02/01/2017 05:33 EST | Updated 02/01/2017 05:33 EST

6 Curvy Canadians You Need To Know

patronestaff via Getty Images
Gorgeous woman portrait wearing blue dress and sunglasses with reflection

I've been modelling a little over a decade now and working in Education. I've constantly felt the need to investigate Body Image because I know how much it affects young men and women and I also know from personal experiences I know that the fashion industry plays an important role in how we perceive our bodies. Who are behind the images we see in the media? I found reaching out to the plus size models in the fashion industry revealed a lot more to me than what meets the eye. I would soon discover that although looking flawless in their Instagram posts many of these Canadian models have been on and are still going on journeys with their bodies. Everyone experiences negative and positive body images right throughout life.

1. Christina Schmidt

#mood #tbt 📸@jaclynlockephoto 💄 @sheristroh 👗 @sheahurley

A photo posted by Christina Schmidt (@christinalovesthiscity) on

How Did You Get Into Plus Size Modeling?

I acted on the show Degrassi: The Next Generation, and I actually played a plus size model. I didn't even know there was such an industry. After the show I was asked to shoot a campaign for a clothing company in LA, and everything went from there. I got signed with a modelling agency in LA, NYC, Miami and Toronto and am so lucky to still be doing this today.

What does body Image Mean to You?

Body Image means a lot to me, because it defines self-love, acceptance and loving myself from within. I believe in being healthy and happy and accepting myself ay whatever MY best is, and not what other people expect me to be.

2. Geneve Benatar

How Did You Become A Plus Size Model?

It was completely serendipity for me, I never aspired to be a model, I loved fashion and the industry and I wanted to be a part of it, but I never knew modeling was going to be my way in. When I was 16, I interned at a fashion agency. I always thought models were tall and slim and beautiful and I never saw myself in that sort of way. One day the phone rang asking for plus size models, and my boss at the time looked at me and said, "You'll be at it soon." A year later I signed to my current agency.

What does body Image Mean to You?

Body image to me is loving yourself from the inside out. Body image is not just your physical appearance, it's how you present yourself and carry yourself and how you're perceived; it's the way you look and feel at the world. Positive body image is so important! It's means that the person on the interior is as beautiful as the person on the exterior.

3. Karyn Inder

How Did You Get Into Plus Size Modeling?

When I was 9 years old in Newfoundland, I did a mother-daughter runway show for a local store and fell in love. In 2014, I packed my bags and sold everything I owned and moved to Toronto to pursue it.

Is being curvy important to you?

It's not necessarily something I find important. I never really think about it to be honest! It's who I am and I love how I feel, how I look and how I fill out a dress! I love how when I dance, I can feel a bit of a jiggle; I would definitely miss the jiggle. I think it's sexy. It's important, for young men and women to see more representation of diverse bodies in the media. It helps with self-love and care but this mentality begins at home at a very young age. It is not solely up to the media!

4. Sarah De Melo

Do you have another career/profession other than modelling?

Yes, I work in the legal field. I have always been very interested and passionate about the law. It is really awesome being able to pursue two professions that I love. 

Why is being curvy important to you?

I've always been curvy. I've always had big thighs and a bum, I even underwent a breast reduction because my breasts were too big, that it was negatively affecting my back. Being curvy is important to me because that's who I am, this is the body I own and it's all I know and have learned to love. I no longer mind the fact that I have cellulite because it's my cellulite. I love being able to share my body modelling alongside other woman who have different shapes so that society can see that we are all built different and it's beautiful. 

5. Meredith Shaw

How Did You Get Into Plus Size Modeling?

I was scouted while I was waiting in a line for a concert but I wasn't sure that modelling was something I wanted to do - especially PLUS (at the time that word still totally scared me). But then I was doing a photoshoot for my music career and the make-up artist said I should really get into plus size modelling (there was that word again, this time it didn't scare me as much). So I gave it a shot and I've been busy ever since - now even signed in New York. And PS I am now PROUDLY PLUS

What Does Body Image Mean To You?

Having a positive relationship with your body allows you to fully realize your potential. It wasn't until I decided to change my body image, to get on my own team that I really started becoming all of who I am meant to be. Having a positive body image is powerful, and way more fun.

5. Hourglass Cath

How Did You Get Into Plus Size Modeling?

About 5 years ago I replied to a tweet for an upcoming plus size shoot and a few months later I heard back from the CEO of the company. I was blown away. It's an odd experience to go into a store where everything fits you like a glove, when for your entire life you've struggled to find a pair of jeans that actually fit. I have painful memories of having to try on millions of pairs of pants to find the right size. After meeting the CEO of this plus size store I was hired to do my first shoot of what became a five year relationship that I am so grateful for today.

Is Being Curvy Important to You?

I wouldn't say being curvy is important to me, I would say being curvy and confident is important. I am not defined by how I look; I am defined by how I feel. This is a significant difference that is important to educate others on. Owning and embracing my curves has been the most difficult challenge in my life to date. On the other hand it has been the most rewarding.

For More on body positivity visit: