This woman's modelling career was launched by a single Instagram post
Instagram addiction is a real thing, and I doubt I need to tell you why spending hours endlessly scrolling past the memes, puppies and perfectly peachy behinds isn't doing you any good. However, one woman's world was turned around after a single Instagram post helped launch her professional modelling career.
Bella Golden is now signed with international agency Wilhelmina as a curve model, and all it took was a single comment on a post by fellow plus-sized model, Iskra Lawrence. Bella, who lives in LA, used to work as a character performer at Disneyland before she was randomly scouted. It was so serendipitous that she at first thought it was a scam, only to discover that someone had taken a chance to launch her professional modelling career.
"I was very lucky that the first agency I was with actually discovered me through Instagram," she told Cosmopolitan. "They found me because I commented on one of Iskra Lawrence’s posts. I had been following her for a while and she posted something about body positivity, so I just commented something like ‘you look great girl’ and that’s how my agent found me."
Incredibly, the agent took a chance on Bella based on her Instagram bio, profile pic and her supportive attitude – and this was all whilst her profile was set to private.
"My profile was private but she followed me and then direct messaged me the next day asking if I was interested in modelling," she recalled. "I really thought it was a scam at first because unless watching a lot of America's Next Top Model counts, I had never done any modelling before."
At the time, Bella was working at Disneyland in California. While she was also being paid to pose in photos back then, it was rather different, and certainly less glamorous: "When people found out I worked at Disneyland they would always ask me if I was a Princess but I wasn't. I was the one dressed in a full on animal suit completely sweating."
Bella is technically categorised as a "curve model", but she finds the term problematic.
"People ask me 'how are you plus-size?', or 'it’s terrible you’re considered plus-size' but I don’t take it as a bad thing," she says. "In fashion if you’re over a size 4 (UK size 8) you’re considered plus-size, that's the crazy thing."
Bella is a size 12 (UK size 16), but says she can "go from a size 8 (UK size 12) in one brand to a size 14 (UK size 18) in another".
"So although I don't have a problem being labelled as plus-size, I do think the term is problematic in a sense because I don't like the idea of separation, that one group of people is superior to another."
She says that Instagram and adopting a "fake it until you make it" attitude helped her learn to love herself.
"I’ve always been the motherly type in my friend group and told everybody else not to worry about things and be who they want to be, so for once I just took my own advice," she said.
"Social media has also helped me feel better about myself by forcing me to step out of my comfort zone and post things that I would appreciate to see other people posting. I want any 14-year-old girl who follows me to feel comfortable in her body, so I purposefully go outside of my own comfort zone to show them a different body shape on a regular beach, rather than the 'perfect body' on a yacht somewhere."
"If I could give any advice it would be to write down things that you want to make happen," she asserted. "Meeting Iska Lawrence and starring in a campaign with her is on my list, just so I can tell her how she changed my life and that’s the impact of social media."
How awesome would that be? It seems fairytales do come true, even if you're not a Disney Princess.