The NEW HFM is out now - and the brand new cover star is model, author and cofounder of All Woman Project Charli Howard. You might also know her as the woman who went viral after she revealed the ugly side of the modelling industry. It all started when, aged 21, she was dropped from her first modelling agency for not fitting into a pair of trousers while on a shoot.
Remembering her old agency, she revealed to HFM: “I remember being called into their offices and I was on my period, so I felt really awful standing there in a bikini having Polaroids taken. The agency said: ‘We’re not going to send your pictures out until you’ve lost weight and toned up’."
She was so angry she wrote an open letter about it on Facebook, which went viral and Muse, a New York modelling agency, saw it, signed her and she flew over to the US where she is still based. Because of this, she has used her platform to create The All Woman Project, a charity which goes into schools to educate about body image and mental health issues.
When she arrived in America, Charli started eating normally and gradually gained weight, telling HFM: "The world didn’t come crashing down. I started seeing women photographed in a really high-end, fashionable way and I saw that rolls here,” she said, gesturing to her midriff, "didn’t have to be an unattractive thing – it wasn’t disgusting if a girl had a bit of cellulite, it was all about the right lighting, the right make-up – the fantasy aspect of what fashion is."
And she didn't stop there! Charli wrote Misfit, a book which addresses eating disorders and mental health issues in teenagers; something she wishes had been available to her at that age. “Writing Misfit was therapeutic,” she revealed to HFM. “It basically discusses how my OCD led to anxiety and depression – I tried to control everything in any way I could, which led to the disorders that developed from the age of 13.”
Charli has also written Splash, a self-help fictional novel about a girl called Molly who is in her last year at primary school and torn between being popular or becoming Olympic swimmer like Rebecca Adlington, which is released this spring.
To read more about how she turned her life around – plus to see our exclusive shoot pick up the latest edition of Hello! Fashion Monthly, out now…