Model branded ‘cow’ and told to ‘cover-up’ defies trolls to showcase curves

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A curvy model has opened up about the hate she receives online – and how she’s not going to let that stop her from loving the skin she’s in.

Julia Berit, from Los Angeles, was scouted by a plus size modelling agency when she was 19 and in college at the University of Oklahoma.

Eventually, she would take 5am flights to Los Angeles or New York City for shoots and then take a red-eye flight back to school and head to class. No one at school knew she was a model and no one on set knew she was a student.

Now 24, she has a thriving modelling career and has spoken exclusively to the Daily Star about the highs and lows of being in the public eye.

“I have had people make crazy assumptions about my health because of my size, call me grotesque, disturbing, gross, compare me to a cow… the list goes on and on,” she said.

“Thankfully, the good comments outweigh the bad. That definitely makes the hate comments easier to stomach.”

Julia receives hate from strangers on the internet for simply existing.

While the majority of comments she receives from people are positive, there are still a select few who try to ruin her day with cruel comments.

Some even go as far as to call her “grotesque” and tell her to “cover it up”.

“I first like to remind people that I am a person, just like them. People can forget you’re a real person with real feelings online,” she explained.

“Being a model does not mean you don’t read the comments. I like to remind them that we are all allowed to take up space and feel comfortable in our own skin. I am not here to please them!”

Julia being unapologetically herself is helping others love themselves for who they are.

The 24-year-old has lovingly fostered a supportive group of followers, with 176,000 people tuning in to her updates on her Instagram account @julia.berit.

“It is such a wild feeling knowing that what I post online makes an impact on how women view themselves. Especially because posting online has made an impact on how I view myself,” she said.

“When I first started modelling, I was in the process of healing from an eating disorder. Consuming and creating body positive content made a MASSIVE difference in my own path to healing.

“Sharing my journey online, having conversations with other women about learning to love themselves… These have helped transform how I view myself and hopefully helped a few other people along the way.

“Encouraging women and being part of their own healing and acceptance journeys is such a magical feeling. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!”

And as for what to do if you’re struggling with your own body image? Julia has a few bits of advice.

First, she recommends unfollowing or muting anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.

“Removing that reminder of what you don’t like about yourself can give you so much more room to see the good!” she explained.

“Instead of your timeline making you feel less than, try and follow people who look like yourself! If you can see the beauty in those people, it becomes a little bit easier to see the beauty in yourself.

“Social media doesn’t need to be a toxic place, you can build your timeline into a safe, healing and thought-provoking place.”

As beauty standards continue to evolve, Julia hopes that society can learn to see the beauty in the people around us instead of holding others to unrealistic standards of what each individual finds attractive.

She also wants brands to continue to be more inclusive by representing and serving more people.

Julia added: “The size chart should not end at a size large or even XL. Plus-size people deserve clothing options just like everyone else, and I am excited to see those options grow.

“To anyone reading this who is struggling to see the beauty in themselves, you are beautiful and so so worthy of love!

“No ifs, ands or buts about it! I am so proud of you for any effort you are making to feel at home in your own body. It isn’t easy, but it is absolutely worth it, I promise!”

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