Introducing Sonny Turner - Your New Body-Positive Instagram Muse

ELLE UK talks to Instagram star and curve model Sonny Turner about her body-positive outlook

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Sonny Turner is the 19-year-old Brummie that has caught our eye on Instagram this last week.

With 160k followers under her belt, looking at Sonny's wild reddish curls and perfectly gapped teeth, it's easy to see why.

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Though people may come for her arresting looks, they stay for her refreshing attitude.

Sonny's 'plus-size' figure meant it was small local photographers that picked her up at first, but through her own Instagram tenacity, her shoots reached a wider audience and got her signed to a London modelling agency.

Though she has now moved to the capital and has the aforementioned hundreds of thousands of followers, she ensures her page keeps it 'real'.

Actively joining the body-positive movement about a year-and-a-half ago, you might notice before where there were discount deals for wigs and more, now side-by-side comparison shots of posed and unposed, airbrushed and non-airbrushed snaps sit instead.

THE REALITY OF SHOPPING AS A THICK/PLUS SIZE WOMAN. ‼️ changing rooms can be scary places. I am wearing the largest size from one of the most popular high street stores sells in bikinis which is 12-14. High street store bikinis do not cater for women of my body type. Majority of online stores don't either. NO ONE GETS IT so for any upcoming designers I got come tips for u BIG BREASTS NEED UNDERWIRE FOR SUPPORT FOR A YOUTHFUL LIFT WE NEED CUP SIZES THAT CORRELATE TO BRA SIZES AND THEY NEED TO GO PAST DD WE NEED CUPS THAT ACTUALLY COVER MORE THAN OUR NIPPLE WE NEED CUPS THAT BRING OUR BOOBS TOGETHER SO THERES NOT A MASSIVE GAP IN-BETWEEN THEM WE NEED STRAPS THAT AREN'T SO TIGHT ITS AS THOUGH OUR NECK IS ABOUT TO SNAP OFF WE NEED BIKINI BOTTOMS THAT DONT GIVE IS WEDGIES WHEN WE WALK WE NEED STRING BIKINIS THAT DONT EXPOSE OUR VAGINA LIPS WE NEED SWIMSUITS THAT FIT OVER OUR HIPS WITHOUT DRAGGING THE NECK OF THE COSTUME DOWN CAUSING NECK ACHE WE DESERVE MORE CHOICE IN THE SELECTION FOR OUR BODY TYPE THAT ISN'T JUST THE GENERIC BLACK SWIMSUIT WITH A KIMONO YES BELIEVE IT OR NOT , SOME OF US ACTUALLY WANT A THONG BIKINI , THE WHOLE SELECTION DOESN'T HAVE TO BE HIGHWAISTED WE'RE GONNA NEED YOU TO STOP USING MODELS WITH FAKE BOOBS THAT AREN'T A REAL DEPICTION OF WHAT THE BRA WOULD LOOK LIKE ON OUR REAL DROOPY ONES ITS NOT FAIR THAT WE CANT WALK WEAR CUTE SWIMWEAR JUST BC WE ARE BUILT DIFFERENTLY. WE DESERVE TO WALK INTO A STORE AND PAY £10 FOR A NICE BIKINI WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK AND OUR BODY CONFIDENCE. #everyBODYisbeautiful bottom line is: MAKE CLOTHES FOR ALL SIZE & BODIES.

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Her rant about high-street bikini sizing went viral earlier this year. Sonny voiced what so many of us were afraid to say, 'It's not my body that's wrong, it's your stupid, stringy bikinis'.

We reached out to the fiery model and body-positive advocate to find out a little more what she's about.

Do you describe yourself as a 'plus-size' or 'curve' model and how do you respond to those titles?

I'd consider myself human! But technically I'm a curve model.

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There's a lot of talk about the fact that bigger models should just be called models and I agree with that.

But, honestly, 'plus size'... it's just a word that doesn't affect or bother me.

rolls, soft tum, cellulite and scars are cute ✨💕✨💕✨💕🌊💕🌊💕🌊💕

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How has your opinion of your body changed since you became a model and had a social media presence?

My opinion has changed in the sense that I've realised there are other people out there with my body.

There's not just the one type you usually see in the media - i.e. stick thin.

Social media has helped to normalise stretch marks and cellulite and all that stuff that's usually considered ugly. Now I see them as normal and beautiful. Having a social media presence makes me feel more comfortable to be myself .

just ur local feminist fighting inequality in the fields 🌻🌼🌻🌼🌻

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I used to get scared that when my followers saw me in real life they'd think I wasn't as pretty or skinny or whatever.

I can just be myself now and live my life, it's great.

Has modelling and social media also changed how you identify in a broader way?

Modelling hasn't changed the way I view my racial identity. If anything it's made me realise that, yes I am different and being different is ok, but being different is also beautiful.

How would you describe your social media presence?

I'd describe my social media presence as lit!

It's a space where people can come and relate to someone.

After scrolling through accounts of perfectly photoshopped, enhanced, edited and posed accounts you can come to mine and get some realness.

Why do you think people relate to you and want to follow you?

I think people want to follow me because there's not many people who look like me taking the pics that I do or talking about what I do.

A lot of people wouldn't be honest and show their spotty skin or sweaty forehead, but I'm super honest on my Instagram story.

Can you tell me about the trolls you get?

It's only recently as I've grown that I've started getting trolls.

just a small town girl who wants to change the world 🦋

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It's usually from men, and they say things like, 'lose weight', or 'stop normalising obesity'.

I think it's from men because they usually create the standard of beauty, but when they see someone like me they probably get intimidated.

It doesn't affect me - I think I just have thick skin. I actually find it funny!

Can I just ask a little bit about mental health too?

I like to sometimes talk about how sad or down I am on my Instagram story because I feel like people can relate to it and it makes me feel less alone.

I never used to talk about my feelings out loud but a recent ex-boyfriend of mine taught me that it's the best way to let things out.

Today I was basically told ''SHE NEEDS TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT OR SHES NEVER GONNA GET A BOYFRIEND''. For men or women who actually have this mindset I have a few pointers for you 1. women (like me) do not lose weight or doll themselves up in order to FIND A MAN or for male approval or acceptance. Both fat shaming and skinny shaming is NOT OK. We do these things because it makes US feel better in ourselves 2. while that's great, there are women out there who are learning to except themselves without losing weight and without layers of makeup or filters 3. this does not mean we do not care about ourselves or our hygiene. It actually means we are 'brave' because we dare to go against societies expectations of us 4. If you can't fathom the idea of a woman being overweight, or hairy, or ugly (IN YOUR EYES) being happy, then welcome to the 21st century honey 5. Women are no longer allowing their worth to be determined by SOCIETY, THE MEDIA, MALES, THEIR PEERS OR SOCIAL 'NORMS' 6. I am no longer allowing people to dictate to me wether I am beautiful or not. I am DEFINITELY not allowing people to dictate my happiness. Being comfortable in my skin is what I aim to be and if I inspire people on the way then that's great - no trolls are ever going tell me I'm not worthy. There are 10000 other qualities in the world to be admired for than ur physical appearance and I wish young girls were taught that from a young age. So here's me feeling sexy and beautiful REMINDING MYSELF THAT I AM A KWEEEEEEEEEN regardless of some people's fat phobic, sexist and just generally ugly ideals. #beautybeyondsize 💋

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I've never really had any major problems with my mental health other than self-doubt and not having confidence in myself that I am good enough.

I was constantly doubting myself and comparing myself to others, which is the easiest way to upset yourself.

I've learned to realise that we all bring different things to the table , we're all worthy and amazing in different ways.

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