Written by Abi Koh | Edited by Nicole Friets | Thumbnail Image by Brad Wilcox
Christina Boudreau is the founder of Beauty Has No Size, a website dedicated to promoting healthy body image and redefining what beauty is. The website has articles written by young women on their struggles related to body image, such as eating disorders, low self-esteem, and mental health. Besides running the website, the 24 year-old also works as an international plus-size model and speaks at events to share her story. “I want to show girls around the world through my life and words that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes,” she said.
Today, Christina doesn’t believe that she needs to be skinny to be loved or to wear fashionable clothes. However, that wasn’t always the case. When she was in 4th grade, Christina was significantly larger than most of her peers and would shamefully hide her naturally curvy figure with baggy clothes.
Despite being an athletic club swimmer, she still wasn’t skinny like other girls who seemed to be able to eat whatever they wanted without putting on weight. She noticed that the popular girls seemed to be the ones who were able to fit and wear the trendy clothes because of their smaller frames. Christina said, “The word skinny from then on became a destination for me. I believed that if I just arrived at this place called ‘skinny,’ then I could be accepted, valued, loved, and popular.”
When Christina entered 6th grade, she started to obsessively diet and over-exercise, becoming anorexic. She then went down the path of bulimia and started to cyclically binge, throw up, and consume laxatives. She explains that this “. . . was a way to drown out [her] feelings of failure and unworthiness.” Despite these dangerous actions accompanied by obsessive exercise, Christina did not reach her destination of “skinny” and wondered to herself if she would ever be good enough.
At the age of 18, Christina had a moment of clarity. One day, she opened up the dictionary and looked up the definition of beauty - only to find that there was no size or stigma associated to it. She realized that she did not have to change her body in order to fit society's standard of beauty. She also realized that society’s definition of beauty didn’t have to be her perception of beauty. This change of mindset started her down the path of healing and embracing herself both inside and out.
Today, 6 years on, Christina is quick to admit that she is still in the process of discovering what the word beautiful means. Through her various speaking engagements, social media, and Beauty Has No Size, she encourages young women to love themselves regardless of their size. She firmly believes that the media should represent diverse body types, and through her modeling is able to play a part in this. Christina said, “I try to use my life as a testimony to my beliefs . . . that beauty is like a diamond with many facets.”
To learn more about Christina's story, visit www.beautyhasnosize.com.