Gigi Hadid's plus-size model cousin speaks out about body positivity

Gigi Hadid's plus-size model cousin speaks out about body positivity

You've heard of Gigi and Bella Hadid - but it's time to meet a new member of fashion's favourite family. A member who is here to give you some sound advice on how to appreciate that beautiful body of yours for what it is.

Joann van den Herik is Gigi and Bella's cousin. The daughter of Yolanda Hadid's businessman brother Leo van den Herik is also a plus-size model in her own right, who is here to champion body confidence.

In a recent interview with SLiNK magazine, the 20-year-old, who is a US size eight (UK size 12), shared her pearls of wisdom, telling readers that comparing themselves to others is always going to do more harm than good.

"Whenever I'm really insecure about some part of my body, I just think: 'But does it really matter? Does it make me less of a human? Or just look at it another way and focus on the beautiful parts," she said.

Continuing to admit that she had socialised with the wrong people in the past, she advised: "Surround yourself with positive people. I was always surrounded by people who were negative about themselves, and that negative energy consumes you. You take that negative energy and start thinking that way about yourself as well. As soon as you feel that people take too much from you, leave them."

Her interview in SLiNK, a fashion and lifestyle magazine aimed at plus-size women, is accompanied by a bevvy of fabulous pictures that flaunt the 20-year-old's curves.

Her wise words are nothing out of the ordinary though: Joann's fans regularly receive inspiring updates through her social media channels. On her Instagram account, which boasts an impressive 120,000 followers, the plus-size model is completely open with her fans about her struggle to accept her body the way it is.

Joann Van Den Herik and Bella Hadid Credit: Instagram/Joann Van Den Herik

Posting a topless photo earlier this week, she wrote: "Step for step. Was actually going to crop my fatroll out of the picture, but last minute decided not to. I don’t want to limit myself to society’s ideal of beauty. You are beautiful WITHOUT limits ❤️ #LoveYourBody".

She continued: "Some people may not understand it, but body positivity is for all body types. Not only for fat people or people with curves. My messages, my love, is meant for all people, every age, all genders, all bodies, all shapes, all skin colours. Trying to put other people down to compliment me is something that hurts my feelings and will never ever be something I will thank you for."

Yes, fat people aren’t portrayed in the media as much. Yes, fat people get shamed a lot. Yes, fat-shaming is a bigger problem. But to fight that, you shouldn’t hurt people and spread negativity. You should support each other and spread positive vibes. ❤️🥰 Positive is the way to go!" [sic]

Having become the new face of Debenham's plus-size line last year, the 20-year-old is certainly one to watch. Keep on spreading your message, Joann - let's get this body positivity show on the road!