I had the pleasure of meeting Leah Vernon of “Beauty & The Muse” this past weekend. Leah is a blogger, stylist and model who is representing for Plus Size African American Muslims. Her style, views and personality were so unique and refreshing. It is so important to be yourself especially in today’s society where everyone wants to be someone else. The way Leah manipulates trendy fashion to align with her personal style and religion is very inspiring.
Leah and I met for lunch in the food court. We chatted away in between bites about upcoming events, our season fatshion faves, and the blogger business in general. Strolling around the Florida Mall we walked off lunch while shopping in the hand full of stores that offered plus size apparel. We talked about how much the plus size fashion industry still lacked despite its rapid growth.
Leah and I sprinkled our #blackgirlmagic all throughout the mall, it felt good to just spend time with a like minded woman who was confident and goal oriented. We wrapped up our day with some ice cream and of course tons of pictures. It was so much fun, I wish more people in the industry would get together and just support each other instead of always be in in competition.
So honored to have Terr Cacilia the Junior Editor at Skorch Magazine gracing my blog today to talk about “Word Sensitivity”. When questioned about her feelings towards terminology used to describe plus size women or fatshionistas as I like to call them here is what Terr had to say…
“Plus Size, Full Figured, Curvy, Fat- These are just a few of the interchangeably words that may be used to describe individuals sizes 12-26w, and above.
The great debate across the Plus Size community from the bloggers to the big brands, and everyone in-between is on whether or not we as a community should “Drop the Plus”, and “Integrate not Segregate”. That these labels are more hurtful than helpful, and that using labels like this takes away from the clothing, and the individuals wearing said clothing.
I would like to respectfully disagree with anyone who thinks that there is not a true necessity for these labels. Word sensitivity exists for a reason, and these words give individuals a pillar to express our most inner thoughts, and emotions about ourselves, and our community.
A community that we may thrive within, share valuable resources, and experiences. For so long the stigma and shame of traveling to the farthest back left corner of store to find the “Plus Size” section was real- but now? Now is a time of empowerment where women of a larger size are able each and every day find more clothes that is designed to embrace our OWN BODIE, and our OWN PERSONAL STYLES. (Some stores have even moved us to the front, and put full figured mannequins in the windows because *gasp* there is a market for us?!? )
Bodies are bodies no matter what the size, and each body deserves recognition, and celebration! This is an idea that goes beyond keeping plus size labels visible, and extends across many body boarders. Something I have always found fascinating about the human race is that we all have the same very basic shape, but for each of us our basic shape takes on its own very distinct characteristics that in turn allow us to all be different, and different is beautiful, complex, and most of all different is good.
Here’s the thing I am Fat, and I do not remember a time when I wasn’t. Does my fat instantly make me a bad person? Does it make my value less as human being? Does my fat hinder my ability to accomplish great things?- The answer to all those question-NO! Personally I become offended when my body is referred to as an “extended size”, and is only “offered on occasion”. (News Flash-My body is always fat- not fat on occasion.)
After a long journey, and countless nights of private analysis I embrace the fact that this is the body I have during my one (confirmed) time on earth. I am here now, and during this time would like to wear clothes, and identify with a label that represents a body that is similar to mine. I like knowing that the clothes I am wearing were made with a body like mine in mind.”
Thank you for Sherece for allowing me this incredible opportunity to express some of my thoughts on “Word Sensitivity” and its place in our industry. I invite you all to join me, and the Plus Side Party on my various social media outlets.