Model Diana Veras On Internet Trolls, Body Positivity & Advice For Curvy Women [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]
It wasn’t always the plan for Diana Veras to become a de facto spokeswoman for body positivity and curvy girls. In fact, now that it’s happened, Veras still has serious reservations about her role in the movement. But nonetheless, the model has taken it all in stride and is doing her best to advocate on behalf of those who need it most and make way for other voices whom are ready to speak.
“As a woman who knows her privilege, I have to advocate, and post other women, and I want other women to get this spotlight as well because they are just as beautiful,” Veras told uInterview exclusively.
The spotlight Veras is referring to came from an incident on Twitter back in June. The model posted a picture of herself in a bathing suit online and while most comments were celebrating her beauty, one troll wrote, “You’re fat.”
Veras responded to the comment, as well as a few others, and the post, as well as her attempts to educate the trolls, went viral.
“I’m glad it went viral and I’m glad everyone loved it, and that it kind of helped … but I feel like my job, as a model with such a big platform, is to encourage everyone as well, especially women of color,” Veras said.
Veras has indeed used her platform to give a voice to other women who may not be represented enough in the media – her Twitter page often features images of girls celebrating their bodies.
“Empower each other,” Veras says to other women. “I feel like women really only have each other … F*** that man who wrote me a message … Men’s opinions of us don’t mater. Who the f*** cares what men think, men are always going to be stupid.”
One man, in particular, was pretty stupid: A troll that commented on Veras’ picture was caught off guard when the model sent him a message. He tried to cover up his hatred by telling Veras he was only concerned for her health. The model, with some rudimentary sleuthing, pointed out that the man wasn’t particularly skinny himself. Most importantly though, there were pictures of him online smoking a cigarette. So much for the health shtick.
“‘Whose health are you really concerned with?'” Veras said of the troll. “‘You really just want to shame somebody. Hold yourself to the same standard if you’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings.'”
After this whole experience – not to mention working as a curve model beforehand – Veras is most confused that “people still think like that,” and are so willing to body shame.
Maybe one by one, the trolls will change their minds, or at least, as Veras would say, “Shut up.”
I don't know. You know how like, your friends could all compliment you and then all of a sudden somebody goes, 'I don't like your shoes,' or just one of your friends tells you something and its like, 'B***, shut up, I look good, don't f*** with me, right now is not the time, I'm feeling myself.' And I felt good, I felt good about those pictures, I just felt good that day, I felt attractive, I felt hot, and for someone to come and tell me – and to use the word 'fat' as an insulting term, it's not an insult, it's a way to describe – I was just like, 'Shut up.' I've been a curve model and I've been modeling for a while and I've been very much about body positivity so it's just weird to me that people still think like that. There's still people in the middle of f***ing America that think the word 'fat' is an insult.
It really is impactful. What you post on the internet really matters. I used the thread from the picture and I just started attaching other girls and I told everyone, 'I can't be the [ ] of body positivity and not encourage other women, especially women of color, so that was just a big deal to me.
Well it's very easy to love the pictures of me. I'm a hispanic, I'm an Afro-Latina woman with light features. I have pale skin and curly hair and I don't know. It's very easy to think that I'm beautiful and want me to represent everybody but I can't. That's the point that I was trying to make. It's very easy for a beautiful woman to represent all curve girls, especially a woman who is only a size 10. It's very easy to label that. It's very easy to a label a perfect hour glass figure as the forefront of body positivity. I feel like as a woman who know's her privilege, I have to advocate, and post other women, and I want other woman to get this spotlight as well because they are just as beautiful. They're just not represented in the media. My job is to represent who I can. I'm glad it went viral and I'm glad everyone loved it, and that it kind of helped everyone, but I feel like my job, as a model with such a big platform, is to encourage everyone else as well, especially women of color.
My message is, 'Who the f*** cares?' 'Live yourself, be healthy, be happy, and love yourself.' That's really the only message I can give. And like, 'empower each other.' Because I feel like women really only have each other. So like, f*** that man who wrote me a message, I shouldn't have even replied, but I did and it went viral. That's not even the point. F*** men. Men's opinions of us don't matter. Who the f*** cares what men think, men are always going to be stupid. Men are just always dumb.
No, they do not! I wrote back and started looking at one of these trolls pages and I was like, 'Bro, you are NOT skinny! Come at me! How dare you even sit there and ...' He was like, 'I just care about your health or some s***,' and I was like, 'You have a f***ing cigarette in your mouth. Whose health are you really concerned with? You really just want to shame somebody.' Hold yourself to the same standard if you're going to hurt somebody's feelings.
My advice is to just block them. I blocked every single one of them. Even if I just started to see hurtful messages I would block them because it started getting – when the picture started getting a lot of attention I started getting a lot of comments and I'm obviously always on my phone and everyone knows I'm always on my phone. So every time I saw a comment I would delete it because women would read over that s*** and feel bad about themselves, and then it would start an argument on my picture. And like, no one is trying to argue. We all know I look good and men are just hateful. So just delete that s***, ignore them, block them, post more pictures, make them mad. I guess the thread was 'Making Men Angry' and that's not even what I was trying to do. One specific man! Men were just like, 'I'm not offended,' I was like, 'OK, I wasn't trying to offend you.'
I'm moving to London for like a month. I'm a model so I'm just going to work out there and see how it goes. I don't know. I don't know what's in store for me. I'm already a model, the pictures just happened to ... I hate that this is the reason! I work a lot but these pictures just happen to be something that everyone loves so it's like, 'OK, I guess!' But, I don't know, I'm working on a lot of stuff. I shot a bunch of stuff that's going to come out in the fall and people are going to see it so, you just have to watch.
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