Beauty Has No Size

Plus-Size Model, Christina Boudreau
Hello world!

If you haven't already, take a look at our February (2016)'s here and we are thrilled!

Because we believe every individual is uniquely fashioned to be themselves, we couldn't think of a better icon to represent loving your body just as you are--especially for the month of February...the month of love, than plus-sized model, Christina Boudreau! We fell in love with her the minute we met. As beautiful inside as she is out, we wanted to share Christina's views and thoughts on loving your body and yourself. Who is Christina? Keep reading Fashioned Magazine's interview with her to find out!

FM: This month's issue focuses on love and all-things-February. What are three things you love most in this world?
CB: The three things I love most in this world are Jesus, my family and spoken word poetry.
FM: You're an entrepreneur, a model, writer, speaker, minister, there anything else I've left out?
CB: I am a lover of people, servant and daughter of the King, and spoken word artist.
FM: What you do is pretty amazing—can you share with our readers what drives you to do what you do?
CB: What drives me the most is the desire to tell the world about the God in heaven who died to make me royalty…who died to make me His own...He is my motivation, and being His ambassador in this earth is the greatest privilege I can ever have in this life.
FM: What is it you love most about what you do and WHY do you do it?
CB: What I love most about what I do is that I get to watch God piece back broken hearts with His love on a weekly basis. I talk to a lot of broken people from prostitutes, people with various addictions, people from broken homes, and so much more. In the process of meeting these people, I get to share with them about the hope that I have in Christ, and I get to experience God piece back the brokenness in their life with His love. I do what I do because I have a deep desire to help people and to help spread hope like wildfires in this world.
FM: You are plus-sized model. Excellent! When did you know you wanted to be a model? What are some of the companies you've modeled or worked for?
CB: After God radically healed me of eating disorders at the age of 18, I had a desire to help pass laws in the modeling industry…God had a different plan. He planted a dream in my heart, and in that dream I was breaking the mold of beauty in a world that defined beauty as one’s shape and size. So at the age of 18 I signed my first contract, and currently am internationally signed all over the United States, the UK, South Africa and Germany, working for top companies like Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, Marshalls…have walked the runways for LA fashion week, have been in magazines like Plus Model Magazine, San Diego styles wedding magazine and so much more. I see as an honor to do what I do, and to represent the Lord in the fashion industry.
FM: Being a plus-sized model is pretty unique in the world of fashioned and modeling. One of the things that Fashioned is missional about is in the truth that all have been fashioned to uniquely be themselves. It is easy stating and carrying this message in this world called fashion? Have you ever felt the pressure to conform?
CB: Honestly, it’s not easy. Plus-size models are most definitely creating waves in the fashion industry but they don’t carry the same respect as the straight size models do. Carrying the message that I do isn’t an easy task, because while I desire to help spread the message of beauty coming in all shapes and sizes, I am still a part of an industry that doesn’t believe that. A lot of them pat me on the back and give me a “…that is cool that you are spreading that message, but plus-size will never reach high fashion”. The thing is, I don’t promote plus-size or straight size. Plus-size in the industry now is a size 6 and up, and even on a 5’11’’ frame, a size 6 is still very small. What I promote is that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and that both sides of the industry need to put out models who promote health, which means not being overweight and not being underweight, but taking care of the bodies God has given to us, and being the best version of us. I love what you ladies are standing for at Fashioned—I believe this message you have needs to be taken to girls around the world.
FM: That’s our hope and plan! We so believe that, too!
FM: You've also penned a book, "I Am Beautiful." What inspired you to write that book? Tell us about that.
CB: I wrote the story “I Am Beautiful” for my seven-year-old niece. At the time, she was five when I wrote the story for her. Her name is Orrora, and growing up we would call her Princess Orrora, and whenever anyone would ask her what her name is she would confidently say, “My name is Princess Orrora.” She is the most beautiful person I have ever known. One day she told me that her dad told her to lose weight because she was “fat” in his eyes. This sent her down a path of wanting to lose weight at the age of five so that she could be beautiful in her dad’s eyes. Her dad used to be in gangs and is not the best father to begin with, but to a five-year-old little girl, she wanted to do anything to be beautiful in the eyes of her daddy. So all that confidence she previously had, was completely gone because of one comment from her father. This inspired me to write this story for her. My mom and aunt did the illustrations. She loved the story… I gave it to her on her birthday, and since then I have been able to share that story with many more girls.
FM: What is it that helps you keep your  "One True North" in an industry so focused on the external?
CB: What helps me is understanding what my purpose is in that industry and why the Lord has called me to that industry. Understanding that I am not here to take pretty pictures, look perfect, or please my agents. Sometimes people will comment on why my boobs aren’t big enough, they tell me to suck it in, or work on my cellulite. To those things, I just laugh, and remind myself that I can’t be “enough” for every person in this industry. I have learned to just be who God has created me to be, and even though I may not be someone else’s version of beautiful, I am God’s version of beautiful. So basically my game plan in this industry is to keep my eyes on Jesus, and off of the other models and the unrealistic expectations of the clients.
FM: That takes guts, but I love that. Your website, "beautyhasnosize, depicts women who are confident and beautiful in their various colors, shapes and sizes. How did this idea (of your business) come to be?
CB: God has stirred beauty has no size in my heart for years, but I never took the steps to making it happen. It really came out my journey of overcoming eating disorders and becoming plus-size model. I realized that God has given me a message and a platform to talk about the topics of beauty, body image, eating disorders, self-harm and our worth. So, I decided to create a movement where we talk about these issues—where girls can share their stories and a platform where the Christian and secular world can come to the same place to hear about these truths. Since then, we have been able to take this message into schools, church youth groups and other venues!

