Fat and Proud – Reclaiming the Word Fat

Today is an epic day for the body positivity movement and plus size fashion industry in Canada. It is with great pride (as a proud plus size woman and industry entrepreneur), that I share the news that Karen Ward, a pioneer in this industry as a blogger and boutique owner, along with other trailblazers made the cover of Toronto Metro News.

To reclaim the word fat, Karen says “we need to strip it of its ability to hurt, shed the negative connotations it has accrued, and use it to label ourselves.” As the wife of a Jamaican born and raised man, the word fat has never held these connotations for my husband. Instead, it implies an attractive, healthy, rounded and appealing woman. It is quite refreshing to see an entire culture, and most of the Caribbean, celebrating beauty diversity in this way and with features like today’s article in Toronto Metro News, we may slowly but surely achieve our goal so eloquently described by Karen above.

While there are many models, bloggers and beauty diversity advocates and institutions making headway in Toronto and worldwide, I am so thrilled that this feature included (from left to right) Sarah Taylor, Laura Caravaggio, Karen Ward, Ophilia Alleyne and Thera Warren.

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Photo by Liz Beddall for Metro News


#plussize #psblogger #curvycanadian #fashion #fashionblogger #fashiongram #plussizemodel @stylehasnosize

 

 

Stylish. Sexy. Rue.

About a year ago I discovered this new curve-hugging, head-turning clothing brand called Rue 107. Their Instagram album had me hypnotized with vibrant patterns, bold cuts and confident curves flaunting their stuff.

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I clicked over to their website and saw that they had a wholesale program and promptly submitted my application to offer the line at my boutique, SexyPlus Clothing. Weeks passed, and months turned into a year before I finally heard back from them. They had revamped their wholesale program and were ready to consider SexyPlus as an approved retailer. I was ecstatic!

After carefully evaluating my company, they agreed that Rue 107 would be a perfect addition to my collection and approved SexyPlus Clothing as the FIRST and ONLY boutique in Canada to offer the line. I was thrilled! You see, I’ve always offered unique cocktail dresses, club wear and lingerie, and recently introduced the Point Zero Curvy / Affordable Casual Collection at SexyPlus, but felt that I was still missing this segment of fashion-forward, rule-breaking styles with a unique urban retro flair. Rue 107 was the answer.

But I wanted to introduce the line with a splash, and Annika of the blog The Stylish Reid immediately came to mind because to me, her style epitomizes urban retro flair and how fabulous confidence can look. She has styled many outstanding looks featuring vintage pieces with modern accessories and when I reached out to her, well, she jumped at the opportunity to collaborate. As a long time client of SexyPlus Clothing, Annika strives to support women as well as local independent businesses whenever she can, so this was a natural fit.

We got together, note pads and smart phones in hand to plan our new collaboration and that’s how “Stylish. Sexy. Rue.” was born.

I asked Annika to select and style 4 pieces from their current line. She chose the Breana, the Sylvie and the Vicky bodycon ruffle off-shoulder dresses, and the super daring Miss Rose bodysuit. We then set a date for a downtown Toronto photoshoot and met with plus size models Sarah Taylor, Caterina Moda and Kristina Samuels on Dec 12.

With a 9am start time, we met with our makeup artist Michelle (who found us on Instagram the night before), and she set out to beautify our gorgeous crew.

Michelle was professional, easy to work with, and super talented. She allowed each model to personalize some aspects of their look while keeping in line with our overall fierce, feminine glam theme.

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Annika styled each look perfectly. She chose accessories and footwear for each model, and herself, to bring our vision to life. Her theme was “Sex and the City” meets urban curvy babes.

Featured below, Sarah wearing the Sylvie dress, Annika wearing the Breana dress, Kristina wearing the Vicky dress and Caterina wearing the Miss Rose Bodysuit.

Even though it was super chilly that day, and there was a lot of relocating, the models, Annika and our photographer Elliot were absolute troopers in bracing the cold and maintaining great attitudes throughout the long and exhausting day. Hey, modeling ain’t easy and a good photographer sometimes has to get on the ground. Annika recaps the project from her perspective on her blog here.

The final result was pure magic. To see how it all came together in these amazing images was so gratifying.

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Each person brought something special to the project – their skill, but also their heart, and for that I am truly grateful. It reminds me that I chose the right profession, and that despite ups and downs which are an unfortunate but natural part of small business, I love what I do. I mean, working with bloggers and models, coordinating fashion photo shoots, and reminding hundreds of women each day that their curves are beautiful…? I’m a lucky girl.

