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Rose Pedro Wright: how the modelling industry helped me with my body image

24 Jul 2016

A young woman with a distorted image of her own body image pursuing a career into the modelling industry… It almost sounds like a recipe for disaster. But if it wasn’t for the fashion industry, plus-size model Rose Pedro Wright could still be in a bitter battle believing that she wasn’t enough or – at times – was too much. The balance she was supposed to find, somehow couldn’t be achieved.

Rose went to an all-girls school in the heart of London’s image-conscious area, Knightsbridge. However, her insecurities didn’t seem to make a full impact until the end of her school career. Rose told me, “as I moved on to the end of school towards university that’s when I think the years of feeling ‘ugly’ or ‘fat’ took its toll and something in my brain just snapped and I lost so much weight so quickly. I became so consumed in this eating disorder that it controlled my every thought. I even had nightmares that I’d eaten pizza or gone over my dangerously low calorie intake.”

Going into the modelling industry with an unhealthy attitude towards food, fitness and health can stereotypically be seen almost as a requirement but, for Rose, her introduction into the fashion industry, particularly the plus-size industry, allowed her to realise that if she really wanted to be a model and a successful one, her body was something she would not only have to accept, but also learn to love. “I’d been scouted before by another agency and I was way too involved with my eating disorder to love the way I looked and to imagine anyone else loving it ether. So that was massively complimentary but I let it pass me by because I had absolutely no confidence in my body whatsoever.”

Similar to plus-size model Lauren May, Rose later competed in the ASOS x Models1 competition, thinking nothing of it due to her severe body insecurities. She was pretty speechless to find out that despite what she may have thought of her body, there were people out there that believed she had something that could appeal to a number of women and girls; to the point that she ended up being in the top five and becoming close friends with her fellow competitor May.

Now signed to top curve modelling agency Hughes Models, Rose dedicates overcoming her eating disorder to working with other models at fittings. “All these curvy girls just owning it, roaming around so confidently in their own skin, in their underwear… There’s no time for embarrassment in this industry, and it was so amazing to witness that! There was not one model who was embarrassed or ashamed of their curves and that was a pivotal point for me to witness, and thus aspire to.” Flicking through Rose’s social media, it’s hard to believe that a woman who naturally oozes sex appeal had been so far removed from any kind of body confidence in the past.

Rose highlights why we should always continue to fight for diversity in the media, particularly with fashion models as they not only represent “fashion” but they are placed in campaigns and on runways to represent women and the female form. By only allowing us to view one type of woman we send a distorted message to all women that we all have to look a certain way, which is often not possible to achieve.

Not only does Rose credit her confidence to obstacles she’s overcome from her past but also finds inspiration within her family as her brother, Henry Pedro Wright, was the first black male model to walk for Prada in 2015.

Although things are only just beginning for Rose as a model, her dreams are big and send a message we can’t wait to see brought to fruition. “My passions for modelling, race diversity, body positivity and fashion is all coming together. Modelling, for me, isn’t just about being beautiful, taking pretty pictures, meeting celebrities and all of those clichés. I mean don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining about those ‘perks’. But, on a deeper level, the message and purpose I want to send through my career is so raw and close to my heart that I will work 100 times harder for the diversity of race and body positivity.”