Model Georgia Gibbs innocuously shared a photo of a night out with best friend and fellow model Kate Wasley on Jan. 21, not expecting much of a reaction. So the pair was shocked when people accused Gibbs of photoshopping the image, or using Wasley to make herself look skinnier.
“It was eye opening how people reacted, being very quick to call the image ‘photoshopped’ instead of looking at it for what it was — two best friends having fun on a night out,” Gibbs, 23, tells PEOPLE.
“After reading comments and questions from people I know, one of the most common was ‘Don’t you ever feel self-conscious being the bigger one?’ We want to change society’s beauty standards that smaller is better, when in reality neither is better than the other,” Wasley says to PEOPLE. “We think your health and wellbeing should be the priority.”
Wasley once restricted herself to eating only 800 calories a day because people would remark that she would be prettier if she lost weight, but she says she’s much happier now at a heavier weight.
“As we are promoting health over size, I really wanted to believe that your social and emotional health is equally as important as your physical health,” she says.
“[Social media] is flooded every day with the ‘ideal,’ ‘flawless’ body,” she says. “Georgia and I are so passionate about ‘keeping it real’ that we wanted to flood people’s media feeds with a bit of diversity.”
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And the Perth, Australia-born models want to make an impact on modeling culture.
“We are hoping to change the game, not just our own modeling careers,” Wasley says. “Georgia and I hope to be advocates for women of all sizes being represented in the fashion industry together, in advertising, runway and size ranges.”