Emily DiDonato has revealed some of the horrific things that she has been told as a model, including a photographer who called her ‘fat.’
The 29-year-old Sports Illustrated model shared a TikTok video highlighting all the ‘tough and weird feedback’ she has gotten over the years while reminding her nearly 300,000 followers that they shouldn’t take other people’s ‘mean’ comments to heart.
In the clip, La Roux’s hit ‘Bulletproof’ is playing in the background as she shares some of the undeserved criticisms she has gotten.
One person claimed that ‘she has legs like a man,’ while someone else cruelly said: ‘I can’t shoot her when she’s fat like this.’
Another warned her not to leave her hotel, explaining: ‘Someone might see you and know that you’ve gained weight.’
One of the strangest comments was actually a dig about her cheerful demeanor.
‘You’re too happy. You should smile less,’ the critic told her. ‘You will look cooler.’
Emily ended her video on a positive note, insisting that these types of comments should be ignored because they have no merit.
‘Just because someone says something about you, that doesn’t mean it’s true!’ she stressed.
Emily’s video has been viewed more than 123,000 times, and fans took to the comments to praise her for her message.
‘I really needed this. Thank you so, so much!!’ one person wrote, while another added. ‘So inspiring! Stay true to yourself always.’
The model, who has posed for the likes of Victoria’s Secret and Maybelline, uses her social media platform to promote body-positivity and often shares stories about her own life.
A few months ago, she proudly pointed out her belly rolls, cellulite, stretch marks, and lazy eye in a TikTok video to show her fans that even models aren’t perfect.
Emily has been candid about her struggles with body image, and last year she opened up about the dangerously unhealthy lifestyle she took on after being told she was ‘too curvy’ for high-fashion modeling.
‘To me, to be successful, it was to be thin. So, I was like, “I’m going to do whatever it takes.” And I did,’ Emily explained in the YouTube video.
She had moved to New York City right out of high school to pursue her fashion dreams, but she was met with little success at first because agencies labeled her as being ‘too curvy,’ ‘too big,’ and ‘too athletic.’
‘I was crazy not to love the way that I looked,’ Emily said after looking back at old images of herself during those casting days.
But in order to please agencies in the city, she ate as little as possible and prioritized working out in order to slim down to a size she knew would be more appealing to the agencies that had turned her down.
‘I went from like 140 pounds to 118 pounds, which is very, very small for my frame,’ she explained. ‘I’m like 150 pounds now and feel great about it, but then that was very small for me.’
Losing weight and attempting to fit into the modeling scene in New York put an immense amount of pressure on Emily, and she shared that her career ambitions ultimately had a negative impact on her mental wellbeing.
When she was doing a photo shoot with Maybelline at the beginning of her career, she was approached by fellow model and friend Julia Stegner and makeup artist Charlotte Willer, both of whom expressed concern for her abrupt weight loss.
‘I ended up gaining all the weight back and then some,’ she said. ‘That ended up being a whole different struggle, I think, in itself,’ she said.
‘I remember really not liking the way that I looked. When I gained the weight back, I felt really embarrassed. I really wanted to hide.
‘I felt like I was failing all of these agencies and people who believed in me and wanted me to succeed. I just thought I was fat. There’s no way that I’m going to succeed now.’
Emily explained in the video that after years of struggling, she finally learned to love her body at the size it was meant to be.
‘I’m at peace with my body,’ she said. ‘It takes a lot of work and effort, I think, for a lot of people to come to peace with their body and love their body just the way that it is.’
She further detailed her battle towards body acceptance in an Instagram post about the video on her YouTube channel.
‘I’ve fluctuated over the years from a double zero to a size 10 and I remember being so embarrassed and ashamed of that,’ she wrote.
‘I wish I was kinder to myself because I am only human but I thought models were meant to be a 00 and stay a 00.’
She continued: I was always hesitant to talk about body positivity or body diversity because I am aware being a size 6 or 8 is nothing groundbreaking but in the modeling industry, my size hasn’t always been represented, celebrated, or accepted.
‘For me, feeling comfortable in my skin has taken a lot of work and effort and I wanted to share that with you guys.’
Emily most recently appeared in the 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue after making her debut in the iconic publication seven years ago.