Back in October, Charli Howard wrote a lengthy Facebook post calling out her former modeling agency for furthering unrealistic body expectations, after they told her that at a U.S. size 2, she was “too big” and “out of shape” to work in fashion. “The more you force us to lose weight and be small, the more designers have to make clothes to fit our sizes, and the more young girls are being made ill,” she wrote. “It’s no longer an image I choose to represent.” The post went viral and propelled a much-needed conversation about beauty standards, health, and wellness. Now, Howard is opening up the discussion even more with her new StyleLikeU video.
Through the course of the 13-minute interview, Howard talks about her journey to self-acceptance, from her upbringing to her time in the modeling industry. Speaking about her infatuation with restricting her eating habits and her obsession with measuring herself five times a day, Howard talks about how she developed body dysmorphia. The truly scary thing about it, though, is how she speaks about her past experiences in a matter-of-fact tone, which only goes to show how unnervingly normal these behaviors are in the modeling industry.
Thankfully, Howard recognized how dangerous and detrimental her mindset was. And while she realizes that change isn’t going to come easily, she is working toward changing attitudes about perfection and size in the fashion industry and public. “I don’t want to change a whole industry because fashion and modeling is about a fantasy, and you’re buying into a fantasy,” she says. “And that’s why we all do it—we all go to a shop because we’ve seen a model wear clothes that we like or we open a magazine and we pin those pictures onto our walls because it removes us from our everyday life. What my issue is is the fact that size-wise, we say that unless you are a certain size, you are not a model. Because that is going to fuck any person up who looks at that. And we have all those young girls with eating disorders and body image problems and we don’t question that, and we keep doing the same thing over and over again. Beauty isn’t measured by a number.”