Q:Simply put, what is the Fat Acceptance Movement?
A: The Fat Acceptance Movement empowers plus-size women to embrace their curves and love their bodies. Curvier women have not been represented fairly in the media or in society. This movement provides plus-size women with a community, strength and the inspiration to love the skin and body they are in.
If the same football team goes to the Super Bowl and loses every year, then comes back to win the next year, that is what it feels like to be a part of the Fat Acceptance Movement. I feel like plus-size women are the underdogs. We have been neglected in the media, in magazines and in fashion, but now with the Fat Acceptance Movement we are finally winning. The movement has gained so much momentum through social media and I am so proud to be a part of that.
However, there is a crucial point that needs to be made that isn’t being discussed as much as the movement itself is. That point is “body positivity.” The Fat Acceptance Movement’s mantra is about having a positive body image and self-esteem by loving and embracing your curves, which translates to “body positivity.” Recently, powerful women in the music industry have been coming out with songs shaming skinny women and condoning plus-size figures. There are also social media posts following in those footsteps. Women need to realize that society and the media have scrutinized the female body image — no matter the shape or size — since we have existed.
We are women. We need to stand together against the harsh scrutiny and societal beauty standards that every single one of us face every day. Plus-size women do not need to put down skinny figures, and skinny women should not put down plus-size figures. Instead, we need to acknowledge that a women’s shape comes in many sizes, each one beautiful in its own way.
It’s not Paris or New York, but it is Chicago and this is
just where I want to be. Chicago Fashion Week breezed through the city and I
got to catch the last wind of it at College Fashion Week hosted by
It was a night of glitz, glamour, and VIP seats on the
runway. What more could a fashionista ask for? I'm not the biggest fan of crop tops, but I thought I would wear this one with a high waisted skirt. I love the sheer stripes on the top and the length of the sleeves. My skirt was an unexpected find. Usually circle skirts like this one don't flatter a curvy figure, but the length and cut of the skirt did my curves some justice. If you love this outfit as much as I do, you can shop the look below!
Most people would love to be on TV, maybe a few less once
you told them they have to wear heels, walk and not trip, and maybe even fewer
after you told them they would also be wearing a bikini.
You see, one day I was in a meeting at work when I randomly
checked my email. I must have read one message in particular at least three
times after jumping out of my seat screaming.
In August, a senior producer for the Steve Harvey Show asked
me to model in a fashion segment on the show. The only catch was that I would
be modeling a two-piece bikini. Although I am a size 14 and don’t look like
Kate Upton, I didn’t hesitate for a second before agreeing to it. This was
everything my America's Next Top Model watching 12-year-old self had ever wanted.
For the segment I was modeling on, Steve Harvey was
interviewing Jenny Trout, a blogger and author who is infamously known for her
"I Wore a
Bikini and Nothing Happened" post published on Huffington Post.
He wanted to surprise Jenny by gathering 15 confident, plus-size women and
dressing them in swim suits to honor Jenny's brave endeavors.
Fast forward to September 3: I’m standing behind a curtain
on stage that will soon rise, revealing my five-foot curvy body in a bikini to
Steve Harvey and a live studio audience on national TV. I didn’t do it alone
though—15 other plus-size women stood by my side, our bodies displaying the
unconventional side of beauty. We all held hands and as the curtain rose we
struck a pose then walked out on stage to an audience that would not stop
clapping or cheering. Yep, that's me in the pink checkered bikini in the
I spent 10 hours with these other women between hair, makeup,
and rehearsals, and if that day taught me anything, it was that confidence is
key. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are. You can lead whatever path
you want as long as you’re happy and confident.
“You all are so fine,” Steve Harvey shouted as we walked
onto the stage. Despite the societal beauty ideals that consumed me, at that
second, I realized that I never thought I wasn’t fine, and that is
how every woman should feel.
Why would I wear a bikini on national TV?
Like most young girls paging through the latest fashion magazines, I longed to be one of the models that graced the cover of the fashion bibles and the advertisements inside. However, the only model-like quality I possessed was being fierce with my eyes, which has benefited me more at the club than anywhere else—thanks, Tyra.
As I grew up and into my body I realized I would never be in the magazines or on America's Next Top Model for two reasons. One: I’m five-feet tall. Two: These hips don’t lie and neither do these thighs. My body was far from the model ideal and what I saw in the magazines.
I could not yet comprehend that the women in those magazines were airbrushed, photoshopped and did not represent the average woman at all. However, that never tainted my resilient attitude and spirit. Against all odds, no matter what the fashion industry or retail stores told me about my curvaceous figure with their impractically sized clothing, I embraced every fashion trend and strutted wherever I went.
Women of all ages can suffer from having negative self-esteem, which can be directly related to the unrealistic beauty standards of today’s society. Somehow, I was fortunate enough to never let these standards affect my confidence despite how much I looked up to the models. However, I realize it is not easy for anyone to ignore the pressures to be idealistically beautiful and thin. So what are you waiting for? Put on a swimsuit and show off those beautiful, curvy bodies! Check out my top picks below!