Meet Saffi Karina.
She’s been a model since her late teens, and has modeled for hundreds of brands – both in her home country of the UK and internationally. She’s 5’10” and gorgeous:
Unfortunately, not everyone thought the same. Six years ago, when Saffi was 21, she was dumped by the agency that represented her – because she was a size 10, and therefore too fat.
Saffi told London’s Evening Standard:
“I had only been working for a couple of years, and really loving it, when they dropped me. But I have 41-inch hips — they are pure bone, there is nothing I can do about them, they aren’t going anywhere. I had to work with what I’ve got… As you grow older, you become more womanly and I actually didn’t want to change that, so I started looking for what else was out there. I began working as a plus-size model and it is a very positive and happy industry. I still got to do what I loved and travel the world.”
Happily for Saffi, she was very successful as a plus-size model – she joined a different agency and worked on campaigns for big brands such as Speedo, Bravissimo and UK department store Debenhams.
But that’s not the point. The point is how ridiculous it is that someone like Saffi is even considered to be plus-size. That someone – who is now a size 12 – is considered too fat to possibly feature in normal advertising campaigns.
So Saffi decided to hit back at the very industry that showed her the door six years ago. She’s founded a project called Curve Project London, which is the UK’s first intensive plus-size model workshop.
The aim? To give a chance to girls who dream about becoming a model, but who don’t fit – and will never fit – the size zero standard required by so many top modelling agencies worldwide.
According to Saffi, there is no real guidance for plus-size models in the UK – and she wants to provide that so we can start seeing more of them in the industry. She explained this to the Evening Standard: “I want to strive to endorse a positive body image and act as a role model to young women who previously thought ‘thin’ was the only way to get a foot over the fashion threshold.”
Apparently it’s more than just a model workshop – it’s a “movement to empower women, to give them confidence and skills for life.”
And anything that aims to do that, has our full support.
Hopefully – with more plus-size models out in the modeling world – we’ll eventually lose the term plus-size for anyone over a size 6. Then they’ll just become “models”.
And wouldn’t that be a good day.