Finding My Inner Fashionista: Rediscovering Myself in Fashion and Body Acceptance11:57 AM
As someone who is in the plus size fashion industry, I have to admit that it has been a challenge to truly be myself fashion-wise. I say this, because this industry can be intimidating if you are not ready for it and it's so easy to feel inadequate and compare yourself to other bloggers and people in the industry. You have to have a thick skin and be confident in what you do. Not many will admit this but I have no problem going there because like I have said many times, my main focus is always to keep it real with myself and others.
|Blazer: Lane Bryant, Top: Evans|
Jeans: Avenue, Shoes: Payless
Now with my job (Blog Editor for The PLUS Model Magazine blog), I am mostly behind the scenes and rarely seen. I'm a writer and most times, writers are people who create wonderful stories and are mostly known by their name being shown as the author of an article or piece and a small avatar where only your head is shown. And sometimes, that's not a bad thing, lol.
But when I am seen at events, I tend to freak out because I just don't know what to wear. And that throws me off because I feel like I can't wear what I want to wear because my style is not considered on the level of a "fashionista".
Most in the industry have a stereotypical view on what a fashionista is and there are many who fit this image so this stereotype is accepted with no question. And let's not get started on the fact that bloggers that are above a size 24 are a minority and rarely seen in major campaigns in magazines, retailer websites and etc. So here I am, a size 26 and I don't walk around looking flawless, wearing crop tops and mini skirts, carrying a Chanel bag and having someone professionally take my pictures daily. I don't have a personal hairstylist or makeup artist either.
|Dress: Torrid, Cardi: Lane Bryant, |
Boots: OneStopPlus, Leggings: Eloquii,
I happen to love sneakers, especially high tops. retro ones, girly ones and printed ones. I'm not a heels girl at all. I love to wear jeans when I can find a pair that actually fits. I love graphic tees, cardigans, leopard print, boots, moto jackets...hell, any jacket. I just love jackets. I love statement coats (when I can find them in my size). I love exposed zippers, crazy prints, long tunics and crossbody bags. I hate feeling uncomfortable and bulky. I'm a traveler and like to be able to glide around the world without too much baggage. I don't like wearing necklaces too much but I love Betsey Johnson earrings, pearls, hoop earrings and silver bangle bracelets. I love dresses especially print ones. I love to dress up sometimes and be very girly but prefer to be dressed casually with an edge on a daily basis. And I don't see anyone my size that dresses like me out there in the industry. I used to think that was a bad thing but now, not so much.
|Maxi dress: Ashley Stewart|
I don't aspire to fit someone else's idea of what a fashionista is. I aspire to break the rules and be me, which means being my own version of a fashionista. I believe we all are fashionistas in our own right - if you know your style and live it/breathe it, you are a fashionista. Fashion is about expressing yourself with your style. It's about making a statement about who you are with what you wear. It's another way for us to have our voices heard.
|Dress, Leggings & |
Blazer: Fashion to Figure
My days of feeling inadequate are over. I used to feel some kind of way of always being overlooked in this industry because of my size and my style. But, a dear friend said to me once, "You're here because you're meant to be here." And I tell myself that every time I walk into a room or an event. Not everyone will like me and believe me, the blogger world can be clique-ish but I don't need to be a part of a clique nor do I need to try hard to be accepted. I'm here because I am meant to be here.
I may not get chosen to be in a campaign alongside other bloggers, I may not get invited to every event and I may not be as visible as others in this industry. It is what it is. But what counts is that I am comfortable with who I am and am embracing my style, despite being told by the masses that my style is not fashionable. No one's opinion matters except for my own.
And I have learned that even when you think no one notices you, someone is always watching. :-)
|"Thick Chick" necklace: Candy Strike (one of the few necklaces I love), |
Jacket and dress: OneStopPlus