What makes a curvy swimwear model
Interview with the gorgeous India Hickey
As friends of Artesands, you all know that we love our curve models. We have so much respect and admiration for all the curvy models out there breaking down all the female stereo types and going up against it all to shout out, 'We are women too.' We love your confidence and persistence and everything that you have all had to go up against to make your name as a Curvy fashion model. And none more so than our very own @Indyplusmore
Check out the below interview with Indy taken on her last modelling assignment in Bali before 2020 happened. India starts off laughing and of course all the way through the interview Indy’s persona is always on a positive and lighter side of life.
Interviewed by Emma in Ubud, Bali
Hi India, thank you so much for catching up with us whilst you are back here in Bali, it’s great to be able to sit down with you and ask you a few curvy related industry questions… so let’s get right into it.
So, we know you’re a model, a comedian and a vegetarian but how else would you describe yourself?
*laughs* I would describe myself as a little bit weird – oh well, very weird! I’m lovable. I just said that about myself I guess. I love other people, maybe they love me too I dunno *shrugs shoulders*, *laughs*. I am loud. I am awkward and that about sums it up.
What’s your age and where are you currently located?
Ok so I’m 27, I’m currently located in Bali but I live in Sydney if that’s what you meant *laughs*. Yeah so I’m currently in Bali on a photoshoot and we are in the beautiful Balinese town of Ubud but I actually live in Sydney in Australia.
And you like living in Sydney?
I LOVE it. I’m from Brisbane so I’m from a small town. When I came to Sydney, I was like oh my God *laughs* I felt like I just got to Hollywood and everyone’s chill.
Did you just wake up one morning and decide you wanted to become a model?
No. No, no no. Modelling has never been on my radar. I did a little bit of modelling for my friend who owned a clothing store when I was younger but that’s just because I was there at the time. It was never something that I ever thought about. I’m an actor, so I’ve been doing that for a really long time. I went to do some headshots with Sally Fledge, she’s an amazing photographer for acting headshots. And she asked if I had ever done modelling before and I said no. And she said “You should, you move really well in front of the camera.” So then I just sent some photos off to agencies and no one got back to me.
Absolutely no one got back to me. Then after a while one little agency got back to me and I started working with them. They told me to get an Instagram together and from there I just got more and more work through my Instagram, it really started picking up and just sort of started happening. I think that if you’re meant to do something it’ll just find you, so that’s just sort of how it went.
So, you really became a model through social media – that was your big platform?
Yeah, absolutely. Social media is just where it was at that moment. More recently, luckily, I’ve been signed by Vivian’s and then it’s just gone from there. So, it wasn’t easy in the beginning *laughs*.
Didn’t start how you planned
No, it did not but we got there in the end.
'I think that if you're meant to do something it'll just find you, so that's just sort of how it went...'
Where did your inspiration to be a model come from?
Yeah, as I said I kind of just fell into it because I was doing acting, but I think being a bigger plus size girl and a curvy girl – watching people like Ashley Graham and Iskra (Lawrence) and seeing what they were doing in such a positive way for the curvy girl community. I thought I wanted to get on board with that. When I was younger I never had anyone to look up to. I never had anyone where I could go ‘Oh she looks like me and she’s out there and people think she’s beautiful.’ So, I think I really wanted to do that for the next younger generation.
To have the confidence you have is really admirable because a lot of girls struggle to find their inner confidence. Where does your confidence come from? You’re so bubbly and outgoing. Where did that start?
I am one of 6 kids! so it was like you just had to fight to get attention. My confidence came from being in a big family, I think. Don’t get me wrong, every day there’s little things that you think you don’t have the confidence for, but I think growing up in a big family helped me. My parents have always told me from a really young age that everyone’s equal.
No matter what, no one is better than anyone else. You treat someone exactly how you would want to be treated and I’ve grown up thinking that so…that came with that confidence. Like I’m not worth any less than someone else. So, I think my parents were a really big influence and then being from a massive family just trying to fight for my right to get out there.
Let's talk the current market. The curve model industry has generally been full of stereotypical models of a curvier size – they’re not true curve. You know they have abs. How did you gain the confidence to break this mold and become the first real relatable curvy model?
Yeah, it’s hard cause you go for these castings and they want these real women. And then you walk into the casting room and there’s size 12s and size 14s. And of course, they’re real women but on the casting call sheet it states, ‘we want big, real women’ and then I walk in and I’m probably the biggest person in the room. I think I really just had to find it in myself and look back at that 12 year old girl who didn’t have anyone. I really had to go let’s do it for them. I think I just had to push myself and be confident and be the nicest person on set when I am there so that people want to book me again. But yeah, just be thankful for what you’ve got I guess, and I’m doing it for the 12 year old me.
I’m doing it for the 12 year old me.
'we want big, real women...'
So, inspiring sisters around the world to love the skin they’re in. They are your words on Instagram. Obviously, you’re a growing inspiration for a lot of girls around the world. So how do you want to continue inspiring people? What are your plans?
I would absolutely love to go into schools and do talks to young girls and just let them know that this isn’t the be all and end all. There are people out there that are beautiful and look exactly like you. Instagram isn’t what you think it is. People put up the best parts of their lives. They don’t put up whatever else is going on behind the scenes. It’s not all real and everyone’s perfect the way they are. I’d love to go to schools and do talks to the kids. I’m also really into children's books as well on diversity, Oh and I want to be in shop windows so when girls walk past they go, ‘she’s beautiful and she’s out there and she’s doing it and I can too.” That’s what I want to do in the long haul I think.
'She's beautiful and she's out there and she's doing it and I can too...'
