By Liana Jacob
MEET THE plus-sized lingerie model whose only new year’s resolution is to BE HERSELF after embracing her curvy figure despite the fact that guys used to “SECRETLY DATE” her because they were EMBARRASSED to be seen with her in public.
Aesthetic business owner, Britnee Rochelle (31), from California, USA, used to be severely bullied for her weight and received negative attention from boys. She was called names like ‘big bird’ and ‘fatty’ by her high school peers. During her past relationships in high school, boys would meet up with her in secret to avoid being seen with her.
After years of feeling insecure and avoiding wearing clothes that revealed her body for fear of being judged, she stumbled into a modelling career in 2017 after participating in a few local fashion shows. Since then, Britnee, who is 18st 8Ib and a UK size 22 to 24, made it her mission to show off her figure to empower women.
“I started modelling a year ago. Before then I dabbled in local fashion shows. I decided to enter a model search for a plus size bra and panty company,” Britnee said.
“I was contacted several times and really thought that I had a shot, so I decided to create an Instagram account for everybody to follow along.
“Overtime I really grew my following as I was working with brands that really boosted my modelling career. The journey has really been amazing, especially seeing myself being bold and helping others along the way.
“I was bullied throughout my whole life. In high school I was called horrible names by one of my classmates; it was horrible, and it would really bring my mood down.
“My own grandfather would make snide comments about my weight and would ask how I even got into my truck.
“I recall being about twenty or so and a friend of a friend commented on how large I was and that I should be a line backer (American football position) because I have the build for it.
“I never understood what prompted people to say such hurtful things to a young girl and woman. Now I know that it was their own insecurities coming through.
“Just a few months ago my best friend and I attended a San Francisco Giants game. We were walking from the parking lot to the stadium.
“It was a chilly day in San Francisco, so we were both wearing jeans, a hooded sweater and baseball caps. A man on a bicycle passed us and yelled out ‘you would look better if your clothes fit’.
“It all happened so fast and I was completely caught off guard. We were bundled up, why was this man going out of his way to verbally assault us as we were minding our business.
“Growing up no guys were ever into me or wanted to exclusively date me. I developed faster than a lot of the girls and received the wrong kind of attention.
“In high school the guys wanted to see me and spend time with me in secret never in front of others. Looking back, I think they were embarrassed to be seen with or to date a plus size girl.”
Her new-found confidence has shown through her career which has taken off and now Britnee wants to use her platform to encourage other women to feel proud of their bodies.
With over 100K followers on Instagram, Britnee has been sharing her journey with her followers.
“Back then it hurt, I didn’t understand it and had no one to turn to or talk to about it. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing – I have a voice and I want to be heard and for others going through the same thing to know they are not alone, and someone is here for them,” Britnee said.
“Embracing my body is so important to me because I love myself, every single thing about me I have grown to love. I’m owning it – all of it – no matter my shape or size.
“I’m fully aware that some people may see flaws when they look at me, but I’m not concerned with their opinion. I am happy with the person I am and the body I have.
“By loving myself and my body it has given me a new level of confidence and in turn that confidence brings so many opportunities.
“I have always been confident, the older I get the more confident I get for sure. A year ago, you wouldn’t find me in a crop top and now they are my favourite shirt for summer time.
“I feel most sexy and confident when I’m in my natural state. No makeup, my hair is air dried in comfy clothes; the real raw me which I am eighty percent of the time.
“Natural beauty is amazing and in today’s world everyone is so caught up with makeup and changing their appearance. I am in the beauty business and I love it but I’m all about enhancing the natural beauty.
“Being a plus size woman you strive to feel the best in what you’re wearing, and many women today struggle with their body image.
“I want to be a part of change; I want to encourage and empower women to love their bodies, feel sexy and comfortable in their own clothes.
“As I am part of the plus-size community, my goal is to impact the lives of women who don’t feel as confident as they should.
“No matter your shape, size, or background we are all beautiful. It’s time to embrace our diversities. Seeing someone gain confidence in themselves is one of the most powerful attributes I can add to their life.”