Plus-size model Lizzie Miller backstage at the OneStopPlus.com Spring 2011 fashion show. Photo: Richie Buxo / Splash News
Lizzi Miller wasn't looking to be famous. Yet almost one year after making headlines for baring all -- including her fleshy midsection -- in Glamour magazine last November, Miller has become both an in-demand model and a role model.
Yet despite her recent triumphs, Miller admits that she struggled with her weight and body image growing up.
"Obesity runs in my family," she tells the UK newspaper. "I've never been a thin girl and I didn't eat healthily. Every day after school, I would get a bag of Doritos and three Ferrero Rocher chocolates. I ate a lot of cheeseburgers and not enough vegetables"
"One guy e-mailed me a picture in which he'd drawn purple stretch marks all over it," she recalls.
"He also told me that when I wore shorts, people would have to look away in disgust because my legs were so ugly. When I sprained my ankle, he told me another guy had said it was because I was too fat to support myself."
Lizzie Miller in her famous nude Glamour photo shoot. Photo courtesy of Glamour magazine
The bullying left her fearful of showing her legs in public for years. "If guys looked at me in the street, I'd never think they were checking me out," Miller admits. "I'd assume they were looking at how fat my legs were."
Tired of being known as "the fat girl," Miller joined Weight Watchers and got a different kind of attention as she peeled off the pounds.
"People came up to me all the time to ask if I was a model," says Miller, who went on a casting call and got signed by Wilhelmina at age 13.
Since launching her career, Miller has seen many changes in the fashion industry. "When I started modeling eight years ago, plus-size clothes were shapeless potato sacks," she tells the Daily Mail.
"Designers were trying to hide the figure because they didn't know what to do with it. Now, it is better tailored."
While Miller believes the industry still has a long way to go before plus-size models are simply referred to as just "models," she is happy that her Glamour magazine bare-all has helped women -- including herself -- feel more comfortable in their own skin.
"My weight has been an issue I've struggled with all my life," she says, "but the response I got made me realize other people out there felt like me."