Alexia Eleni: Meet the model advocating for body positivity in Australia

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By Martina Simos

South Australian plus-size model, Alexia Eleni, has a message to all her 6,000 Instagram followers and it’s quite simple – enjoy life.

Alexia has both Greek and Serbian heritage. Her mother was born to a Serbian father and Greek mother who had met in Peterborough – a town in the mid-north of SA.

The 27-year-old credits her yiayia Eleni for embracing everything in life, including her curves.

Alexia with her yiayia. Photo supplied.

“We grew up in a Greek household and my Serbian pappou – mum’s dad – adopted the Greek culture. He learned to speak Greek,” Alexia tells The Greek Herald.

“I’m proud of everything Greek and being really close to my [Greek] yiayia. My yiayia Eleni is so full of life, even if she is 83.”

Confidence to get to where she is today wasn’t an easy path for Alexia, who as a teen struggled to accept her weight. She says she became ‘obsessed with scales’ and was into ‘diet culture.’

“I would put a lot of ownership on the number that was on the scales and that really messed with my head,” she says. 

“It messed with my mental health and it messed how I looked at my body… I was obsessed with the scales and going to the gym. I’ve never been a smaller normal size, if you will.

“It was really difficult to try and be nice to myself.”

Alexia says she also struggled with body dysmorphia – a mental health condition where a person can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their appearance.

“I would look a certain way [after losing weight] but then in the mirror, I would see something different,” she says.

“I was probably a size 10 then and that was a result of me being completely miserable.”

These days, Alexia juggles a busy life as a director of her creative marketing agency Lexicon Creative and as a plus-size model.  

As plus-size models are being used more and more to promote healthy body image, it’s not surprising that a study by Florida State University researchers found women are more likely to remember an average or a plus-size model in the media.

Alexia says that as a micro-influencer it’s important for women and men to take life a little less seriously and not focus on what others think.

Her social media posts reflect a philosophy and attitude in how she likes to live life to its fullest.

“The rise of the micro-influencer is taking off because they have a more concentrated influence style on their followers,” she concludes.

“I just promote who I am, filter or no filter, and I keep it real because we can get caught up. Everyone is a size they want to be.”

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