I was the only one in my modelling class to be invited to an agency. I’d done it—someone finally thought I was special. Later I’d discover that my height and my ability to walk in a straight line were what got me the invitation, but as a 14-year-old girl I was just happy to be chosen.

I filled out the form and Mum took me to the agency in the city. The man asked me to walk the catwalk—once with heels and once without.

Then he took out his measuring tape and slung it around my hips, pulling tight. I’ve always been somewhat bottom-heavy—with birthing hips as my grandma would say. Back then I was a size 8 on top and 10 on bottom. He told me they could only sign me once I’d lost some weight.

Mum and I left and bought ice cream.

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