I am an anomaly. I am a woman with a commercial height, a high-fashion face, and plus-sized hips. I stand at 5’5″, three inches shy of the runway standard as well as most agency requirements, despite appearing significantly taller on film and in print. I have been told I’m “too tiny” or “too athletic” up top to be considered a “full-figured” plus-size model, “too short” to get signed to a prominent agency or to be featured in premier editorials, and have had countless people diminish my talents and versatile look by trying to typecast me as an urban model or a video vixen.

Every day, people in positions of power and even people without it, try to categorize me and throw me into a box. The fashion and modeling industry has created all of these stipulations as a way to perpetuate their idea of what beauty looks like, which usually pertains to white women with a dress size 0-2. Even the few Black models that are in the spotlight fit these unreasonable measurements.

I cannot wait until women sizes 0-whatever can make a name for themselves in whatever type of modeling they choose to pursue. Genetic makeups are unlimited, and the industry needs to adhere to the diversity of women, as opposed to believing that their standard should be every woman’s reality. I have contemplated quitting this journey more times than I can count, and I’m just getting started. But if a path for me doesn’t exist, then I’ll just have to make one.

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