Plus-size model who has been featured in Vogue says she is fat-shamed every day

Plus-size model who has been featured in Vogue says she is fat-shamed every day

It takes a lot of guts to stand up for yourself and remain true to who you are - especially if you're constantly being attacked for how you look or what you believe in.

Megan Kimberling understands this all too well.

The 29-year-old model and product developer, who wears US size 20 clothing, found herself the target of online trolls after she did a shoot in Vogue Italia. However, this was nothing new to Kimberling, who has been modeling since 2014 and says she was "always the chubby kid" at school.

In a move of defiance, Kimberling refused to be broken down by her bullies, and instead grew more determined to love herself and spread a message of body positivity.

Speaking about her past, the model described long periods of time where she would become really self-conscious, and went to fairly extreme measures to cut down on her weight.

"In college I went through a period of thinking, 'I don't want to be fat anymore," she said. "I went to the doctor and he gave me appetite suppressants. I used those, restricted my diet and worked out for hours a day."

But it wasn't healthy.

"Looking back I was close to an eating disorder, but I lost a bunch of weight. Then life happened and I gained all the weight back.

"When I lost the weight, I thought it was going to magically solve all my problems, but I wasn't any happier when I was thinner. I made the connection that my emotions are not connected to my weight. It doesn't matter what pants you wear."

Even now, though, she still struggles to remain positive all the time.

"I have good days and bad days and that is perfectly normal, but for the most part I thoroughly enjoy my body. There are always going to be days when I look in the mirror and think, 'I don't like how this looks or that looks.' Now when I do have those days I have learned to step away from the mirror."

Thankfully, she has a network of support - but even that comes with its downsides.

"Social media has been absolutely fantastic to connect with people and like-minds, but there are a lot of trolls. I block probably 50 people on a busy day.

"A lot of it is them calling me fat which doesn't affect me anymore but I don't want my followers seeing that because I feel like I have curated a safe space. Anyone who doesn't have anything nice to say is getting blocked."

But the negativity isn't just restricted to an online space. In the real world, when Kimberling is working, she faces discrimination all the time.

"I have been asked if I'm the photographer or the makeup artist, never the model. It happens almost anytime I go to shoots if it's crew I haven't worked with," she said. "Just because you are fatter than other models doesn't mean you don't have as much or more talent than them. That's the frustrating part."

But she has the right attitude when it comes to dealing with criticism.

"If you're not going to take me seriously then I'm not the issue, you are the issue.

"Often I get told I can't show my body because it's inappropriate but they don't like me when I'm wearing clothes and they don't like me when I'm not. They don't like the idea that it's OK to be fat. I think our society needs to reevaluate its priorities."

Kudos to Kimberling for owning her body, and standing up to those who think it's ok to hate on others.