Normally I wouldn’t be excited to see women prance around in heels and neon under-things, but there was something different about Curvy Kate’s “Star in a Bra” competition...and her name is Alice Jackson.
Jackson is one of ten finalists for Curvy Kate’s annual competition that showcases plus-size women, and their curves, in the company’s plus-size lingerie. Jackson is also a former anorexic.
Back in 2006, when Jackson was in college, she was subsisting on lettuce and two-hour runs to whittle her almost 6 foot frame down to a dangerous 108 pounds. “It started when I was in my first year of university when I was 18. I started to put on a lot of weight and wasn't confident so I went home at Christmas and decided to go on a diet,” she told the Daily Mail.
“It spiraled into cutting down my food and over-exercising, and before I knew it I was eating very little,” she said.
Then she hit rock bottom. “It's a horrible thing to be trapped in your thoughts about food and weight. I felt really really depressed and I didn't care if I died, I just felt awful, all I could think about was food and calories...I used to lie in bed and could feel all my bones. It was just a really horrible time to be so trapped, I thought I would never get better.”
It took a year of counseling at Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association but she eventually worked her way to a healthy weight of 154 pounds. She was healthy, she was happy and one day, her friend entered her in the Curvy Kate competition. Instead of shying away, she embraced it.
“I am confident in my body and being healthy and I think it's really important women don't keep feeling dissatisfied with themselves because people tell them to lose half a pound.”
It's also important that Jackson sees that a world that puts 6 feet and 150 pounds in a plus-size category has something wrong with it. Jackson is “regular” size. An everyday size. What most women look like!
I would actually take any of the Curvy Kate girls over an Angel. They’re tall, their soft in the middle, they have va-va voom chests and, quite frankly, I see a little bit of me in each of them.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.