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‘America’s Top Model’ Contestant Khrystyana Kazakova Was Told She Wasn’t Fat Enough To Be a Model

We know that models are forced to do crazy things to stay in model shape. Generally that means sucking on wet cotton balls to distract from the fact that you haven’t eaten in a week. It’s okay, you can give your eating disorder a fun name like a juice cleanse or the five and two diet now, so people won’t even judge you.

But it turns out that being a plus-sized model isn’t all getting as fat as humanly possible and having Miley Cyrus post your picture to her Instagram. Plus-sized model Khrystyana Kazakova told The New York Post that you not only have to be between large enough and too large, you also have to put on the weight in a specific way, meaning mainly in the tits and ass and not the stomach.

“I was told that if I gained more weight, I would make more money,” says the 34-year-old blonde. So the Siberian-born Brooklyn resident changed up her diet and exercise routine, replacing cardio workouts with weightlifting and squats, and indulging in fatty, protein-heavy meals.

Within two months, she gained 10 pounds, but not the way the agency envisioned. “They want you to have an hourglass shape,” she says. “Before firing me, [they] implied that I looked bloated.”

As the market for plus or “curve” models expands, a new impossible beauty standard is emerging. While Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, Reformation and a few other brands are praised for their inclusive sizing, models say that behind the scenes, the pressure to be the “right” kind of plus is greater than ever. They say agents and clients alike are seeking a specific body type: the chiseled hourglass figure, embodied by Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez.

I don’t think I would actually consider Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez to be plus-sized, would you?

And what about Khrystyana Kazakova?

I don’t think you’d consider her plus-sized if you ran into her on the street. Maybe you’d call her fat if she was your ex-girlfriend and you wanted to make her feel bad because you still have feelings for her and you’re lashing out, but in general, she just looks not super skinny to me.

She also runs into problems if she loses any weight.

Kazakova’s 343,000 followers on Instagram are supportive — to an extent. She says they’re also quick to criticize if she’s not “accurately” representing the plus-size community.

“God forbid I look thinner than the day before. I get all sorts of messages and DMs,” says Kazakova, who founded the Real Catwalk, which produces guerilla fashion shows that promote body diversity. “I’ve had commenters say, ‘Oh, you’re not part of us anymore, you’re not body positive anymore.’ ”

That’s messed up, man. How empty is your life that you’re sending hate messages to models on Instagram because you perceived them as having lost weight.

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