Model Kate Upton is known for her lush curves. Her figure has brought her fame, but it's also brought its share of detractors who don't believe she has a traditional model's body.
Some of those detractors have even labeled her fat.
But Upton's career has not suffered. In fact, the 20-year-old model appears on the cover of the May issue of Vogue magazine. This is Upton's first time snagging the cover of the influential high-fashion publication, and in an interview with the magazine, the two-time Sports Illustrated cover girl acknowledged that the criticism took its toll on her.
"It was hard at first," Upton told Vogue. "You sit there and you're like 'Is something wrong with me?'"
When she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated's special swimsuit issue earlier this year, she wore a bikini bottom and hooded parka that was opened to reveal much of her celebrated cleavage. Many asked if she was too fat.
Last year a blogger was lambasted when she likened the curvy model to a cow and a pig, adding that Upton had "huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition."
The fashion industry rushed to Upton's defense, swiftly condemning the blogger's harsh words.
"She's basically saying this is me, this is who I am. Take it or leave it," Cynthia Bailey, CEO of the Bailey School of Fashion, told ABC News. "But I'm going to make you take it because I'm going to make you guys love me."
Upton told Vogue that she learned to accept herself for who she is.
"The things that they're rejecting are things that I can't change," she said. "I can't change my bra size. They're natural! I can work out and I can stay healthy and motivated, but I can't change some things. I really just live my life. I love my body. It's what God gave me! I feel confident with myself, and if that inspires other women to feel confident with their bodies, great."
"Her body is the epitome of healthy-looking," said Bailey. "I mean, she's got curves. She looks like what most women look like."
Upton has also found a certain humor in the whole situation.
"It's kind of funny to think, 'Oh, wow, the news is talking about whether I'm fat or not,'" she added.
Upton also said she would like to have her own lingerie line and develop her fledgling movie career.
The Vogue issue featuring Upton on the cover hits newsstands on May 21.
- Arts & Entertainment