Lori Harvey recalls body insecurities at the beginning of modeling career: 'I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a certain size'

·3-min read
Lori Harvey opens up about insecurities and facing negativity online. (Photo: Getty Images)
Lori Harvey opens up about insecurities and facing negativity online. (Photo: Getty Images)

Lori Harvey made her way into the spotlight at 20 years old after making her runway modeling debut for Dolce and Gabbana in 2017. In the five years since, the stepdaughter of Steve Harvey has worked to pave her own path in Hollywood, as she built a resume and social media presence through her work as a model. But the pressure has admittedly been a lot to handle.

"When I was younger, I really paid attention to what people thought about me and how people thought my body looked," she told PopSugar, reflecting on the insecurity that she faced in the beginning of her public career. "When I started modeling, I felt like I had to get super skinny because I wasn't tall. I'm naturally more curvy, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a certain size and look a certain way. It took such a toll on me mentally."

While Harvey seems fit for the incredible level of celebrity that she has, the young woman told the publication that being in the spotlight wasn't always her plan. In fact, she was training to be a competitive equestrian before suffering a back injury at 18, which forced her to quit the sport.

"That was a life-shattering moment for me," Harvey said. "I had this plan in my mind for so long that this is going to be my life; this is going to be my career. I felt a little lost trying to figure out, 'OK, what am I going to do now?'"

She went on to college, but quickly realized that she "felt a little out of place." Even as she pivoted to become an influencer and model, Harvey wasn't sure of what her ultimate career aspirations would be.

"There's the feeling like, 'I have to be successful because my dad is this successful giant,' and of course wanting to impress your parents and make them proud," she explained. "Then there's the societal pressures of social media: Everything has to be perfect. There are times I've gotten insecure or you start comparing yourself to other people. You see what they're doing on social media, and you're like, 'Oh my god, I'm not doing enough.'"

Even today, social media and living a public life can be burdensome for the 25-year-old. "It can be a breeding ground for negativity — it can get really toxic and just take a toll on people's mental health," Harvey said. "I had to start prioritizing my mental health as I got older with things that were affecting me negatively."

Luckily, a budding relationship with actor Michael B. Jordan has provided Harvey with a distraction from the negativity.

"Mike doesn't know a ton about skin care — everything he's learned, he learned when we got together. He used to just wash his face with a warm rag and walk out the door, and it would make me cringe," she joked of her boyfriend.

But even more impressive than upping Jordan's skincare routine was the model's launch of her own skincare line called SKN by LH. It's even given Harvey some clarity about the real impact she can make.

"There aren't a lot of big skin care brands that are headed up by or have been founded by Black people or, specifically, Black women, so I wanted to add to that list," Harvey said. "When the next generation is coming up and there's that little brown girl who wants to get into skin care or start her own company, she can see me and be like, 'I can do it, too.'"

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