LOOK: Mariel de Leon part of Kim Kardashian’s size-inclusive SKIMS fashion show
Mariel de Leon has proudly revealed that her first fashion show in New York is for SKIMS, Kim Kardashian’s line of shapewear featuring women of various body types, as it launched in Nordstrom.
“In the past few years, I went through a lot of online bullying and body shaming… But I’m glad that what was perceived as something negative about me to many people was the very thing that got me here,” she said on Instagram on Thursday, Feb. 6.
De Leon shared pictures from her fashion show experience, such as her posing backstage in a black wig with the shapewear on racks and standing tall among models of various skin tones and sizes.
“[It’s] so amazing to see how the fashion industry here has evolved into a more inclusive and diverse one,” she observed. “The women who stand up for inclusivity, diversity, strength, and [self-love] inspire me to love myself unconditionally and to be okay with the body I have.”
The fashion industry has long been criticized for imposing unrealistic and unhealthy standards of beauty such as size zero figures, to the point that authorities in some countries have stepped in to monitor the health of models.
While plus-size models are becoming more visible on runways and ads, they are still the minority despite 68% of American women being a size 14 or above, as per Plunkett Research via Racked in June 2018.
Models such as de Leon have advocated for body positivity to remove the stigma from being a larger size than what is usually promoted in media. Last May, she announced on Instagram that she had signed with True Model Management in New York, opening up about struggling with standards of beauty.
“As a ‘bigger’ girl, I never thought I’d be able to fulfill my dream of modeling in the U.S.,” she said. “Now, I am the strong and confident woman I’ve always wanted to be. Or should I say ‘confidently beautiful’ and thicc!” JB
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