Growing up, Iskra Lawrence was told she was "too fat to model".
The Worcestershire-born model was signed by a casting agency at the age of 15 and stepped into the fashion world.
But she struggled to survive in the industry, which proved to be extremely brutal.
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To pursue her dreams of working as a model, she started starving herself in attempt to slim down.
But it wasn't until Iskra started embracing her curves that she made it big – and the 32-year-old is now one of the most successful models out there.
Speaking about her journey in a candid podcast episode, she told Boss Babe host Natalie Ellis: "I was doing test shooting, I was doing runways but it came apparent very quick that I was not sample size.
"I was told 'your hips are two inches too big and unless you have something to do about it, you are not going to have a career'.
"Some agents came back saying 'you're too womanly', 'you are too curvy', 'you are too mature'.
"And I'm like 15 years old."
Iskra, who was a UK size 6-8 at the time, continued: "It was an obsession to measure my body because I was told if I would achieve this goal, I would succeed.
"I spent years of battling my body image and the way to view myself, trying to seek for validation to 'fix' the issue."
Everything changed for Iskra when a friend told her about the plus size modelling industry in the US.
"I went to an agency that has a plus size division but they said I was too small and that moment was the breaking point," she continued.
"I'm done changing for you and I've got to change this industry, at least in the UK."
Savvy Iskra reached out to the marketing teams of companies like Tesco, M&S and pitched herself as an "in-between size" model for photoshoots.
She found a gap in the market, earning around £1,500 a month before her career exploded on social media.
Iskra eventually signed for Aerie and became an ambassador for body positivity.
Her unfiltered photos, which show the natural blemishes and folds of her skin, went viral online.
She's since walked the catwalk at various Fashion Week shows, partnered with huge brands like L'Oreal and even launched her own company called Saltair.
According to Forbes, Iskra is one of the most prominent leaders of the body positivity movement – and her work has earned her a spot on BBC World's 100 Most Influential Women.
Her net worth is estimated at over $2 million (£1.6m), which really sticks it to the modelling agents who told her she'd never be successful!
If you're worried about your health or the health of somebody else, you can contact SEED eating disorder support service on 01482 718130 or on their website, https://seedeatingdisorders.org.uk.
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