FM: #Beautyhasnosize. More than loving that hashtag, I love that message. How did you come up with the message? It's so contrary to what media and society says is beautiful. How do you address individuals who are hung up thinking that beauty is equated to size?
CB: The message really came out of a conversation I was having with the Lord on why the world defined beauty as one’s shape and size, when really beauty is limitless. The name came from my own journey of discovering what beauty really is, and understanding that when you look up the word, “beautiful” in the dictionary, it doesn’t have a number attached to it. Sadly society attaches a number to the word beautiful, when beautiful can’t be defined by the size of your pants, a number on the scale or by the color of our skin. I will often help people see that beauty is limitless by showing them beautiful people who don’t fit the mold of what society says beauty is. Many men often have a narrow perspective on beauty—they believe that girls need to be a certain size, look a certain way…like a Victoria Secret model to be considered beautiful. So in instances like that, I always come from a place of understanding, and I plant seeds to help expand people’s perception of beauty. It’s not an easy task, but I have seen the Lord do amazing things.
FM: Some of the celebs I esteem highly are those like Adele or Mindy Kaling who are comfortable in their own skin. Any words of wisdom or encouragement you can give to someone who isn't?
CB: I believe the thing that kills our confidence the most, is comparing ourselves to others. When we compare ourselves to others, we become discontent with who God has created us to be, which causes us to try to change ourselves to become more desirable and beautiful in the eyes of society. I dealt with comparing myself to others myself my whole life, and the moment I took my eyes off of God and onto myself and others, was the moment I became miserable. When I chose to keep my eyes on God, allowing what He says about me to become truth, and shine in the skin He created me in, is when I had an amazing confidence that no one could steal from me. To those who could be struggling, just understand this one thing—there is only one of you in the world. No one else has your fingerprint, DNA or gifts. If you choose to be someone else, then you will rob the world of the beauty you can bring to it.
FM: Magazines, media, celebrities and society are influencing young girls in this generation. You have made the decision to also be an influencer, and you are. Who are some of those you have looked up to (female or male) or been influenced by?
CB: Some of the people I have looked up to the most are Christine Caine, Lisa Bevere and Jennifer Strickland. Christine Caine is the founder of the A-21 campaign that helps to rescue people from human trafficking all around the world. Lisa Bevere is a great Bible teacher and author who speaks on a lot of issues that I am passionate about. She has been able to help thousands of women around the world. Jennifer Strickland is a former international model who found Jesus after almost dying as a model. These women define what beauty is to me because of their love for God and people. They use their influence to make a positive influence in the world and they spend their time reaching out to broken people.
FM: This month is National Eating Disorder Awareness month. You suffered from eating disorders growing up. How old were you when they began? How did they begin? How and when did they stop?
CB: My self-hatred began at the age of nine, and my anorexia started when I was 12 years old in the 6th grade. It started when I decided to go on a diet to lose weight with my dad. My dad was having health problems, so he needed to lose a few pounds for his heart condition. At the time I began to notice that I was different from the other girls at school. I was larger, curvier, and wasn’t petite and skinny like the rest of them. I noticed that the boys at school liked the skinny and petite girls. I noticed that those girls were popular, could fit into the cute trendy clothes, and seemed to be liked by everyone. My observations led me to believe that skinny was my ticket to happiness, love, and acceptance. So a diet turned into anorexia, which then turned into bulimia by the 8th grade. After ending up in the hospital at the age of 16 because of my eating disorder, I went to Loma Linda Hospital for treatment. I was there for 10 weeks the summer going into my junior year of high school. During this time I was given the tools to recover from my eating disorder, but I didn’t take those tools and apply them to my recovery. At the age of 17 as a senior in high school, I cried out to the Lord and asked Him to heal me. I had barely made it through high school and I wanted to end my life because I didn’t believe that I was going to make it through college. That night God reached down and healed me of seven years of anorexia and bulimia.
FM: Do you think it's important to make people aware of eating disorders?  If so, why?
