How to Overcome Body Image Issues With Model Iskra Lawrence

Model Iskra Lawrence

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews experts, authors, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Iskra Lawrence

Iskra Lawrence is a British model who has been included in campaigns for major brands without her photos being retouched (something that is quite rare in the modeling industry).

She was included in the BBC’s World’s 100 Most Influential Women and she is a brand ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association.

She’s also a frequent guest author to many publications including SELF magazine and Time.

Why Iskra Lawrence Is Mentally Strong

When Iskra first got into the modeling industry, she was told she wasn’t thin enough. But when she tried to become a plus-sized model, they told her she wasn’t the right size for them either.

But she didn’t give up. She also didn’t try to change her appearance. Instead, she chose to change the modeling standards. 

She’s open about the fact that she has battled an eating disorder and she continues to struggle with loving herself. But, she is working hard to practice body acceptance and she helps other people learn how to love themselves just as they are.

If you or a loved one are coping with an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Helpline for support at 1-800-931-2237

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • Why Iskra didn’t fit into the typical model world
  • The types of things that contributed to her self-esteem issues
  • What happened when she saw images of herself being photoshopped
  • How she keeps her relationship with social media healthy
  • The questions you should ask yourself when you look at social media
  • How Iskra found the courage to share her struggles publicly
  • The difference between being negative and being open
  • How Iskra deals with unkind comments
  • Why Iskra gives herself affirmations in front of the mirror when she is struggling
  • Why the way we speak about others affects the way we think about ourselves
  • How to teach kids to love themselves
  • How becoming a mother has changed Iskra’s thoughts on body image
  • Iskra’s advice to anyone who is struggling with body image

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

Sometimes people assume being mentally strong means you should be able to manage your weight and develop your body shape that fits society’s ideal standards.

True mental strength often means going against the norm and doing what’s healthiest. 

It’s important to keep in mind that health and appearance are not the same things. Sometimes people work out because they want to look good, not because they want to become healthier.

Iskra talks about how to accept your body the way it is now. That’s not to say you can’t work on improving your health at the same time. But it does mean you can love yourself now even if you don’t fit into society’s ideal standards.

Quotes From Iskra

Iskra Lawrence

One of the big contributors to the decline of self-esteem, body image, and mental health was not only the pressure to be slim but also the pressure to be perfect.

— Iskra Lawrence
  • "Loving yourself is a journey."
  • "I've attracted an audience that respects me for being my real self and being able to be vulnerable or being able to share struggles."
  • "There's a lot of people who are struggling with their mental health and don't have an outlet and sometimes social media is the outlet for them."

More About the Podcast

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Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Links and Resources

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.