Lena Dunham proves skinny doesn’t necessarily mean happy - plus 5 local curvy models giving us life

Lena Dunham holding her dog.
Lena Dunham holding her dog.

This week Girls creator and actress Lena Dunham posted this Instagram, which made headlines for its body-positive message:

It reads: "On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work. Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy.

"On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits. Even this OG body positivity warrior sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees. As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in." 

READ MORE: “I lost 14kgs in 4 months to enter Miss SA” - local curvy model 

Vogue reports that Lena has gained 11 kg in the time span between pics, the left taken in April last year and the right snapped just this week. The post has a very important message, many believe that you'll be more liked, whether on Instagram or IRL, and the Instagram bit often rings true, as Lena says in her caption. But that doesn't mean you are happier just because you are thinner. 

A few years ago Marciel Hopkins, a former Miss SA contestant also shared pictures on her Instagram of her during the pageant, and her now. Saying she is much happier now that she's 14kg heavier. 

It's end of January and you feel discouraged and disappointed because you didn't lose the weight you set out to get rid of. As happy as I might look on the picture on the left, I wasn't. At this point of my weight loss journey my period had already stopped and I was obsessed with losing even more weight. I had a meal replacer shake for breakfast, raw carrots and 2 hard boiled eggs for lunch and an apple for dinner. I couldn't go to any social event without packing my own food that basically consisted of raw vegetables only. I was in the gym 2 to 3 hours a day! It caused extreme anxiety if I didn't have enough time in my day to train that hard  while completing my honours degree in psychology. So here I am, 3 years later and I am done with ever putting myself or my body under that much pressure again. The food that I put into my body at that time might have been 'healthy,' but my mental state was obsessed and anxious all the time. Healthy is NOT just about what you eat and how often you train; it's a holistic state of wellbeing. Being skinny will never make you happy if you don't find happiness within yourself first. Today I am a full-rounded, natural size 14 and I won't wish it any other way after years and years of trying to make myself smaller. STOP criticizing yourself for not losing the weight you wanted and start focusing on making healthier choices for yourself - mentally and physically.  Rather measure the size of the smile on your face than the number on the scale. Health and happiness first, always! ?????? #healthnotsize #inshapemyshape #bodypositive #selfcare #selfworth #health #happiness #holistic #wellbeing #dietculture #weightloss #socialmediapressure #allbodiesarebeautiful #nowrongwaytohaveabody #everybodyisabikinibody #beautybeyondsize

A post shared by Marciel Hopkins (@marcielhopkins) on

Not only are brands using more curvy models as ambassadors, but Instagram is also smitten with models wearing curvy designs. Here are the top 5 curvy girls to follow right now for everyday fashion, beauty and body positivity inspiration:


"Can't spell cellulite without LIT ????" deleted by mistake , y'all better like and comment again ????

A photo posted by snapchat: Thickleeyonce1 (@thickleeyonce) on

Michelle de Villiers

Hi ???? ??: @marcel_vdm_

A photo posted by @mimisilver on

Marciel Hopkins

Call backs. #callback #casting #curvemodel #modellife #milkcurve #London

A photo posted by Marciel Hopkins (@marcielhopkins) on

Charnelle Paulse

Miss June

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