Facing Your Fashion Fears: From Street to Chic

As a plus-size woman, I was limited on what to wear. Whether it’s avoiding horizontal stripes, or being encouraged to wear all black because it’s “slimming”, many of us have these parameters drilled into our head that our wardrobe reflects what’s called “safe pieces”. At Dia&Co., you have a stylist who listens to your individual needs and styles a wardrobe for you. I love this service because it is specifically founded on the struggle many plus-size women have faced: finding clothes that fits and looks good. Dia&Co. inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and step into something chic.

Wearing clothing shouldn’t be revolutionary. Rather, it’s a form of expression of your personality and style. And as an ambassador for an apparel brand, Artista Apparel, I decided to take my active wear from street to chic.

First, the circus pants by Artista Apparel are dance/yoga pants designed for style and comfort. They aren’t like leggings that form tightly to your body and curves. While I am definitely the first to flaunt my curves, it is not the only thing I consider when putting an outfit together. I think about style, comfort, and confidence when I put together an outfit.

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A big girl wearing baggy pants? Isn’t that going to hide a curvy figure rather than accentuate it? I think the end results prove that as a curvy woman, my figure will look lovely even in clothing that may be deemed to make me look bigger and, therefore, unflattering according to societal standards. Pairing the black and red Aztec print circus pants with a black crop top, heels, and a bomber jacket elevate the look to an edgy high fashion ensemble.

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The black snakeskin crop top offers a little peek-a-boo at the midriff, which I am perfectly comfortable with and actually really love. The thought of having any sliver of my tummy peek out seemed like a horrendous idea, and one I avoided at all costs. Now, I think it’s actually kind of cute.

With the right accessories, you can certainly take pieces that would normally be seen as serving one purpose and see their versatility. I wanted to showcase how versatile these pieces from Artista Apparel can be, and show the quality and return on investment in these pieces. Additionally, I wanted to challenge myself and wear pieces that are normally off limits for plus-size women because when it comes to fashion and style there should be limitless possibilities. And, at Dia&Co., you’ll get just that. Sign up here. 

 

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Photography: Tommy Kim http://www.tommykim.net

Curvytrend 

Items Featured

Crop Top: Black Snakeskin Crop Top – Artista Apparel

Pants: Black & Red Aztec Print Circus Pants – Artista Apparel

Enjoy 10% off with Code: ABASL10

 

Swimsuits Just For Us: Plus-size Fashion from Summer to Fall

Summer never truly ends in southern states like Texas or Florida. So, what is a plus-size girl to do when you want your wardrobe to match the beautiful sunny weather, provide comfort, and be fashionable? The answer is Swimsuits Just For Us.

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Their mission is to create beautiful swimwear pieces for plus-size/full-figured women without sacrificing style or comfort.  And, I am absolutely in love with their swimdresses. They translate so well from summer to fall fashion when places like Austin, Texas still have hot and sunny days.

The Delta Burke Waterfall Halter Swimdress is perfect for its color, pattern, and design. The black and white printed bust area gives just enough pop while the black dress bottom drapes my curvy figure perfectly.

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Pair this beautiful swimdress with white jean shorts and take a stroll in the Zilker Botanical Gardens or slip them off to take a dip in the famous Barton Springs Pool. While there, don’t forget to snap some pictures against the tropical backgrounds located near the waterfall of the garden. You will truly feel like an island princess.

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I will certainly be looking to Swimsuits Just For Us (SJ4US) for other swimwear pieces like their cover-ups, swimsuit rompers, and aqua fitness wear. Pieces like these are versatile and fashionable. Who doesn’t love the idea of getting more for your buck?

And, I was so elated when I found that SJ4US also carries sizes 28W-32W. There aren’t that many plus-size brands that carry sizes beyond 24-26, which is not only limiting but discouraging. SJ4US creates “Plus-size swimwear made to fit your body!” As a plus-size model and body posi advocate, I am all about fashion at any size.

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You can shop at SJ4US here.

Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter & Instagram: @SJ4uS.

Photographer: Tommy Kim

 

I went to a Plus-Size Pool Party in LA and guess what happened?

Last weekend I attended the second stop of the Golden Confidence Pool Party tour in L.A. Created by blogger and model Essie Golden, the #goldenconfidence hashtag has taken social media by storm. Women around the world are posting pictures in two-piece swimwear, body-hugging dresses, and any fashion piece that was previously deemed off limits for plus-size women. It is certainly empowering women everywhere and here is proof of that.

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I started off low-key, sipping on my drink and eating some delicious tacos away from the large crowd. I had planned my outfit perfectly and couldn’t wait to show it off, but I was in that familiar place. Remember  your first party, the first school dance, or any social function where you have on the perfect beautiful dress, but you just can’t seem to summon up the courage to dance, talk to the boy you like, or be a social butterfly? Well, that familiar feeling crept in as my friend and I shied away on the top deck.

