Plus-Size H&M Model Uses New Fame To Promote Confidence In Teenage Girls


Remember when clothing company H&M caused a huge stir when they used plus size model Jennie Runk in their new beachwear campaign? Well it turns out, Jennie Runk was just an ordinary girl who lived a quite simple life in Georgia Missouri, until the story blew up making her a fashion sensation and inspiration virtually overnight.

The 24 year old moved to New York in 2011 and probably had no idea back then that her name was going to be synonymous amongst the fashion world, for more than just the clothes she was modeling.

Despite being shy, she knew this was a great opportunity to speak out for what she stands for and promote healthy ideals to young girls and fledgling models.

She wrote an essay for detailing her life as a plus size model and telling the world why it needs to stop sensationalizing the weight issue. Runk writes that suddenly having a large amount of publicity was an “awkward surprise” at first, and she found it strange as she doesn’t give much thought to her weight at all.

But when her facebook page gained over 2000 fans in just 24 hours, she decided to use this opportunity to promote body confidence for young women.

“Some even told me that my confidence has inspired them to try on a bikini for the first time in years. This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve always wanted to accomplish, showing women that it’s OK to be confident even if you’re not the popular notion of “perfect”.” she says in the essay.

She says her message was specifically aimed at teenage girls, as “being a teenage girl can be incredibly difficult.”

Jennie doesn’t dislike that the fashion world has size categories as they serve a purpose, but says it’s the negativity that surrounds them.

Jennie Runk

“The idea of separating women into size categories seems stigmatising, clothing companies do this in order to offer their customers exactly what they’re looking for, making it easier for people of all sizes to find clothes that fit their bodies…The only problem is the negative connotations that remain stubbornly attached to the term “plus-size”. There shouldn’t be anything negative about being the same size as the average American woman, or even being a little bigger.”

Being thin also can have it’s negative connotations. Some women are naturally skinny, despite having a healthy appetite. Genetics play a huge part in how we look, as well as diet an lifestyle. Jennie says we need to stop with the finger pointing, and get on with life.

“There’s no need to glamorize one body type and slam another. We need to stop this absurd hatred towards bodies for being different sizes. It doesn’t help anyone and it’s getting old.”

Having conquered the awkward body stage, Jennie wants to show other young girls that they are beautiful just the way they are, and that they need to stop thinking any different.

“I feel compelled to show girls who are going through the same thing that it’s acceptable to be different. You will grow out of [any] awkwardness fabulously. Just focus on being the best possible version of yourself and quit worrying about your thighs, there’s nothing wrong with them!”

Check out Jennie’s facebook page for more of her work, and see how she is using her voice to promote positivity and confidence in the lives of many young women.

Jennie Runk facebook



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