By: Andrea Frascione

ALDA, which means “wave” in Icelandic, is a modeling agency founded by former plus-size Ford models, Inga Eiriksdottir, Julie Henderson, Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring and Danielle Redman. Together, they promote diversity – including size diversity – in the modelling industry.
In their recent appearance on Dr. Oz, they touted the importance of inner beauty, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating and exercising, and not comparing ourselves to others. I have to admit, I’m guilty of the ‘grass is always greener’ syndrome, but I can also acknowledge and appreciate the assets I do have. I do indeed have a clearly defined waist, hips, bust-line, wide shoulders and awesome strong legs!

“We are here to represent healthy women and to inspire diversity in this industry and just be positive role models for everyone, regardless of size. We want to embrace a healthy lifestyle and that’s what we’re here to promote,” Pring said.
Each of them went on to discuss the struggles they coped with to stay below a size 8, which is considered plus-size in the fashion industry. They were consistently asked to stop being athletic in order to atrophy their muscles so they would be lighter (muscle weighs more than fat). Keep in mind, these ladies are 6 feet tall, so it was a tall order indeed, and it inspired them to break out…
“Fashion dictates so many things in our lives, and little girls grow up thinking that this is what beauty is,” said Henderson, “They see the magazines and they think ‘OK, skinny, blond.’ And what ALDA does is say ‘Listen, every woman is beautiful.'”

It is great that skinny blondes are skinny blondes—that is them, and it’s good that they are that way. The point is, there are other ways to be beautiful and the fashion industry must widen their scope and include those who are skinny and blonde as well as those who are curvy with wild curls and everything in between.

These gorgeous, athletic, diverse, healthy young women are redefining the beauty standard and us ‘average girls’ couldn’t be happier about it! Check them out via hashtag #beautybeyondsize.