Plus-Size Model ‘Dipped in Melanin’ Shares Her Journey to Self-Acceptance

Monique Robinson showing off her body
Monique Robinson is bold, beautiful, and “dipped in melanin.” (Photo: Instagram/iadoremo)

Wilhelmina Curve model Monique Robinson is proud of the skin she’s in — and more than happy to share her body positivity with the world.

On Tuesday, Robinson posted a photo of herself in the mirror wearing only a bra, underpants, and a watch. Accompanying her photo was a heartwarming message that read, “This is what my plus size body looks like. It’s dipped in melanin, marinated with cellulite, and covered in stretch marks. I’ve worked extremely hard at taking care of this body over the last two years. I’ve lost 60 pounds off this body in the last five years. I debated really hard on rather or not I wanted to share this picture, but I’m so proud of myself and how I’ve taken control of my health. So deal with it.”

Hi my name is Monique, and this is what a plus size body looks like. This is what my plus size body looks like. It's dipped in melanin, marinated with cellulite, and covered in stretch marks. I've worked extremely hard at taking care of this body over the last two years. I've lost 60 pounds off this body in the last five years. I debated really hard on rather or not I wanted to share this picture, but I'm so proud of myself and how I've taken control of my health. So deal with it. ????I'm hella fucking proud of me, especially since last year I was told I was pre-diabetic ???? which took me a while to digest. I just didn't want to deal with it because I thought I was healthy. So I kinda ignored it. And decided to self sabotage about the news even though I had made the majority of my progress before I was even diagnosed. But when I really started to think about my medical history I thought about different things I experienced at different times. For example, my ankles used to swell really bad. I wish I still had the pictures to show you how huge they used to get. I spoke to my doctor about it and was told to just walk a little more to get more circulation. At the time, I thought okay. But I was already doing that and fake working out. I've experienced numb fingers before, but only one so it wasn't something to be concerned with, like what!?! I used to be so tired ALL THE TIME, but we thought it was due to me working full-time, overnight and working on my masters degree at the same time. ????????‍♀️ That explained being tired all the time. But at the time I didn't know any better to connect the dots, nor did my doctor. And from my knowledge I've never been tested for diabetes, and I'm pretty sure I was diabetic. I can only assume because I never complain about multiple symptoms but individual symptoms at one given time I slipped though the cracks. But I was active, I didn't eat super bad, and young so…. okay I'm babbling, here is a picture of me in my bra and panties at work, because why not? I'm so proud of me. #moniquerobinson #representationmatters #iammybeautystandard #celebratemysize #goldenconfidence #purebodylove #blackgirlmagic #wilhelminacurve I might delete this. ????

A post shared by Monique Robinson (@iadoremo) on Apr 10, 2017 at 6:52pm PDT

Many have loved her post, which has gotten more than 9,000 likes. “You go girl, my former mentor!!, you were always a role model glad to see your success,” wrote one of her fans. Someone else wrote, “Don’t know you, but you look amazing You Go Girl, you should be EXTREMELY proud of yourself.” Another person added, “I found you amazingly awesome. And gorgeous. Be you! And I hope you are alright. And hell yea — be proud!”

Proud is one thing Robinson most certainly is, and it shows in her beautiful Instagram photos. The day that she took her recent selfie, she was working and noticed a large mirror in the designated area for changing clothes. She couldn’t help but stare at herself because she was happy with what she saw. “For this entire time, I kept looking and saying to myself, ‘Ma’am, is that you?’ I was looking at my rolls, like ‘Hey, boo,’ and just looking at all my stretch marks thinking, ‘You’re working a dream job, a job you never thought you could do because of your body rolls, your stretch marks,” she told Yahoo Beauty. “I felt like I was looking at a different version of myself for the first time, and I felt proud. When the shoot wrapped, I snapped the picture.”

Of course, a few people weren’t as positive about the message she was trying to relay and told her how unhealthy she was, how she should eat better, how she doesn’t work out, but all of those points are far from the truth. While she does mention that her journey to eating healthier and having a steady fitness routine has been slow, she has managed to lose 60 pounds and be pretty good about keeping a balanced diet.

“For me, it has always been about being strong, and wanting to be strong means you can’t focus on the scale because muscle weighs more than fat and I want muscles,” Robinson explains. “So for me, I was really into lifting weights, which is part of the reason my weight loss has been steady and slow. I just recently started focusing on cardio, but for about a year I maintained and then all of sudden it was like, ‘Where did this body come from?’ Oh wait — I’ve always had it. I just have muscles now.”

She says she rarely eats meat and can be a really picky eater these days. “I’m really particular about that now. Going to a grocery store is dreadful for me because I read the labels, so I typically eat the same boring food. It’s really about finding the balance that works for you.”

While Robinson has landed major modeling gigs, she has found herself having to question if she has “the right” body type to be a model. “I’ve had clients say I was too small for their brand. I’ve lost clients because I look too small, not that I am too small, but ‘I look’ too small,” she notes. Even at her heaviest, she always had a small waist and flatter stomach than other plus-size models, which unfortunately can sometimes be an issue.

Robinson might share more body positive photos in the future because of the large amount of support from her friends and fans. “I really don’t understand why people are so upset about other people’s bodies. Like how do you have that much time on your hands to worry about yourself and all these people you don’t know, also? Get a hobby. Let people live how they want to live. I promise them they would feel so much better about life if they were focused on what they should be doing instead of focusing on what someone else is doing.”

She declares, “It’s more about me not being afraid of loving me fully and completely, and also not being afraid of letting the world know that I love myself no matter what people think when they see me.”

Cheers to that! Monique — you glow, girl!

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