Leah Kelley: A model who feels comfortable in her own natural and healthy size
Body positivity advocate and former plus-size model Leah Kelley has shared her story of struggling with body-image issues to help others dealing with these issues. When Kelley first started modeling at age 19, she lacked confidence in her natural size and consistently felt ashamed of her body. She had to purposefully gain weight in order to succeed as a plus-size model. As an accomplished plus-size model, Kelley felt confident about her appearance for the first time. However, in order to maintain the desired weight for a plus-size model, Kelley needed to alter her lifestyle by avoiding exercise and eating unhealthy foods, which took a toll on her health.
Although she was more successful than ever, she constantly felt tired and sore and realized that her efforts to gain weight were harming her physical and mental well-being. After committing to a lifestyle change that involved working out and eating healthy, Kelley went back to her natural weight and is healthier and more confident than ever.
She recognizes that, although the fashion industry still has a long way to go when it comes to body acceptance, there have been steps in the right direction: she can now work at her natural size without needing to gain or lose weight for jobs. By sharing her story, Kelley hopes to encourage women to feel confident and happy regardless of their size.