MISS South Africa 2016 finalist, plus-size model and body-positive activist, Marciel Hopkins, has been signed by Europe’s leading model agency, London-based MOT Models.
The motivational speaker and Instagram star has joined the MOT Models ‘Curves’ Division, which celebrates plus size models and encourages body positivity.
Marciel Hopkins has appeared in campaigns for leading brands across Europe; recently appearing in a Marks and Spencer Summer Lingerie campaign.
She will be in London for a limited time before travelling to Germany.
She is now working on a course for young women to teach body acceptance, holistic health and mental wellness. It has been developed with schools in South Africa and will be the first course of its kind led by a professional model.
If the course is successful it will be rolled out internationally, starting in London.
Marciel said, “It is not worth fighting a daily battle with your food and body. Bodies are different and we can’ t all look the same. We are spoon-fed images of unrealistic body goals where people are airbrushed to perfection. Social media has influenced the way people want to look and this is dangerous for those of a younger generation as this could influence their health for the rest of their lives.
“Too many young girls think they have to be skinny and slim in order to be healthy. People instead need to strive towards being the healthiest and happiest version of themselves whatever their natural shape. I’ m happy and healthy as a natural size 14. I haven’ t weighed myself since the Miss South Africa pageant, to stay away from ‘ negative voices’ . Weight does not determine anyone’ s worth.
“I want to encourage people to embrace who they are and realise that a healthy body can take many forms. I work as a life coach and there is nothing better than seeing the transformation of someone who has been fighting with body issues.”
Founder of MOT Models Mike Illes said, “We are very excited to welcome such an inspirational individual to MOT Models. Marciel stands out as an individual for her positive attitude and star personality. Marciel understands the importance of being healthy in your own way and the issues faced by young women and teenagers lacking body confidence. She is a fantastic role model for young women.”
Marciel Hopkins is currently in London and will be modelling for various campaigns across Europe later in July and August. She will then be heading back to South Africa to focus on her new project.