GETTY/INSTAGRAM/FELICITY HAYWARDCURVE CONTROL: Felicity Hayward is a trailblazing plus-size model
Blonde bombshell Felicity Hayward has been making waves in the fashion industry since she was discovered in an East London pub back in 2012.
Dancing to Diana Ross, she was scouted by Ponystep magazine founder to shoot for acclaimed photographer Miles Aldridge.
Felicity channelled Anna Nicole Smith in the graphic photos, which saw her stripping down to her bra and provocatively pouring milk down her chest.
She was quickly signed to Storm models and at the time was only one of four curvy girls represented by the agency.
“Fast forward five years we have hundreds of plus-size models, with most main model agencies having a curve board,” Felicity told Daily Star Online. “We also have many high street brands branching out into plus fashion also, which is great.”
Although she’s witnessed the fashion industry becoming more and more inclusive over the years, there are still steps that need to be taken to diversify glossy campaigns.
“Use more black models, more Indian models, more short models, more disabled models, more older models,” Felicity said. “Make your campaigns diverse and look like the real world.”
Currently signed on the Curve board at MiLK Management – an agency which promotes diversity – the London-based model has fronted magazines, strutted her stuff on the catwalk and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry.
A post shared by Felicity (@felicityhayward) on Feb 10, 2017 at 9:01am PST
But she hasn’t always been the picture of body confidence that she is today. When she was younger, Felicity turned to fashion to hide her insecurities.
She said: “I personally feel everyone in their lifetime suffers from body confidence issues, I myself did as a teen, but quickly disguised them with clothing.
“I was lucky I grew up with very supportive grandparents who gave me unconditional love, but without them I would have suffered.
"I want to provide that love with my message and platform.”
She also has to endure daily abuse from cruel internet trolls – although the good comments from her 190,000-strong following always outweigh the bad.
GETTYMEOW: Felicity feels sexiest in a catsuit
Felicity said: “It means I am doing something right.
“I get a lot more love than I do hate and I just have to remember that. I will take 200 negative comments, if I can provide body confidence for one young girl.
“Let's face it, the people who are trolling on my body are also going through some sort of negativity with themselves. You can be happy at any size, but some people can't get their heads around that.
“If the abuse does get bad, I delete my social media apps for a day, the trolls want attention, so by not providing it usually makes it stop.”
But weirdly enough Felicity also turns to social media when she needs a body image boost.
INSTAGRAM/FELICITY HAYWARDGOLDEN GIRL: Felcity suffered from body confidence issues as a teen
She said: “I actually turn to Instagram, my amazing followers and all the girls I follow who inspire me.”
Weighing in on how social media affects our self-esteem, Felicity believes that it’s a double-edged sword.
She said: “It can have it's advantages and disadvantages.
“We have access to the world at our finger tips which can inspire us but can also make us feel like we aren't living our best potential.
“I think the best thing to do is to make sure you understand not everything online is what it seems and to make sure you only follow people who you really believe in.
“You can be happy at any size”Felicity Hayward
“You can create a good image if you tell the truth. One of the things I have a problem with is celebrities who have surgery to alter their bodies and lie to the world about it.
“I’m all for living your best life and feeling good about yourself, get those fillers and enlargements if it makes you feel good, but don't lie about it, embrace it.
“Lying about alterations provides an unattainable body ideal especially to our young girls.”
PHBODY IMAGE: Felicity founded a self-love campaign to inspire others
To inspire body confidence in others, Felicity founded the inclusivity movement Self Love Brings Beauty.
She said: “It's a collective where everyone can be inspired and inspire each other, celebrating the importance of embracing yourself just as you are and not listening and conforming to societies absurd views on body image.”