Iskra Lawrence sought to get her followers' "attention" after posting a sizzling bikini photo to Instagram -- but not for the usual reason. The body positive model, who boasts over 4.5 million followers on the social media platform, hoped to spread the message about human rights abuse in the Sudan.
The British-born beauty was first signed as a model at the age of 13, per Business Insider. However, she was dropped by her agency three years later after her hips grew to be "too big" for the notoriously waifish beauty standards of the industry. Nonetheless, Iskra remained undeterred, and continued to send out her portfolio. She eventually caught the eye of American Eagle intimates label Aerie, who invited her to be one of the faces of their line.
The campaign, called #AerieReal as it highlighted the variety of "real" women's bodies, was a huge success, and sales soon outpaced those of rival behemoth Victoria's Secret. Other companies that Iskra works with include L'Oreal and lingerie line Adore Me.
In Iskra's latest bikini shot, she stuns while sitting on a chair in a pink and black striped bikini. Though it is difficult to see her bikini bottoms because of her sitting position, she manages to show them off a little by playfully tugging at the sides. Her hair is natural and windblown, and she completes the look with a simple gold necklace and bracelet, in addition to yellow sunglasses.
The picture was doubly gorgeous because of the setting, which included vibrant magenta flowers lining a rustic white wall.In her caption, Iskra showcased her activism chops by referencing the human rights abuse occurring in Sudan. She had previously posted a picture on Instagram of a simple blue square as part of a social media strategy to bring attention to the issue. As mentioned in her comment, Iskra also changed her profile picture to the same blue shade.
Sudan is in the midst of national upheaval after President Omar al-Bashir, who had held the position for 30 years, was deposed in April following a military coup. Bashir was known for his human rights abuse, and the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor issued a warrant for his arrest in 2009 related to charges of genocide in Darfur, per CNN.
However, his replacement, Sudanese defense minister, Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, has instilled military rule instead of democracy, causing massive country-wide protests. Earlier this month, paramilitary groups opened fire on a pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum, killing almost 120 people. Other violence continues, which is why Iskra is hoping to bring awareness to the issue.