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But soon enough the fear started fading away as we took selfies. And, guess what? No one was looking at the two big girls taking selfies in their swimsuits.

Everyone was eating, laughing, dancing, taking selfies, and checking out each other’s outfits. Let me say this about the fashion at the party, #SLAY ! You can check out some of the amazing looks captured by Cosmopolitan.com here.

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Thanks to City Chic and Essie Golden, I was one of five best dressed at the event along with @bougie_chic , @jazzmynejay , & @cocoscurvycloset . Dare I say ultimate #squadgoals?

And, look who was featured in Cosmopolitan.com? Read the article here.

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Essie Golden’s pool party inspired me to form a community for body positive and plus-size women in Austin, TX. I told Cosmopolitan.com that women should feel like this anywhere they go. More importantly, I felt free. Free to wear what I want, wherever, dance, and just be me.

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Get the look at Artista Active Wear. I am wearing Halter Monokini in Amethyst Mermaid.

I AM SLINK

I’ve just entered into the running with Slink Jeans LOVE YOUR BODY MODEL SEARCH for a one year modeling contract. If you support me and the body positve movement, please go vote for my video submission. Thanks to Tommy Kim for the video he put together! And no matter what, I AM SLINK ( Sexy. Loveable. Intelligent. Noticeable. Kind.) & YOU can be too! 😉 ❤ Visit Slink to cast your vote for me! ONLY ONE DAY LEFT!!

XOXO Chica Rosita

CurvyTrend Highlights of 2015

With the new year here, you’ve heard the clichéd mantra, “New year, new me!” And, while it  is important for some to set goals or plans for the new year, it is also important to reflect on moments of the past that bring you a sense of accomplishment, value, and happiness.

These are some highlights of 2015 for me:

1. I am. Simply put, I am in good spirits. And, while not every aspect of my life is perfect, I am able to work toward solutions and see the light at the end of tunnel. I am thankful for my family, my friends, and my relationship. I live and breathe outside of these four walls. I continue to push myself while working on my goals, and I am thankful. It’s important for me to recognize that I am an individual outside of the social media and blogging world.

2. My first photo shoot- Earlier this year I partook in one of the most transformative experiences that propelled a series of adventurous undertakings in the plus-size fashion and modeling world. The experience of my first professional photo shoot allowed me to see that my beauty was, in fact, beyond any number on the scale or my jeans. I established a profound and long-lasting relationship both professionally and personally with Shellie from Solight Photography.

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3. First Plus-Size Magazine publication-  This moment was a dual sense of accomplishment since my photo and article were published within the same magazine. It’s important for me to maintain both aspects of my modeling and literary voice within the body positive community. You can check it out here.

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4. Second magazine publication– With every photo shoot I get stronger and more determined to represent a fuller beauty that is so underrepresented in our media. Here is a link to my photo published in the Noir edition of Curvy Connect Magazine.

5. When #effyourbeautystandards page threw Curvytrend some shade- It seemed like an honorary induction of some sorts into the body positive hall of fame. I love that this community, spearheaded by model Tess Holliday, is very supportive of body positivity by embracing the very members that follow their pages. Thanks for the all the love! ❤

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There are so many accomplishments and moments of value to me that happened in 2015. It was truly a transformative year for me, and I am only getting better. But, I am aware that while change is to be embraced, it’s important for me to honor my past, present, and future. I will continually keep running toward the woman I want to be. I am never going to be perfect, I am always going to strive to do better and be better regardless of a new year. With that said, I am excited for new upcoming projects and features for your truly. Happy new year! New year, new me? Pfft! More like new year, same fabulous me! B-)

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XOXO Chica Rosita

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show vs #ImNoAngel

In the wake of the positive body image movement, plus-size fashion powerhouse Lane Bryant took note and created the social media movement #ImNoAngel campaign.

There have been many criticisms regarding the campaign from the body image community. In response, blogger The Militant Baker spearheaded the #ImNoModel campaign. Lane Bryant has been called out not only by the blog community, but also its customers for their lack of body diversity. Many of their models are on the lower spectrum of the plus-size range while customers question Lane Bryant’s commitment to its clientele that range from sizes 14-28.

When Lane Bryant hosted a live chat via twitter earlier this month, there was plenty to be said.

One tweet read, “I really want to know when we will see campaigns with models size 22+ if they are going to be called body pos campaigns”.

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They also took some serious heat when people took to twitter after the Lane Bryant lingerie commercial aired right after the Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2015.

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Let’s look at some of these responses.

One of the arguments is that the #ImNoAngel campaign is anti-body positive. Lane Bryant prompted its followers to take to social media and post pictures while the Victoria’s Secret Fashion (VSF) show aired with the hastag #ImNoAngel. The disagreement here is that those opposed find that the tactic was offensive because it somehow shames the VSF show supermodels for their bodies. On the opposite side, the response to VSF show with the #ImNoAngel is simply pointing out that plus-size women, rather models, are continuing to be marginalized by the fashion industry.