There’s a lot of changes going on in the industry at the moment in regard to this. What changes have you seen and have had the biggest impact on you?
That’s a good question. Slowly but surely, the market is coming for plus size and curvy girls. We’re sick of seeing plus size shot on a size 10 or 12. For bigger curvy girls, it’s just not relatable and I think people are starting to catch onto that. I think the movement of no airbrushing and not smoothing out cellulite and not putting a thigh gap on a size 20 girl – I think that these things are catching on and I think it’s really amazing. Just being happy with who you are is really catching on and I love that and want to see more of that.
So what still irritates you about the curve market?
I think it is stuff like you go onto a plus size website and they’re shooting clothes on a size 10 girl and you’re just like ‘there’s so many plus size models that are fighting to get work. Why are we shooting on these size 10 girls that aren’t representing what a body looks like at a size 18 or a size 20 or size 24.’ That frustrates me – nothing to the models, I think everyone’s gorgeous, but if you want someone to buy your clothes at a size 20, then you need to put a size 18 or a size 20 girl in those clothes. Yeah I think that really is something that grinds my gears *laughs*.
Tell us when did you first put yourself in front of the camera?
Oh God pfft, you’ll have to ask my parents, I remember being younger and my parents had an old camera and I used to sneak it into my room and sit it in the corner and sing and dance in front of it, yeah I’ve been in front of the camera for a long time... I love myself *laughs jokingly*.
Good! You should *laughs*. Ok, so memories from your first ever curvy photoshoot – what was it like for you? What did you learn?
My first ever photoshoot, a company picked me up off of Instagram when I had 200 followers by the name of Artesands, they do curvy and plus size swimwear, and I started doing some fit modelling with them and they must’ve seen something in me because they flew me over to Bali for a photoshoot and it was amazing! I learnt so much from that first photoshoot and we had a really really good time. I got attacked by monkeys *laughs jokingly*, the outside toilets had the best view I’d ever seen *laughs*. But I learnt a hell of a lot. The photographer who was on that swimwear shoot, his name was Ricc, he taught me so much along the way on my first ever shoot. Honestly that first photoshoot I learnt so much – I was sitting next to the monitor when we were going through my photos and was going ‘that looks good or that looks shit,’ *laughs*. So yeah that was the best photoshoot I’ve done in a long time actually.
Would you say that’s the highlight of your career so far?
*smiles* Yeah I think so. It was my first international shoot and it was my first shoot in general so it was really cool. Every time I came back my friends were like, ‘You’re an international model,’ and I was like ‘*hair flip* Whatever, it’s no big deal’. So yeah it was the best by far I’d say.
' we're sick of seeing plus size shot on a size 10 or 12...'
How would you describe yourself growing up? Were you the class clown or were you the wallflower?
When I was younger I was super quiet. So I used to walk around with this scowl on my face *laughs*. And then growing up in a big family, I just got louder and louder. I think being a curvy and bigger kid, it’s sort of like a defense mechanism because if I’m being funny and I’m being loud then no one’s really looking at me. They’re looking at this funny loud girl and go, ‘Oh she’s the funny one,’ instead of, ‘Oh she’s the fat one.’ So I think as I got older I started getting really loud and I’d make people laugh and go, ‘oh that’s cool! That’s fun!’
What would your words of encouragement be to any young girls having a hard time with their self-confidence and self-doubt?
You are beautiful. You are amazing just the way you are. You do not need to change anything. School is the worst – probably the hardest thing you’re gonna have to go through because everyone’s emotions and hormones are running wild. But you are so amazing just the way you are. You were created the way you were to be exactly that, so don’t change it. The time will come when you’ll absolutely love yourself and surround yourself with really good people. And yeah, you’re just amazing and I wish that you could see how good you are right now.
' you are beautiful. you are amazing just the way you are. you do not need to change anything...'
Tell us a bit about your comedy.
I started doing comedy with a friend of mine named Josie. We lived together and started writing a show called Indy and Josie. We put it on the internet and it went well - people loved it. Then I started doing a lot of improv and started a show called The Real Sketch Girls with someone that I met from improv, her name was Bonnie Kane. We did little sketches about life and what we think is funny. Bonnie and myself are the most awkward people in the world so we would just get ourselves into these situations they would lead to sketch ideas *laughs*. I think people like it because it’s relatable and yeah, I just love doing it.
Who inspires you? Like who’s your curve idol?
Oh Ashley Graham without a doubt. She’s amazing. Iskra is incredible as well, she is all about being the real you, embracing who you are, you’re beautiful. They are two of the main ones. There’s another girl named Barbie – she’s incredible as well, really real and raw.
Do you have any favourite curve brands?
Artesands is one of my favourite curve brands. Atmos&Here is another curve brand that I absolutely love. They’re my two favourites I’d have to say.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Oh! On a private jet *laughs*. I see myself in 5 years time really happy like I am now. I would love to move to London and work there a little bit. I am writing children’s books at the moment too so I would love for that to be something that’s out there. And I want my modelling career to be at its peak.
To wrap it up we’ve got a really good question for you. What would you tell your 16 year old self knowing what you do today?
Baby girl slow down *laughs*. Slow down, just love the body that you’re in right now because in 10 years time you’ll be like, ‘why don’t I look like what I looked like back then,’ *laughs*. Don’t date that boy, he’s not that cool. Oh what else – don’t Nair your underarms *laughs* I’m just going through some of the things that I did that I wish I didn’t. Yeah just don’t date that boy, slow down, love yourself a little more. Don’t be so hard on yourself and you’ve got a hell of a ride coming.
Thanks so much for coming in and seeing us and talking all things curvy!
' love yourself a little more...'
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