Iskra Lawrence fronts HFM's February issue and talks exclusively to us about life as a model, body confidence campaigner and social media sensation. Iskra snagged her first campaign for Claire’s Accessories after entering the Elle Girl’s Search For A Supermodel competition when she was at school and moved to New York when she was 23.
Iskra uses her Instagram handle as a platform to promote body confidence to her over four million followers. One post that gained a lot of attention was from the Screen Actors Guild Awards. In the picture, you could clearly see her cellulite and the hashtag read 'Cell-u-LIT.'. "I wore a dress that had a really high slit up the side. I was embracing the realness, even on the red carpet. Don’t be insecure – I'm not going to cover cellulite up or Photoshop it out, it’s just my leg."
VIDEO: Watch Iskra Lawrence on her HFM cover shoot
MORE: Iskra Lawrence urges women to love their curves in Instagram post
Although the post has received 609k likes, her most yet, the 28-year-old believes we still have a long way to go and are all far too hung up on our bodies. "It's merely outer packaging, we've got so much more going on. People direct message me all the time, especially young girls saying things like, 'I can’t go to the beach because I'm too afraid to wear a swimsuit', and it’s so sad. "People say plus-size models encourage obesity, but what about making people feel so s*** about themselves they can't do anything with their lives? That's worse. Empowering people with confidence enables them to try new things, to go out there, even to start a new relationship – to learn to love themselves. That's why, for me, body shaming is so detrimental to us individually and as a society."
The outspoken role model says she does suffer from insecurities herself, though. "Sometimes it can hit me out of nowhere. The last time I felt really insecure was when I did an awesome campaign with a musician, an actress and an athlete – I was [just a] model and I felt like I had sneaked in. But I know I've done really well, worked hard, I'm a good person that has given back and used my platform in a responsible way." Iskra says she is keen to make more TV shows like The Mirror Challenge, which she created for Facebook. "The show told stories of people that have insecurities that are crippling their lives and holding them back so much that they're not able to achieve their dreams. We found a really diverse group of people, who ranged from a young mother who didn’t realise she’d have stretch marks after giving birth, to a woman in her 40s who was struggling with infertility. My goal is to get the show on TV, and my dream is to have one on MTV or a TLC so that will be my next focus."
WATCH: Iskra Lawrence encourages 'self love' in Ted Talk
The full interview appears in the February issue of Hello! Fashion Monthly on sale now.