First of all do introduce yourself to our readers?
I am Claudia Floraunce Fortelka, an published international Model/ Actress and Body Positive spokesperson.
Tell us about the start of your career as an actress modeling ?
Acting and Modeling was always one of my passion, but when I came to the United States all the way from Austria at age 19, very shortly after my arrival I started to gain a lot of weight in a short amount of time due to a hormonal disease called PCOS. Knowing that hollywood would not accept my new body, I had to put my dream on hold. But all that changed 4 years ago, when I was working as an assistant for a photo shoot and when one of the models didn’t show up, I got the opportunity of a life time, to fill in. I became an internet and YouTube sensation overnight.
You are also an activist for women, girls and body image. What inspires you to do this work?
Knowing that my size was not accepted by Hollywood standards, after I got diagnosed with PCOS I decided to try every diet pill and diet to lose this weight as quickly as I could. I did not know that one of the side effects of using diet pills was that it can damage the heart tissue. I had been diagnosed with having a life threatening heart condition called Aortic Aneurysm which required open heart surgery to save my life at that time. My disease has become a learning experience and I want to show woman around the world that it’s important to love your body and that you can be successful at any size.
How has your size, or the industry’s view of your size, affected the type of projects you get to do?
Unfortunately, a lot of plus size designers choose to work with models size 18 and below. Since I am a proud size 26, it’s a constant struggle to find a designer, that is willing to work with my size. But I am determined to change that.
Have you set some goals to achieve as a model?
I want to see my beautiful curves on the cover of vogue.
Tell us about your recent work?
Currently I am working on my own Clothing line called the Claudia Floraunce Collection.
If you could choose, what three actors would you really want to work with?
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denzel Washington and Melissa McCarthy
Who are some of the women who inspire you?
Ashley Graham and Angelina Jolie
Do you think the fashion industry is moving towards a more enlightened view on body image? Last year there has been a lot of break throughs, but there is still so much work that needs to be done.
Are you active on social media? what’s the best way to follow you?
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