A former Miss Universe winner has revealed that she had once been labelled ‘plus size’ by a modelling agency after she gained two pounds of weight – or just 1kg.
Paulina Vega penned a blog post in which she shared her experience with a New York modelling agency she had signed with after winning the Miss Universe beauty competition.
She says the agency, who she doesn’t name, took away her catwalk jobs and put her in a new category in 2016.
The 26-year-old had won the crown in 2014, and explained her blog post that she had no issues with being ‘curvy or skinny’ but the loss of work and the ‘plus-size’ label did bother her.
"From skinny to curvy," Vega wrote in the personal blog post. "Some time ago I had a very particular experience that made me wonder: is this what I want for myself?"
She continued: “What I'm going to tell you happened a year and a half after finishing my reign as Miss Universe.”
At that time I travelled a lot and slept more in an airplane than in my own home. I was trying out opportunities in the United States and had been hired by a modelling agency in Miami, an agency that soon after I wanted to add to their selection of models in New York. Happily, I signed with the agency.
I felt healthy and happy with my body. It took about three months and I went back to the agency. Apparently, it had gone up a kilo," Vega said. "At the meeting they told me that they no longer considered me a model of a catwalk and editorial, that I was no longer among the 'skinny' and would be classified as a 'plus size' model.
The model added that she had no problem with being called “curvy” but she didn’t like the “plus size” label.
"Under what standards is it plus size? And who decides those standards?" she asked.
[I] spent so many years of criticism, so many opinions about my physique, my personality, my mentality and even my attitude, that it did not touch those nerves. But if it made me think, is this what I want for myself?
Vega went on to say that “physical beauty cannot be everything. It cannot be the focus of your work, your priority, in everything you think and where you direct all your energy.”
Concluding: "When I'm 60 years old I'm going to look very different from what I am now and if I just concentrate on that, what will become of me when that beauty disappears?"
I have learned that paying TOTAL attention to how you look takes away time that you must be investing in your dreams, passions, in being better. It takes time away from what lasts forever: your essence and who you are.