30th October 2019


In recent years, the body positive movement has gained momentum as brands challenge the beauty and body standards we’ve long accepted as most desirable.


In recent years, the body positive movement has gained momentum as brands challenge the beauty and body standards we’ve long accepted as most desirable. Our aim at Riders By Lee is to always prioritise fit diversity, promote inclusivity and encourage self-acceptance. We celebrate body positivity and don’t want to talk to just one body type, we want to show a refreshing representation of different body shapes and sizes to inspire everyone to feel good in their own skin.

On a recent trip to the sunny shores of Byron Bay we had a chance to hang with model and law student, Emma Hambleton. In between the salt air, sun and all the summer denim, we chatted with Emma about modelling, musical theatre and freestyle rap, but it was her thoughts on body positive campaigns that left us wanting to know more.

As we took to the streets with our film camera, Emma sans makeup and with natural hair, we spoke about her thoughts on body image, particularly in a time when positive body image and self-confidence are such a hot-topic globally.


Describe yourself in 5 words or less?

Confident, extra, perfectionist, energetic, thinker.

What’s an interesting thing about you that most people don’t know or would never assume?

That I love singing and musical theatre.

Tell us about how you first came to be a model?

I always wanted to be an actress, but when I was 10 an agent told me I was too tall and should be a model. From then all I wanted to be was a model, and at 15 I competed in a Viviens competition and 9 years later here we are!

What is your favourite part about what you do?

I enjoy meeting new people and the diversity that comes with every job!


Tell us more about your journey as a curve model?

I left modelling when I was 19 as I had matured and gained a few dress sizes. Mentally I was quite unwell and it took me a few years to really recover! I contacted Viviens in late 2016 and they were wonderful, inviting me in and re-signing me straight away. For years, there has really been one body type represented through models and magazines, despite the fact that there are countless different body shapes and sizes.

How important is positive body image to you?

Positive body image is so important to me because I suffered from a lot of self-loathing when I was younger. There is a tendency to treat all models (straight and curve) like hangers and not people, and it can be extremely upsetting when negative things are said right to you about your hair, face and body. Previously I would take these criticisms to heart and would constantly feel terrible about myself. Now I brush them off, as I know that the person is taking out their frustrations on me about issues that don’t pertain to me. Sometimes they genuinely don’t like how you look, but you have to realise as a model it’s not your fault - they booked you, and as long as you look the same as your profile you just have to shrug it off and remember that you love yourself regardless!

Emma Hambleton in the Girlfriend Short Shorts

What do you think is the single most important thing when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally?

Honestly having someone who you can be completely open with about absolutely everything – whether it’s a partner, friend, trainer, GP or therapist. For me it’s my GP, she’s the most amazing doctor and has looked after me through thick and thin.


What motto/mantra do you live by?

Just keep swimming. Thanks Dory. Even when everything seems impossible if you just keep moving one step at a time, great things will happen.

The topic of body image & self-confidence amongst young girls is currently a hot topic globally, so if you could give 13 year old you some advice – what would that advice be?

Your body will change and that’s okay. Don’t think that being thin will mean happiness. Alcohol mostly sucks. Relax a bit more. Ride your bike as much as you can!

Emma Hambleton in the Girlfriend Shorts

AND LASTLY… Skinny leg jean or Mom jean?


Denim shorts or Denim skirts?


High rise or Mid rise?

High, high, high

Any advice for anyone when it comes to buying denim?

Try in store! If it’s a little stretchy, buy it tighter than comfortable because it will relax when you wear it. If your jeans relax too much just wash them and take your photos when you first put them on!



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