Callie Thorpe is a plus-size advocate and fashion blogger, known for her work on the site From the Corners of the Curve and her column in Marie Claire U.K. But now the size-24 beauty has something else to add to her résumé: being featured in Vogue.
In early July, British Vogue featured a photo of Thorpe in a black bikini among the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Ashley Graham. The post celebrated the summer’s hottest swimsuit style while also embracing a number of different body types. And while Thorpe celebrated quietly at first, she took to Instagram on Tuesday to show off her success to the people who had doubted her most.
“To all the people who called me fat, ugly and treated me like trash because of my weight growing up … Catch me on Vogue with your WCW,” she captioned the photo.
“To be featured in something where they never sort of include anyone of my shape, next to Kendall and all these supermodels, it’s just insane,” she says. “And it kind of is a bit of a, ‘Well, look at me now. You said all these things and now I’m in Vogue,’ type thing. And I know it’s probably not the most positive attitude to respond to, but I just really wanted to just say it to be like, ‘I’ve proved you all wrong.’”
As a teen, Thorpe recalls feeling out of place because of her weight, which kept her from shopping at the same stores as her friends and feeling as similar to them as she would have liked. Although she says she wasn’t constantly bullied, she did suffer from mean name-calling (including “Callorie,” a hurtful play on her name), and shady comments about her weight.
“I originally came into the blogging world writing a diet diary where I just wrote horrible things about myself, and that’s where I started it,” she says. “Then I sort of discovered other plus-size blogs and realized that this negative way I was treating myself was really not the right thing to do. It wasn’t positive and wasn’t helping me lose weight. It was making me feel more anxious, and more worried, and making me hate myself more. So I decided to have a go at writing my own similar blog and then my own journey into body confidence and body positivity came about.”
Creating a positive outlook about her weight and the possibilities that came with it was difficult for Thorpe, who was often told that she wouldn’t find love or success at her size. Now, married to a loving husband and fresh off being featured in Vogue, she realizes how sad it was to have once believed that her size would hold her back — although society still has a a lot of catching up to do.
“Most magazines, if they are going to do something, they’re gonna be like ’15 Plus Size Models to Follow,’ or ’15 Curvy Girls.’ Whereas this was just about the best bikinis to buy, and I happen to be in that,” she explains. “Someone happened to like my black bikini, and they thought that I looked nice and they thought that I was Vogue-worthy. This is what we need. We need people just to be like, that girl looks amazing in that outfit and that dress, and include her in this list of great people to follow, not because of her size, just because she looks great.”
The inclusive nature of Vogue’s post sparks a certain pride in Thorpe, who continues to be categorized by her looks. Now she hopes that her words serve as a reminder to not judge people by their appearance.
“I didn’t realize how much my sassy tweet would kick off a bit, but I’m glad that I was quite sassy,” she says. “Because it kind of is a lesson to people that you should always just be kind … because you never know what’s going to happen or who they’re going to be.”
In her case, a bikini babe in Vogue.
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