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Focus on acceptance and self love, and know that you too can achieve your dreams.
 

Natalie's Fans Say

Natalie's Fans Say...

Hooray to Natalie Laughlin! Her article was very inspiring, and she is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful models I have seen in Glamour, as well as one of the most realistic. Happiness must come from within oneself, and Natalie has found that. Natalie, you're the norm in today's society, not the exception, and you look great!
Karlie Radford
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburg, PA

Congratulations for including a little feature on "Plus" size model Natalie Laughlin! Plus size women can be just as beautiful. I love Glamour and I read regularly. I think it would be great if Glamour featured more plus size models.
Thelma Osborne
Southport, NC

Thanks for the article by Natalie Laughlin in your January issue. Have your considered a regular feature with "larger" size models? I loved the article and the clothes pictured because I could wear some of the clothes modeled and because I could relate to so much of what Natalie was saying.
Cathy Lynch
Ohio

Please include Natalie in more of your layouts. I think it is very important for all women to be included as part of what is considered attractive and desirable, particularly in the fashion industry.
Susan Saunders
Brooklyn, NY

I would like to thank yu for your article "My Body, My Self" in the January issue. Natalie is an absolutely beautiful woman.
Maria M. Uhlenhop
Carmicheal, CA

Like Natalie Laughlin ("My Body, My Self" / Glamour 1/95), I had to battle with my weight and what I considered a weight problem my entire life. thank you for showing another example of someone with a positive body image.
Delia Blacker
Mineola, NY


IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! Referring to "My Body, My Self" page 162, Glamour, January 1995.
Andrea
Los Angeles, CA

Thanks for the article by Natalie Laughlin. Feature more models of realistic size as a regular part of your magazinw that our readers can appreciate and relate to.
Joan Barrett
New Jersey

Natalie Laughlin ("large-size" model) -- more common is the not-quite-perfect woman, or at least, not quite perfect in society's eyes. Once it is no longer a bid deal for someone like Natalie Laughlin to be in Glamour (who, to me, looks healthy, not heavy!), then women can start to feel good about themselves, no matter what size they are. And only then will women stop killing themselves (literally!) to meet a standard of beauty that, for some, is unrealistic.
Jennifer S. Levine
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT

Natalie in the Media

Natalie Laughlin: The Plus Size Model

In a country where 162 million women are labelled according to their dress size, there's a Trinidadian in the United States of America who stands out with a vengeance. Natalie Laughlin is a supermodel who has been at the top of the "plus size" modeling game since 1995.

Laughlin was born and raised in Trinidad until her teen years, when her family migrated to Miami. This brown-haired, brown-eyed 45-year-old beauty has a significant accolade to her name in the world of fashion and beauty -- she is the first plus size model to be featured on no less than five consecutive billboards in New York's famous Times Square for American designer Liz Claiborne.

At the time, those massive Times Square billboards were controversial and became the talk of New York simply because she was the first woman of her body size to be featured in this way. This led to another first -- Laughlin became the first plus size model to grace the cover of the American edition of Glamour magazine. Today she's still right up there with the world's top ten plus size models -- in Maimi she's known as "the Cindy Crawford of the larger size modeling world."

Laughlin began  her modeling career aged 15, eventually signing for ford Models, in Miami's South Beach district. Her early career saw a concentrated focus on getting modeling contracts in Europe because the American agencies were still in love with all things desperately skinny -- she says she was considered "too sexy" for the American modeling circuit. She has since appeared on the covers of several magazines, including Glamour, Grace and Mode, and has posed for many leading catalogue companies. Laughlin is also a regular on the American daytime television circuit often representing women who have overcome eating disorders to lead successful lives.

It was a fairly rough ride for this Caribbean-born beauty to reach the top of her game. A lengthy battle with an unhealthy obsession with her weight began with a doctor unbelievable prescribing diet pills at the tender age of eight. In her biography, From Hunger to Happiness, she writes that "I had this routine with a girlfriend. Together we would starve ourselves Thursday through Saturday, so that we would be thin for the boys when we went out drinking in the clubs. Then we'd binge Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and start the fasting process all over again." Laughlin now speaks openly about these struggles, and was given an award from the Academy for Eating Disorders for her services to helping young women with self-image issues.

In true outspoken Trini style, Laughlin famously wrote an angry letter of complaint in 1996 to five global fashion magazines after seeing yet another photo of the waif-lik British supermodel Kate Moss on the cover of Vogue. "I said they needed a wider representation of women on their pages."

A pivotal moment for Laughlin came when she joined Overeaters Anonymous. At the meetings she confirmed the link between eating and emotions (she would eat when she felt fearful). Years later she told the New York Times "finally, in my 20s, I gave up 'thin' for happiness and took control of my life." Ironically this was when the offers poured in leading to a lucrative and successful career as a plus size model. She was constantly in demand at companies like Saks, Macy's, TJ Maxx, Just My Size and Liz Claiborne.

For young Caribbean women considering a modeling career, Natalie advises patience above all else.

"It can take years to find your way to the right clients," she told PlusModels.com.

"Stand up for yourself and, dare I say it, do not be bullied by your agent, but do create a good relationship. The reality is, if they don't like you, you ain't gonna work."

Today she is the face of many leading designers who happily embrace larger (or normal) sized women, inclduing Marina Rinaldi.

A more mature, married Laughlin says that these days her mantra is 'style is sizeless," and she speaks regularly to college girls all over the US about her life story, urging them to create a grand vision for their lives.

Her advice to women now is "know that in self-love, as you reach for yur highest possibilites, there are no limits."

Source: Zing; October-December 2010

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