Model Jennie Runk Urges Girls To Be Complimentary, Not Catty, To Each Other


Jennie Runk has become somewhat of a body image hero over the past year. After being cast in an H&M campaign where they displayed her shoot on the homepage of the website without feeling the need to mention that it was a plus size range, she has been getting a lot of attention and using it wisely.

Since becoming an overnight sensation she has been speaking out to young girls about why loving your body the way it is is so important, and not to let an industry or society force you to change yourself according to their warped, money-making standards.

In a new interview Jennie talks about body confidence to Elle Magazine and shares her views on where it should start. First off, Jennie considers herself a feminist, and it is not something she acquired, but pretty much grew up with and held as part of her identity.

“I’ve always considered myself a feminist. In high school I drove my dad’s pickup truck with feminist stickers on the back and bright pink seat covers. My ringtone is Joan Jett’s ‘Bad Reputation.’ I went to Stephens, a woman’s college, and joined a feminist protest group.”

Elle asked her how she balances being a model and a feminist, but in our minds, its not as if those two should be mutually exclusive?!? In fact we need MORE feminist models because they are the ones who will change the attitudes in that industry.

“It was a struggle for me to be in an industry that people blame feminist issues on. There’s a very narrow example of what the perfect woman is. But I’ve got this great career, I love my job, and it’s a good living. Working in the industry has been good for my self-esteem. People are paying attention to me and I have a voice,” she said.


Being part of an industry that likes to dictate trends, the 24-year old Georgia girl thinks women need to define who they are themselves, and not just follow the crowd. It’s about finding your own authenticity, she says.

“The biggest thing for women to keep in mind is you can’t ever let someone define beauty for you. Look in the mirror and say that this is my definition of perfection.”

This awesome plus size role model knows it isn’t easy, but is living proof it can be done. Her advice to teens is to be open and honest with each other. Start a dialog with your friends about your struggles in order to help one another.

“For some it’s a big struggle. As a teenager, I was bigger in every single way than the other girls. It was really hard for me to wake up and go to school every day. But every teenage girl feels like that, and every teen girl thinks she’s the only one that feels like that. We need to start talking about it, so maybe their friends will say I feel that way, too.”

Finally, Jennie talks about feminism stemming from a personal place. She says we have to be more conscious of building each other up in every day conversation and stop being a generation of bitches!

“One of the best parts of feminism is the conversations with can have with each other. Why aren’t we complimenting each other instead of being jealous and catty? It all stems from our insecurities.”

Do you agree or disagree with her thoughts? Should we be finding a place of confidence within ourselves in order to be able to be a good friend to others? We think this is great advice from Jennie. In a throwback to her school days, if having a “bad reputation” in the world as a woman means being kind, supportive, not bitchy or catty, then call us Joan Jett!


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