Melbourne Model Amelia Stubbs may seem like your average girl next door and once battled the same demons we all have when it comes to body image and self-confidence, pressured to be skinny, mainly by our media and agencies that continue to cast predominantly size 6 models.
Fashion shows around the world, on the runway and in our media are known for casting painfully thin models to represent our favourite labels to the public and fashion savvy – slowly –we are becoming more in tuned with body diversity when it comes to size, race and also age, however recent findings still show that the number of models being cast are still disproportionate with mainly all white, slim built (over 5’9 size 6) the preferred choice for designers and casting agencies.
Amelia Stubbs also known as ‘Curvy Amelia’ and co-founder of Curvy Confidence Co, is changing the way we think about ourselves through her social media channels, modelling representation and her determination for all of us to be confident in ourselves no matter what shape or size as long as we are fit and healthy.
Curvy Amelia’s following continues to grow with over 112K followers on her Instagram and her increasing work in front of the camera, representing some of our most well known and loved labels.
This Melbourne girl is standing up and being noticed for all the right reasons; not only to our fashion industry but to our young girls, who are most impressionable and look to models for guidance and self-confidence.
Amelia’s journey – Interview
Please tell us a little bit about your background. (How old you are, your studies and journey to where you are now)
I’m originally a classically trained singer who loves to sing jazz! I started performing at the age of 10 as my parents were concerned about my confidence – being bigger than most of the kids at school. Singing became my passion and the one thing I felt I could do where looks didn’t matter.
I attended the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and continued on to Melbourne University but I realised not too long in to the course that studying wasn’t for me. I wanted to learn but in a more ‘life experience’ based way.
How did you get into modelling?
When I left university, I wanted to make an album and got some professional photos taken for the cover. I had such a great response from my friends and family that I started to play with the idea of being a model. I knew I’d never be small enough to be a traditional model but remembered seeing Robyn Lawley in a magazine labelled as ‘plus-size’. I Googled ‘plus-size modelling’ and only two agencies came up in the whole of Australia! I thought ‘what am I going to lose by applying’ and applied for one of the agencies! A few days later, I received a rejection email telling me I wasn’t what they were looking for. I decided to applied for the second one as being rejected for the second time couldn’t hurt as much as the first and the next day, I got a phone call saying I was signed as a lingerie model!
Your representing the ‘curvy plus size models’, do you think we actually need to call a standard size healthy girl a plus size?
I believe labels are important to an extent. I am proud of my curves and being called plus-size but I can understand if it is a bit of a sore spot for others. I think if we were all called ‘models’, it would be hard to differentiate between what we represent and who we relate to.
Why do you think it’s important that we represent all shapes and sizes in the fashion industry?
Representing all shapes and sizes in the fashion industry gives people something to relate to that’s realistic and not just the ‘one a size fits all’ approach it’s previously been.
Growing up as a teen in the 2000’s I never saw women with body shapes like mine in the magazines or media, which really impacted my self-esteem and sense of normalcy. I truly believe if I had seen diverse body shapes during that part of my life, I would not have struggled with my body image for so long.
Do you ever feel you are being judged on your shape and size even though you know that you are fit and healthy?
Other people’s opinion of my body doesn’t bother me anymore. I used to worry and read in to the things people said to me but since learning to accept and love my body the way it is, it’s less apparent if it ever comes up. The other day, an older woman said to me ‘wow, you’re a plus-size model! I have a young friend who is also a bigger girl – a pretty face like yours too but a big girl” as if being big was a bad thing. For a moment, I felt a bit angry with how she phrased it but then realised she didn’t really know any differently and meant no harm.
How do we find that confidence to be proud of our shape and size?
It’s not something that happens overnight and takes a lot of hard work but it is the most incredible feeling once you’ve achieved self-acceptance. I started with being honest with myself. I looked at myself in the mirror one day and decided I didn’t want to hate my body anymore. I’d spent my whole life feeling unworthy and I was exhausted! From that day on for 3 months, I told myself in the mirror that I was worthy and I was enough. I didn’t believe it at first but I eventually started to change how I thought about myself. 5 years later and I’m now wearing a bikini on the beach confidently for the first time in my life!
Another important thing is not to compare yourself to others. I always advise people to stop ‘following’ those on social media who don’t make you feel good and start following people who you can relate to and inspire you.
Do you believe it’s important to be healthy, eat well and keep up some level of fitness?
I am very passionate about living a balanced lifestyle and don’t think it’s healthy to cut major food groups out of your diet just to lose weight. I prioritise exercise and aim to do something active every day not to lose weight but to keep myself healthy both mentally and physically. Because of this, I NEVER diet and even indulge every now and then without feeling guiltily!
Please tell us about your experience with modelling agencies and representation, and who represents you now?
My experience with modelling agencies has been a bit up and down. I’ve had some incredible opportunities through agencies like Vivien’s Model Management – being signed as one of their first plus-size models in 50 years! Vivien’s were very supportive but I realised I wanted to ‘sink my teeth in deeper’ and get to know the people behind the brands I was working with and manage myself so I could make the rules. Representing myself has been the best and hardest things I’ve ever done and I can now call myself a ‘full time model’ for the first time in my career.
You have a huge following as I believe you are very relatable to the everyday woman. How and why do you think what you do, is important to women who are looking to you for inspiration?
Thank you! That is wonderful to hear because everything I do is aimed to helping women feel ‘normal’ and as though there are others like them out there! There’s been such a gap in the advertising industry for so long I think it’s important for people to have something and someone they can relate to. I always want to have meaning when I post anything on Instagram as it keeps me grounded and focused on my ‘why’.
Tell us about some of the labels you have worked for?
I have been lucky to work with some amazing labels in my career. Some of my favourites have been Target in their ‘Yay for Every Body’ campaign, Swimwear Galore as their first plus-size model, Peter Alexander and Harris Scarfe!
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I also love working with smaller labels such as Pablo & Kat, Bijou the Label and Victoria Stag.
Tell us about your daily activities?
My daily activities include responding to emails, sourcing new work for modelling and social media, pilates/beach walk, coffee meetings with new clients (I always like meeting people face to face) and uploading content to Instagram.
What’s next for Curvy Amelia?
I would love to be working with brands both here and overseas on modelling campaigns that have a positive impact on women, speaking to teenage girls at schools about positive body image and hosting for television and events!