People in fashion talk a lot about changing the industry’s impossible beauty standards for women, but plus-size model Denise Bidot is actually doing something about it. This summer, Bidot’s #NotSorry ad campaign for swimwear e-commerce site Swimsuits for All went viral as soon as it was released. In it, an unretouched Bidot advocates for women to feel unapologetically sexy in their own skin — cellulite and all.
Bidot started modeling at a young age, but as a size-14 model of Puerto Rican and Kuwaiti descent, she had trouble getting work. Because of all the rejection, she pursued a career in makeup and the arts but ended up back in modeling after answering a Craigslist post calling for women who love their bodies. Since then, she’s modeled for major brands like Forever 21, Levi’s, and Nordstrom, and she was the first plus-size model to walk two runways for straight-size brands during New York Fashion Week. Click through the slideshow to see her replies to our questions about modeling and self-image alongside some of her best shots.