Plus-size model talks feminism

EFFIE MANN
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2014
Jennie Runk
H&M

BATHING BEAUTY: Jennie Runk's starring role in the 2013 H&M beachwear campaign caused something of a stir in the fashion industry.

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Since appearing in H&M's Summer 2013 beachwear campaign, 'plus-size' model Jennie Runk has used her powers to champion a body-positive message and has quickly become a worthy role model for young women and girls.

"This is exactly the kind of thing I've always wanted to accomplish," Runk wrote in an article for the BBC last year. "Showing women that it's OK to be confident even if you're not the popular notion of 'perfect'."

Now, the outspoken 25-year-old has charmed us further by speaking frankly about feminism in an interview with Elle Magazine.

When writer Marisa Meltzer asked Runk if she considered herself a feminist, the model's response was refreshing given the reluctance of so many in the public eye to adopt the label:

"I've always considered myself a feminist. In high school I drove my dad's pickup truck with feminist stickers on the back and bright pink seat covers. My ringtone is Joan Jett's 'Bad Reputation.' I went to Stephens, a women's college, and joined a feminist protest group."

How, then, does Runk give voice to her feminism in an industry that so visibly debunks the movement's values?

"It was a struggle for me to be in an industry that people blame feminist issues on. There's a very narrow example of what the perfect woman is. But I've got this great career, I love my job, and it's a good living...

"The biggest thing for women to keep in mind is you can't ever let someone define beauty for you. Look in the mirror and say that this is my definition of perfection."

If only everyone in the modelling world could be as sensible as Runk.

- Daily Life

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