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The final component to bring this project full circle was a meet & greet, or ‘Shop & Sip’ event at SexyPlus Clothing where customers were invited to come and try the new line, be styled by Annika, and enjoy a girls night of shopping and champagne. On Jan 3, we did just that, and what a wonderful evening it was.

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Our campaign models came out and tried on different Rue 107 styles alongside our customers.

Caterina and Annika did a switcheroo, trying on each others’ styles.

Shoppers enjoyed champagne & treats…

And tried on something new…

The best part was the positive energy and support that was felt throughout this entire project, and during our special soirée.

So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank the contributors, customers, models, Rue 107 and especially Annika who brought her creativity and professionalism to this project.

Annika will be selecting the Spring Rue 107 Collection for SexyPlus Clothing boutique so stay tuned for the next chapter in bringing more selection and exciting plus size fashion to Canada.

Love, Stefanie

 


 

SexyPlus Clothing Website

The Stylish Reid Blog

Model Sarah Taylor

Model Caterina Moda

Model Kristina Samuels

Makeup Artist MillionaireMakeup

Photography Elliot Parrott

Cupcakes Gigi Bakes

Blog feature by The Curvy Fashionista


 

Copyright SassyPlus 2016 – All rights reserved.

 

Why are Plus Size Celebrities Always Cast as the Token Fat Girl?

Ok, I’m all for the rising popularity of plus size celebrities, like 1000%, but am I the only one who’s offended that they are almost always cast, and ridiculed, as the messy, ill-clothed, hungry for cake, uneducated token fat girl?

Can’t they just be a girl in a movie?

Or maybe a successful entrepreneur? Or a seductive lover? And why is no one else speaking out about this? Am I the only one who feels this way?

Let’s look at who’s currently in the headlines, and their roles.

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Rebel Wilson – very funny role in Pitch Perfect, and funny girl in real life, and also cast in Pitch Perfect 2 (set to be released May 15 by Universal Pictures UK). In the first movie, Pitch Perfect, is seems like almost every single line she speaks, and almost every single joke around her in the movie is based on her weight. I can understand that laughing at oneself is healthy to a certain extent, we must after all, not take ourselves too seriously, but that’s not the case here. Everyone is laughing at her. Because of her weight.

In Pitch Perfect 2, the trailer actually starts off with her coming in as a wrecking ball, which malfunctions, of course, because of her weight. And everyone screams in horror as she starts to swing towards the audience in the suspended pendulum, apparently without underwear. As if seeing plus size private parts is utterly disgusting. The team is then suspended from the finales because of this horrendous “birthday gift from down under”.

How is this not offensive people???

Her social media image, on the other hand, and how some publications have elevated her, like ElleUK.com in their #bemorerebel campaign, is refreshing and positive.

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Melissa McCarthy – Beautiful Melissa. From Mike & Molly, Tammy to Bridesmaids to Identity Thief and The Heat, they all supply an endless amount of body shaming and fat jokes. The clip of her new movie Spy ends with her being unable to ride a motorcycle because of, you guessed it, her weight.

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So, when can a fat woman play a role in a block buster film similar to the role Camryn Manheim played as an intelligent, professional, polished attorney and normal, loving woman as Ellenor Frutton on ABC‘s The Practice?

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Sigh. Someday.

Thanks for reading loves, and please comment. Let’s talk about this.

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Copyright SassyPlus 2015 – All rights reserved.

Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel Campaign – Hooray! But not quite.

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Photo Lane Bryant

This Lane Bryant campaign is all over social media, with the slogan‪ #‎ImNoAngel‬. Have you seen it? What are your thoughts?

Click here for the ad

Hooray! But, to be honest, and this is just my opinion, from my perspective as a woman and a consumer, I love the concept of boldly and proudly featuring plus size women in mainstream media and on New York City buses, and I’m happy that the campaign is making waves because every step towards representing beauty diversity is a step in the right direction, however, I feel that these women are very similar in body and shape, and have few of what many of us unfortunately consider “flaws”, and it would have been nice to see actual diversity of shapes and sizes in this campaign – specifically – to support the message. Elle Magazine is quoted as saying that this campaign “redefines sexy”, but really, are any of us arguing that this is sexy? When it comes purely to product shots, I understand using models like this, but not when it comes to a campaign aimed at reinforcing the message of diversity. I feel there is little diversity here. And I kinda feel that it’s like a rich woman saying she’s ok with minimum wage.

But hooray again for the models, and for Lane Bryant for making headlines and drawing attention to the concept of ‪#‎beautydiversity‬ and the importance of self confidence.

Your turn. Share your thoughts below.