The Power: Absolutely Positively Beautiful
Iskra Lawrence is so much more than a pretty face: a body positive influencer, an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association, and a full-time model (she has modeled for Aerie and has also developed her own perfume line). With her efforts, the world is becoming more authentic, a change that she credits to the rise in social media. “People are more aware of the individual power they have in trying to implement more diversity. Social media has been the best platform because it’s enabled us to democratize our own media empires,” she says of an opportunity to encourage diversity. “It’s up to us to go out and seek new information. The world’s very diverse and that’s what makes it so beautiful.” In addition to the already growing list of accomplishments, as a part of her dedication to body positivity, she’s given a TED talk and guest-authored a number of articles across publications on the importance of self-love and diversity. Last year, moreover, she was named as an ambassador of the Prince's Trust & L'Oréal Paris.
“I think the modeling and beauty industry fed into female insecurity in the hopes that it would encourage them to buy things, but there’s been such a great shift. Now, it’s actually about someone’s confidence or creativity – whatever makes them an awesome person, instead of the way that they look,” describes Lawrence who has taken the catwalk to celebrate diversity at the Le Défilé L'Oréal Paris during Paris Fashion Week. Lawrence’s advocacy for body positivity doesn’t stop there: She works with the NEDA as a brand ambassador working to acknowledge the issues and promote the resources offered. “For a long time, issues like mental health and eating disorder weren’t talked about and still have a stigma around them. It’s important to normalize them, and it’s okay to seek help,” she affirms as the organization is geared towards raising awareness of the disorders, creating communities for support and recovery, funding research, and giving life-saving resources into the effort.
Her confidence in herself, her ambitions, causes, and dreams ignite similar aspirations. “It’s vitally important to get the representation that can inspire us to do whatever we want in life. Young people need to see that there are multiple and multifaceted ways to be people. There are amazing things you can do just being yourself," shares Lawrence who is also trying to get a solid eight hours of sleep every night – a feat few have accomplished – while continuously working on several projects like her new perfume and her own show The Mirror Challenge.
Writer: Margaret Mallison
Photographer: Seung Lee (www.kokumastudio.com)
Photographer Manager: Phil Kim
Stylist: Jennifer Austin
Hair: Justine Marjan
Hair Assistant: Samantha Annatone
Makeup: Caitlin Krenz (for Opus Beauty - using tarte cosmetics)
Videographer: Mason Kim
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Will Gibbs, M.D. (@wgibbsmd - www.willgibbsmd.com)