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Supermodels often get a bad reputation for perpetuating the image of the perfect body as rail-thin and free of curves, merely because a percentage of them are built that way naturally themselves. It’s just as corrosive, however, for society to shame models based on their own dimensions–and these Victoria’s Secret models aren’t going to stand for it anymore. Here are some details about their ongoing fight to reverse the body-shaming that’s become all too prevalent in our culture.

According to a recent article, model Bridget Malcolm was called out at a recent swimwear shoot for having hips that measured more than 34 inches around. The unnamed client requested that she suck in her gut to try to make her ribs stick out more, and even went so far as to give her a sarong to tie around the “problem area.” Malcolm revealed her outrage on a later blog post, wondering at a society that would consider a size 4 body to be too big. Her outrage was just the beginning as models came forward to discuss similar situations.

In an Instagram post, Nina Agdal revealed that she was cut from a magazine’s cover story because she “didn’t fit their market,” an interesting observation, given that it was only made after the shoot. According to Agdal, she suffered from an unhealthy body image and as a result poor dietary choices from not having a “perfect” body. That she could come as far as she has, only to be knocked down by others in the industry, is disheartening, to say the least. She refuses to stay down though and many others in the industry are taking a similar stance.

Carla Delevingne, who has since left the industry due to its toxic culture, had her moment in the Sun, so to speak, back in 2016. After the publication ran a piece claiming that Delevingne was denied a place in a Victoria’s Secret lineup on account of “bloat,” the artist punched back, calling the move “shameless” in an Instagram post. Women’s bodies, she argued, should not be used as a selling point for a newspaper story. On the opposite end of the spectrum, model Gigi Hadid has been vilified for being either “too muscular” or “too thin,” claims she, too, has fought against.

The list goes on, but the bottom line is clear: As a society, we should be celebrating any and all healthy body types–particularly within an industry supposedly devoted to doing just that. These women know that firsthand, and are leading by example.

 

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