Local woman becomes successful plus-size model, hopes to inspire - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local woman becomes successful plus-size model, hopes to inspire others

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A local woman finding success as a model is on a mission to inspire girls across the nation.

Drive down Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, and you'll see Sauk City native Sydney Ness on a billboard. The young women in your life might know her too if they shop online. Ness is a successful commercial model who has campaigns with Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and Beyond Yoga.

When Ness first went for it by moving to New York, then Los Angeles, she had to get side jobs to supplement her income. But she had trouble even getting a job stocking shoes at a shoe store. Now, she's on that store's walls as a model.

She wants other young people, especially ones from small towns, to see what big achievements they can have if they go with their gut. “Just always follow what you really, really think you should be doing and listen to yourself and your heart no matter what anybody else tells you to do, because I feel like that's really important,” says Ness. “If I listened to everyone else around me, I would not have been moving to LA.”

Ness is actually a plus-size model, and big part of her motivation is setting an example for young girls. “It happens to everyone, that they're so fixated on a size,” says Ness. “Growing up, my friends, they were always like a 3, 1 5... and I was always like a 7,9. I just... I felt like I didn't fit in.” She hopes girls different body types will see her success and feel validated. “I feel like I actually have a voice to help people and realize that they don't have to conform."

Ness, who wears a size 12-14, says she's proud to be part of the body-positive movement happening right now. She hopes young girls across the country, and here in her home state, can put their health above the number on the tag in their jeans.

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