A plus size model has opened up about finding confidence in her curves.
Jilly Darling, from Philadelphia, US, has become a powerful advocate for body positivity, self-love and acceptance on social media – boasting 10,300 followers on Instagram and a substantial 28,300 TikTok fans.
Through her journey from a small Instagram account to a powerful influencer, Jilly has inspired countless individuals to embrace their bodies and find confidence no matter their size.
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Sharing her story, she said: "Growing up, I wasn't always on the heavier side, but things started changing when I hit middle school. I was the curviest among my friends, and that stirred up some self-doubt."
Jilly, who works as an office manager, continued: "My relationship with food has always been complicated. I turn to it for comfort and to combat boredom. While I've come a long way in my journey with food, there's still room for improvement."
Her path as an influencer began somewhat unexpectedly in January 2020. "At that time, my Instagram account was small, mostly filled with friends from school and online buddies," she said.
"Then, on a whim, I decided to share a series of photos with a heartfelt caption embracing body positivity, which took off like wildfire. The experience was incredibly liberating, and it felt like I had unshackled myself. It was a turning point, inspiring me to revamp my entire account to focus on the empowering themes of body positivity and neutrality."
Jilly's main message on social media radiates empowerment with the belief that being "fat and sexy" is a powerful declaration. She passionately affirmed: "Fat people can exude sexiness, hotness, and attractiveness. It's crucial to spread this message far and wide."
Dieting, as Jilly candidly recounted, used to be a something she thought about often during her formative years. However, she now finds contentment in embracing her US-size 28 (UK size 32) figure.
Reflecting on her past, she noted: "During my teenage years, when I was more impressionable and constantly surrounded by peers and family conversations centred on weight loss, I felt the urge to conform. At one point, my struggle took a darker turn, and I even wished for an eating disorder, believing it would miraculously transform me into a thinner version of myself.
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"Today, as a grown adult, I've gained invaluable perspective. I've come to understand how detrimental that mindset was, and I have no desire to shed pounds, particularly not to conform to unrealistic beauty standards. I've found contentment in my body, recognising that what truly matters is taking good care of my overall well-being."
With growing self-assurance, Jilly has not only come to terms with her own body but has also discovered a deep and affirming love in her life.
"I am in a loving queer relationship, going strong with my partner for nearly two wonderful years," she said. "Our paths first crossed on the dating app OkCupid, in June 2021. From that moment, they have evolved into an irreplaceable pillar of support and understanding in my life."
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