By Sylvia Mac

In July I joined a large group of people for a Body Positive Catwalk led by America’s Next Top Model runner-up Khrystyana. I came across Khrystyana via Chloe, a model from my photoshoot who has self-harm scars.

Khrystyana – America’s Next Top Model Runner Up

She was excited to be part of this amazing show so I decided to pull the troops together and encourage 4 ladies to join me. The night before the catwalk, Khrystyana reached out to me as she wanted to put on a private photoshoot with some of my ladies. I took along 2 ladies and we all posed for a wonderful shoot. Surprisingly, Khrystyana asked us to remove our bras and, without hesitating, we did so!

It’s amazing what you do for a celebrity model – but, however, we all had fun.

Sylvia Mac – Top centre

The following day, we grouped up and met down by the Mall where Khrystyana taught us to strut our stuff. Everyone was dressed in Bikinis, all types of bodies both disabled and able bodied. Later that afternoon we walked together down to Trafalgar Square where we strutted our stuff in front of hundreds of people, applauding and cheering us. After the event I went on to talk with London Live and BBC News.

The following day, Khrystyana contacted me as she was due to fly back to New York for model work on the Friday and asked if I could pull some ladies together for a topless shoot. I managed to invite ladies with burn scars, alopecia, psoriasis, self-harm scars and vitiligo.

I love the fact that these ladies are so strong and brave to not only appear in a photoshoot but to take their tops off for a group photo. This is the hardest thing to do when you look different and not the usual ‘perfect body’. I don’t usually like the word perfect when it comes to describing the body, as I do not believe that anyone or any body type is perfect.

Through out the years we have taught people that a mark or flaw on the body would be seen or known as imperfect or even ugly. We as humans follow trends and believe what we see or what we read when we are told this as being believable or the truth. It is very easy to get caught up in a society’s beliefs of what is perfect and what is normal.

Since I was very young, I only knew that everyone around me was beautiful. I was the only ugly person on this earth and that was what I taught myself and heard from others. They wouldn’t say I was ugly but they would say I was lucky my scars weren’t on my face. To hear that as a young person could only mean I was ugly either way.

I am so pleased that I learnt the hard way. I am privileged to know that everyone is beautiful to me no matter how they look. What right do we have as a society to point at another person and say they’re ugly?

What right do we have to say that another person’s body is perfect? I will never see a perfect body on anyone. I will only see everyone as a beautiful body because we are all different and unique. No body type should be put under the pressure of having a so-called perfect body for others to live up to. Time to break those trends and ridiculous statements we read in the press and watch on our TV screens. ‘We are all Beautiful People’