Charli Howard tinha apenas 23 anos quando recebeu a ligação da agência de modelos para a qual trabalhava dizendo que ela seria demitida. Eles disseram, “o cliente da Escandinávia falou que você era grande demais para caber nas calças. Você nunca vai ser magra o bastante”.

Quando ela entrou na indústria ainda adolescente, Charli se achava uma garota estranha e não tinha confiança. Sua agência constantemente pedia para que ela perdesse peso. Nas sessões de fotos ela começou a ser taxada como a modelo “maior” do que as outras e rapidamente Charli passou a sofrer de distúrbios alimentares, depressão e ansiedade.

Ela começou a ser muito controladora com as refeições e se preocupar com peso 24 horas por dia. Ela conta em entrevista para o site The Guardian que certa vez quando desmaiou durante uma sessão de fotos o fotógrafo apenas disse: “Mas você estava linda”.

Charli Howard desfilando em 2013. Fotografia: Stephane Prevost

Seis anos depois do começo de carreira, quando recebeu a ligação da agência, Charli conta que passava pelo menos 5 horas por semana na academia e comia algodões mergulhados em suco de laranja. Mas dessa vez, em vez de se sentir envergonhada pelo seu peso, a modelo sentiu raiva e decidiu que colocar um ponto final naquela situação. Charli escreveu um post na sua página do Facebook desabafando sobre o ocorrido.

Eu recuso a me sentir envergonhada e triste todos os dias por não alcançar o padrão de beleza ridículo e inalcançável de vocês. Quanto mais vocês nos forçam a perder peso e ser magras, mais os designers têm que fazer roupas que se adequem aos nossos tamanhos e mais garotas ficam doentes. Se uma agência quiser me representar, meu corpo e a MULHER que eu me tornei, ligue para mim. Até lá, vou comer no Nando’s”.

View this post on Instagram

Not here anymore 😩😩

A post shared by Charli Howard (@charlihoward) on

Em pouco tempo, para a surpresa da modelo, o post se tornou viral e sua vida mudou para melhor. Ela foi convidada a se juntar a outra agência que aceitava o seu corpo natural. Logo, Charli conseguiu diversos trabalhos que não exigiam que ela mudasse o seu tipo físico, inclusive faz parte de um editorial na primeira edição da Vogue Britânica comandada por Edward Enninful.

Hoje, ela é uma grande ativista do movimento body positive, que pede aceitação de todos os tipos físicos e usa seu Instagram para falar sobre isso abertamente e de maneira divertida. Mesmo sendo uma modelo de sucesso, Charli diz que ainda se sente insegura com seu corpo em diversas situações, mas que nunca esteve tão feliz na própria pele.

Foto postada por Charli no Instagram

Apesar do que passou dentro da indústria quando era jovem, Charli recomenda às meninas que tentem a profissão se tiveram a oportunidade e gostarem de viajar e conhecer pessoas, mas também recomenda que permaneçam firmes e que não mudem por qualquer opinião, o que ela diz ter sido seu erro no começo da carreira.

Em 2018, a modelo lançou um livro de memórias chamado Misfit, que tem como foco o público jovem. Na dedicatória ela escreveu: “Para todas as meninas que já sentiram que seus corpos não eram bons o suficiente”.

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