A model is a model is a model, right? Well, at least that’s the message a collective of curvy women is intent on proving. Meet Ashley Graham, Danielle Redman, Inga Eiriksdottir, Julie Henderson, and Marquita Pring, five women who formed their own full-figured model contingent. Known as ALDA, which means "wave" in Icelandic, their goal is to help “represent beauty overall—without divisions, boundaries and most of all—in all sizes,” according to Graham's web site.
A bold move, considering the fashion industry has been stuck on super skinny for ages. But these women, who were once a part of Ford Models’ now-defunct plus-size division, aren’t letting that fact stop them. (And they're now all represented by IMG Models, Bustle reports.)
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“Fashion dictates so many things in our life and little girls grow up thinking this is what beauty is. They turn these magazine covers and they say ‘Oh skinny, blonde, or whatever it is.’ And at ALDA we want to say, ‘Listen, everything is beautiful. Every woman has their own beauty,'” Henderson explains in behind-the-scenes footage from the group’s gorgeous fitness-themed photo shoot for Bust magazine’s February/March issue.
Adds Eiriksdottir: “I never saw why there was any kind of gap between being a curvier model or a straight-size [model]; it didn’t really make any sense to me. That’s what we want to continue pushing, is having all different shapes and sizes in the magazines and the runways. I thought as a group, we’d have more leveraging power…to help push the limits in the fashion industry."
"I think women just want to see more women they can relate to; they don’t want to see everything Photoshopped as much,” Eiriksdottir continued.
As true as that may be, the question is, is the fashion industry ready to expand its definition of beautiful? The ladies of ALDA sure think so. According to Henderson, “Together we are going to change the world”—one gorgeous curve at a time.