An Edmonton woman is proving that you don’t have to be a size zero to be beautiful.

Chantelle Thompson, 23, will board a plane bound for Toronto next week, to find out if she’s been selected as the winner in Canada’s Plus Size Model Search.

The barista was recently selected to be in the top 10 for the contest, sponsored by plus size retailers, Penningtons, Addition Elle, MXM, and LouLou Magazine.

She bashfully admitted that before entering, she’d never considered modelling before.

“I never really thought it was a possibility for me,” she said. “This is something that hasn’t been put in the spotlight before by society.”

Thompson surpassed thousands for the spot. The five-foot-nine, size-18 blond said that though she spent much of her life ashamed of her body shape, she’s never felt more alive.

“I’m not perfect. I’m not a size zero, or even a two, or a four. I’m a bigger person, and I’m happy with myself,” she said. “One day I decided that I feel great and embrace myself, and show people that they can be confident as well.”

If chosen, Thompson will receive a one-year modelling contract.

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