I was introduced to Meijer in August 2016 when I flew out to Grand Rapids to visit the Midwestern super center's headquarters. Upon stepping foot into my first Meijer, I felt included. The store's plus size section catered to a wide range of women and boasted on-season trends—something that I wasn't always used to seeing at a super center or even a mall. I couldn't be happier to connect with another brand that cared so deeply about serving every body type. I met with the fashion team at Meijer, and they expressed their dedication to push the store's clothing to be as on trend and fashion-forward as possible. But little did I know that Meijer was on the brink of something even bigger.
A couple months later, Meijer announced they were getting rid of their plus size department because they were merging it together with the women's department and putting sizes small through 3x on the same rack, in every style. This was an emotional time for me because as someone who has always had a larger figure, I have always been shown to the tiniest, darkest corner of the store: the plus size section. I constantly wonder why brands don't just expand their sizing instead of having separate sections for thin and plus size women. And now, Meijer is doing just that, and leading the way in these efforts. I couldn't be happier to be involved.
Behind the scenes of #StyleForEveryBODY
I got the opportunity to participate in Meijer's #StyleForEVERYBody campaign to announce the integration. I got to work with two amazing teams from JohnsonRauhoff and Meijer as well as some beautiful plus size AND straight size co-models. It was truly a day I will never forget!
Since the campaign has gone live, I have had a lot of women reach out to me and ask me how I got my start in modeling. While I have worked with other brands in similar capacities, this was my first, real modeling gig. At an early age, I idolized the models I saw in the magazines and on TV, wishing that someday I could be a model, too. However, my physical features (height and weight) were working against me. I started Natalie in the City in 2013 as a way to creatively express myself, and I could have never imagined that it would provide me with opportunities like this. I never had a vision for what I wanted my blog to be like, but it lead me to this campaign and to so many others that have been a catalyst in prompting more plus size inclusivity in fashion.
So my advice to you—whether you want to get into modeling, start a blog, embark on your dream, or take a risk—is to just simply pursue your dream. Be who you want to be, and do what you want to do. It sounds simple, and it is, the journey may be harder than the commitment. However, just taking that first step to setting fourth on your dreams is integral. And even if all the odds are against you—like being a 200+ lb., 5 ft 2 in.-tall model—if you believe it, you can be it.
If you could have anything you want in this world—no boundaries, no restrictions—what would it be? And what is the first step toward living that dream? If you feel brave, leave your dream in the comment section below! I can't wait to read them!