Donegal model Aeva is challenging body standards in the fashion industry

Aeva Andersson from Ardara is making her mark on the modelling industry after being signed to an agency championing diversity.

Standing tall and proud at 6ft 2”, the 19-year-old never thought she’d catch a break in her dream career – because the industry branded her as too tall.

 

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The beautiful young woman has recently signed to Models of Diversity, which has led her to gain the platform and confidence to speak out.

Modelling was all Aeva ever wanted to do, but her ambition took a knock at an early age, she tells DW:

“I always looked up to models as goddesses and never thought I’d be pretty enough or good enough.”

“I got noticed at 13. But when I got measured I was turned away because they told me I was plus sized and too tall.

“I was so upset because I knew it was only going to get worse because I still had to grow and develop into a lady.”

Growing up in West Donegal, Aeva said she was used to turning heads.

“I was always getting comments about my height and people told me I should be a model. I always appreciated it, but I knew that because of my height I actually couldn’t get work,” she said.

Aeva’s stunning looks caught the attention of Angel Sinclair, the founder of Models of Diversity, a UK charity aimed at changing the face of fashion and modelling.

The journey truly began for the Donegal woman last week when she flew over to London for an editorial shoot and to walk in a show.

Aeva said she could never imagine having such success in Ireland.

“I got work locally in Donegal, that’s as far as I got. In Ireland the ideal is 5ft 8” and size 8. If I was to go on a runway I would stand out like a sore thumb,” she said.

Things are changing, Aeva said, and she is excited to be part of the catalyst in MOD.

She said: “I want to fight for diversity because everyone is so different. If you are going to make clothes for people, then make them for real people. And it’s stupid to starve yourself to please other people in the industry.

“I want to change the barriers that shouldn’t exist. Hopefully I can make a really good career out of it. I’m so grateful that it’s starting off this way.”

Aeva has also been developing her confidence through an acting course in Dublin. She’s looking forward to more modelling shoots and work in London once it’s complete.

For young girls who struggle with their body image, Aeva has these uplifting words:

“Just embrace yourself. You are beautiful the way you are, there’s only one of you and you’ve got to work that.

“The people who doubt themselves don’t realise their beauty – I didn’t realise my beauty until recently. Before the acting course I was completely unconfident and had anxiety, but I kept pushing and working harder. It’s onwards and upwards.

“Everyone being all the same is boring, it’s important to realise your worth.”