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Rejected as a Teenager, Iskra Lawrence Is Getting Back and Giving Back

“I’m proud to be me, healthy and happy because I know I’m more than a size or label.”

Via Instagram

Back in July, GOOD reported that American Eagle’s lingerie line, Aerie, saw a 10 percent sales boost after it stopped photoshopping its models and began hiring women with realistic body types. Meet Iskra Lawrence, a woman who embodies Aerie’s commitment to changing how clothes are sold and, more important, how women are treated in advertising.

As a former competitive swimmer, Lawrence learned to have a very healthy relationship with food. “Because I was a swimmer, I felt like sports did help me to realize that my body was more than what it just looked like,” she told Business Insider. “If didn’t eat, then I couldn’t swim fast.” As a teenager, Lawrence was fired by her modeling agency after being told her hips were “too big.” After that she was rejected by plus-size agencies for being “too small.” After getting some work in the straight-size world, she was disgusted by the photoshopping.

Two weeks ago, Lawrence was proud to announce that she’s been hired to model in Aerie’s new swimsuit campaign, and is the official brand ambassador as well. On Instagram she wrote: “[To] all the people who said I would never make it because I was too fat to model, all that rejection was actually the ammunition to prove them wrong. I’m proud to be me, healthy and happy because I know I’m more than a size or label. Never let anyone tell you you aren’t beautiful. You are beautiful because you are you.”

Via Instagram

In addition to modeling, Lawrence spends her time and energy helping women with eating disorders. In conjunction with the National Eating Disorders Association, she helped create the Seal of Approval award, which serves “to recognize those companies and individuals who are striving to make a difference.”

Here’s more on how Lawrence and NEDA are inspiring body positivity.

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