Plus-size model brought to tears by public's reaction to unedited bikini pics
The fashion industry has come a long way in representing people of different shapes, sizes, and races in the last decade. From plus-size models like Ashely Graham blazing a trail for curvier women, to vitiligo spokesperson Winnie Harlow proving somebody doesn't have to look a certain way to be considered beautiful.
For example, Sports Illustrated used 54-year-old Paulina Porizkova to model for their swimsuit edition:
However, despite the fact that every year we are bombarded with headlines about how Sports Illustrated will be leaving all their images unedited for their swimsuit edition or how a certain label at New York Fashion week will only be using disabled models on the runway, the truth is, we're still yet to see these changes made in our day-to-day lives.
Firstly, just look at the uproar that occurred as a result of Nike daring to use a plus-size mannequin in its stores.
That's why if we were to ever turn the pages in our catalogs at home and not see a slim stereotypically attractive white woman, several people would probably raise an eyebrow - which is why it is so important for all body types to be featured by fashion brands.
Thankfully, sites like Pretty Little Thing are keeping it real and showcasing models with all kinds of body shapes, such as plus-size model Irena Drezi, in all her unedited glory.
Per the Daily Star, the size 16 (UK) model spent four years of her life battling an eating disorder, and would often hide her figure under baggy clothing. Drezi even admitted to struggling to leave her house.
However, after a few stints as a cleaner and waitress, the 22-year-old has now found her calling in life as a model and influencer. Now, her career has taken off thanks to a particular shot shared by online fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing.
The shots show Drezi completely unedited, showcasing her "real body" in a crocheted bikini. Staring confidently down the lens, Drezi sips on a coconut and looks absolutely stunning!
Now, the model has admitted to being completely overwhelmed by the online response to the image. In just five days, the snap has been liked over 109,000 times (as of this writing), and the comments are totally here for Drezi.
The supportive comments include:
"It isn’t her body that’s prettiest here… it’s her confidence."
"I love that you use plus size models."
"Love the fact you are showing and promoting a real unedited woman."
Now, the model has spoken out about the online response, and the personal effect every positive comment has made to her. Talking to The Sun, Drezi said:
"I was delighted when they put it up. It's surreal. 90 per cent of the comments were all positive.
"It actually made me cry. All these girls were messaging me, telling me their stories.
"They think of me and they go out in tops that are sleeveless and they don't care about showing their arms anymore.
"And it really makes me feel like I am helping someone. I know exactly what they are going through, so it is really relatable."
Keep up the great work Pretty Little Thing and Drezi!