Lexi Stout, 26
There’s something to be said about a woman unafraid to tackle the super skinny, Barbie doll modeling industry, especially when she doesn’t meet its ridiculous body standards. For Lexi Stout, a nannying job evolved into an unexpected career when she decided to shoot with a novice photographer and liked what she saw. After being rejected by agencies and even told “we’ll talk when you get boobs,” when trying to book subsequent gigs, Stout has since spent her time crusading for a day when ‘plus-sized models’ will be referred to simply as ‘models.’
1. What made you choose this career path? What has been your greatest achievement?
Never in a million years did I think I'd be a model. It was one day a friend and I shot together. He was a rookie photographer and I was there to smile for him. When I got the photos back I was surprised and thought, "hmm maybe I can do this?" I was bored with my nanny career and wanted to try something new so I submitted my photos to a few agencies. I heard back from a couple and was signed the next week. My greatest achievement was being featured in StyleWatch magazine in a bathing suit.
2. What’s the biggest criticism/stereotype/judgement you’ve faced in your career?
I feel like I should say the whole "too big to be a model" thing but I'm not going that route.
I'm signed fit with my agency, I've never been signed print with them. When in conversation about a contract, I was told "we'll talk when you get boobs." After a conversation about me getting a boob job - a conversation started by me, not them. After that I decided not to get a boob job because an agency should sign me for the way I am.
3. What was the hardest part of overcoming this negativity? Do you have an anecdote you can share?
I have some limitations because of my height. I'm 5'7" and it's "best" to be somewhere closer to 5'9".
4. How did you #SWAAYthenarrative? What was the reaction by those who told you you “couldn’t” do it?
There's so much going on in the plus size industry right now and I think my biggest pet peeve is that most of the time I'm considered a "plus size model" or a "curve model". I would love to be called a model. I really don't think it needs to be put into words, it's pretty self explanatory.
5. What’s your number one piece of advice to women discouraged by preconceived notions and society’s limitations?
Take chances. Do something you're scared to do. What's the worst that can happen?
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Help! I'm Sick of Seasonal Weight Gain!
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
How would you deal with the seasonal weight gain that most women experience? I've put on literally 5–7 lbs around my waist/butt/lower thighs and it's the bane of my existence. Getting dressed hasn't even been fun lately:( I know it's "normal," but how do I battle the psychology behind this?
- McFattie in Brooklyn
Dear McFattie in Brooklyn,I'm sorry to hear that the winter blues is making your zipper hard to close. Personally, I roll with the rolls during the dark and frigid winter season, while chalking the glutton up to a basic survival mechanism. The feelings that accompany being out of shape and not wanting to dress cute (because your clothes don't fit well) can be both demoralizing and a blow to your self esteem. In this fantastic post, the author suggests great techniques that include keeping things in perspective and to "Ignore the panic," "Get curious" about your weight gain, and to keep it moving by "getting out of your room." Best of all is the advice to "Remember all things that are more important than this." If these head games don't serve you over time, and you still feel low, there may be deeper underlying reasons to your weight gain. In this case, I suggest you speak to a qualified therapist.
- The Armchair Psychologist