Plus-sized model tired of being called 'brave' for posting pictures of her body
Meet the beautiful plus-sized model who says she's tired of being called 'brave' for posting pictures of her body online.
Jessica Cinelli (28) is urging women to love the skin they're in, regardless of their size.
The Dubliner, who lives in Tallaght with her six-year-old son, is now blazing a trail online with her message of body positivity.
"We need to stop thinking fat people are brave for simply existing. If you think it is brave for someone who looks like me and has a body like me to post photos in underwear and bikinis, stop and think to yourself for moment, why do you think this?
"Do you think it is brave when you see smaller bodies do the same? Or is it society's beauty standards that have you brainwashed to think this body isn't beautiful therefore I am brave to show it?"
With more than 30,000 followers on her Instagram page @jessicacinellicurvymodel, the influencer says modelling gave her back her confidence.
"The first diet I went on I was nine, I hit puberty really young and grew boobs and I spent all my teenage years hating how I looked. I would constantly cry over my body.
"When I fell pregnant at 21 I hid away during my entire pregnancy. For two to three years after I hated my body even more. I had stretch marks and loose skin - I didn't go to baby classes or go to the beach. It got to the point where it was affecting my son's life and something had to change."
The top model began journalling and embraced self-love, which built up her confidence to break into the modelling scene.
"I saw how confident the women were at castings, even though they had fat on their body. Eventually my whole mindset changed, I stopped focusing on how I looked and realised that my body is what has brought me through my whole life. It grew and fed my son, this is just an outer shell to house my soul and personality, it doesn't define me.
"I look at my stretch marks and they are like art, they were just helping me grow. If I could go back and tell 16-year-old Jess what I am doing now I would be a different person. I wasted so many years obsessing over my body."
Deciding to share her journey to self-acceptance online, the proud mum says she has only one agenda and that's empowering women.
"I really started posting during lockdown and I went from 2k to 30k followers since March.
"I get asked to do OnlyFans all the time. I have nothing against it but it isn't what I want to do.
"The amount of men who message me and ask me for my PayPal details. They don't read my captions, they just look at the photos and presume because I'm in a bikini they have the right to comment on my appearance.
"If they actually read my captions and watched my stories they would know I am not showing my body to be sexy or to be admired or to get attention, I am showing it so other women see my body and they can say 'oh she has stretch marks and she has cellulite and she's happy, I can still wear nice clothes, I can still be happy too.'
On dealing with negativity online, Jessica revealed: "If someone said something about my personality or about me being a bad mother that would hurt me more than if someone said I am fat or ugly - that doesn't bother me because I grew up with that. What does irritate me is when someone says you are so unhealthy, you are going to get diabetes.
"You can't tell how healthy someone is just by what size they are.
"I'm not promoting obesity. I am not telling you to gain weight or to eat this fast food. I am telling you that you are more than your appearance, it doesn't matter if you are a size 8, 18 or a size 28, you still deserve happiness and respect and kindness.
"You can still want to improve your health but love yourself along the way. I do go to the gym three or four times a week and I want to go back dancing, I go on cycles and walks with my son to the park.
"Monday to Friday I do eat quite well and then I would have my treats. I don't punish myself or restrict myself and that's the message I'm trying to promote."
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