CB: I believe that it’s very important to help people become aware of eating disorders. Many women don’t wake up one day and say “Hey! I want to have an eating disorder.” Sadly, many girls develop eating disorders out of excessive dieting. The diets that the media promotes today promote disordered eating, which then leads into anorexia or some kind of eating disorder activity. Because we live in a Hollywood celebrity-obsessed-culture, society doesn’t realize that they have been deceived and lied to. They see the diets and crazy exercise plans as normal. When in actuality if you were to ask doctors or nutritionists about what they think about the diets the media promotes, they will tell you that those diets are unhealthy and will eventually have negative long term effects on one’s body.
FM: Now that you enjoy eating, what food can you eat anytime, any way on any day?
CB: I love all kinds of food, but the food I can eat at any time is Golden Spoon’s frozen yogurt. It’s my favorite thing in the whole world!  
FM: Girl, you rock fashion! Name your top three places to shop. Why do you shop there?
CB: My top three places are City Chic, H&M and Forever 21. City Chic is an Australian plus-size designer, and they have the most amazing pants that fit my shape. I love H&M because they have clean, strong trendy pieces that you can dress up or dress down. And of course, I love Forever 21. You can find just about any style of clothing there, and I like shopping there and experimenting with the fashion trends that I find in their stores. I believe that fashion is a form of self-expression, and we should try to step outside of the box and allow our creativity to be expressed through our clothing.
FM: Favorite brand of jeans and why?
CB: My favorite brand of jeans are from City Chic…I have such a hard time shopping for jeans for my shape, because I have a small waist and big hips and a big butt. So the jeans from City Chic, fit over my backside, and fit perfectly around my waist!
FM: A band (or two) or top five songs that takes the gray away?
CB: My favorite band of all time is Skillet. Their lyrics and songs get me pumped up, and almost like I want to go to battle or something.
FM: Fashion "must-haves" you can't live without?
CB: I absolutely can’t do without leggings, my bohemian necklaces, my hippie flow-y dresses, and my Birkenstocks.
FM: If you could do anything in a 24-hour period, it would be to....?
CB: I would wake up, get Coffee Bean, go paddle boarding at Sunset Beach, then go to Huntington Beach pier to have breakfast at the Sugar Shack; After breakfast I would go to the LA County Museum of Art.
FM: If you could share only three things with a young woman you meet on the street, what would it be?
CB: I would say 1. You are beautiful just as you are; 2. Don’t change your beauty to be noticed or liked by a guy, because the right guy will come along one day who will see you as perfect just as God sees you—as perfect; 3. Freedom is more beautiful then insecurity. Don’t be so caught up in looking perfect that you lose the beauty of who you were born to be. Freedom is beauty.
FM: A time in your life when your world was so dark, you saw no way out?  What did you do to get out of there?
CB: I remember in 2012 when I was struggling with cutting, depression and suicide. I had tried to kill myself many times and I didn’t see the purpose to my life and I didn’t believe my life had any meaning. I remember sitting at the beach, and hearing the sound of the waves. To me the ocean always represented God’s heart, and I knew that if I were to kill myself I would never be able to listen to the sound of His heart again. So that day, God’s heart in my life (the ocean) saved my life. God showed me His beauty through His creation, and I understood that no matter what I had to walk through in this life, it was worth it because I had Him by my side.
FM: You are quoted saying, "You will never be more beautiful than when you are free...". What would you say to young women struggling with self-image and identity?
CB: I would say that confidence and freedom are beautiful and extravagant. When you are free, you help set others free. When you are confident, you become attractive to other people. Being insecure and always worrying about what people think about you, leaves you crippled. And at the end of the day, who really cares about what people think? We spend so much time trying to please people that really don’t even matter at the end of the day. Learning how to see ourselves as beautiful and perfect starts with seeing ourselves through God’s eyes, learning how to silence the lies from the world, and magnifying the truth about what God says about us in our lives. I understand that we live in a world that doesn’t see the beauty in different body types and sizes, but you can be the one to shine in your skin and be that change in your community and school. You can be the one to help promote beauty diversity by being confident in your own beauty. Dare to be edgy, dare to be confident, dare to be YOU, and watch the world around you change.
FM: To say you are a beautiful woman is an understatement. And even more-so, it's clear to see that you are even more beautiful inside than you are out...if that's even possible! It is an honor to hear your journey, sharing in your victories and hearing your heart. You are a world-changer and we are thrilled about the countless number of lives you are reaching!

CB: Thank you so much Fashioned magazine. It has been such an honor to share my heart with all of you, to share my story, and to be apart of this issue. I love you all, and am so thankful for the message you are spreading.

Hope you enjoyed this as much as we did!

Fashioned Magazine


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