If you’ve ever heard of the #DropThePlus campaign and wondered who the originator was, wonder no more… The #DropThePlus campaign was the brainchild of Aussie model Stefania Ferrario. Perceiving it as body-shaming that women who are just above the US dress size 4 are called plus size, Ferrario began the campaign to ban the term in the modeling industry joining forces with television presenter Ajay Rochester. The campaign generated much buzz online and was heavily discussed within and outside Australia, thus bringing her to a wider level of recognition. Reviews on the subject were mixed but largely positive. Here is a look at her career as well as key facts about her life.
Who Is Stefania Ferrario?
Stefania Ferrario is only but the model’s professional name, she was born on the 14th of June 1993 and was named Stephanie Denise Kightley by her English father, Russell Kightley. Her mother Lilia Ferrario is of Italian descent. Ferrario was born and raised in Canberra, Australia. Her love for posing for the cameras began when she was in school and by the age of 16, she began modeling professionally.
Despite being discouraged by some friends and acquaintances who thought her body was a bit big for what the modeling industry would welcome, Ferrario paid a photographer and made a portfolio with which she went hunting for jobs. She quickly worked her way to recognition in the Australian modeling scene and in no time began representing brands abroad.
She has worked with Aussie brands such as Target (Australia), Sportsgirl and Berlei. Some of the overseas brands she has repped include Italy’s Fiorella Rubino and Malaysia’s Flow clothing. She is the face of a lingerie line by Dita Von Teese sold in the Australian department store Myer. Stefania Ferrario doesn’t only enjoy posing for the cameras, she is also all for advocating for selfless-causes. She grabbed a lot of attention in February 2012 when she shaved off her hair in order to raise awareness and money for cancer, alopecia and trichotillomania diseases.
Her bold move attracted the attention of several others interested in raising awareness about the same diseases, among them fashion photographer Peter Coulson. Coulson was at the time writing his book In My Pants whose proceeds he was to donate to the Cancer Council of Australia to help with awareness. In the course of the campaign, Coulson photographed her for the book.
Many who’d never heard of the Aussie model got to know her in the wake of the #DropThePlus campaign. Ferarrio began the movement following a debate about a certain model who got bullied for standing up for herself that she shouldn’t be referred to as a plus-size model.
Inspired by the model’s boldness and in a bid to stop the constant bullying in the industry towards women referred to as “plus-size,” Ferrario took to her Instagram page to post a near-nude photo of herself with the writings “I AM JUST A MODEL” on her body, the caption carried the hashtag “#droptheplussize” which was used for discussions on the subject.
Ferrario argues that though the “plus-size” name served a purpose in the start, it is time that the term be expunged as it makes them feel pigeonholed and creates a “them-and-us” mentality.
The Aussie model has also called on the entertainment industry to do more towards promoting various body types as against the preference for the slender and tall body type which has been sold to the world as the ideal female body type. Ferrario says that doing away with the label would not only normalize curvier body types but will also boost the self-image of bigger women which will, in turn, encourage them to get into the modeling industry.
Stefania Ferrario is signed to Models 1, an agency that uses “curve” rather than “plus-size” to describe bigger-sized women. Curve, she says, doesn’t carry stigma like “plus-size” as it has been a years-long celebrated word, thus making it a more suitable description.
6 Quick Facts About the Australian Model
1. Stefania Ferrario identifies as bisexual.
2. She is trilingual – speaking the English, French and Italian languages.
3. She stands at a height of 5 feet 8 inches tall. Her body measurements are 39-28-40 (inches). Her natural hair color is brown while her natural eye color is light hazel.
4. She runs a self-titled You-Tube channel where she posts about modeling, fitness, health and everything in between.
5. She has a younger sister called Zoe whose photo she posted to her gram for the first time in April 2016.
6. At the 2017 Melbourne Fashion Week, Ferrario was one of only four women whose faces were used.