Hi! Introduce yourself. Hi I’m Imme Visser, a 24-year-old curvy model and writer. I’ve been (trying) modelling since I was 17 and always seem to be stuck in some kind of stereotype. I’ve learned to not care about people wanting to label me, and try and find a way around it! Otherwise you’ll just be grumpy all the time.
Are you happy with yourself, your body, your clothes size? At this point I think I am. I am a pear shape, which for me means that I have a small upper body with smaller breasts, small waist and wider hips. So up top I’m a EU size 38 and bottom-wise I’m a EU 40-42. When I was 17 and tried fashion modelling I was always considered too wide at the hips (I was a EU 38 then), now with curvy modelling I’m considered too small at the top. That’s what I mean with not caring about labels – I feel you shouldn’t take comments about your body too seriously in the modelling industry because it’s never ‘good enough’.
I used to find this really hard and still do at times, but I try to be happy in my own skin and show the world that pear shapes are beautiful too! Everyone’s body is different. Not every fashion model is going to fit a certain body type and not every plus model is going to fit a certain body type. That’s why I love the idea of being just ‘models’, all of us fashion, curvy and plus, without labels. If you’re a good model, you’re a good model. No body type has to be defined.
I do really enjoy representing the butt! I have a great butt.
How do you feel about the plus-size industry? It’s both very cool and unnecessary at the same time. It’s great that women of bigger body types are finally acknowledged in fashion, but I do think the label is unnecessary as it is often misused. It then causes big discussions with women who aren’t models and don’t understand that, or are offended by smaller models wearing plus size clothes in magazines. Ideally, all labels should be gone. I love webshops or magazines just showing different kinds of models in different kinds of shapes modelling clothes that can be bought in different sizes. Like the recent swimsuitsforall campaign!
Where do you prefer to buy your clothes? Which shops? Which webshops? I love English brands such as Topshop, but unfortunately I can only afford it in sale. New Look is a brand that works really well with my body type. Asos has a huuuge range of clothes in all kinds of sizes and I love their fabrics. I love Scandinavian brands such as Weekday, Monki, & Other Stories and Samsoe & Samsoe, but these are all on the expensive side. Also, I will always be an H&M girl. Other than that I shop at vintage shops such as Froufrou’s and Things I Like, Things I Love (both shops that are actually in my street in Arnhem) and Episode in Utrecht or Amsterdam. Episode’s vintage summer dresses fit my body type amazingly!
What are your favorite websites or blogs? I am a feminist and I find equal rights (for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality or ethnic background) very important so I follow Miss Representation, Jezebel and Upworthy on Facebook as they always post (links to) articles. These are organisations that present news on the plus size industry as well! Furthermore I always watch the celebrity interviews on Ellen DeGeneres on YouTube. I like Tumblr cause there are a lot of openminded people on there, and I often share gorgeous plus model pictures (like the ones from ELLE Quebec) there!
Describe your own style. I am quite a laidback wearer of clothes, haha. I like things to be comfy and soft. I have a thing for big jumpers! I also really like highwaisted trousers, jeans and skirts. They are a bit hard to find because my hips are so much bigger than my waist so I usually have to wear a belt around my waist. I really love the nineties trend going on now, I love wearing my ‘mom jeans’ with a crop top (but not one that’s too short) when it’s warm. Also, maxi dresses are the best.
Who is / are your fashion icon(s) or examples? I love Keira Knightley’s style, although she has a completely different body type than I do. I think it’s fun she doesn’t care if she looks a bit awkward cause I do that too.
Have you ever had a negative experience due to your clothes size? Well, of course in the beginning of modelling I did, cause I never fit into the jeans or skirts they tried to put on me. And then it was always stylists just standing there, mad, but trying not to make me feel uncomfortable, which of course I did feel. One time I went to a clothes fitting for a fashion student and when the clothes didn’t fit she just tore them off me, she tore her own handmade clothes! That was the worst experience I think.
It’s all because of sample sizes, which in fashion I think are a EU 34 or EU 36 and in plus size I think a EU 42 or EU 44. I once did a shoot where the sample size was EU 44 and all they had were clothes in that size. So that was the other way around, the clothes were way too big and just hung around me like I was wearing huge pyjamas.
Okay so I had my fair share of stupid experiences but I can really laugh about the absurdity of it all now. It’s really funny that I had both of these experiences to compare.
In terms of normal-human world, I’ve only experienced that when you get older and curvier, and less teenager, you don’t fit into regular sizes anymore. Especially at H&M, I used to buy all these short dresses but now that I have a bigger bum, the shape of the dresses make no sense anymore. They barely cover up my behind. So no, I now need to try things on first and try different shapes to see what works.
What advice would you like to give young ladies who are insecure about their bodies or clothes size? It took me a while, but when you grow up a bit more you get to experience less peer pressure at school and understand that it doesn’t matter. Size doesn’t matter at all. What matters is if you’re kind to the people around you and all great things you experience in life, such as travelling or just going for a coffee with friends, or having huge sunny pic nics!
If you’re struggling with what you see in the media, try to think about why those advertorials and commercials are there: to make money. Not to make you feel good about yourself. Because when you feel bad about your body you are more likely to buy tons of clothes, make-up, diet pills or anti-ageing creams. Things you don’t need to feel happy!
Think of all the companies that would go out of business when women would feel good about their bodies. That’s the truth. Happiness and health come first, always.
What do you think of the term ‘inbetweenie’? (Women with sizes 40/42-48 who are too small for the plus size market but too big for the regular market.) It’s a term that I hope will become useless in the near future 🙂 In England brands cater clothes that go from a EU size 32 to a EU size 50 or so, and I think all brands should feature these sizes and different models wearing these sizes in their ads.
What are your ambitions or dreams? My ambition is to become a writer and to publish a fiction novel, but also to write more articles or blogs relating to gender. I want to show people that there is more out there than the big popular media companies want to show you. That you can be whoever you want to be and above all, that more women actually feel good about themselves and feel safe. Yes, I’m a bit of an idealist, but I don’t care. I want to write words that make people think, and care.