Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition, and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves
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Now available in paperback, Hungry is an uplifting memoir with a universal message about body image, beauty, and self-confidence, and an inspiring, cautionary tale for women of all ages.
At fourteen, I was a regular junior high school student in Clinton, Mississippi, when a modeling scout told me: You could be a supermodel...but you'll have to lose a little weight.
For glamour, fame, and escape, I lost seventy pounds.
This is a photo of me at sixteen, when I signed a big modeling contract, moved to New York City, and started traveling around the world.
It is also when I developed a ferocious case of anorexia and exercise bulimia.
Until I decided enough was enough—I wanted to live.
And so I ate. And ate.
Offering a behind-the-scenes peek into the modeling industry, as well as a trenchant look at our weight-obsessed culture, Hungry is an inspiring and cautionary tale that will resonate with anyone who has battled society’s small-minded definitions of beauty.
This is me now, the leading plus-size model in America.
Bart Simpson at the blackboard: I will not listen to ungodly music. I will not listen to ungodly music. I will not listen to ungodly music. I will not listen to ungodly music. I will not listen to ungodly music. One hundred times. I gritted my teeth and kept writing. It wasn’t even my album! I consoled myself that at least I hadn’t gotten the other punishment: standing in the corner for forty-five minutes with your nose nestled in the angle where the walls met. If you coughed or sneezed,
Organization to raise awareness of maternal and child health in the developing world. I could have asked her about her activism, but all I could think about was her hip size. Most of the work I got in 2002 was for edgy magazines. Given my strong features and dark, intense gaze, my look wasn’t mainstream or accessible, even though my body type was what every magazine wanted. I was always “editorial”—fashion-biz code for “not conventionally pretty.” (A more approachable look—what Tyra Banks on
girls with pale skin from Eastern Europe who all look the same, these weird androids with no character,” and concludes, “My family is Italian—I am inspired by a womanly aesthetic.” For his part, Mouret says, “I see advertising going back to that powerful 1980s mentality, when girls like Linda [Evangelista] were the ideal.” Spicer writes approvingly of Nicole Richie’s weight gain and notes that the stick-thin Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton have been “disgraced.” Designers are hiring the
admired the shrimp. Pretty, pretty shrimp. Very pink. Then I felt the presence of someone next to me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that it was Steven. I’d never met him, but I knew what he looked like from pictures in magazines. There was no mistaking the dark, beautiful, long, straight hair; the strong jawline; the piercing, nearly black, wide-set almond-shaped eyes; the cupid’s-bow lips; the strong nose. (Later, reading the May 2009 issue of Vogue, I learned that Steven had been
underperforming (that’s educationese for “lousy”) outer-borough high school. He’d gotten a master’s in education at Brooklyn College. He loved working with at-risk kids. As we chatted, I thought how different he was from the modelizing hedge fund trolls and hairdo musicians who usually hit on me when I went out. I loved listening to Greg talk about his job, his passion for literature and for teaching. He was idealistic but realistic, too—he didn’t glamorize his work or pretend that these tough