Chelsea Bonner

Chelsea Bonner makes her goal sound really quite simple – to change the perception of beauty in the fashion and entertainment industry around the world.

An entrepreneur who started her own modelling agency at 28, Chelsea is a champion for body positivity, a keynote speaker and author. She’s been labelled a disruptor for daring to shake up the fashion industry and challenge the conventions on what we consider beautiful.

Chelsea started her career in fashion as a teenager, working as a junior agent. She went on to work at one of Melbourne’s top modelling agencies, later managing agencies in Melbourne and Sydney, and also modelled plus size fashion. She loved the creativity, the fashion, the buzz of the industry, but she was shocked to realise that the industry she loved was having devastating effects.

More and more, Chelsea witnessed models, including friends and family, struggle through eating disorders and drug abuse trying to reach a size that just wasn’t achievable. Horrified at her unwitting role in this cycle, she knew the industry needed to change. And she wanted to be the one to change it.

Bella Management was born in 2002 in Chelsea’s spare room. There was no fancy office, no glossy prints in hallways. just wilful determination to be the change she wanted to see in the world. The agency is now known all over the world with Bella models appearing on ‘World First’ covers and main fashion editorials in publications including Sports Illustrated, Vogue and Elle.

A fierce advocate for body positivity, she regularly delivers keynote speeches to school groups discussing the importance of healthy and realistic body image and self-esteem. She has also been engaged by businesses including the Commonwealth Bank, Lifeline and the Sydney Retail Festival.

Her first book Body Image Warrior – part memoir, part manifesto – was released in 2019.