Eight Things Model Jennie Runk Could Teach Your 14-Year-Old Self

Love the skiLa Redoute/Facebookn you're in. Believe in yourself. Stand up for your rights. They’re all sentiments we’ve heard many times before, but they're also all easier said than done. And living in a world – especially as a teenage girl – populated by illusory, small-framed models who set the bar for societal standards of what’s “beautiful,” can make it extra difficult to exercise these mantras.

Georgia Luckhurst, 14, of Great Britain, took it upon herself to interview renowned plus-size model Jennie Runk for the young feminist activist site sparksummit.com. Runk, who is as much of a role model as she is a fashion model, shared her feelings on everything from how to make a difference to how she grew to feel comfortable with her body. "My goal is to work towards the day when people will stop calling each other too fat or too skinny or too anything – a day when people can live and let live in peace, regardless of the bodies they’re living in,” Runk said.

Hats off to Luckhurst for giving Runk a platform to perpetuate the self-love dialogue and share some inspiring advice with young women. We gathered eight quotes from the interview that can teach your 14-year-old self a thing or two.

1. You are so much more than your body.

"You are so much more than your body, you should never ever let anything as pointless as whether you have space between your thighs or not dictate your worth. If you do that, you’re not giving enough credit to the most important parts of you – your mind and your spirit."

2. Say something nice about someone else … and yourself.

"Everybody is completely unique, and that’s why they’re so beautiful. Instead of saying “her thighs are the size of my arms, I’m so fat,” we should say “wow, she looks amazing in those shorts. And I look amazing in mine.”  We should compliment each other. If you have something nice to say about someone, tell them!"

3. Lead by example.

"Anyone in a position where kids might look up to them should keep it in mind that they’re setting an example, and to think hard about the kind of example they are. If one girl in one school stops calling people names, maybe others in her school will follow suit, and maybe this harmony can spread to other schools."

4. Act your age. It can be fun!

"I remember what it was like being a dorky kid and an even dorkier teenager… and I grew out of it fabulously, so you can too. Being young is often awkward and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t last forever, and it can be so much fun if you let it."

5. Don't put someone down to prop yourself up. (And don’t let others do it either.)

"Also, don’t let your friends put themselves down, and don’t let other people put you down. If someone tries to tell you you’re not good enough, for any reason, stand up for yourself."

6. Stop comparing.

"When someone who is less than half your size calls herself fat, you end up questioning what you should be calling yourself. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, telling ourselves we are less than them because we wear a bigger size, or lamenting an itty-bitty belly flab, we should be speaking positively about our bodies!"

7. Live for yourself, not others.

"You are the only person you should be trying to impress. Be hard to impress. Then, when you meet your own high standards, you’ll have everyone around you impressed before you know it."

8. You are beautiful.

"Pinch that inch and say, 'How beautiful am I?' I have this soft spot, right here. I love my belly, and I love that I can pinch it; because to me, soft is beautiful … No matter what you look like, you should always say 'I’m so lucky to be living my life in this beautiful, one-of-a-kind body.'"