If you thought that Vogue cover featuring models of varying shapes and sizes couldn’t get any better, guess again.
Four models came together and re-created the now famous March 2017 cover, which featured seven different models standing in a line on the beach, and we’re floored.
Plus-size model and lifestyle blogger Brielle Anyea was one of the four girls in this re-creation, and she shared the photo on Instagram, alongside the original, with a seriously moving caption. “Model gals from different parts of the world coming together to send a message,” she wrote. “We’re all different shapes, sizes, & have different backgrounds but we share a similar passion. Helping others find light within themselves.”
Anyea noted that they were inspired by the Vogue cover featuring Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, Liu Wen, Vittoria Ceretti, and Imaan Hammam, but to make it even more inspiring, they made it less edited. “Added some rawness. Rolls, stretch marks, melanin, you name it.” She said the point was to show the beauty in diversity, and boy, are these models diverse — from brown skin to blond hair and curves to countries of origin.
“I hope everyone that follows me, knows that there is power in being who you are. Just because you don’t see a lot of people that resemble your appearance in media, fashion, & music, it doesn’t mean you aren’t adequate enough. You’re still beautiful & still a rockstar. They just haven’t figured that out yet. … We’re examples of that! ”
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, the Baltimore native explained that size-inclusive swimwear brand Any BODY was behind the shoot. “This was the co-owner of Any BODY’s idea, but all four of us collectively thought of a way to make this different,” she said. Her co-conspirators were Sonny Turner, another outspoken plus-size model, Bella Golden, and Georgia Gibbs, who went viral in 2017 when she posted an innocent photo that celebrated her and her friend Kate Wasley’s different body shapes. Gibbs and Wasley are the creative minds behind Any BODY.
“The Vogue cover came up when we were at the beach and saw our matching ‘love your body’ swimsuits, and we instantly thought of the Vogue cover while posing,” she recalled. Their version may feature fewer women, but it sends an even stronger message.
While they didn’t find much wrong with said cover, they knew they could live up to its beauty, if not surpass it. “I thought it was beautiful,” Anyea said of the issue. “Rarely do you see plus models on the cover of major magazines, so it was refreshing to see a curvy model front and center,” she said, referring to Graham. “I’m excited to see the covers become more diverse. It would be nice to see more dark skin women, curvier women, and more models on covers (how it used to be). But I believe it’s coming very soon.”
But Anyea is a strong believer in being a catalyst for what you want to see in the world, which she did for her own career by building her own platform, and did again by adding even more diversity to her Vogue interpretation.
“We thought it would be a cool spin to recreate since we were all different shapes, sizes, heights, etc. So we recreated it and it looks just as beautiful as the original,” she said.
Anyea posted the photo to encourage people to create their own opportunities when there aren’t any, she told us. “From when I started out as a model three years ago up until the beginning of this year, it was a very emotional journey for me,” she said. “I wasn’t given half the jobs my model peers were due to my size and skin color.” She changed as much as she could about her appearance to win over potential clients but was unsuccessful. “I got tired of waiting for a ‘yes we want her’ or watching them pick another model because my look is too ‘risky’ or ‘urban.’ So I stopped trying to win the hearts of those who didn’t want mine and built my own platform.”
She now has over 34,000 followers on Instagram. “I hustled very hard to build a personal brand.” And she got the best revenge in the end — now a lot of those brands that rejected her want to work with her on social media. “So I’m hoping if I keep creating my own opportunities online, it will encourage others to do the same.”
Anyea also hoped more brands would see the power in diversity. “I know a lot of brands feel like minorities and plus-size bodies aren’t marketable. But we have just as much marketability as the other audiences,” she argued. “I feel like if you want everyone’s money, you should be willing to make your consumers feel appreciated by showcasing models that resemble them.”
Now, let’s talk about that “rawness.” While the girls are wearing makeup, their bodies aren’t edited, hence the stretch marks and cellulite. That didn’t bother Anyea. “I’ve spent too many years of my life being uncomfortable and self-conscious about my body,” she said. “So I’m going to make sure I feel confident anywhere, wearing anything.” She knows that self-love doesn’t come overnight. “It takes time to reprogram your thinking. You may not feel sexy in your swimsuit today, but you may feel different tomorrow.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- 8 plus-size-jumpsuits under $200 that are perfect for warm weather
- This woman has gained 100-plus pounds during her 10-year marriage — and her husband loves her even more
- This body-positive activist re-created Kim Kardashian’s racy fragrance ad to make a point about ‘perfect’ bodies