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.
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Got your attention with my pretty bikini pic? OK wicked now if you could just go read my last post???? - yup the one you missed because of the damn algorithm - it’s about Sudan. Yup, I like to do that... not just post my cute model pics but actually post about the ???? I care about and that we all need to be sharing because the media would rather perpetuate us being trapped in a world where we are more worried about our bodies and insecurities than helping oppressed, marginalised humans fighting for their rights, freedom and lives. #youcandomorethanpostaprettypicture #useyourprivilege #useyourplatform #thirsttrappin #foracause #realpeopleslivesaremoreimportantthanyourfollowercount
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.
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I’ve changed my profile picture and you can screenshot this too and support the people of Sudan who are in the midst of horrific human rights injustices, and massacres of innocent people and children. To understand more search the #sudanuprising and I will post a link in my insta stories to a go fund me for medical aid. DONT FORGET WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW! EVEN IF THEY TRY TO CREATE A MEDIA BLACKOUT WE HAVE OUR OWN MEDIA EMPIRES RIGHT HERE IN THESE SQUARES! GO FORTH AND USE YOUR POWER We can be a voice for the silenced, and we can use our platforms and privilege to raise awareness for what doesn’t get enough media coverage and support. Because yes talking about how damaging detox teas are is important but so is raising awareness for our sisters and brothers all over the world in need of our help. Sending prayers and love to the people of Sudan who are terrified for their rights and lives which is something I’m privileged to not have to experience❤️ . #thisismoreimportantthanyourfolllwercount
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.