Gigi and Bella Hadid's plus-size model cousin opens up about her journey with body positivity

Gigi and Bella Hadid's plus-size model cousin opens up about her journey with body positivity

Sisters, Bella and Gigi Hadid, have become two of the most recognisable faces in the modelling circuit. À la Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell of yesteryear, the pair have transcended the catwalk and become celebrities - and influencers - in their own right.

However, it now appears that they may have some competition: namely, their 20-year-old Dutch cousin, Joann van den Herick, who was signed last year as a plus size model with the London-based 12+ UK Model Management.

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Joann recently posed in a lingerie campaign for SLiNK magazine, where she also opened up about her journey towards body positivity and self acceptance, and it's super inspiring.

"Whenever I'm really insecure about some part of my body, I just think: "But does it really matter?" the model said when speaking to the publication, which is aimed at plus sized women. "Does it make me less of a human? Or just look at it another way and focus on the beautiful parts."

She added that changing your mindset is a sure-fire way to cultivate a healthier mindset towards your body, stressing the importance of swapping "negative thoughts [for] positive thoughts."

Joann did, however, admit that the people you socialise with can have an impact on your body confidence. "Surround yourself with positive people. I was always surrounded by people who were negative about themselves, and that negative energy consumes you," she advised. "You take that negative energy and start thinking that way about yourself as well. As soon as you feel that people take too much from you, leave them."

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The 20-year-old is the daughter of Yolanda Hadid's businessman brother, Leo van den Herik, and she seems to be very close to her supermodel cousins, regularly sharing snaps of them together to Instagram.

This is not the first time that Joann, who has over 120,000 followers on Instagram, has opened up about her thoughts on the body positivity movement.

She recently posted a picture of herself in her underwear, and admitted to feel "afraid" about posting it. Luckily, her followers proved to be nothing but supportive.

"I wanted to show you guys that I'm imperfect too. I have fatrolls, I have stretch marks," the model wrote. "It's so easy to look in the mirror and feel disgusted by the things you don't like, but I don't want to do that anymore":

"I don't wanna hide my "ugly" side, I want to show it more often, because I've accepted it."

And in a YouTube video, Joann elaborated on her struggles with self-acceptance and her journey towards body positivity:

"I've been feeling bad about myself for a long time. This isn't how it's supposed to be. 

Girls and boys are not supposed to feel this way. You have to wear what you like, you have to eat what you want. If you love yourself it doesn't matter what other people think."

Now, that is something that we can get behind.