Iskra Lawrence fashion

Iskra Lawrence Is The Model We All Need To Pay Attention To In The Fashion Industry

Iskra pushes and inspires her followers with posts about honesty, body positivity, and realness.

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This past week I had the honor and privilege to meet model Iskra Lawrence while she was at the AERIE pop-up store on my college campus.

I was blown away not only by her obvious beauty, but how kind and welcoming she was. She would hug each person that would approach her, wanting to know their name and how they were doing. She also would take countless pictures with whoever wanted, not letting the pouring rain phase her. She was even willing to Facetime my sister, who could not attend because she goes to a different college.

If you are unaware of who Iskra Lawrence is, I'll give you a few quick facts.

Iskra is a model within the fashion industry. She is the face and brand ambassador of AERIE, a lingerie and clothing line by American Eagle Outfitters, that celebrates body positivity and diversity.

Iskra's social media pages are full of body positive and inspiring content. While I was speaking to Iskra she was expressing that she tries to be aware of what she posts and wants to ensure it is as real and transparent as can be. She noted that of course, she posts "shallow things, like when she feels cute in a new outfit," but honestly, that's something we all do, so we can't hold that against her.

After initially meeting Iskra, I thanked her for the work she does with NEDA. NEDA stands for, National Eating Disorder Association, which she is a very active ambassador for. Immediately after I thanked her, she started talking to me about the NEDA walks and about the inter-workings of the organization. NEDA is an important non-profit organization for supporting eating disorder survivors, and their friends and families. NEDA also works to educate and inform society about eating disorders, body image, and body positivity– without exposing sufferers and survivors, which Iskra and I both agreed is a beautiful and positive aspect the organization.

As for the fashion industry, Iskra is doing a large variety of things. Iskra has modeled for publications such as Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Self, and has over 13 years of modeling experience, including walking in New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week.

In addition to her impressive modeling resume, Iskra is a voice for change. While Iskra and I were talking, she said that she wants to help change the fashion industry from the inside. Rather than yelling what they are doing wrong, she wants to actually do something about it.

I've always admired Iskra. My admiration began when I was in high school and needed to focus on body positive. She was a voice within the fashion industry I listened to when working on getting over my own insecurities and trying to gain a better perception of myself. I was able to relate and feel comfort when viewing Iskra's content because of how real she is.

Iskra is someone who has been transparent about her personal body image issues and her journey to finding self-love and embracing who she is. Through her social media, Iskra has started several movements and trends to help others work on their body-image, self-esteem, and create a community of acceptance and a haven for those who need support on their journey of self-love, body positivity, and acceptance.

Iskra has had to go through her journey of body positivity through the spotlight. The fashion industry is divided as regular and plus-sized models. Iskra has been confronted with opinions from those within the industry labeling her body– and consistently giving unwelcome opinions of it.

The fashion industry consists of many models whose bodies can be unrealistic for many women to achieve and possess naturally. (I would like to note that I am not stating that because I want to shame them, I am just stating that those women work incredibly hard to achieve and maintain their bodies, and often genetics have an important role.) With that being said, most women have genetics working against them when it comes to looking like a 'model'– or the type of model society has constructed us to think of when we hear the word.

As a society, we need to start paying attention to models like Iskra. Iskra attends fashion shows, and wears designers that have been branded for thinner models. By Iskra attending and wearing those brands, she is proving that women, bigger than the models walking in the designs, can look good wearing them too. I think this is important because it is a visual representation that no matter your size, you can pull off whatever you choose to wear. Designers and the fashion industry shouldn't be able to tell you what you can and cannot wear.

Iskra has spoken at a number of events, including TedX, where she has been transparent about her own struggles. She has given words and messages of inspiration I think are important we all hear. Specifically, we need to start telling young girls that women, including models, come in all shapes and sizes, and we are all beautiful in our own unique, real ways.

