Q: What is confidence to you?
A: I think confidence is comfort because once you feel comfortable within yourself that’s when you feel most confident, and you can’t fake that. Deep down, true confidence is from being comfortable within yourself.
Q: You were one of the pioneers breaking down industry barriers. How did you decide that modeling was something you wanted to do?
A: I was actually training to be a primary school teacher, specialising in autism and behavioural difficulties. And I got scouted in a pub. So, this industry wasn’t something I ever thought I’d get into and as far as I knew, it didn’t exist. If something doesn’t exist, how can you think that there is a space for you? So yeah, I kind of got thrown into the deep end with quite a well-known photographer.
Q: Was this your big break into the industry?
A: Definitely. Who knew, just dancing in an East London pub to Diana Ross would lead to all this. And this photographer had never used curvy women before. His work is primarily very, very slender, thin women. So for him to use someone like me was quite ground-breaking at the time. And that went viral. After that, I got an email from an agency and I thought I was being punked, that it was a big prank because I didn’t know any plus size models back then in 2011. For me, a plus-size model should be the size of the UK average, and we weren’t seeing that.
And it’s inspiring! If you see someone of your size, someone you can relate to, on this beauty campaign or that fashion brand, that’s encouragement for people. It’s moments like that that I realise this isn’t just for me, it’s for other people like me. Opening the doors within the industry, it’s so important in promoting diversity.