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Stefania Ferrario: Why plus size model hates the term

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Stefania Ferrario: Why plus size model hates the term

Stefania Ferrario had her modelling demographic renamed ‘curve’ models from ‘plus sized’ models after starting a hashtag campaign called Drop the Plus (#droptheplus) on social media. Picture: David Caird

Stefania Ferrario: Why plus size model hates the term

Debra Killaleanews.com.au@DebKillalea

Stefania Ferrario: Why plus size model hates the term

SHE’S a top model with both beauty and brains who isn’t afraid to push the boundaries.

But call her plus size and you might see a not so sweet side of Australian model Stefania Ferrario.

Ms Ferrario began modelling at just 16 but made her big breakthrough four years later thanks to a Target modelling campaign where she worked alongside British fashion guru and TV star Gok Wan.

She’s now the face of a lingerie line by Dita Von Teese for Myer.

Stefania Ferrario pictured during the shoot for the Dita Von Teese lingerie line. Picture: Bradley Hunter

Stefania Ferrario pictured during the shoot for the Dita Von Teese lingerie line. Picture: Bradley HunterSource:News Corp Australia

But despite her modelling success, she has a big problem with those in the industry who use the term “plus size” which she refuses to call herself, because at size 12, she is “the norm”.

Ms Ferrario is not only on a mission to see more “normal” people on the catwalk but thinks the industry is lacking models of different ethnicities and ages as well.

“There’s a serious lack of ethnic diversity in the modelling industry, and this is so bad on so many levels,” she told news.com.au

She said beauty wasn’t about being stick thin or being young or white.

“When I was 16 and 20kg lighter I was told I needed to lose weight to succeed in the modelling industry.

“This was devastating.”

The then teenager was also bullied by school peers for “not being thin enough to model” but instead of succumbing to pressure, she embraced her curves and ignored the haters.

“I was 16, I got boobs and hips,” she said.

“A lot of models start at 14 or 15 and while they’re naturally thin there comes a point where they start to fill out.”

The model, pictured at the Vivienne Westwood launch party in London in 2015, is a vocal advocate for positive body image. Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images

The model, pictured at the Vivienne Westwood launch party in London in 2015, is a vocal advocate for positive body image. Picture: Dave Benett/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

She said despite her years working in fashion, she still didn’t understand some designers’ obsession with stick thin, which she believed promoted an unhealthy body image.

“This can’t be the norm,” she said.

“How can anyone over the size of 8 (in the fashion modelling world) be considered a plus size? “The plus-sized label is misleading, no one should be labelled plus sized. We don’t have minus sized.”

The 23-year-old beauty, whose campaign to ban the term plus size went viral last year, is now grabbing attention for a whole new reason.

The Canberra-based model has been voted 2016/17 Sexy Australian of the Year by online dating and social networking site RedHotPie.com.au.

“Ferrario has proven herself to be a staunch opponent of the unrealistic body images built by the fashion and modelling industry, instead she celebrates what’s real, what’s healthy and what’s normal — championing the #droptheplus campaign that went viral over the past 12 months,” a spokesman for the website states.

“It’s sex appeal for all, and that is damn sexy.”

This viral image made quite an impact.

This viral image made quite an impact.Source:Instagram

Ms Ferrario said she was flattered and excited by the nod as was her boyfriend of five months science fiction writer Lawrence Del Gigante.

The model, who is openly bisexual and candid about her sexuality, is renowned for her pixie-style haircut and for the viral “I am a model” shot.

That image sparked a new conversation for change about standards of beauty.

“To me being sexy is about being comfortable in the skin you have and doing what makes you feel good,” she said.

“Don’t try and hide it.”

The healthy body image advocate also said she was pleased to see loved up Bachelor couple

Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon come second in the Sexy Australian of the Year list, since the women defined both beauty and sexuality.

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