Plus Size Model Won’t Allow Cancer Diagnosis To Diminish Her Beauty


Meet Elly Mayday. She is a 25 year old Canadian plus size model with an extraordinary story, yet she is certainly not alone in her struggles. Her mission is to “change the way the world sees beauty”, according to her website.

She started modeling not to long ago after a career as a flight attendant, moving from her home town of Saskatchewan to Vancouver to pursue her dreams. She was signed to lingerie label, Forever Yours early 2013 and at the same time was getting interest from agencies in Los Angeles and New York. Needless to say, she was on the brink of ‘the big time’, but not in a way that she expected.

At this point she had already shot a campaign with the label, showcasing her real body and real curves, which she was chosen for. By summer 2013 she received the diagnosis she had a rare form of ovarian cancer, and her world got shaken up in a big way. Mayday has serous carcinoma, a rare form of cancer that is usually seen in post-menopausal women.


She did what any young woman, especially one working in the fashion and beauty industry, would do. She sat down and cried.

“I was told it was a cyst so many times, and I just knew deep down in my heart that there was something else wrong,” Elly told the Canadian television network CTV. “It was kind of a point of realization, either, ‘Do I stop now, or do I keep on going and be the person that I was raised to be and the person that I know I am?'”

Elly believes it is her mission to promote a positive body image for all women, and she knew she had to keep going.

She told the lingerie label she was signed to about her diagnosis, but instead of wishing her well and cutting ties, they decided it was a perfect opportunity to show a different side of beauty, and break down the stereotypes.


“In the lingerie industry, it’s not something you do,” said the woman who calls herself ‘The Curvy Canadian. “It’s all about long hair and big breasts and arched backs. But it’s important to show what real women look like underneath their clothes. Most people have some issue they are dealing with.”

Sonya Jenkins, co-founder of Forever Yours told ABC News that they were excited to shoot her bald, and and raise awareness for ovarian cancer.

“We saw her completely natural body. It was bold and amazing,” she said.

Originally Elly was chosen for her curves and the vast majority of women she would be representing by appearing in the campaign, but it soon turned into a great opportunity to raise awareness and inspire more women that despite a dire situation, you can still shine through and maintain your confidence. It’s great to see a lingerie label acknowledging the power of the human spirit and promoting body diversity.


Elly’s story is being documented by a film crew, we can’t wait to see that! But in the meantime, her online following is steadily growing thanks to her incredible story (she has over 80,000 Facebook fans), and the response has been very positive.

“The irony of all this, the cancer came to bring you down, instead you just went from awesome to epic and become an even more profound model.” a fan posted on the page, which perfectly sums up who she is and who she represents: a legion of strong women who will not allow a diagnosis or an industry define who they are or diminish their worth.

Elly is currently undergoing chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumors. We are certainly praying and sending our love to this amazing woman, and can’t wait to see what’s next in her story, which has only just begun!



  1. God bless her and prayers for complete recovery from this dreaded disease. We have a family member with breast cancer and she has lost all her hair too. Both of them are beautiful without hair! I’m so glad the company was smart enough to keep her on. I’m sure it has benefitted them both.

  2. Pingback: Discrimination Is Unacceptable...Except If You're Fat - GirlTalkHQ

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