ABOUT 60 women gathered in Clarkson this month for a brunch that raised $600 for the Butterfly Foundation.
Ocean Keys Shopping Centre hosted the ‘Real Women Real Brunch’ event on March 26 to support the organisation which helps address eating disorders and body image issues.
Raylee-jo Sinclair, who won Myer’s ‘Big is beautiful’ competition in 2012, starred at the fashion event to inspire others to feel good in their bodies.
“I was teased for being bigger throughout school and when I was dancing as a teenager I was constantly pushed to lose weight, because while I had talent I was considered ‘chubby’,” she said.
“Kids don’t deserve to be treated this way and made to feel ugly.
“When I started modelling I was embraced for being a fuller-figured girl.
“This really encouraged me to not only challenge perceptions through my modelling work but also through my business, helping impressionable girls feel beautiful, despite what others might say.”
Ms Sinclair said, while her Cantik Modelling Academy work focused on girls aged three to 18, her work on the catwalk had an impression on women of all ages.
“After a fashion show, so many people approach me to say they loved seeing a fuller-figure model on the catwalk and that they appreciated seeing a woman on stage that represents them,” she said.
The model said it was encouraging to see more companies engaging a range of models to better represent the population.
“It is great to see brands and businesses becoming more mindful of their audience and being more inclusive in their advertising and events,” she said.
“We’re empowering women of all shapes and sizes to feel beautiful and confident.”
According to the Butterfly Foundation, two major areas of concern for young people today are body image and self-esteem.
Chief executive Christine Morgan said a key area of the foundation’s work was education, with programs aimed at children and young people, parents, teachers, and health professionals.
“Our prevention focused workshops and presentations challenge cultural ideals around weight and appearance,” Ms Morgan said.
“Highlighting the difference in a model’s size such as ‘plus size’ is not helpful language.
“We encourage the use of the term ‘model’ and having them represent a range of shapes, sizes, colours and cultures in an effort to celebrate and promote body diversity.”
The shopping centre donated $10 for every guest at the brunch to the foundation, which will hold development workshops in WA in September.
Stylist Des Eddy and radio presenter Heidi Anderson led workshops on autumn and winter trends at the brunch.
Visit www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au or call 8456 3908 for more information about the foundation.
For support on negative body image or eating disorder, call the foundation’s national support line on 1800 33 4673.