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! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist