Mekayla Diehl, who ranked in the top 20 for Miss USA, became a body image role model overnight when her "normal" size 4 figure challenged conventional pageant standards. She strutted confidently down the runway in a bikini and immediately became a trending topic on Twitter. Her confidence, curves and attitude towards body image was exactly what Yummie by Heather Thomson was looking for when casting the Fall/Holiday 2014 model.
"When this story broke and I saw the video, I felt an immediate connection with Mekayla. The confidence she exuded on that runway made me proud of her. I didn't even know her but wanted to and knew that Yummie needed her. It was very clear to me that we both stand for the same things," said Heather Thomson, founder and CCO of Yummie by Heather Thomson.
Both Yummie by Heather Thomson and Mekayla are dedicated to making an impact on women, and hope to convey the importance of a healthy and confident body image.
"Yes, Yummie is technically shapewear, and there's a common misconception that shapewear is constricting and uncomfortable. But after wearing it all day and trying on almost every piece in the collection (from bras, to panties to denim!), I learned that I really can wear it every day. Yummie isn't trying to change who I am, but embrace the shape that I already have," said Diehl. "I relate to Heather, and can tell she really wants to make a difference about women and how they feel about themselves – and she puts that into her pieces at Yummie."
Diehl continued, "I got attention because I challenge the industry standard for pageantry. I am confident in my own skin, and when I walked on the stage in a swimsuit, I was really trying to let my inner beauty shine through because that is what confidence means to me. There are girls who have trouble looking in the mirror every day and I want to encourage women to find a way to feel confident at any shape or size."
The Yummie by Heather Thomson Fall/Holiday 2014 collection features Denim, Active, Bras, Panties and shapewear.