Shooting the stunning girls of Models 1 Curve totally unretouched, one of the UK’s biggest modelling agencies challenges what it means to be beautiful today.
When 21-year-old model Stefania Ferrario and Australian TV presenter Ajay Rochester came together and set the hashtag #DropThePlus trending, the publics support of the campaign was phenomenal and now the industry are jumping aboard the diversity ship too.
Europe's biggest modelling agency Models 1 and the girls in their Curve section were photographed unretouched and unairbrushed, by photographer Michelle George, to encourage women of all shapes and sizes to love the skin they're in. "As a photographer, I work a lot with models of diverse shapes and sizes, yet what I've found with curvier models, is that they are often pigeonholed and either used in editorial in a tokenistic gesture, or the style of shoot is limited to either sexy pin up or lifestyle," George explained.
"What I want to show in this shoot is that that these girls are in fact naturally beautiful and can be used across the board, without being labelled as curvy or plus size. With all the recent controversy over the numerous, leaked, unretouched images of celebrities, I also felt it was important to be honest and show these girls unretouched in their natural form. I feel very strongly, as a woman, that we need to empower each other and show that beauty is not defined by size. We need to start to push these boundaries and reach outside the tightly closed box of the fashion industry and embrace our beauty in its holistic, raw form."
Karmi Pinning, Charlotte Quita Jones, Anna Fritzdorf and Iskra Lawrence are body beautiful in their portraits, check 'em out below and read what they've got to say about the term "plus".
"Unretouched is important to me as it is an honest representation of women. It shows us in a very natural way that highlights you can be beautiful without retouching or over the top hair/make-up. As plus size models we're a new generation of role models for young girls, this raw shoot is a great way to inspire body confidence and enhanced natural beauty."
Charlotte Quita Jones
"I am so proud to be part of a photoshoot that I can say is 100% unretouched. In these pictures, we are what we are; curvy, healthy, unique women. Hopefully this shoot will encourage the limitation of retouching in the future and both men and women who compare themselves to what they see in magazines will no longer need an unrealistic and unattainable goal."
"To me this idea is really about showing the confidence you can have in your own body and not having to rely on retouching. Especially as we're not straight sized models people may think we have more retouching than everyone else but that is not the case... You can be beautiful and confident in your own skin."
"In the fashion industry I have experienced harsh critique regarding my size and shape, this forced me to really look at myself and who I am. I took time to educate myself on health fitness and self-esteem. Now I empower and build up other women as well as counsel young girls with eating disorders through my charitable work with NEDA. I believe #everyBODYisbeautiful and I have a responsibility to make a difference and help represent young girls who need a wider range of models representing them."
Text Felicity Kinsella
Photography Michelle George
Make-up Viktor Childs and Jo Clayton
Hair Tayla Rutter