About Katie Willcox
Katie H. Willcox is the founder and CEO of Natural Model Management and Healthy is the New Skinny. Using her 15 years of experience in the modeling industry as a curve model, Willcox strives to change the game of self-love by approaching the topic of body image from an intellectual viewpoint vs. an irrational and emotional one. By breaking down the "skinny" beauty ideal and exposing its origins, agenda, and harmful effect it is having on society, Katie empowers people to choose their health over the beauty ideal implemented by the media, and provides the tools needed to create lasting change.
Small Town Girl
Katie grew up in Casper Wyoming and moved to Spokane Washington her sophomore year of high school. Katie played competitive volleyball and basketball starting in the 6th grade and was scouted for plus size modeling during her junior year of high school while traveling for a volleyball tournament. After booking her first modeling job from her first polaroid-photo taken at the modeling agency, Katie moved to New York City to pursue her modeling career and attend The School of Visual Arts for painting and drawing. In 2004 Katie met her husband Bradford at a Christmas party while working a modeling job in Los Angeles and the rest is history. Bradford and Katie have been together for 15 years and have worked hand in hand to build Natural Model Management, Healthy is the new skinny, and the loving relationship and family they always dreamed of having.
I have something to say about the culture we live in and the world of false advertising that has hijacked our self-image, health, happiness, beauty, and value; leaving our souls starving for purpose. In today's society, we live in a culture that teaches girls and women that our value comes from our bodies and that we must keep those bodies small. The powerful influence of social media has pathed the way for young women to monetize and profit from their bodies and sexuality, what I like to call, "The sexualization of self-love" further perpetuating the belief that a woman's value depends solely on how desirable her body is to others. The constant need for self-esteem and validation in the form of likes and followers is subconsciously driving women to attain physical perfection instead of connecting to their greater purpose for this life. I believe that women are like lamps. We naturally are more connected to our emotions and a feeling of love and goodness that we can call the "source." When we are plugged into the "source" of love, we are able to shine light and bring a much needed beauty to this world. But, if we are solely focused on making sure we have a skinny lamp pole, and our lamp shade has expensive crystals with perfect embellishments and we aren't plugged into that source, we can't be used or contribute to the world in a meaningful way. We can't shine our light, furthering our self-loathing, and feelings of emptiness. I have over 15 years of experience in the modeling industry and in that time, I have learned some important truths about beauty, health, and the difference between living a life that looks good on the surface vs. one that feels good in your soul. No matter how beautiful a woman is, to be reduced to just a body or a "pretty face" is the opposite of empowerment. It is time we start this much-needed conversation and move boldly in the direction of authenticity and honesty, even if it challanges people and makes them uncomfortable; it is worth it.
Words cannot describe the amount of love I have for my daughter. I look at her and see nothing but a shining light of love and goodness that I want nothing more than to protect forever. People often ask me, how do you plan to teach your daughter about body-image and self-love? I always laugh because they have it backward! Each day True teaches me about joy, happiness, and authentic self-love. I have come to realize that self-love is natural to who we are and self-loathing is a learned behavior. We don't have to learn how to love ourselves.... we know how. Our task now is to challenge the culture that benefits from our self-loathing.
A journey home to myself
Before I started a blog, social movement, or gave presentations at schools about developing a positive sense of self, I struggled to understand my personal experience and story. Being a visual person, the best way for me to express myself was making this video. As I started to put this story together eight years ago in iMovie, I found myself in tears. The process of telling my story was incredibly therapeutic for me and reconnecting with the child within reminded me that no matter how I may change physically over the years, I am always me. And the amount of value society grants me based on my physical beauty has no power over the amount of value I allow myself.