Iskra Lawrence On Why A Perfect Body In The Modeling Industry Doesn’t Exist
Iskra Lawrence was only 13 when she was picked as a finalist in Elle Girl’s “Search For A Supermodel”. As a self-called chunky child, she grew into her hourglass figure as a teen. “I realized boys at school actually liked curves, and I was lucky to have a naturally hourglass figure,” she said. But as a model, it was a different story.
“I was in the straight size (as opposed to plus size) industry. I was comparing myself to other models who had totally different body shapes.”
Iskra had a larger frame and curvier body than the girls she was modeling alongside. “At that age, I was letting other people’s opinions of my body shape how I felt about it,” she said. After months of attempting to fit into fashion industry norms, she took back her personal power.
As a model, Lawrence decided to be the change she wanted to see in the industry. It wasn’t about changing the industry’s idea of what a perfect body was, it was about promoting the idea that there’s no such thing as perfect–that every body is worth being celebrated. Her hope is that one day, there will be a range of models of all shapes and sizes so that everyone can relate to models in the magazines. She wants girls to feel represented in the media, instead of excluded or alienated.
“If you look back in history, more voluptuous figures were highly sought after and celebrated because they were associated with fertility. Right now some of the women most celebrated for their beauty, and in the public eye, are Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, Iggy Azalea. It’s great to see that shift,” she said. “When you decide to love your body and all its ‘flaws,’ you start realizing there’s so much more to life than worrying about your body,” she said. “I couldn’t change my shape, so I learned to train, to keep my body in good shape, and as long as I did that I could be me and be unique.”
She decided it was her shape, not the size of her jeans, that mattered. Here are three ways she embraces her curves, every day:
1. “When training, it’s all about squats! I can’t tell you enough how important they are to shape and tone. You just have to get the technique right. Go as heavy and low as possible — ass to grass!”
2. “You need to eat carbs and protein before and after a heavy weight training session. If you are trying to gain muscle, you need enough energy and calories to help the muscles recover and grow.”
3. “I cook at home every day and rarely eat out (not very NYC of me) so I treat myself to one guilty pleasure a week. My favorite indlugences are pizza and burgers, Nutella, European chocolate (never Hershey’s) and milkshakes! Here’s how I save my skin after a junk food indulgence!”