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Models Redefining Beauty

The manipulation of photography has never easier or more convincing- which tends to leave most real life females more acutely aware of every perceived flaw than ever before. But "beauty" has always come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, ages and colors. Despite the media's obsession with "thinness", 67 percent of the women in America wear a size 14 or larger yet remain practically invisible from fashion magazines and brand campaigns. In our opinion, that's just not right. It encourages the believe that something is wrong with you if you aren't a sample size. While major shifts in the industry are being made, here we celebrate 10 women who'll challenge the notion that thinness is the only type of sexy. Image: Philomena Kwao

1 Philomena Kwao

Philomena Kwao

Model, humanitarian and writer, Philomena Kwao was born in London, England to Ghanaian parents and now lives in NYC. Not only strikingly beautiful, she also isn’t afraid to address the issues of body image and race. From her essays about self-acceptance (Kwao has a first class degree in Economics) to her initiative The Lily Project, which encourages young women to discuss image issues, politics, and feminism.

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2 Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham

American plus-size model Ashley Graham has a cool 6.5m Instagram followers and has appeared on the cover of American Vogue alongside the likes of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Imaan Hammam. Her images are just so refreshingly empowering and so is her opinion on body image in her TED talks or onstage at SXSW. Image: @theashleygraham

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3 Robyn Lawley

Robyn Lawley

Best known as the first plus-size model to be shot for Australian Vogue, Sydney-born model Robyn Lawley has shown plus-sized can be glamorous too with high-end shoots in Vogue Italia, Marie Claire and Elle France. This shot shows her campaign for The Melbourne Cup. Image: @robynlawley

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4 Barbie Ferreira

Barbie Ferreira

Barbie Ferreira describes herself as "very much tortured as a kid for the way I looked." She always wanted to model and ended up in a cycle of dieting and body hating. Now, through her job as an American Apparel sales associate, she is managed by a top agency and doing campaigns for Aerie, a brand of clothing from American Eagle Outfitters. Image: Aerie

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5 candice-huffman

Candice Huffine

One of the most high profile plus-size models in the industry, Candice Huffine’s shoots with photographers like Steven Meisel and Camilla Akrans has set a new tone in high fashion. Nailing the cover of Italian Vogue, she has also challenged stereotypes that size doesn't dictate health or fitness level by recently completing the New York City Half Marathon. Image: @candicehuffine

6 Marquita Pring

Marquita Pring

New York native Marquita Pring started modeling aged 15 but shot to fame when she was cast in the John Paul Gaultier show in Paris Fashion Week in 2011. Since then she's shot for Vogue Italia and modeled for Levis. Image: @marquitapring

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7 denisebidot

Denise Bidot

Miami-born model Denise Bidot, 31, says she learned to love her body after watching her mother struggle with diet after diet. In an essay for Refinery29 she writes: “She was my mom. And this woman, who I looked up to everyday, couldn’t see her own beauty?” Bidot, who has modeled for Nordstrom, Forever21, Target, Old Navy, and Levi's, is known to have a sign backstage at fashion week shows that reads “Walk Fast, Powerful, Strong. Women Taking Over the World!!”

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8 Sabina Karlsson

Sabina Karlsson

Sabina Karlsson's stunning looks were discovered when she was aged 4 in a Swedish hair salon. With striking red-haired, freckles and a charming gapped-tooth smile, she was not your typical Swedish girl. After years of being a US size 6, which was typically considered too big for the industry, her life revolved around working out and being on different diets. When she entered curves, she realized she could just be her and is currently expecting a baby this summer. Image: @thesabinakarlsson

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9 Tara Lynn

Tara Lynn

Whether it's stripping down for French Elle or posing over plates of spaghetti in her lingerie for Vogue Italia, Tara Lynn exudes feminine sex appeal. But it didn't always come easily to her. Lynn is honest that growing up as a size 14/16 was tough and says that it wasn't until college that she grew to accept her body. Feeling a newfound appreciation for her curves, she decided (bravely) to walk into a modelling agency— completely unaware that this would not only change her life, but inspire countless of others who never felt 'good enough.' Image: @taralynn

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10 Tia Duffy

Tia Duffy

Size 14 Irish model Tia Duffy, from Dublin, told Femail magazine: 'I myself have been photoshopped over the years to the point where I didn't even recognise myself.' Not only has she shot for Italian Vogue, Duffy started the #BeBodyAware campaign, which advocates images should be as honest as possible, as well as being works of art. Duffy is also a keen runner and on a mission to prove that it's not about curves, it's about inclusion- for all body types. Image: @tiaduffyofficial

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