Kate Upton has been named the 2013 "Model of the Year" and will be honored at the 10th Annual Style Awards in New York Sept. 4. The star-studded event, which will hosted by Nicole Richie, will officially kick off New York Fashion Week.
Upton's selection as "Model of the Year" is noteworthy because the buxom blonde has been credited with promoting a healthy body image for her refusal to starve herself like other models.
Despite making the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue two years in a row, the 5-foot-10 bombshell has been widely criticized for being too meaty to be a supermodel.
Kate, who has been been called "lardy, fat pig" and a tacky-looking bimbo, is shocked that her weight is such a hot topic, but has answered the criticism by proclaiming she embraces her body just as it is.
“It’s kind of funny to think, 'Oh wow, the news is talking about whether I’m fat or not," the 21-year-old told Vogue. “It was hard at first. You sit there and you’re like, ‘Is something wrong with me?’ I can work out and I can stay healthy, but I can’t change some things. I really just live my life. I love my body."
Upton's laid-back attitude is a stark contrast to the harrowing reality of rampant eating disorders among top models, especially those walking the runway at Fashion Week.
The fashion industry has recently come under fire after reports surfaced that runway models routinely starve themselves, chain-smoke, and abuse laxatives and diet pills to achieve the size-zero physiques that are the holy grail in high fashion.
While the fashion industry has been making an attempt to promote a healthier body image by banning the use of anorexic models, insiders say the aesthetic ideal of the size-zero model will always be in vogue.