Jill Kortleve was born in the ’90s in the Netherlands, and I considered the women I saw on TV and in magazines beautiful.
There were shows on MTV like I Want a Famous Face, which was, by the way, the craziest.
Everyone wanted to look like Britney Spears. The beauty standards then were skinny, white, and blond. No wonder I grew up with such a weird view on beauty.
Today, she finds beauty in more unexpected places.
she has never been much of a punk rocker, but she loves the punk era.
It was a time when people didn’t spend hours trying to look picture-perfect.
It was rough around the edges.
she doesn’t like things that are too perfect, clean, or groomed.
She likes when there’s a bit of something weird or different.
Beauty is also a feeling someone gives you.
It’s how people carry themselves—more an attitude or a mindset than a physical thing.
She started watching old Barbra Streisand movies recently.
She’s so gorgeous, but she plays the ugly duckling in so many of her movies—like Funny Girl or The Mirror Has Two Faces, in which she plays the smart older sister who isn’t married.
When she started out as a straight-size model, which is considered a size 0 or 2, she was dieting 24/7.
Food was the only thing I could think about.
She wouldn’t even get dinner or drinks with her friends.
Her mental state couldn’t keep up with the beauty industry’s standards that she thought she had to follow to become successful.
So she decided to become a curve model, one who is larger than straight size, and it opened up a whole new part of the industry that she didn’t even know about. In Europe, the curve industry wasn’t, and still isn’t, as big as it is in the States.
Jill was never a successful model when she was trying to be thinner.
Five years ago, living in Amsterdam, she had no idea that what she is doing, at this level, was even possible.
She never knew you could be a successful model and also deviate from old standards.
Today, she enjoys everything more, and she will never diet again.
She knows how it made her feel when she was so restricted, and she doesn’t ever want to feel that way.
She was physically and mentally exhausted and miserable.
Who is telling us to diet? Why do we even do this to ourselves?
Ultimately, modeling made her more confident.
She feels stronger knowing that her body type is acceptable. Step by step, things are changing.