Jennie Runk: a model with attitude
Although only in her early twenties, Jennie Runk has been commanding considerable attention for her forthright opinions. Most popularly known as a 'plus-size' model for H&M, it is her voluptuous curves that have brought her into the public eye. Not only does she demonstrate some fabulous fashions, she is proud of her physique.
Jennie Runk: proud to be 'plus'
One retail sector that has consistently been criticised for providing poor role models has been fashion. While many areas of the industry draw criticism - exorbitant costs, the use of animal furs and so on - it is the over-reliance on models with a 'perfect body' that causes particular concern.
An unassuming model
Jennie Runk certainly doesn't court controversy. She is a young American model, who lists her interests as reading, video games, and caring for her beloved one-eyed cat. However, this beautiful woman also has a sharp mind, and is not afraid to share her opinions.
Jennie has described when she first went for modelling jobs she was given the option of crash dieting to achieve a UK size 6 or 8, or to maintain a size 10 and go for plus-size campaigns. She has since become outspoken about this ridiculously artificial outlook, inspiring millions of young women in the process.
Jennie's recent photoshoot for H&M swimwear drew waves of admirers. She was inundated with correspondence from women who admitted they had felt intimidated about showing off their figures, due to the waif-like images adorning the billboards. This notion of questioning what is traditionally seen as 'perfect' is important for Jennie, because feeling forced to comply with a particular body image can lead impressionable teenagers into psychological problems.
"I envied the girls whose boyfriends could pick them up and carry them ... gym class was a nightmare".
Well, those days are far gone, and Jennie Runk has won legions of admirers for being beautiful, shapely and honest.
Facebook trends inspired by Jennie's plus sized modelling
Social media is always an extremely potent indicator of trends. Jennie Runk's Facebook page gained over 2,000 likes over a 24-hour period after she wrote an opinion piece for the BBC. Her subject? Railing against the fashion industry. She was underlining her opinion that it is wrong for designers to pedal the notion that women should aspire to achieving a 'perfect figure'.