Curvaliscious

Reporter: Jasmine Homer

Here's what the world's come to expect from fashion models, where thin is in. But these perth women are determined to be themselves.Natasha says "There is such a pressure to fit into a mould and unfortunately we were all created differently." "They would say that we have plus sized models but that would be a 14 or a 16 to them and our sizing starts at 16 predominantly." Designer Joanne Crowe started fashion label Curvalicious to fill a gap in Perth but she couldn't find the right models. So she turned to her customers.

"It started, I walked into one of Joanne's boutiques and she said have you ever done any modelling and I said no and she said well do you want to? And I sort of cracked up, thought it was really funny." Natasha was Joanne's first employee at studio 88, an agency for big girls. Mainstream modelling bosses told her she didn't "measure up". "It's very disheartening and your ego and your self esteem takes a massive whack when that happens."

Paula says "It's always been something that I wanted to try but I just never knew there was a market for bigger, curvier women so when this came along I was like oh my god I want to do this I want to try it." Paula Parore is another customer come cover girl. "Mainly just to show my kids that you don't have to be the stereotypical size 0 to be beautiful, you can just be beautiful the way you are."

"So much depression and anxiety stems from having a low self esteem." Dr Rosanna Capolinga heads Healthway and says if you're comfortable with who you are, you're more likely to have a healthy relationship with food. "Even adverse eating habits come from having poor self esteem so we can go from one extreme where people with low self esteem with regards their body can have anorexia, bulemia to the other extreme where they actually are overweight."

Joanne Crowe says "By putting people on the catwalk and creating confidence in this industry, it motivates people to look good and to look better and to do something positive in their life." So Jo's message to the "big and beautiful" - if you're healthy, be happy. Work with what you've got. "Just get up and have a go, why not? What's stopping you, now that you've got the opportunity, it's your time to shine."

For more information

Email: studio88@boutique88.com.au

Website: www.boutique88.com.au