Morgan McTiernan, 23, Glasgow

I AM smaller than the average woman at a size 12. From around the age of 16 I wanted to model, but the modelling world only welcomes a size 8 or below.

I watched America’s Next Top Model as a teenager. I idolised the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Tyra Banks and Lily Aldridge – all women of small frames which led me to associate beauty with being thin. This in turn contributed to my lack of self-confidence. It was only a week before I turned 21 that I armed myself with enough courage to enter the modelling industry.

I arrived nervously but excitedly to one of my first castings with around 20 other models, although any excitement soon subsided when the photographer, on inspection of my photos, couldn’t describe why my shots were somewhat different. After being shown one of the portraits, it was clear that the implication was that I looked too large.

On another occasion I attended a casting for a well-known lingerie brand to find there was nothing to fit my size. I was left humiliated trying to fit into size 8 briefs. Similarly, I have walked in fashion shows in clothes too small for my figure.

While no agency has explicitly said I needed to lose weight, it was always softly suggested in their inability to accommodate my size, despite knowing my measurements.

I joined the gym and began exercising at least five times a day. I would be in my bedroom finishing my reps for the day when my parents thought I was asleep. I kept a mental diary of all the calories I consumed. I would scroll through agency websites daily, obsessively comparing my measurements. Even at a size 8 I wanted to be slimmer.

I stopped listening to my parents, who constantly told me I was beautiful just as I was. I remember going to New York in 2014 and being told by the photographer during a shoot that I was not sitting at the natural size for my build.

The turning point was when I opened up to my sister about my obsession with my body image. Since then I have embarked on a journey of self-acceptance. I have met photographers such as Simon Westby, who has worked with the likes of Cheryl Cole, who gave me the confidence I needed to accept myself as a curve [plus-size] model.

There is no shortage of talk regarding the lack of size diversity, but where are the steps being taken to challenge this? That’s why I

have launched my I Am Curve campaign, from which I aim to launch a body revolution.

I still fall victim to the pressure to be the “perfect” size. The difference is I have learned to combat it.

I am content with the size I am. As long as I remember how my younger self felt trapped in a damaging mindset of self-criticism, I hope

I can continue motivating myself, and others, to feel the same.

See @morganruthmctiernan and