It's not hard to see why Bruna Lapinskas turns heads. She's gorgeous! But when she was a teen, Bruna was taunted because of her curvy figure. Now, the 28-year-old is one of Australia’s most in-demand curve models, represented by leading agency Bella Management. The size 16 top model has featured in major campaigns - including Bras N Things, The Iconic, Myer, Mecca, and Bec and Bridge. - and is a popular runway model. Here, Bruna tells Lifestyle News about why she is proudly flying the flag for curvaceous women everywhere.
How did you get into modelling?
I tried to model when I was younger in Brazil where I’m from, but unfortunately back then there was no representation for curvy women.
I started modelling in Australia to help a friend shoot her swim brand. Then it led to another friend of a friend asking me to model, then another one. When I got properly noticed I was in Bali shooting a campaign.
From there everything happened really fast.
You are very in demand as a curve model – what do you put that down to?
Since my first day as a model, I’ve always shown my real self at every casting and shooting day.
I want the clients to remember me not only for my look and posing skills, but also for my personality, my work manners and the energy I bring to set.
Sometimes people see modelling as a "fun" job and, don't get me wrong, it is a fun job, but it also comes with a lot of baggage. There are always insecurities, anxiety and thinking we’re not going to be enough for that client.
There’s also lots of castings and no feedback, and being constantly reminded by brands you’d love to wear that they don’t stock your size.
Did people ever doubt you could make it as a model?
I’m a size 16 and I've been told during my career that I could never walk in a fashion show because of my height, and that I could never model because of my boobs and hips were too big.
Those things just made me even stronger and excited to explore what modelling life would bring.
What was it like growing up in your body?
Growing up I could always tell my figure was different from the other girls my age. I've always been active, doing sports at school and dancing four to five days a week. It never really bothered me until I became a teenager, where my boobs and hips suddenly popped out of nowhere!
I remember being called a few names, teased here and there back in school, but for some reason I just never cared about it.
I lived in a small town where we knew everyone and social media was just starting, so I think I kept myself out of that grey cloud.
Funnily enough I've been bullied way more often now than when I was younger. What makes this even more interesting is the nasty comments I get on my social media page are actually from men - who most of the time are married, and have their profile set to either in private or no photo. Ha! I just feel sorry for them really!
Do you think there’s been a definite change in the fashion industry becoming more size inclusive, or is there still more that can be done?
Oh, it’s just the beginning! It is important for whoever attends major shows like Australian Fashion Week that curve models be seen and acknowledged.
All runways need to be representative of diverse body shapes and sizes. For the most part people who aren’t typically seen on catwalks are the mainstream fashion consumers. They should be acknowledged.
What is your advice to someone who’s curvy who would like to be a model, but isn’t sure they have what it takes?
My first tip is focus on yourself, always. It can be physically and mentally exhausting sometimes. I don't want to just say ‘be confident’ because it's not something you can just constantly do from day to night.
I would say ‘be comfortable’. Be comfortable with yourself when looking in the mirror, dressed up or dressed down. That is who you are. The rest will come naturally.
Also, you don't need to love every single angle of yours! Those back rolls are fine just the way they are. There are some clients who will make you look incredibly glamorous.
There are some who will post you in angles or put you in makeup that doesn’t suit you very well. If you are amazing at what you do, you will always make it work either way.
Practice makes it perfect and you will only know what works for you if you try.
Is it worth reaching out to modelling agencies?
Yes! Take some photos of yourself, record videos, see what angles of yourself you like most. Do silly poses, and do some ‘real ones’, too.
Get a friend or photographer to put some ideas together for a test shoot and see how you feel in front of the camera. From there take the pics to an agency.
Don't let anyone tell you if you are too short, too A, too B or too C. The sky's the limit. It is a very fun ride, but always make sure you are the main character of the show - look after yourself.
Lastly always follow your gut and make sure you keep people who truly love and care about you close to your heart.
Find out more about Bruna at Bella Management