When Bella Golden left a comment on the Instagram account of her idol, plus-sized model Iskra Lawrence, she didn’t realize that it’d change her life forever.
“I had been following her for a while and she posted something about body positivity, so I just commented something like ‘you look great girl’,” Bella explains to Cosmopolitan.
Watch Iskra Lawrence strip down on a subway to promote body positivity:
The next thing she knew, a modeling scout was asking to meet with her. “My profile was private but she followed me and then direct messaged me the next day asking if I was interested in modeling,” Bella recalls.
However, she was initially skeptical of this unknown user. “I really thought it was a scam at first because unless watching a lot of America’s Next Top Model counts, I had never done any modeling before.”
At the time, Bella was working at Disneyland in California as a character performer. However, it wasn’t anywhere near as glamorous as it sounds, for Bella wasn’t a Disney princess at the theme park. ”
When people found out I worked at Disneyland they would always ask me if I was a Princess but I wasn’t,” she said. “I was the one dressed in a full-on animal suit completely sweating.”
But whilst the job wasn’t exactly fulfilling for Bella, it did unknowingly teach her some important lessons which she was able to apply in the modeling world. “[It’s] kind of funny when I think back because I guess I’ve been posing for pictures longer than I realized,” a bemused Bella explains.
The transition from Disneyland character to model wasn’t an easy one for Bella, but she managed to convince herself that she deserved the opportunity.
“I’ve always been the motherly type in my friend group and told everybody else not to worry about things and be who they want to be, so for once I just took my own advice,” the brunette beauty said.
“Social media has also helped me feel better about myself by forcing me to step out of my comfort zone and post things that I would appreciate to see other people posting. I want any 14-year-old girl who follows me to feel comfortable in her body, so I purposefully go outside of my own comfort zone to show them a different body shape on a regular beach, rather than the ‘perfect body’ on a yacht somewhere.”
Bella is proud to be considered a ‘plus-size model’, despite her healthy size 12. Discussing her thoughts on plus-size modeling, the California-native explained:
“People ask me ‘how are you plus-size?’, or ‘it’s terrible you’re considered plus-size’ but I don’t take it as a bad thing. In fashion if you’re over a size 4 (UK size 8) you’re considered plus-size, that’s the crazy thing. I’m a size 12 (UK size 16) but when I’m shopping online I realize from looking at the size guides and measurements, I never fit in one box.”
“Although I don’t have a problem being labelled as plus-size, I do think the term is problematic in a sense because I don’t like the idea of separation, that one group of people is superior to another.”
Although she loves her body now, that hasn’t always been the case for Bella who was bullied at school:
“I always felt kind of uncomfortable in my body when I was growing up and it wasn’t because I was naturally curvy, it was because I was really tall and kind of awkward. I was bullied in middle school because of it and it really affected my confidence. Then at 13 I went into puberty straight away and boys just started sexualizing me for having hips, so for a really long time I was just dressing to cover myself up.”
No doubt those bullies are now very ashamed of their actions and very jealous of Bella’s incredible life! Even though she didn’t plan it this way, it’s safe to say that she got the ultimate revenge! We can’t wait to see her career take off very soon!