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A talk about body positivity with our strong woman and model Amanda

She’s gorgeous, has a body that most women dream of and is very open on social media about her - sometimes difficult - journey from a standard sized model to a model with (in the eyes of the fashion world) a size up. Chosen by PB as STRONG WOMAN! So a perfect occasion to discover more about this beauty. Amanda Westenberg openly answers our 10 questions about her experiences as a model and as a woman in general. 
image with artdirection
image with artdirection
1. How did you become a model?
I was 13 when I was approached to be a model. After some talks with my parents and a test shoot, I eventually signed at Ulla Models, whom I still collaborate with at this moment.

2. What attracted you to the world of modelling back then and have your expectations been met?
I was very skeptical about modelling at first. I didn’t see myself that way at all and was unsure if the lifestyle would suit me. But after a while I started to enjoy all the different people I got to meet and the different places I got to visit! I stepped into it without any expectations and everything I was skeptical about, I’ve now accepted as ‘part of the job’. I like being a model more than I expected back then.
3. What are the great and less great things about modelling?
The enormous flexibility that’s asked can be straining at times and I get homesick when I’m away for longer periods of time - thankfully there’s all kinds of technology nowadays to keep in touch with family and friends. I’ve also struggled with keeping my weight down in the past. I’m not naturally skinny and the insecurity that came with this didn’t feel good at all. But I’ve grown now, both physically and mentally.

4. When did you notice that the super slim body that was expected from you, didn’t portray the real you?
I’ve always had to work very hard to achieve standard model sizes – and I never quite got there in the end. After a period of working, exercising and dieting intensively, my body just gave up and I knew right then and there that I had to stop trying to be someone I wasn’t. And it’s been the best decision ever! Both privately and professionally.
image with artdirection
5. You have a beautiful figure. What do you do differently now – as opposed to before – to stay in shape?
After my wonderful decision, I took a long break from everything. I ate everything I wanted and exercised a lot less to get everything back on track. After a while the urge to exercise slowly returned but I still had a lot of questions about health and exercise. I got in touch with my current personal trainer and I exercise differently now – to stay healthy and fit, not to become thinner. Food wise, I always eat healthy but I enjoy the occasional treat a lot more now, without feeling any guilt.
6. You’re very open about your body and story on social media. What do you hope to get across to your followers?
I hope to motivate my followers to live a healthy life, with exercise as a part of that lifestyle. But to exercise for the right reasons – to be healthy and not to look a certain way. When you feel fit and good about yourself, this automatically translates to a happier you – and isn’t that what we all want?

7. Middle-sized models are gaining in popularity. Have you noticed this in the kind of jobs or in the frequency you work?
I’ve noticed progress work wise; I work more and there’s a lot of acceptance and respect for the choices I’ve made. I truly believe that with a healthy lifestyle, everybody is beautiful in the body they have. I’m so happy to see that the fashion world is now slowly transitioning towards this positive message.
8. Every woman has insecurities about her body. What would you like to say to these women?
The answer is already in the question: “every woman has insecurities about her body.” No matter how confident you might seem, every woman has insecurities, which makes us completely human, unique and beautiful! You’re not the only one and you’re not alone.

9. You’re a ‘strong women’ in our eyes – do you see yourself this way?
Thanks for the compliment! I see myself as work in progress. Different events in my life have left me feeling insecure about myself. But I’m currently working very hard to better this, together with my coach and personal trainer. This definitely has a positive effect on me and makes me feel like a ‘strong woman’ more and more.
10. What does an average day look like for you?
I travel quite a lot for work nowadays, so I see the airport crew more often than my own family and friends! From the plane I normally go straight to my accommodation for the night, so I can start work fresh and rested the next day. I always start out with my ‘happy’ music list and coffee. I love chatting with the different teams. After a shoot I mostly travel on directly – back home or to the next destination. When I’m not working, I love spending time at home with my cat Kiwi and with my friends and family. Besides exercising, I also keep up my beauty routine; mani and pedicures, facials and visits to the hairdresser.

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