Plus-sized model Vivian Eyo-Ephraim is being featured as a swimsuit model for online retailer ASOS as she and others lead a growing movement of body positivity in the modeling industry. In a video for ASOS, the Instagram-sensation recalled how she first got her start with Bridge Models after winning a competition she found through the auditions-listing website StarNow, and spoke about the impact that representation can have on young people trying to come to terms with the look of their own bodies.
“Representation is very, very, very, very important, I can’t stress how important it is, only ’cause there’s so many people that, from young ages, look up to certain people and certain things that are happening across social media, across the world,” Eyo-Ephraim, who is based in London, said in an new video for ASOS. “I’ve had so many young people message me to say ‘Oh, I wanna be just like you,’ and’ I’m just like, ‘Oh my God, that’s a lot.’ It’s something that needs to be normalized.”
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Progress in an industry that has long been dominated by tall, incredibly thin women was slow, she added, “but it will get better. I’ll just say that, I’m very positive, so I reckon it will get there.”
Her primary goal, she said, is to help create a modeling industry that is truly inclusive of women of all shapes and sizes.
“That’s the one word I can stress on — inclusiveness,” she said. “There shouldn’t be categories as to plus-size model or normal model, or this model, that model, I think it should just be that person is a model, regardless of whatever it is they look like, what shape it is, what size, how tall, how short they are. If I had the power to, everyone would be a model.”
Operating under a similar train of thought, ASOS has also recently pioneered a new feature that allows shoppers to preview how the same piece of clothing looks on models of different body types.
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