Our crush of the week is plus-size model, Jo-Ann van den Herik, who happens to be the cousin of super models, Gigi and Bella Hadid. Jo-Ann is the daughter of one of Yolanda Hadid’s (Gigi and Bella’s mom) siblings. Dutch-born model, Jo-Ann has accumulated a large following on Instagram and Tik Tok and has become a big influence in the world of plus-size modeling and the body positivity movement.
Jo-Ann is not afraid to be vulnerable and genuine with her followers and that is one of the many things that I admire about her! She shows the world an unfiltered side of herself by proving that pictures are usually not a true reflection of reality.
“The girl on the perfect Instagram picture doesn’t even look like the girl on the perfect Instagram picture.”
We are so much more than the “perfect” pictures, the stupid diets, the skinny tea’s, the negativity towards ourselves and our bodies.”
Jo-Ann uses her platform to share her experience as a curvy model and often speaks about topics like self-love, body positivity, fat-phobia, body image, etc. She doesn’t try to hide her true feelings, on the contrary, she shares herself going through low points and explains the reasoning behind her frustration which often stems from self-doubt and bad body-image days.
She shares her struggles with the world in hopes of helping other people going through similar situations. Being open and vulnerable when it comes to our bodies is not an easy task, and I applaud Jo-Ann for speaking her truth and being a part of a movement that encourages, embraces, and normalizes imperfections and bigger bodies.
In a world obsessed with perfection and unrealistic beauty standards, reading vulnerable posts like Jo-Ann’s make me feel hopeful and grounded. Although her captions may seem like a small act to some, I believe that they are powerful conversations starters that pave the way for people to feel connected through a shared vulnerability.
Jo-Ann is not the only person to receive horrible, degrading comments online. But you know what? You can’t let another person’s comments stop you from being the best version of yourself.
“You’ve got to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘you know what, I deserve so much more.'”