SPREAD TOO THIN WEIGHT OF THE WORLD ON MODEL’S SHOULDERS
MISS Universe Australia Olivia Rogers has lifted the lid on the culture of the modelling industry and her quest to be unrealistically thin. The 25-year-old says she was 12kg lighter during her modelling career and it left her riddled with anxiety and depression. Rogers had been working as a model in Adelaide for several years before chancing her luck in the Sydney fashion game in 2012. “I am really glad I did because I learnt so much from it, but at the same time, there was so much pressure to be stick thin,” she said. “I was about 12kg lighter than I am now. I was so skinny and was measured every time I was in there (her agency). “I was never told to lose more (weight), but they were like ‘you look great, keep it up’. “You have to stay that way and it is just not healthy and not realistic. “I would never want a girl to look at one of those photos of me and think I want to look like that, because it is not attainable. “Some people are naturally that tiny, but I am not, I am not meant to be that size. “I had no energy and I had depression and anxiety and it was not a good time.” While she says she did not suffer from an eating disorder, she realised the pressure she put on herself to conform to the expectation of others was unhealthy. “But I got to my skinniest and I was not happy with how I looked. I hated how I looked. It wasn’t good,” she said. She urged women to stop judging their self worth around a figure on a set of scales.
“I don’t weigh myself and I don’t have a set of scales in the house,” she said.
“I think it is irrelevant. That number does not mean anything.
“It is not healthy to obsess over this number and live every day trying to get it down.
“If you fit in your clothes and you feel good in your clothes then that is all that matters.”
After her brief experience in Sydney, Rogers moved back to Adelaide and “went off modelling for a while”.
She pursued her studies in speech pathology and rebuilt herself physically and mentally through healthy eating and exercise.
“I probably eat more now than I ever have,” she said. “I love exercise, that is my mental release.”
Modelling opportunities soon followed and in June she won the Miss Universe Australia title.
Now based in Melbourne, she wants to use the platform to advocate for mental health and to be a positive role model for young women.
“From those experiences and with age comes a lot of knowledge, and I am really glad I went through all of that because I am so much stronger now, and if I was any younger, I would not be doing what I am doing now because you do have to have a thick skin,” she said.
Her advice for others is simple: “Just be yourself and follow what makes you happy.”