Read Model Charli Howard’s Epic Open Letter to Body-Shaming Agency

Emily McBride

Here we go again. Tales of yet another body-shaming incident in the modeling world have surfaced, this time directly from the victim’s own Facebook feed. British model Charli Howard is making headlines for taking to her timeline to voice frustration about her recent release from her agency on grounds that she was “too big” and “out of shape,” despite the fact that she’s 5’8″ and wears a U.K. size 6-8 (the equivalent of a U.S. 2-4. Yep.) In her status, Charli writes:

“I refuse to feel ashamed and upset on a daily basis for not meeting your ridiculous, unobtainable beauty standards, whilst you sit at a desk all day, shovelling cakes and biscuits down your throats and slagging me and my friends off about our appearance. The more you force us to lose weight and be small, the more designers have to make clothes to fit our sizes, and the more young girls are being made ill. It’s no longer an image I choose to represent.

“In case you hadn’t realised, I am a woman. I am human. I cannot miraculously shave my hip bones down just to fit into a sample size piece of clothing or to meet ‘agency standards.’ I have fought nature for a long time, because you’ve deemed my body shape too ‘curvaceous,’ but I have recently begun to love my shape. I don’t have big boobs, but my bum is OK [smile emoticon], plus a large majority of my clients are OK with this.”

The epic Facebook status, the 23-year-old told Dazed, was written out of frustration the day after Howard was dropped from her agency, which told her that her body and skin were “a problem.” She went on to say that she was encouraged to speak up after models such as Cara Delevingne came forward to speak about the pressures and mistreatment that permeates the industry.

Howard clarifies in her Facebook post that she does still intend to model, as long as she can do it “on [her] own terms.” In her interview with Dazed, she advises models to stand up for themselves, saying, “Be braver than me, and state to your agency that you will work at the size you’re happiest at. If you’re unhappy, choose happiness. Life’s too short.”

Mega props to Howard for sticking to her guns and refusing to be silent on this issue. Here’s hoping a revolution is around the corner. To read Howard’s entire open letter, head to Facebook now.