If there is one person I think young girls need to follow on social media it is Iskra Lawrence. She uses her platform for advocating, educating, and informing her followers on a large variety of topics, including: social issues, mental health, body image, health and wellness, fitness, and self-acceptance.

In the world of social media, where fitness accounts have grown and found a dominant presence in our feeds, Iskra excels in communicating that healthy does not equal skinny. Healthy and 'being fit' look different for every individual. You can have abs, a tummy, muscular thighs, curves, big butt, no butt, biceps, flab, ect., and still be healthy. She often posts her workouts on her Instagram page and also posts content where she is indulging and not restricting herself. She lives a life of balance, which is something that needs to be continuously stressed when we have access to viewing the pages of fitness models, bodybuilders, and other fitspos.

The time I spent speaking with Iskra Lawrence had my inner sixteen-year-old screaming. Iskra has been an important role model for me throughout the last few years, and meeting her will always be an important memory.

I highly encourage anyone that may be unaware of Iskra to check out her social media, TedX talk, or any of the work she has done. She is truly a wonderfully kind human and an incredible role model.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100 percent real" and that incoming freshman should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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Bigger Bodies Are Not Unhealthier Bodies

Got nothing nice to say? Then don't say anything at all.

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Okay, believe it or not, people have rolls. People have fat. People wear jean sizes in the double digits, and plus sized dresses exist.

Fat people exist. And their existence isn't disgusting, so it's time to stop treating them like they're gross and unworthy of feeling confident.

I don't know HOW many times I've seen social media shame fat people just for posting photos of themselves. A plus-sized woman could put a pic of herself in a bikini on the gram and is made fun of for having cellulite and stretch marks. People comment things like, "stop encouraging people to be unhealthy!"

Since when does posting a photo of yourself hanging out on the beach encourage people to be unhealthy? Are fat people not allowed to feel confident, or what?

It's honestly disgusting how vicious fat shaming is, and how the usage of social media makes fat phobia that much more widespread. What's truly saddening is that despite so many body-positive movements, these movements still lack the support for actual plus sized bodies.

I'm not talking about skinny models hunched over so you can see their slight belly rolls. I'm talking about women with thick thighs and stomachs that are far from flat. Brands claim to be inclusive but the plus-sized models they use could still fit into size 2 and 4 dresses.

Why is it so hard to embrace bigger bodies??

To many, the thought of calling an anorexic girl a skeleton and making fun of the lack of food she eats is beyond absurd. Yet, many people don't bat an eye when a fat girl is called a whale. People stare at her when she eats a burger but never mind the skinny girl bragging about eating an entire pizza on her own. It's quirky and cute, right? Wrong.

If people feel obliged to call fat bodies unhealthy for being too fat, where is the obligation to also call out skinny bodies for being too skinny?

I am 5'3" and this past September I weighed nearly 140 pounds. I was overweight but healthy. I am now 116 pounds, I have an eating disorder, low blood sugar, and severely low blood pressure. I am not healthy.

Your weight does not determine your health.

Stop judging people because of the bodies they are in. Just because you're skinny doesn't mean you're healthy.

A skinny woman might be able to drink a whole bottle of wine and eat an entire pizza to herself. She might be able to keep off the weight without working out. She might not like drinking water and opt for iced coffee. And she's deemed healthy.

Whereas the fat woman tries her best to eat balanced every day. She doesn't have a fast metabolism, but she loves sweating her ass off doing yoga. She adds fruit to her water daily, but she's the one that isn't healthy because she's bigger?

Ridiculous.

Stop fat shaming people. Let fat people exist in peace. Let them pose in photos and feel confident in their skin. Let them eat junk food when they want without judging them. Don't laugh at them in the gym.

Stop assuming that bigger bodies are not healthy bodies. The bigger me was the healthy me and the skinny me is not, but nobody would be able to tell that just by looking at me.

Mind your own business. Stop judging people. Stop reducing people's worth to the social stigmas of their physical bodies.

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