Lingerie brand Curvy Kate‘s annual Star in a Bra competition is a breath of fresh air. In its own words, the brand describes it as an opportunity to provide relatable role models and promote a positive approach to body image. “We want to show you exactly how our lingerie will look and fit on a variety of body shapes, cementing that there isn’t one type of ‘perfect body’. All sizes, ages, frames and heights are encouraged to enter!” And it’s a big deal. The winner becomes the face and body of Curvy Kate, wins a trip to Portugal for their SS16 catalogue shoot, a year long modelling contract with Bridge Models and an abundance of gorgeous lingerie.
Like every year, the competition was fierce. Gaining much media coverage and spreading Curvy Kate’s message far and wide that the “perfect body” comes in many different forms.
The beautiful Sophia Adams was the lucky and deserving winner. I interviewed this inspiring size 16, 32JJ lady and got her take on the Keep the Plus / Drop the Plus debate, her experiences of bullying and why she thinks promoting positive body image is so important.
Hey Sophia! How has life been since you were announced as the winner of Curvy Kate’s 2015 Star In A Bra competition?
It’s been pretty hectic! I’ve been doing lots of interviews and photo-shoots which has been very fun. It’s all so new to me but I’m loving every single minute.
Why did you want to enter the competition?
I had always been aware of Curvy Kate as they are one of the only brands that cater to my bust size so I followed them on social media. Every year I saw the competition come and go and thought I may do it one day. It was a friend who finally convinced me to enter saying that I had the perfect figure to showcase their products and I thought “why not?!”
What do you hope to get out of being the new face and body of Curvy Kate?
I would like to gain lots of new memories and experiences and also to make new friends along the way but really, the competition isn’t about me; it’s about what I can do for other girls. If I can help just one person feel better about herself by seeing my pictures, then I will know it’s all been worthwhile.
Curvy Kate and Bridge Models have a reputation for being champions of positive body image and diversity. Do you think it’s important to do this?
It’s so important. We’re all different, we all have things we love about our bodies and things we don’t but we should try our best to love the body we’re in. You only get one!
Have you ever gone through low self-esteem?
Absolutely. I was bullied throughout school for the way I looked and it made me really question myself. However, it was my late Grandmother who got me through. She constantly told me I was beautiful, even when I couldn’t see it. She also taught me not to listen to the opinions of people who didn’t matter, which is how I came to accept myself for who I am. My family and friends wouldn’t change me so why should I want to change myself?
Where do you come in on the #DropThePlus / #KeepThePlus debate?
It’s a tough one. I’m proud of my figure but I don’t really like the term “plus-size”, I find it vague and I don’t really know who it represents. I see myself as a girl who is happy in her own skin, why does that mean I need to be labelled as anything other than that?
What would you like to see done to help eradicate body shaming?
I think people’s mind-sets need to change which is obviously a really tough job. The plus-size industry is doing a great job by raising the profile of girls who wear their clothes, but – until everyone accepts that there are literally billions of people on the earth that are ALL different and can’t possibly be labelled into categories, then I think we’re always going to have prejudice and issues with people body shaming. Which is really sad.
What advice would you give to someone who currently has negative body image?
I wish I had the definitive answer but everyone’s case is different and it has to be a personal journey to self-love. All I can say is that I was in a really low place with regards to my body when I was being bullied and I managed to come out of the other side and love the skin I’m in. I decided to ignore the haters and focus on all the positives in life. My body is fully functioning and I’m alive, why should I punish it for tiny flaws that many will not notice?