Hey Sophia. You know what to do, tell us again all about you.
I’m Sophie and I’m 21, half Greek and half Iranian. My Mum’s side is Iranian and my Dad’s side is Greek, and I think the reason I have the figure I do is that women on both sides of my family are all big boobed and very curvy.
Can you imagine if you grew up to be flat chester?
I’d be the runt of the litter...that just wasn’t an option. My Mum’s got really big boobs like me as well, and we’re both very up and down with our sizes when it comes to clothing. I yo-yo quite a lot, losing a few kilos here or there but realistically I know I won’t ever be small. I just don’t have it in me, and I’m fine with that.
With your heritage as well, you’re kind of predisposed to it. If it runs in your family - on both sides - there’s not a lot you can do about your body, and that certainly isn’t a bad thing.
Exactly...I know from my Mum what I’ll look like what I’m 40, and I know from my Nan what I’ll look like when I’m 80. But I’m really happy with that because I think they look, and I can honestly say that without any bias, they really do look great.
Now I know you didn’t get refitted at the shoot because you’re very familiar with the Curvy Kate brand…
I’m a fit model for Curvy Kate and I wear a 32J/JJ depending on the bra. I wanted to work in the lingerie industry and I started to look for brands that actually do my size. I looked on the Curvy Kate website and whilst they didn’t have any jobs going as such, they were looking for bra testers. It’s an unpaid position but you get free sets.
And you’re doing your bit for society, all the other difficult bra sizes out there!
Yeah exactly, because it's a really rare size, I've not met anyone else that wears this size. I’ve been doing the fitting for a couple of years now and it’s really helped my build up my bra collection. Before, I was always wearing the wrong size - going to high street shops and buying the biggest back and cup size they’d do. It wasn’t a good look, I’d be popping out or it looked like I had about eight boobs.
I bet you’ve got an impressive collection by now! Do you have any Curvy Kate favourites, in general and from the shoot today.
The Roxy and the Ritzy. I love the push up and the plunge, and Luxe the new strapless, I have it in black and it’s so good. You know those spaghetti strap dresses? I've always wanted to wear one and it actually looked really really good, you don't want massive thick straps for that and I can't believe it, it actually works. I loved the Madagascar from today, and the Cascade in topaz. Normally I would never go for bright colours like that, I always go for a black or a nude bra, or maybe the odd red for a bit of romance, but it's a really lovely colour and I'm so glad I got to take it home with me.
Did you find out about the competition through the bra fitting?
Yes, through the testing. I didn’t think much of it at first, as I thought you’d have to be slim and a certain size, and there are some bras that don’t even go up to my cup size. But then I started to realise that it shouldn’t hinder my chances; there are so many women out there bigger than a size 14 and I want to show that you can look good at any size. I’m a size 16, I look after myself and I’m happy the way I am, and I want to show women that’s OK.
You seem to have a really healthy attitude when it comes to your body, something that a lot of people struggle with. How did that come about?
I think it comes with age you know. I always used to think of myself as fat, especially compared to my best friend who’s a size six; standing next to her made me feel even bigger. I’d always envy her long, slim legs but then she’d tell me my figure made her want a boob job. It’s all about being happy with what you’ve got and finding a balance - I’d have to starve myself to be a size six and even then I’d still have my body shape. With me it’s a case of take it or leave it - I’m happy with my body. It’s all about understanding and embracing we all come in different shapes and sizes.
Good for you! How did your family react when you told them about Star In A Bra?
Well, Dads are Dads, aren’t they?! He wasn’t too happy and I had to convince him it’s not as bad as he thought. It’s underwear modelling, for a good cause, and done tastefully. My Mum was really happy and I think if she was a bit younger it’s something she would have gone into. My Nan was also quite apprehensive, saying I needed to respect myself and that made me a bit doubtful, but after speaking to the girls at Curvy Kate I realised that actually doing this was showing that I DO respect myself.
And Curvy Kate is a brand aimed at women, you’re modelling the lingerie for other women!
Exactly - a lot more women are going to see and appreciate the pictures than men. But I’ve had such great feedback from everyone, including stories in the press. Of course there are negative comments - people will always have different opinions - but the positive comments are so uplifting. It makes you look at the parts of you that you don’t necessarily see or appreciate and I think it’s so important to ignore the negativity, ignore the bullies and to love yourself.
So how did you find the photo shoot?
It was a bit daunting at first, having to strip off in front of a house full of strangers! But once my hair and makeup was done I really started to get a feel for it. It was actually really relaxing, and everyone is so lovely. I really didn’t want to leave or take my robe off - I just wanted to drive home in it!
You should have! Those things are SO comfy. What do you think people from your school would think if they saw you now?
A lot of people bullied me, a hell of a lot. This was before I’d heard of hair straighteners, I didn’t wear makeup and really, I just hadn’t grown into my body properly. And a lot of people bullied me because of it. I’d love to hear what they’d have to say if they saw me now, I think it’s a bit of the ugly duckling syndrome.
It’s so horrible to hear how many people were bullied in the past, thankfully you are comfortable in your skin now and they’ll be picking their jaws up from the floor when they see your photos. For you, what would be the best part about winning the competition?
Just the experience I think - how many people get this opportunity? It’s not even a vanity thing, because we’re all different and we’re all beautiful. But I do think this will help me in the future and help with any insecurities, I’ll be able to look back and say “I did that, and I’m so proud of myself”. It’ll be a good rocking chair moment when I have grandchildren! It’s crazy that the public voted for me to be here, and I’m so grateful for that.
Just one last question Sophia! Why do you think people should vote for you to win Star In A Bra?
I think people should vote for me because I’m funny, I’m a bit crazy, I’m curvy and I really want Curvy Kate to showcase bigger boobs when it comes to their models. It’s a D+ brand, and I feel there’s room or a plus sized woman there. Models with bigger dress sizes look just as good as smaller girls in Curvy Kate lingerie, and I could show just how well the brand can cater to all sorts of sizes. The bras look just as good on K cups as they do on D cups, so why not show it? The same goes for dress sizes, and people need to see that.
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