A voluptuous single mum once heckled in the street for having ‘thunder thighs’ has proved that beauty comes in all sizes by winning a modelling contract.
Seana Sweeney, 31, is now the face and body of lingerie company Curvy Kate – after being whittled down from 2,000 women for their ‘Star in a Bra’ competition.
The mum-of-one who wears a bra size 30FF, said: “I can’t believe I’ve won, I’m totally shocked.
“I had some really tough competition on my hands with the other finalists – each one as beautiful and inspiring as the next.
“I’m so excited for what is ahead of me as a result of this competition.”
The size 14 receptionist was chosen from ten gorgeous finalists and said she has had to battle against the prejudice that only slim girls look great.
“I love my body but it’s been a long and painful journey,” she said.
“As a kid, I was always bigger and more awkward than my friends. I had big everything – big freckles, big lips, big bum, big hips. And I hated all of it.
“I remember walking down the street, aged 14, in my new cream Levi jeans. I thought I looked great until some guy shouted: ‘Thunder thighs.’
“I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me.”
At 23, Seana was shocked to discover she was pregnant with her son Dru, now eight.
When Dru was ten months old, Seana’s exhaustion from being a single mum landed her in hospital with acute pneumonia and septicaemia.
She said: “My body gave up. Overnight all that weight I’d been desperate to lose fell off me. I was down to under nine stone after I’d been almost 11 stone.
“But far from looking better, as I’d always imagined, I looked dreadful.
“I also realised it was stupid to fixate on my weight. What mattered was getting better and being a great mum to my little boy.”
Now, living with her partner of two years Jon Boland, 35, a car salesman, Seana is happier than ever.
She said: “John’s the best dad Dru could have wished for. And, of course, he loves me just the way I am.
“He adores my curves but quite honestly I don’t need a man’s approbation to feel great about myself. I am genuinely happy in my own skin.”
Seana won a modelling contract with Bridge Models, a trip to London to star in Curvy Kate’s latest shoot and spending money.
Curvy Kate boasts of a beautifully diverse campaign to rid the fashion industry of ‘cookie-cutter’ girls and celebrate every body shape or size.
Promising never to use professional models in their campaigns, Curvy Kate’s ‘open to all’ policy attracted 2,000 young women of all builds to apply to win a top modelling contract.
Second place in the competition went to size 16 Rebecca Savory, a 25-year-old healthcare assistant, from Norwich.
Rebecca who wears a bra size 32H said: “I’m in complete shock about getting so far in the competition because I’ve never regarded myself as gorgeous.
“It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with my looks.
“I started putting on weight from the age of seven.
“My family are big eaters and chocolate was always a reward. At school I was known as the ‘fat’ girl which was devastating.
“I lost my job as a restaurant manager, and at the same time my relationship broke down. We’d been together a year and had moved in together. I ended up in debt, with no home, no job and a broken heart.
“By the time I was 20 I weighed 15 stone. That’s when I joined Weight Watchers and managed to get down to 12 ½ stone in two years. Now I maintain that.”
Third place winner Diana Sirokai, 20, a Hungarian born nail technician was threatened with a knife because she was curvy.
Wearing a dress size 16, and a size 34G bra, she said: “When I was 16 I was walking into my school in when this girl in my class started sneering. ‘Bet you think you look great.’ I smiled back: ‘Yes, honey I know I look good.”
“I was shocked when she took out a knife, but there was no way I was changing my life.
“It made me a lot stronger and now when people stare at me in the street – which happens all the time – I tell myself it’s a positive and that they must like me.
“Men regularly stop me in the street to tell me that I’m sexy. I smile, say thank you and keep walking.”
A spokesperson for Bridge Models said: “We are thrilled to have Seana as our winner and an official Bridge girl!
“We can’t wait to get started and see what the next year has in store for her. Watch this space!”
If you want to learn more about how to get involved with plus-sized campaigns, visit curvykate.com.