WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (UPI) — Kate Upton shared details about her early days as a model, including being told to lose weight, during an interview with Glamour.
Upton told Glamour’s Meredith Bryan she was constantly told to lose weight — “All. The Time.” — and pressured to conform to certain fashion standards when she began working as a model.
“At first I tried to diet to become their image, but eventually I realized that it wasn’t realistic—that this is just the shape of my body. So I had to block them out. I think that the people who are the loudest about wanting to change you are the people with the least amount of vision and creativity.”
She said her body type also contributed to her decision to begin modeling, as she was teased by other children growing up.
“I knew nothing about fashion growing up, because in Florida you just wear bikinis and flip-flops. But kids can be cruel, and they used to make fun of me for having long legs and bushy eyebrows,” Upton said. “My mom would flip through magazines and say, ‘Look, all these models have that, too.’ I decided I wanted to be a model.”
Upton added that she drew confidence from the idea that curvy bodies were considered “a great thing to have” where she grew up as well as her ability to consistently book modeling jobs despite criticism from others.
She also commented on how she was able to utilize the platform provided by gracing the covers of Vogue and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue to help promote her message of not conforming and presenting “the best you” and “the healthiest you.”
“You shouldn’t always try to change yourself, because then how are we going to tell anybody apart? It’s like L.A.—how do I know who’s who? You all look like sisters,” she said.
Upton said the modeling industry has since changed “mostly for the positive” and is willing to represent a wider array of body types.
“We’re more accepting now. For me, someone like Ashley Graham, who loves her body and is always talking about it, is inspiring,” she said.