|Photo from Forever Yours "Bra School". H/T ABC|
Elly Mayday is a Canadian model who, at the age of 25, is living with a rare form of ovarian cancer. A year ago, she was the star model for Forever Yours Lingerie of Vancouver. However, since her diagnosis last summer, her treatment has changed her appearance considerably and now she is... still the star model for Forever Yours Lingerie of Vancouver.
|Via Forever Yours|
Sonya Perkins, co-founder of Forever Yours Lingerie, told ABC news that she first hired Ms. Mayday for a Valentine's Day shoot in 2013. "At the time, she was a size 14 and had a nice bust and a small waist and big, full hips and behind," she said. "We wanted to represent that look."
While Ms. Perkins was initially uneasy with Ms. Mayday's determination to keep working in front of the camera, she stood by her model. And now it is paying off.
"In the lingerie industry, it's not something you do," Elly Mayday explained. "It's all about long hair and big breasts and arched backs. But it's important to show what real women look like underneath their clothes. Most people have some issue they are dealing with."
Now, both model and brand are making headlines around the world. And the Elly Mayday fanpage on Facebook has almost 84,000 followers.
On posting the Forever Yours online ad on her page, Ms. Mayday was effusive in her appreciation of the support she's receiving from the lingerie brand and its customers:
It's a wonderful thing to have such caring people to work with. They have supported me through thick and thin — literally— sickness and health and are still with me today.
As you can see this photo represents more than just a sports bra. Its represent the acceptance we all need to have for one another as well as ourselves. Thank you Sonya & Brian. Getting to know both of you has been a true blessing and you will always have a place in my heart for what you have done for me.
Over 7,000 dollars was given to me to help me pay for unexpected costs, like my needles this week that cost $1000 not covered by provincial health care. I bought a new juicer and have been able to afford to eat organically as well. just to list a few things..
$2 from every pair of underwear sold as well as in-store and online donations. What an incredible gift. I am so blessed♥
I can never thank you enough for the support.pun intendedSo, while American Eagle is getting virtual hugs and high fives for its commitment to not photoshopping its typical-looking models, elsewhere there are brands and models who are willing to show us what it really takes to do something about the fashion industry's body image problem.
Update: Apologies to Sonja Perkins for initially calling her "Jenkins." It was an error compounded from the ABC article.