The fashion industry is shifting and changing. Although there are small steps of progress here and there, there’s still a lot to be done and plenty to be discussed!
So, I wanted my girls Jane and Laura to share their experiences and talk about feeling “too big for fashion.” Keep scrolling to read and be sure to join the discussion in the comments once you’re done!
Along with the countless and rewarding experiences I’ve had in my career and personal growth in this industry, I’ve also experienced an even amount of hardship along the way. But today, I want to share one of my personal struggles in this industry. Finding my own lane has been challenging. I am a Latina woman standing tall at 5’1 with a curvy figure; thick thighs, booty and boobs and proudly all natural! LOL. I am the “In-Between” body type. I don’t fit into a sample size and I’m not a plus size. Despite the growing body positivity movement, I still find myself feeling as if I’m not as well represented as I would like to be, I cannot relate to the thinnest of thin or the thickest of thick women out there. In addition, my style is constantly being challenged because of the way clothes fits me. A simple fitted short dress can look chic on a thin woman but put it on a body like mine, and I’m instantly hyper-sexualized. The struggle is real.
As most of you know already, cultivating a positive body image is not an easy task, particularly for women. I suppose this is due to the fact that from a young age we get reinforced and socialized to look “good”. I’m in my 30s now and along the years, I’ve learned that this incredible narrow version of what is acceptable is simply bullshit. I’ve learned to ignore the criticism on body image that comes along with this industry. And decided to carve my own path.
It’s taken me years to learn to work with what I got. Years to appreciate and embrace my female form. I’m human, so even though I’ve made large improvements in how I view my physical self, I have days where I struggle. Days like when I’m amongst A-list celebs and models during a launch event, industry party or fashion week…and find myself making unfair comparisons. Days where social media intensifies those moments for me into a negative self-body image. I am guilty of this 100%. So what do I do on those days when my confidence is being kicked in the ass?
I check myself. I acknowledge my feelings of insecurity and envy. I make the effort to check in regularly with the messages I give my body and I correct myself when I’m off track. I ask myself, is this serving me?
Feeling comfortable with your body doesn’t come overnight. Confidence comes with experience, and man, have I got plenty. So I remind myself, instead of fixating on what others look like or are doing, I turn it on myself and ask, what am I doing? What am I not doing? Instead of wanting what others have, I look at what I have, and what I need to do to be the best version of myself; mentally, spiritually and physically. 5’1, curvy physical ME. I constantly think about what’s right, true and authentic to me. And that’s when I remember, I’ve already approved of myself and I love myself. I’m choosing to love my body.
So for those of you that can relate to me, I invite you to think about the messages you are telling your body. And ask yourself the same questions. My hope is that this will help you find a baseline on where these negative thoughts are coming from, and help you on those bad days.
Personally, I would love to see more woman stand for something more than just their bodies. Like, what do you think? What do you believe in? What do you cherish? What’s your opinion? That’s what I want to know. Those are the conversations I want to see more of and have. Because then I can relate to you.
And if you know of any women out there that have a similar body to mine please share! I want to hear from all of you.
Maybe it’s the Cancer water sign in me, maybe it’s that I’m a middle child… whatever it is – I either love something deeply or don’t give two shits for it. It’s one extreme or the other. With that out in the open, lately, I’ve been feeling wayyyyyyyy too self-conscious about my body image for fashion and I know I’m not alone on this one so I’m here to talk about it.
A little backstory: I was so incomprehensibly stressed at my last job that I would work 12-14 hour days with no breaks and find comfort in food (usually tacos) and a glass of wine at night to help get me through my mild work depression. I didn’t take care of myself (inside and out) and ended up gaining weight. It was hard looking at the “new me” in the mirror and took some time to get used to my new figure.
Nowadays, I work out frequently and eat fairly healthy but am having a really hard time getting back to the size I used to be. You should also know that I would never F with: a.) dumb diets b.) juices over food c.) passing up that glass of wine and most importantly, d.) pretending to hate chocolate. Every day really is a push and pull between wanting to “look good naked” and “treating myself.” The struggle is real, fam.
Anyway, we can all agree that whether you’re scrolling through the ‘gram, flipping through fashion magazines, or driving by those billboards, all you’re being served are images of really thin models who are giving you unrealistic expectations about yourself. And as beautiful as those models are, it’s important to remember that their sole job is to work out and look good so why compare yourself to them. And I won’t even get into how poppin’ the retouching industry is. It’s so incredibly easy to feel unworthy or think that fashion frowns on those of us who are not a sample size 2.
As long as you’re healthy and happy, you’re perfect just the way you are. Don’t feed into society constantly telling you that you’re not good enough or that you can buy a “better version of yourself.” No one has the power to make you feel inferior unless you give them that power.
And although I may or may not be a little salty of my 20s metabolism, I’m getting more comfortable just embracing me. And I’m hoping that those of you who may not be the “model standard” – whatever that means, right? – are feeling the same way. Embrace that face you’ve been blessed with. Embrace that body of yours. Embrace your curves or no curves. Embrace your figure whether you’re part of the itty bitty titty committee or team double d’s. Don’t change who you are to try to meet fashion’s unrealistic standards of what a “beautiful human is” because your confidence is what really makes you beautiful and sexy has no size. Find clothes that work for you and if a company you like doesn’t carry your size, put some pressure on them to expand via a persuasive note!
We also know that the Internet has actually created an extremely lonely space at times and I’m aware that a lot of people don’t have a circle of friends and family by their side to tell them that it’s okay to just be who they are. The Internet is great for accessibility, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also created a huge generation of insecure people, false ideals, unrealistic expectations, and a lot of people catfishing you so remember to not compare yourself too much to others. And if that “perfect Internet world” is getting too overwhelming, log off. A little digital detox is a win in my book.
So most importantly, don’t let size define you and who you are. Learn to be okay with an occasional cheeseburger at lunch and the little love handles that come with it.
A special shout out to brands like Glossier, Savage Fenty and LPA (who don’t retouch their models); they are helping shift the mindset of what a beautiful woman really looks like (all colors, shapes, ethnicities and sizes). We need more leaders like you!
P.S. Like my girl crush Cleo Wade taught me, you should be your own first love (and I 100% believe that).
What are your current thoughts on how size impacts the fashion world? @ me and drop me a comment below! Let’s chat!
What do you guys think! Like Chriselle said above, please be sure to leave your thoughts down below to continue the conversation! Until next time,
x Jane & Laura
Photography by Karla Ticas | Hair & Makeup by Leibi Carias
Location: The Hollywood Roosevelt Tropicana Pool & Café