By Alyce Collins
THIS SIZE TWENTY-EIGHT lingerie model was told to STOP EATING and to KILL HERSELF by bullies but is embracing her fuller figure, claiming most guys secretly want a plus-sized babe.
Social media consultant and content creator Leah Stanley (29) from New York, USA, wants to enable other women to embrace their curvy figures after she grew up without a strong plus-sized influence.
Leah grew up the youngest of four sisters and was the only plus-size one of the four. Throughout her childhood Leah was always bigger but the idea of being ‘plus-size’ wasn’t a widely held notion and Leah was merely labelled as fat by other children.
Leah has faced a lot of criticism for her UK size 28 figure, with many people telling her that she needs to learn to stop eating and she is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.
Although Leah notes that she has negative days and does criticise her figure occasionally, she says that is just a negative attitude and that her weight does not define her. She hopes to spread positivity to other plus-size women and to not be ashamed of their weight.
“I was always different, and I grew up being the youngest of four girls, being the only plus size or fat one,” said Leah.
“I grew up plus-size, or as kids always called it ‘fat’. Children never ever referred to me as plus-size back then, it was always fat which was of course offensive back then as we’re taught to think of ‘fat’ as being an insult.
“I’ve received countless comments and messages regarding my health, lifestyle and life overall.
“I’ve been told I should kill myself off, that I should learn to stop eating or that I’m unhealthy and am only promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.
“What I’m promoting is love and respect, because regardless of a person’s size they will always deserve love and respect, there is no weight limit on respect.
“It’s important for more than just me and my body, but I want to break standards. I want to live happily and to push standards that were created by media and society.
“I want to be a role model, I know growing up I didn’t have a positive plus-size role model to look up to. It’s really important to be that person for anyone who needs it, not just women and young girls but anyone out there who needs it.
“Bodies like mine need to be seen and accepted so that everyone can feel at home in their one and only body. So, they can feel confident enough to dress and live as they see fit.
“I like to be strong and accept my body, so I can live carefree and help others to do the same.”
Leah spoke about how she has managed to gain confidence through her modelling and she can now love the features which she once struggled with.
“It’s totally normal to have days that come with a little battle,” said Leah.
“I’ve woken up and changed my outfit four times because it didn’t look right. The next day I’ll wake up and put on one of the outfits I tossed aside the day before and walk right out the door.
“I always struggled with my arms and thighs, so it wasn’t until recent years that I started to ditch cardigans and wear shorts at the beach.
“Sometimes it’s just a matter of a poor attitude and needing to have a pep talk with myself and remind myself that it doesn’t matter if others think my arms are fat. I can still go out in a cute vest top.
“I’m not even sure what my current weight is. People often compromise their mental health to obsess over a number and I’m not doing that. I know when I’m eating poorly and when I’m not exercising. I don’t need a scale to tell me that. I know when to make changes without constantly knowing my weight.
“My regime changes daily but most mornings I start with a walk with my Bernese mountain dog, and I almost always do my makeup on a daily basis. I do my makeup completely for myself. I love playing with makeup because it’s another outlet for me.
“Then there’s always dinner – I have to have some sort of delicious dinner so I’m usually thinking about that during the day or maybe the evening before.
“My attitude and personality make me feel sexiest. Sexy isn’t always on the outside. My attitude always keeps me confident, but of course, cute little lingerie numbers also help with this.
“During school I never really had a high school boyfriend and boys never looked at me growing up. Then I remember being in university and having them notice me, but I wondered whether that was a joke.
“Nowadays it’s the opposite. A lot of guys want a plus-size babe – and if they say they don’t, they probably secretly do.
“My overall message is to always spread love, happiness and positivity. I want to inspire and encourage people to discover who they are, to be their best and true self. Live life because we only get one.”
You can follow Leah’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages @voluptuousleah.