Meet plus sized Irish model Irena Drezi who is making waves online for stunning body positive photos

A SIZE 16 model has revealed the positive reaction to PrettyLittleThing using her unedited pics "made me cry".

Irish star Irena Drezi went viral after PrettyLittleThing shared her snap earlier this week.

The photo of Irena in a black crochet trim bikini has amassed more than 100,000 likes on social media and hundreds of comments.

Fans wrote: "Love the fact you are showing and promoting a real unedited woman" and  "More of this please".

Others gushed: "Damn she's looking so good" and "now this just made me wanna shop here… serving the thickness!!"

The 22-year-old, who moved to Ireland as an asylum seeker when she was three, told The Sun she cried after reading so many positive messages.

She said: "I was delighted when they put it up. It's surreal. 90 per cent of the comments were all positive.

"It actually made me cry. All these girls were messaging me, telling me their stories.

"They think of me and they go out in tops that are sleeveless and they don't care about showing their arms anymore.

"And it really makes me feel like I am helping someone. I know exactly what they are going through, so it is really relatable."


She explained: "I struggled a lot when I was in secondary school. I had an eating disorder for over four years.

"My body confidence was nowhere. I didn't want to leave my house. I wore baggy clothes all the time to hide my body.

"I lost a lot of weight one time, then I gained it all back. I know what it is like to be a size 8/10 and to be a size 18. Right now I am in the middle. I am a size 14/16 now.

"I try not to compare myself to the girls online a lot. That's the main thing that can ruin you. Everyone is different at the end of the day. Nobody is the same."


Irena now works full-time as a model, but she is not afraid of hard work.

She said: "I have worked long hours. I used to clean toilets in restaurants. I used to be a waitress. I used to scrub floors. I used to be a sale assistant in a retail shop.

"So I know the whole struggle of trying to make that bit of money. Where I come from, we never had loads of money. We had to work hard.

"I grew up in a refugee camp. I was in direct provision asylum seeker accomodation for two years, here in Westmeath, Irish Midlands.

"It wasn't a nice place to grow up in, but at the same time it wasn't the worst. I made so many friends.

"So many of my good memories are from back there. We always had a meal, we always had a roof over our head so we weren't complaining.

"Going from having nothing to being able to work from home now, makes me feel really happy."


If she was to emulate a career she'd love to follow in the footsteps of plus-size beauty Ashley Graham.

She said: "I really love her. She is brilliant. She really turns heads, and makes it so that young girls don't feel like they have to be stick thin to be a model."

And while the comments on her photos are overwhelmingly positive, some have been critical.

Irena explained: "People were saying: 'She's too big to be a model. Plus size models shouldn't even exist.'

"But you're always going to get that one person who is going to try and drag you down.

"Being a model, especially a plus size model, you have to be strong, and really mentally focused on trying to be positive about things.

"Small things like that can make you feel really down about everything. It did bring me down, for a minute or two, but then I said: I'll get over it because I will never see them in real life.

"If they saw me in real life they wouldn’t actually say it to my face."

And she added: "People are saying I am a real body. I don't really like that term. Everyone has a real body, regardless of your weight. If you are a size 8 or 16 you have a real body.

"People were saying I was shaming skinny girls, which is not the case at all.

"The hype about me is because plus size girls aren't used as much as skinny girls. You just don't see as much curves in campaigns."

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