What Happened When This Model Was Told Her Hips Were Too Big

February 12th 2016

Laura Donovan

Model Iskra Lawrence, who was once fired from a modeling agency for her larger hip size, is now the face of the body positive Aerie REAL campaign, which is often referred to as #AerieREAL on social media. For the past year, she has appeared in many ads for Aerie Real, which features non-airbrushed photos and is widely considered a major threat to embattled lingerie competitor Victoria's Secret.


A photo posted by 🌙iskra✨ (@iamiskra) on

"[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," Lawrence wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. "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."

Lawrence, who is also the managing editor of Dan Abrams' Runway Riot, told Business Insider last summer that she always had a positive relationship with food, because she needed it to fuel her as a swimmer. She learned early in life that her body was "more than what it just looked like," but her first modeling agency ultimately dropped her as a teenager because the company felt her hips were too large.


A photo posted by 🌙iskra✨ (@iamiskra) on

"I was about 15-16, and they just said to me, 'Your [hips are] 36 inches — they need to be 34 at this age. They're too big,'" she revealed to Business Insider. "That's just destroying."

Lawrence was referred to plus-size agencies, which turned her away as well for being too small. This led her to become a "straight size model," but she disliked that so many of her pictures were Photoshopped.

She seems to be the right fit for Aerie, which saw a nearly 10 percent sales bump after starting the Aerie REAL campaign. Many customers have also celebrated Aerie Real on social media for being a body positive brand.


A photo posted by aerie (@aerie) on

"Aerie builds you up, and it makes you feel positive," Lawrence said. "Why don't more companies do that?"

Lawrence is also the mastermind behind the National Eating Disorders Association's "Seal of Approval" award, which the Aerie Real campaign received a year ago. Lawrence told the association that she was previously forced to model coats because she was viewed as too heavy to wear anything else.

"When working on an Aerie shoot, Lawrence feels like everyone is on the same team, they all want these young girls that are seeing their images to know that any body is a good body, " Brendan Egan, an intern for the National Eating Disorders Association, wrote in a 2015 release about Aerie Real's win. "They actually care."


A photo posted by 🌙iskra✨ (@iamiskra) on


A photo posted by 🌙iskra✨ (@iamiskra) on

Shortly after she announced her role as the Aerie Real spokesperson, she posted a photo of herself eating a doughnut on Instagram, sending a powerful message that models eat and enjoy junk food too:


A photo posted by 🌙iskra✨ (@iamiskra) on

RELATED: The Aerie Real Campaign Just Got Even Bolder