Body of Work
A model's journey from "too big" to "not big enough" to total body acceptance
- Courtesy of Erin Henry
Growing up in Portland, Ore., I knew almost nothing about the fashion industry. I knew volleyball, the great outdoors and fleece jackets by North Face. So when I was offered a modeling contract at the age of 15, it sounded far better than my current job lifeguarding at an empty pool for just over minimum wage. Modeling seemed like a ticket out of a small town, a chance to travel the world and maybe, just maybe, one day grace the pages of Vogue or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
By the end of my senior year of high school, it was decided that I would go to Paris instead of heading directly to college. I would be represented by a prestigious agency and hopefully walk in the fall runway shows. But about a month before I was scheduled to leave, I was told there was a problem. I was almost 5 foot, 11 inches tall, but I didn't meet the ideal measurements. In fact, I wasn't even close. If I expected to go to Paris, then I had some serious work to do.
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