In all, I think Lane Bryant really just wanted power in numbers to create an awareness that huge fashion industry brands like Victoria’s Secret continue to exclude women of larger sizes and diverse body types in their ads, runway, and clothing. However, Lane Bryant took a similar hit when its customers called the powerhouse out for its lack of body diversity mentioned above.

Additionally, twitter users called out the #ImNoAngel campaign for shaming a group of women (VS models) for their hard work in maintaining their bodies. “Those girls seriously work hard as hell for the bodies they have so your #ImNoAngel is pretty tacky.”

Okay, so yeah, they probably work really hard to maintain their physique. That’s great for them. They love their bodies and they deserve to feel beautiful and empowered. But, Ashley Graham, Denise Bidot, Rosie Mercado, and so many other plus-size models work their butts off too. You see constant photos of them working out, biking, on the beach, or doing something really physically active on their social media pages. They work just as hard for their bodies too.

As I scrolled through the twitter feed with the #ImNoAngel campaign that caused an uproar during the TV air of the VSF show, I didn’t a single body-shaming picture or phrase toward the VSF show models. All I saw was a bunch of big beautiful women taking selfies with the #ImNoAngel tagged on. Frankly, I had to dig for them  since so many of the above showcased twitter backlash overshadowed them. People were so concerned with how uncomfortable they were with seeing a plus-size model on TV right after seeing a mirage of skinny supermodels. When you think about it, who’s the one with the real problem here? I mean some of these comments were just plain mean, no real substance or argument to debate like this one:

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But, it wasn’t all bad. Here are some positive tweets regarding the #ImNoAngel campaign.

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The Lane Bryant commercial  that aired after the VSF show was purposeful. It pissed off a lot of people. Its intent was to create awareness about a large group of women ignored in the media and fashion industry. Our society has a problem with fat confident people. Heck, people have a problem with an average size woman on TV. When you really look at Ashley Graham and the other Lane Bryant models, they actually fall under the average women’s sizes in America (12-14).

There is much room for Lane Bryant as well as other plus-size brands to improve on their end. There is no doubt about that, but at least they offer a platform for their customers voices to be heard. Victoria’s Secret has continually ignored its larger size clientele even after petitions to add plus-sizes to their brand have failed to gain their attention.

Whether good or bad, you have to admit Lane Bryant provoked an even larger conversation regarding the fashion industry and its continued lack of including women of all sizes.

To Photoshop or Not to Photoshop? That is the Question

I was recently on a hiatus from the blogging world since my life has become a bit chaotic juggling work and school. I found this break to be much needed, but I was getting anxious about my involvement in the positive body image movement.

I kept thinking I wasn’t contributing enough or bringing awareness at a level that I should be. This self-criticism allowed me to see that I am a work-in-progress. Everything from my modeling, blogging, school, and work isn’t perfect, and I have to consistently remind myself that it is okay to stand back and focus on other areas.

Before my hiatus, I did another photo-shoot with Solight Photography.With every photo shoot, I get stronger and more determined. It was the first pin-up themed shoot I modeled for, and it was good for me. It allowed me to gain experience, but also believe that I am a person whose beauty is just a radiant, just as cute, just as fun, and exciting as those shown throw classic pin-up photos.

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While Shellie, the photographer, and I have worked together, it never ceases to be a unique experience for us. We experiment, we improvise, we learn. We trade stories and feed off of each other’s positive energy. I think for me what is just as rewarding as the end result, or perhaps even better, is the connection you make with the person you are creating this work with. If you’re not comfortable, if you don’t wholly trust their vision, and allow them to expose you, it will show. I trust Shellie wholeheartedly. I know what her aim is to enhance the already natural beauty of a woman.

When Shellie uses any photo-editing it is always done judiciously. I have no shame in revealing my body without the glitz and glam as is evident in my #rockthecrop photo series from my previous blog. I feel that photo-editing can be used wisely and with clear intent and purpose to enhance lighting, remove a blemish, color correct, etc. However, it can be used for malicious and cruel intents masquerading as “health concerns” such as #projectharpoon or #thinnerbeauty. I decided only to include a link to Thinner Beauty’s page rather than include a photo they manipulated unjustly. I want to continue to bring awareness that their page is still up an running, but I do not want to give their work anymore attention because that’s what they want. They want these warped pictures to be spread. Let’s not give them that. Instead let’s work on other ways to contribute to the body image movement and spread a message of body acceptance.

The argument on what constitutes a just use of photo-editing versus a heinous one is up for debate, but it is clear that #projectharpoon and #thinnerbeauty creators and contributors were in it to spread hate and discrimination against fat people and the positive body image movement.

I want to end this piece with some photos from my pin-up series. My body’s shape has not been manipulated. I am a size 18/20, curvy, busty, and I have rolls and cellulite like many women. The distribution of fat in my body is different than yours, and you will be happy to know that I am healthy.

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XOXO Chica Rosita