Irish beauty queen Ciara Whelan is calling on the fashion industry to stop putting unrealistic expectations on young girls about their bodies.
Whelan is a winner of the prestigious Miss Dublin beauty pageant so she knows first-hand what a judgemental industry it can be.
She is calling on girls to be proud of themselves and their natural appearance, rather than use software such as photoshop to distort their bodies.
Whelan is a full supporter of the #nofilter campaign on social media.
She spoke to the Irish Mirror about the campaign, saying: “I know in this industry, we look at girls’ bodies and we’re constantly comparing.
“The shots of me in my bikinis or swimsuits on Instagram are not edited to make me look any slimmer.
“It needs to be that you promote your body as is without these unrealistic expectations, for young girls to look up to.
“I could wake up in the morning and my stomach can be really flat and I’ll be delighted.
“Then I have a cup of tea and I’ll be bloated.”
Whelan is working towards being a personal trainer in the future and is a huge believer in self-confidence and positive body image.
She explained: “It’s so important to show, you don’t have ripped abs and toned arms to be beautiful it comes from within as well as without.
“I was bullied both in primary and secondary school, so I was always quite an anxious person from being bullied.
“But the main thing is I’m quite a worrier, so now when I have an off day, I know my coping mechanisms.
“I still have off days but I know how to deal with them better.
“With Miss Ireland and my platform, I hope I can help people.”
She has created her own ‘beauty with a purpose’ mission to promote inner beauty to her social media followers.
Whelan said: “On my Instagram I promote a no filter so I use my Instagram to show everyone who follows me that you don’t need filters and beauty comes from within.
“Having that campaign really pushed me and built my confidence.
“We did the no makeup challenge to raise money for the charity Variety, at the time I was bricking myself, I had never gone onto my social media with no makeup on.
“From there I really wanted to show younger girls that you don’t need the pressure to look a certain way on social media.”