of me when that beauty disappears?
Also, I have learned that paying so much attention to how you look takes time away from you that you must be investing in your dreams, passions, in being a better person. It takes time away from what lasts forever: your essence and who you are.
Going from “skinny” to “curvy” could have disappointed me. Instead, it inspired me to focus on what I really love to do and build my own path. Above all, it taught me to be true to myself, not to let other people’s ideas typecast me and to choose how I want to live my life.
Today I feel happy because I nurture positive vibes and work in healthy environments. I do not define myself by what changes: the shape of my body or my weight. Today I live according to my standards of beauty and health, and now I feel in the right place.
Now I ask you: What is beauty for you? What decisions do you make every day to feel good about your body and yourself?