A plus size model is speaking out about her struggle for equality in the fashion industry.
Paloma Elessener, 25, might be the opposite of the stereotypical model, but the curvy brunette has revealed that when it comes to the industry, achieving proper pay, suitable working conditions, and respect is a battle all women face regardless of dress size.
Speaking to i-D magazine, she shared: ‘When I started working, I realized how hard it is, how emotional it is, how scary it is. I’m a really emotional person, so I was like, “How am I going to embrace the fears or insecurities that I have?”‘
Struggle: Plus size model Paloma Elsesser, 25, has revealed her struggle for equality, equal pay, and proper working conditions in the ‘devoid of empathy’ fashion industry
Learning curve: Speaking to i-D magazine, she shared that when she started out working as a model, she was unprepared for how emotional and scary it would be
Appearing on the cover of its The Radical Issue this spring, the curvy brunette, who is originally from California but now based in New York City, also detailed how she never thought she would be a model because she wasn’t ‘skinny’ growing up.
And although her parents ‘nurtured me in ways that had nothing to do with my looks,’ they instilled a confidence in her that not allows her to stand up for other women, but speak up for them too.
‘The fashion industry is such an expressive, creative space, but it’s very devoid of empathy,’ she admitted.
‘Why is it that you’re not professional if you don’t want to work 16 hours a day?’
Strong: The stunning brunette shared that she had to learn to embrace her fears and insecurities but also thanked her parents for instilling confidence in her from a young age
Instafamous: Discovered on Instagram by make-up artist Pat McGrath, Paloma is hopeful that vocal women in the industry are creating a safe space which will signal more change
Discovered by make-up artist Pat McGrath through Instagram, Paloma has also appeared in Glossier’s Body Hero campaign.
However, she’s hopeful that by speaking out, women in the industry are creating a safe space which will signal more change.
‘I think there still has to be a lot more change. But even me sitting here, being able to have this conversation, is a sign of the fact that things are changing, that people want change, and that what we’re doing is having an effect,’ she added.
She also credits the #MeToo movement with helping propel the conversation forward.
‘Feminism always comes down to equality. It’s not just armpit hair and freeing the nipple. It is wanting to be treated equally,’ she suggested.
Equal: She also discussed the issues of fair pay, working conditions and being treated equally and suggested that feminism isn’t just about ‘freeing the nipple’
Thankful: Paloma has also dedicated her cover to those who feel ‘unseen’, taking to Instagram to thanks the publication for the ‘incredible moment’
‘I want to be paid properly, I want to be treated properly and I don’t want to be sexualized. I want to be treated the same.’
And she added that speaking up and being heard is the best weapon against further abuse.
‘We exist in rape culture and it doesn’t look like an SVU episode. It’s not blindfolded in an alley, it’s being 17 at a party, and being touched the way you don’t want to be touched.’
She concluded: ‘#MeToo has given life and visibility to the tireless amount of times that women have been in contact with sexual assault and misconduct.’
Paloma has also dedicated her cover to those who feel ‘unseen’, taking to Instagram to thanks the publication for the ‘incredible moment’.