Iskra is on the digital cover of Pulse Spikes’ issue No. 16. Read her interview down below:

 

She is serving realness, curves and elegance included. You have probably seen Iskra Lawrence on the #AerieREAL campaign, spreading a message of self-love. Whether it is tummy rolls, body hair, birthmarks, or tattoos, she believes everybody should be celebrated for who they are and not by how they look. Iskra Lawrence is sweeping the social media scene with unretouched photos, unafraid to speak up about body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and the raw definition of self-love. Some people call it controversial, others call it courage. No matter what you cannot deny that she is making an impact on so many people today. Iskra chats about her journey to self-love in our 16th issue.

Where did your journey as a body-positive model start?
I’ve been modeling for 15 years. I started out in the UK, and initially, there weren’t a lot of girls my size back then. I didn’t fit into a lot of sample sizing. I did enter a competition, and I didn’t win. But I did get scouted. Unfortunately, as I said, I didn’t fit into a lot of sample sizing and got body-shamed when I was 14 and 15 years old. I struggled, and my agency really tried to make my waist smaller but couldn’t. It was my body shape, and I had always been a bit curvier. They told me if I couldn’t hit their measurements, I wouldn’t be a successful model. It got stuck in my head, and I dropped from the agency. I tried about ten other agencies, and no one would take me. All of their excuses came back to my size and me being too curvy. I took it personally and really set out to change myself but didn’t know how to do so in a healthy way.

So some modeling agencies said you were too big, and plus-size agencies said you were too small. How did you deal with these body categories? How did the power of unretouched photos come to you?
After a bit, I started carving out a niche of people just loving themselves for who they are at their healthiest size instead of trying to fit into either category. I ended up working with a bunch of my close friends, and I created a company called Model Kind. We created a charity calendar to go towards fighting cervical cancer. During that time, I gathered a group of my friends for the calendar, and no one looked alike. I hadn’t seen anything like it. When the photographer said he was going to retouch some of the photos, I told him not to because everyone looked beautiful. That really uncovered my love for no retouching and explaining how nearly every image we consume has been retouched. Retouching is the standard. Most women think they need to have flawless skin and have their hair perfectly sleek. It’s an unattainable way for us to be because Photoshop is everywhere.

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