Simone has been overweight since her childhood, and has been called names throughout her life as a result.
‘Growing up, eating and emotion went hand-in-hand for me. I developed an emotional dependency with food.’
‘I have been called a plethora of names. Especially when I was a kid, I was called ‘Fat Albert’ and ‘big tub of lard’.
But she’s not letting the haters get to her anymore.
‘I put the word ‘fat’ in caps on my Instagram page and all my social media because I want people to know that it’s something I’m aware of. And to be honest – to save people the trouble of saying that on my social media. I just get it out of the way for them!’
‘Since I’ve reclaimed words like chunky, tubby, fluffy, voluptuous, I have no problem calling myself those names.’
She’s even started an inspirational hashtag, to make plus-size women feel proud of their figures and happy in their own skin.
‘I started the #WeWearWhatWeWant because I saw a story on my Twitter feed about a woman who was being publically body shamed. And I realised that that is a very common experience for all plus-size women.’
‘A lot of people feel as a plus-size model or somebody that’s in the spotlight for being plus-size, their mission is about promoting obesity. It’s not about promoting an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’. For me it’s simply about teaching women to love themselves the way they are now.’
‘I’ve been told that fat girls can’t wear short-shorts, fat girls can’t show their skin, show their arms, show their rolls, but I honestly say – ‘who cares?!”
But sadly, it’s not just body shamers that Simone is having to battle.
‘I am strongly against the fetishisation of fat women, or plus size women, because so often plus-size women are seen as sexual objects and just our bodies. I want to emphasize that there are people within those bodies who have feelings, who have emotions, who have thoughts and I want them to feel free to express those.’
Keep up the good work Simone!