Model Behavior is an A Plus series featuring fashion models who promote body positivity, and work to create inclusivity and diversity within the industry by expanding our definition of conventional beauty.
Iskra Lawrence dreamed of being a model when she was a teenager. At age 15, the size-14 model says she was dropped from her then-agency because she was "too curvy" for them. She was also told that she was too small for plus-size modeling. Lawrence experimented with extreme dieting, but says she soon discovered how unhealthy those habits were.
"I was trying to be like all the other slim models," she told Access Hollywood.
Lawrence never gave up on her dream of becoming a model. She started an Instagram account and gained more than 1.1 million followers. Her Instagram modeling photos were honest, never retouched, and 100 percent real.
"I realized I was beautiful because I was different," she told Access Hollywood. "You can never be someone else. You just have to embrace you and be the best version of yourself. It's about loving yourself inside and out."
Lawrence's Instagram photos proudly display her cellulite — she posts what she calls "real images" to counter what is normally seen in the media. She says girls on Instagram are constantly asking her for advice, and that she tells them that they are beautiful because of who they are.
Her reputation as a courageous model gained the attention of Aerie, a clothing brand that recently picked Lawrence to be their next spokesmodel.
Lawrence will be touring the country with Aerie as part of the #AerieReal campaign and spreading her empowering message and her amazing story.
"I got told I wasn't good enough and I could never make it. And then Aerie told me I was beautiful because I was me," she said in an emotional YouTube video for Aerie. "You have so much more good things to give to the world than just your appearance. You don't need to be retouched because the real you is beautiful."