SI model posts bikini photo after revealing she lost 20lbs because agencies told her she was 'too curvy'
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, Emily DiDonato, has taken to YouTube to share how she learned to love her body.
The 28-year-old - who has shot with Maybelline, and has walked countless high-fashion runways - revealed her struggle with body acceptance in a 15-minute video where she took "a walk down memory lane". DiDonato began by explaining that when she first moved to New York to pursue modelling, agencies proceeded to inform her that she was "too curvy, too big and too athletic".
But instead of acknowledging that this was due to toxic beauty standards, she decided to do whatever it took to succeed. Speaking of her 18-year-old mindset, DiDonato said "To me, to be successful, is to be thin".
"So I am going to do whatever it takes, and I did. I was eating as little as possible, I was very obsessed with what I was putting in my body and I was over exercising."
The model revealed that after moving to the city, she did not take any form of public transport, and instead walked everywhere, which meant she went from 140lbs to 118lbs, in just a few weeks.
But after losing over 20 lbs, DiDonato still received negative feedback, with agents telling her "she looked better before". "Well, duh," the model added.
She eventually ended up experiencing symptoms of depression. "I was lonely," DiDonato stated. "I was homesick. I missed my friends. I didn’t know what I was doing in this big city. I didn’t know anyone."
The model elaborated on her journey in an Instagram post. "Now and then... I posted a video on my YouTube channel talking about my road to self love and body confidence. It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my body. I’ve fluctuated over the years from a double zero to a size 10 and I remember being so embarrassed and ashamed of that," she wrote.
This model with a huge facial birthmark is encouraging others to embrace the skin they're in:
"I wish I was kinder to myself because I am only human but I thought models were meant to be a 00 and stay a 00. I was always hesitant to talk about body positivity or body diversity because I am aware being a size 6 or 8 is nothing ground breaking but in the modelling industry, my size hasn’t always been represented, celebrated or accepted. For me, feeling comfortable in my skin has taken a lot of work and effort and I wanted to share that with you guys."
DiDonato left her followers with these words of wisdom; "Finding this self-love and loving the skin that I’m in took time and it took effort. There’s nothing sexier than a woman who’s comfortable in her skin and her body. And that’s something that I’m working at every day."
Amen to that!