Discover Benelux, Issue 27, March 2016

Page 33

Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Danielle van Grondelle

she feels that the industry is still clinging onto set patterns: “Most designers, to say it in a slightly disrespectful way, want coat racks on the runway to distract the least from the clothes. They want to portray an image with the slimmest models of the straight size.” Looking forward, Van Grondelle would like to see much more diversity. She hopes for a future where size matters less and in which designers will start sampling in two sizes. “Often, when I do a high-end editorial – which means it will be in a really nice magazine, such as a Cosmopolitan, Vogue or Avant Garde – then I have to squeeze into a sample size zero. So the Chanel jacket I’d be wearing is size 34. That’s why we often wear a bathing suit or something that stretches, because the skirt will never fit.”

Being your natural self Proudly counting herself among the very top of plus-size modelling, Van Grondelle is part of a select group of just 20 to 30 curvy models. “We work nearly every day.

So you work more than a straight-size model, which sounds strange to many people. Not enough people know they can reach the very top with this size.”

too many things I can’t do. I can have a nice dessert and I can eat my grandma’s cooking,” she says and adds: “Which is fantastic because I love good food!”

Despite having found success in the industry, Van Grondelle admits that modelling remains a bizarre world where you are constantly judged on your looks and your size. “If I have a period in which I am a little stressed and I lose a bit of weight, my agent will literally call me and say ‘Daan, maybe it’s time to eat a cake again’. So the modelling world is just strange. You are booked for your centimetres, so it is important to maintain those. If a customer books me, they want to see me in a size 42 not size 40.”

Living in the moment

Luckily for Van Grondelle, that size works perfectly for her body. The days of having to diet and starve herself are very much in the past. She is indeed very grateful for that, as she would probably struggle to cope with the stresses of the many flights and long days if she could not eat normally. “For me, this is natural, so there aren’t

She believes that many of her peers in the industry feel the same way. “Maybe this is why there is less hatred and envy because everyone is so happy. Many curvy models started as a straight-size model because a few years ago it hardly even existed. So we all more or less live the same story,” she says For the next five years, Van Grondelle is keen to keep on doing as many exciting assignments as possible and breaking more barriers. Living by the motto ‘don’t be your own worst critic and enjoy the moment’, Van Grondelle’s confidence and outlook on life is certainly inspirational. “I think we would all be a lot happier if we are a little less critical of ourselves,” she says and concludes: “Be the best version of yourself and be happy with that, whatever that may be.” Issue 27 | March 2016 | 33