Iskra Lawrence's #BodyPositivity mantra
Body activist Iskra Lawrence is taking over the social media scene with her #BodyPositivity movement.
At the age of 15, Lawrence had tried to make her way into the modeling industry, and would constantly compare herself to the other girls because she didn’t look like them. Lawrence had been rejected from many agencies for not being “thin enough” and had tried every diet possible, from Beyoncé’s maple syrup and cayenne pepper diet to the Atkins diet.
Lawrence quickly realized that she was getting caught in an unhealthy cycle of counting calories and journaling every food she ate, and knew she had to do something about it. Lawrence started to implement more positive self-talk into her daily routine; instead of criticizing herself about not looking like the other girls, she would tell herself that her body was what separated her from other girls, and that that was the reason she would make it one day.
Since agencies denied Lawrence because of her size, she decided to take matters into her own hands and worked by herself to get the jobs and publicity she needed. Lawrence took her body positivity to Instagram, where she started posting unretouched images and videos of herself to help inspire people, racking up an impressive 4 million followers over the past couple of years. She takes exceptional care of her body, working out three times a week for around two hours, incorporating both cardio and strength training into her routine.
In an interview with SELF in relation to her inspiration behind starting her Instagram account, Lawrence said, “I saw it as a way to express myself and show that I’m more than a set of measurements.”
Lawrence is most recently known for the work she does as an “Aerie Real” model. Aerie Real is a campaign aimed at celebrating and appreciating one’s body for what it is, without extra editing. The photos, which are taken as part of the campaign, are not retouched and show the models embracing their bodies and flaws. Some of the other models that have participated in the campaign include Barbie Ferreira, Ali Almeida and Ally Walsh.
In an interview conducted about body positivity with The Sun, Lawrence said, “The whole concept of Photoshop is an illusion. They’re not flaws. They’re part of your body.”
As a part of Lawrence’s #BodyPositivity movement, she recently created “EveryBODY with Iskra,” an online health and fitness application which provides access to different recipes and workout routines that can be used to improve one’s overall health. In addition to recipes and workouts, there are featured interviews, meditations and other health related videos that can be streamed directly from the app or on a computer. “EveryBODY with Iskra” allows people to chat with each other and ask for advice in a judgement-free zone, which Lawrence believes is important in achieving a healthy lifestyle and body image.