Gorgeous 'Inbetweenie' Model Was Told She Had No Choice But to Gain Weight (PHOTOS)

leah kelley modelIt's hard enough at times for a regular woman to come to peace with being a size whatever, but if you're a model, your size defines not only what kind of work you get -- but how you're told to live your life. Case in point: Leah Kelley started modeling when she was 19 and a size 8. In a new interview with People, the model says she was told to either gain or lose weight to make it in the biz.


Because the 5'11" beauty "knew losing weight was not an option for my body shape" and was told she could "travel the world" if she put on a few pounds, Leah decided to go that route, working her way up to a size 16 and 200 pounds by the time she was 25.

She was snagging gigs for Calvin Klein and Vogue Germany. She was told that she was beautiful, and of course she was! But behind closed doors, she was eating penne alla vodka "almost every single day," "ending every single night with a Häagen-Dazs quart to myself" and "avoiding exercise" to keep her body "plus-size."

#modelpose34655 - the #forgotmypantsagain #layingversion - #thickandtoned #hipsandthighs #lovemycurves

A photo posted by Leah Kelley (@leahkelley) on

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Sounds like a freakin' nightmare. Leah tells People just how much of a toll her "weight maintenance" took on her health:

I wanted to not be winded when I went up the subway stairs and feel like I was going to pass out. Even sitting up was hard. I didn't want to sacrifice my health anymore for the chance to travel the world and make money.

It was then that, although she was told she may never work again, Leah made the conscious decision to basically say "screw it!" to these outrageous, unhealthy demands the modeling biz was putting on her body. And she put her wellness first. Hallelujah!

Leah says she joined a gym, put an end to binge eating, and got back down to the size her body seems to be most comfortable at -- an 8.

#mtbonnell #atx #austin #hike #winterinaustin #texasroadtrip #healthylifestyle #gooutside

A photo posted by Thick and Toned (@thickandtoned) on

Surprise, surprise. That's not exactly a size that the modeling industry knows what to do with. Apparently, at an 8, you're considering an "inbetweenie." Facepalm.

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Thankfully, these days, it doesn't really matter to the model-turned-blogger who now writes on her site Thick and Toned and is a signed model, getting major work. Leah says:

I am someone who does evolve. My size can fluctuate and change, and I am not defined or constrained by a label.

BRAVO to that! That pretty much sums up life in a woman's body for a lot of us. And being told we have to fit into this box or that box in order to be empowered and accepted -- especially by a whole industry that really needs to get with the friggin' program already -- is simply unacceptable.

Here's hoping we see more "inbetweenies" like Leah, because the fact of the matter is that a body like hers is one the majority of women can relate to.


Image via leahkelley/Instagram

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