By Liana Jacob
MEET the plus size male model who has broken barriers in the fashion industry despite being bullied about his weight throughout his childhood and has now taken the modelling world by storm.
Plus size male model, Jonathan Davila Rosas (28), from San Juan, Puerto Rico, has always struggled with his weight and growing up was made difficult with him being 18st 8Ibs.
Previously he didn’t love the person he was and hated his body until one day, two years ago, he attended a casting for Plus Size Fashion Weekend Puerto Rico for ‘just a one-time experience’ and was scouted by an agency.
Since then, the six-foot-two Caribbean has been modelling on catwalks and runways in Puerto Rico.
“The message I would like to send is that no matter how much you weigh, you can pursue all of your dreams,” Jonathan said.
“I’ve always had a struggle with my weight. I had my ups and downs on the scale and it was always a sensitive topic for me to talk about.
“I’ve been bullied, body shamed and I’ve had many struggles growing up, but always at the end of the day I have my family supporting me no matter what. That’s helped me and still helps me to move on and become stronger.
“I got into modelling two years ago. I went to a casting for an event here in Puerto Rico. I just went to the casting for a one-time experience and to prove to myself that I can do anything no matter what my size or weight is.
“And look at me now, two years later I am still modelling and loving every part of it.
“Two years ago, I was going through a difficult time of my life. I wasn’t loving the person I was looking at in the mirror every morning. I hated my body.
“I pursued plus size modelling just to try something new; something different that I’ve always wanted to do but my body and weight didn’t let me.
“My view of plus size modelling is that there is an opportunity to prove that we are a human being no matter what our size, gender, colour, sexual preference or how much we weigh.
“We all have the right to dress fashionable and to have the same options to choose from and to be confident in our own skin.
“Every time I’m on a catwalk it’s the best time of my life. I feel free, happy, fearless and confident in every way possible.”
The process of reaching the platform of modelling has faced him with many difficulties but with the support of his friends and family, he has learned to love himself.
“The hardest thing was to beat the social stigma about plus size people in general. Just because we are plus size it doesn’t mean that we don’t take care of our bodies,” Jonathan said.
“Here in Puerto Rico, plus size male models don’t have the same opportunities as plus size women. But I will never give up until there is a change.
“Every time I have a modelling job on the runway, I always prep my skin a day before and more than usual, then have my eight-hour of beauty sleep. This is important because you don’t want to look exhausted on the runway.
“Part of my daily routine is to exercise every morning and drink plenty of water, no matter if I have a modelling gig or not.
“Modelling has changed my life. Right now, I’m more confident wearing my favourite clothes and learning to love myself and my body every day.
“To be able to stand in front of the mirror every morning and say to yourself: ‘I love you, you’re beautiful and you deserve to be happy’, that’s a big change.
“My family and friends support me in every way they can. I’m happy and grateful for that. They are happy of my accomplishments as a plus size male model.
“No matter who you are and no matter what size you are you can pursue your dreams and don’t let anyone drag you down.
“We are all human with feelings and dreams that we want to fulfil.”
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