Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have been associated as a model for “Models of Diversity” – a company that campaign for more diversity within the modelling industry. Tell us more about this endeavor of your?
Ms. Katie Knowles: Models of Diversity has opened my eyes to modelling. They welcomed me with open arms as a disabled model and got me involved in walking the catwalk for the Ideal Home Show and various photoshoots for charities and promotion.
Most recently a shoot for our tour we are embarking on in the UK to promote diversity in the fashion and media industry. Disabled people aren’t represented in shops for example and we want to make that change, we have a petition to take to parliament and have MP backing. I am very grateful to be one of the four women on the tour as this is very important to me. Until I got ill I had no idea about the lack of diversity in this industry I really am shocked and I want to be part of this change. Angel Sinclair the founder and the other members of MOD have supported me in everything I have done, they are trying to push me further and support whatever is next on my agenda. Having this support makes things I approach feel a little easier knowing that regardless I have things I can still achieve.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Modelling is all about bold photo shoots. How you are so body confident and advice to your compatriots?
Ms. Katie Knowles: Funnily enough I wasn’t body confident when I was younger after I couldn’t take part in sports as I gained a lot of weight. Until I joined Weight Watchers and lost the weight in a healthy way, with the small shoots I began to embrace my body scars and faults a like. I began to love my body instead of hating it like I had for so long, I had felt betrayed by my body. Now however I felt the best I had in a long time and I chose to go with it and use it.
The first photoshoot I did involved a headshot and just down to my shoulders, glitter and me smiling, my hair was up with a headpiece and I had a strapless bra on. Now I knew that they would get a better picture if I covered my chest with my arms, so I whipped the bra off and began to pose. I felt truly beautiful, I was stripped back and it was a moment I won’t forget, it was so empowering. I love the big bold crazy shoots, like the one I shot with Rebecca Raistrick where I had a tarantula on my face. I was not phased and enjoyed every moment with ‘Stitch’ the spider, I like to try new things and I don’t show fear. I believe I’ve now got confidence inside and out and that comes across in pictures thankfully. My advice is be yourself, act natural and enjoy it. Think positively, these things don’t happen all the time and most importantly smile and love the skin you are in.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: What you wish to say about the website Womenfitness.net and message for its visitors?
Ms. Katie Knowles: Womenfitness.net is a website I was extremely keen on getting involved in. Fitness and sports are still a massive part of my life as are keeping healthy and looking after yourself. I had to totally re evaluate and re adapt my life after I got ill and health and fitness are something that apart from being essential to me I am passionate about. Even if I can’t physically takes part I can still watch, I am so so so excited to be watching the rugby world cup in September at the stadium. I want women and girls to know that even if you have a setback you MUST pick yourself back up. Disability can stop your life but not for me, I used it to my advantage and got my life started. Illness or not looking after yourself and keeping yourself well is so important be it changing something in your diet or trying a new shampoo, just do it! what are you waiting for?!
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Women Fitness Team thanks Katie Knowles for giving her valuable time for this interview and quenching the thirst of her fans to know more about her and made this interview happen.
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