The modeling industry has long been associated with eating disorders and other destructive behaviors. Rumors of models eating tissue paper to laxatives to apple-only diets have swirled. They aren’t lying when they say beauty is pain.
Thankfully, many models are starting to fight back and we are seeing more body acceptance and diversity on the catwalk. Liza Golden-Bhojwani is one such model who has decided to embrace her curves and ditch starvation.
Bhojwani recently posted an inspiring message for Flashback Friday on Instagram in which she placed side-by-side images of her body at her first Fashion Week and today.
The difference is stark. In the first image, she is the “appropriate” size for the runway, but she certainly doesn’t look happy… or well. Her cheeks are hollow, her bones are protruding and she looks weak. In the current image beside it, Bhojwani looks like a completely different woman. She is glowing, fit and boasts enviable curves.
Of course, don’t get me wrong: There is absolutely nothing wrong being thin and having a frame that is more willowy than curvy. But if you have to engage in dangerous behaviors to be that thin, then you could risk your health, your happiness and your very life.
For Bhojwani to maintain such a thin frame, she had to eat minimal calories (think 500 calories a day, or 20 steamed edamame as a meal). She tells TODAY, “I could be so thin, yet it was never enough. There was never a point where I could say, ‘Okay this is it, this is the furthest I will go.’ I always wanted to go farther and be even smaller the next time.”
But one day, Bhojwani had a major wake-up call. She fainted from hunger inside of her apartment, and she finally realized that her unhealthy lifestyle was no longer sustainable. She began to eat again, but the more she ate, the more she gained weight. Suddenly, designers stopped wanting to work with her. She no longer got booked for shows. Her career was fizzling. She finally decided to call it quits and left the industry.
In 2014, Bhojwani got the urge to begin modeling again. At first, her plan was to workout hard-core and eat very few calories just like before. However, she soon realized that if she wanted to be happy and healthy, she needed to embrace her body rather than starve it to fit a rigid idea of beauty. Instead of torturing herself, she simply cared for her body and embraced her curves. And the results are truly breathtaking:
As you can see, she looks amazing!
The stunning supermodel tells PEOPLE magazine that she is happy her Flashback Friday post went viral. “I wanted to share my example of the fact that you don’t always have to lose weight to become healthy and happy, sometimes it is the other way around,” she says.
What an inspiring message for women everywhere. Here’s to beauty of all shapes and sizes!
h/t: Huffington Post