Laura Vudé is a 25-year-old Australian artist, photographer and plus size model. We chatted to her about being a body positive advocate, her style inspirations and the tattoos on her body…
How did you get into modelling? I was photographing people and realising my selfies were killer and wanted to have people take my photo because I’m super vain. I’m only half joking. Then people on my tumblr started to respond to them, so I started collaborating with Melbourne based designers like Lunasea Creations last year and realized that it made me feel so positive and like I was doing something worthwhile so I continued from there. It also helped being surrounded by beautifully creative folk.
Do you have any tips for readers for loving themselves? Or not giving a crap about what others think? I get comments most days which are so kind coming from women who are so happy to see a fat beautiful person (because yes, we exist.) and for so long I felt the same way. Try and surround yourself with people who make you feel on top of the world. Who don’t put you down and who honestly make you believe you are worthy of love, kindness and push you to not only better yourself but help you strive for what you are after. I am so, so fortunate to have such an incredible network of close friends who are as body positive and are all differing sizes and willing to talk about it.
Photo: Michael Brock
How have you become body confident? Honestly through taking a lot of selfies. I used to do a lot of self portraiture back in 2009 when I suppose I started to really feel beautiful and I really liked my eyes. Then a few years later once iPhones were a thing, I found myself taking more and more images. I started taking pictures of myself in lingerie because I hadn’t seen anyone who looked like me in lingerie anywhere. The internet responded well and was mostly women responding to them and it felt like something special. The body positive movement on tumblr really helped me become more confident as well, just seeing other plus size women flaunting their beautiful selves was very inspiring.
What does plus size mean to you? Do you consider yourself plus size? I do consider myself plus size, curvy, fat, whatever you want to call me I’m fine with. It took a lot of time but when you break it down they are just describing words and it’s the inflection the person uses, is really how it will always be taken.
Photo: Lucy Dickinson for 35mmstyle
How would you describe your style? 50% mesh, 20% lingerie goddess, 25% pastel princess, 5% goth.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Sounds super cliche but I’m inspired by my friends and the queer community. Im inspired by femmes wearing pastel lipstick and outrageously high platforms. I’m in love with colour and will usually look to be one of the more colourful folks in the room.
Can you tell us about your tattoos? Okay I’ll go feet, up: On my ankle I have “me” in a heart to remind myself that I’m the best by my friend Kyle. On my left calf I have an avocado and avocado tree surrounded by mountains because my favourite thing is avos. Which was a stick and poke done by Grant.
My right thigh has a pin up named Audrey, who isnt actually based on Twin Peaks Audrey but it kinda just turned out that way. I’m pretty into it. By Kat Weir at Fox Body Art in Collingwood, Melbourne. My left thigh has a pink jacket with the words “it’s like the rules of feminism” written around it- a Mean Girls quote. Mean Girls was important for me as a teen, which was one by someone at Third Eye Tattoo in Carlton, Melbourne but to be honest was a bit of a jerk who almost mispelt feminism on my body. What an ass.
Above that I have another new pin up who’s still in the very beginning stages. Chris drew me a chubby witch and I had to have her. Whilst I was in New York I got a beautiful fern by my friend Moritz and it’s one of my favourites. Keeping New York close to my heart.
Which was your first? Do you still love it? My first professional tattoo was my pin up, done at Fox Body Art in Collingwood Melbourne by Kat Weir. She’s a super talented, sweet babe and I’m so happy with how my pin up turned out. My first tattoo ever was a home job by a friend of a friend. I had just moved out of home and was feeling super free and felt like having femme written on my body was very important for my own identity. Still is.
I love all of my tattoos. I love my body. Even if I end up disliking some at some point I’ll remember the time when I got them and that’s part of the great thing about tattoos. They show a significant or not so significant decision in your life. It’s a beautiful mark.
Do you have any tattoo plans? Not too many because I somehow have gotten four tattoos in the past month! I do want to get a cute girl power tattoo at some point though, something really simple with basic line work.
Photo: Michael Brock