Culpo thinks greater diversity in the industry helps every model, regardless of size

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Count Olivia Culpo as a fan of the trend towards greater size diversity in modeling.

“I personally love it. I think that the more people own themselves and what makes them different, the more beautiful people can become, as clich as that sounds,” the model and former Miss Universe tells PEOPLE at an event for Lord & Taylor.

Culpo thinks the movement helps all women embrace their bodies.

“You really do have to take what you’re given and make the most of it,” she says. “Everyone has the opportunity to be great, it’s just whether or not they embrace what they have. If they’re a little bigger than they should go with that, if they really petite they should go with that.”

“I think it’s a really exciting time. I think it’s going to give people the courage to own what they were born with.”

And she credits models and their fans on Instagram and other social media platforms for getting it going.

“I don’t think there’s one way to [create diversity],” Culpo says. “I think it’s just sharing and starting conversation and one of those ways is through social media. It’s really helped women of all different sizes come into their own skin and sharing their different looks with people.”

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Culpo, who split from Nick Jonas in June after two years together, prefers to keep any rumored relationships to herself.

“I like to think of [the rumors] as just something that you can’t take too seriously because a lot of the stuff you do read, even about other people, you know that it’s not true,” she says.

“For things like relationships, from what I’ve grown to learn, the more you protect it and really make it a coveted personal thing and not share it with everyone – the more you can allow it to be personal – the more chance you have of it actually being real and special.”