The Thrifty Body Confidence Ambassador: Felicity Hayward

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It’s no secret that body confidence is an issue many men and women struggle with on a daily basis. The media repeatedly dictates to us what is acceptable, what looks good and that if you don’t fit the mould you shouldn’t be seen wearing certain things.
 
Felicity Hayward, however, doesn’t believe in this. She insists instead that you need to love the body you’re in and acts as a role model for every girl out there who has ever looked at an item of clothing and thought they shouldn’t wear it because of their size. 


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“Once you learn to love yourself the world is literally yours,” Felicity said. “I have been lucky to have supportive people around me to not listen to the media. We just need more role models for younger woman nowadays.”
 
The model and ASOS Curve Ambassador and Stylist is reminiscent of Jayne Mansfield and was dubbed by Vogue as a ‘British bombshell’ with ‘plus-size curves worthy of a painting by Reubens, a doll-like face and infectiously fun personality that comes with an unexpected, endearingly dirty laugh.’ That’s quite a compliment, from the leaders and trendsetters of the fashion industry themselves. 

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Felicity was first discovered in a London pub by a rep for Ponystep magazine, who organised her first shoot with none other than photographer Miles Aldridge, who is known for his bright and unusual, high fashion shoots in the 50s style, and regularly works with the biggest names in the industry, such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. Felicity was the first plus size model Miles shot, and is the person she credits for kick starting her model career.

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Felicity isn’t just a high flying model though, when she isn't scouring eBay for thrifty clothing finds, gracing the pages of Vogue, Glamour and Paper Magazine, or modelling the latest collections for TK Maxx, Barry M and Tatty Devine and working alongside huge names such as Cara Delevingne, she is a Curve Ambassador and Stylist for ASOS. 
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“I wanted to be an archaeologist, growing up.” Felicity said, but admits, “I have always enjoyed clothes and style. I used to attend car boot sales with my Nan as a child and we would always look for the most sparkly and fun pieces.”
 
“I was scouted by the brand (ASOS) as they were on the hunt for a Curve Ambassador, it was a dream role!” Felicity now uses her fashion know how and great looks to boost the confidence of women like her, who want to look great but feel pressure by the media to dress a certain way.

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Felicity breaks the rules with her look and wins every time, pulling together sportswear and luxe fashion into striking ensembles, as well as scouring “eBay, gumtree or carboot sales, auctions and charity shops,” for designer pieces.

Felicity proves that you don't need to spend a fortune to look good and that statement pieces work on all shapes and sizes. Her wardrobe is an expansive one, with most of it kept in storage while she jets around the world for shoots and work. “Half of it is in storage at my friend’s pink palace in the middle of the Essex countryside and the other half in my Dad's shed!” Felicity said.
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Her love of fashion and working with ASOS has also led to clothing line collaborations, most recently with Skinny Dip London, to create a bold, heart shaped bag featuring plenty of red glitter and the words 'Lady Luck'.  “It's my first proper collaboration,” Felicity said.
 
“I couldn't be happier, this brand is such a joy to work with and their team are a creative minefield of fun! For this collection we gained inspiration from Las Vegas wedding chapels to name a few, hence the red glitter!”
Felicity modelling the Adidas range at ASOS that she has worked hard to expand to a size 20. Image via Facebook
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Felicity modelling the Adidas range at ASOS that she has worked hard to expand to a size 20. Image via Facebook

It doesn’t stop there though, this girl knows that to succeed hard work is necessary and besides modelling she is constantly working behind the scenes at ASOS, encouraging them to expand their ranges to accommodate all sizes.
 
“I just got ASOS to stock certain lines of Adidas up to a size 20!” Felicity said, which is definitely a triumph as the plus size movement attempts to change people’s perspective on size and alter their associations with sportswear and super slim, fit women.
 
Clothing is something that should be enjoyed by everyone and ASOS has definitely expanded its plus size lines since Felicity joined their ranks. “There will always be work to be done,” Felicity reflected, “but in the last three years that I have been modelling, there have been massive changes. The fashion world has become a lot stronger for us curvy girls, [so] on wards and upwards.”

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So what style inspiration can we take from Felicity? What is she loving right now? “ Sunglasses, catsuit and platforms. Catsuits, especially if they have fringing. The 70s is still going strong, so there will be a big emphasis on suede, faux fur and lots of metallics!”

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