Kate Upton made a name for herself in modelling thanks to her killer curves.
The 24-year-old’s willingness to embrace her figure and celebrate body positivity set her apart from the fashion industry’s view of stick-thin models in need of a sandwich.
Now, in a new interview with Glamour, Upton has spoken about the pressures she felt starting out to lose weight and conform to industry stereotypes.
“At first I tried to diet to become their image, but eventually I realised that it wasn’t realistic—that this is just the shape of my body,” she said.
“So I had to block them out. I think that the people who are the loudest about wanting to change you are the people with the least amount of vision and creativity.”
Upton added that when she was growing up “it was considered a great thing to have a curvy body to fill out a bathing suit”.
“For that to be a negative was so confusing to me,” she explained. “So when people were saying, ‘Oh, she doesn’t have the right look for a model’ I thought, Then why am I working every single day? There are so many different directions you can take in the modelling industry, so many ways to be successful.”
In 2016, Upton reckons things are changing again for the better. She cites Ashley Graham, a fellow Sports Illustrated cover star, as an example of a model embracing her body.
“Things have definitely changed in the industry, mostly for the positive. We’re more accepting now. For me, someone like Ashley Graham, who loves her body and is always talking about it, is inspiring.”