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.

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

30 Day Self-Esteem Challenge: Day 21

Earlier today I got a sneak peek from my recent pin-up photo-shoot with Solight Photography. So, I am all smiles today :). Just from the snip bit I saw, I am loving the outcome and I am very thankful I experienced this with Shellie. She’s an amazing photographer, and her mission is to make all women feel beautiful, sexy, and empowered. I certainly felt all of that and more.

Stepping right into the challenge–

Day 21: When Do You Feel Your Most Attractive? Why? 

I feel the most attractive when I exude sexiness. It is empowering for me to own my sexuality. I am coming into my own skin, and realizing that I am beautiful, I am sexy, and I am strong. I can be all of those things without compromising. I don’t have to give up pizza, my sweat pants, or my comfort to be sexy. Recently, I’ve caught myself in the mirror admiring how sexy I look in just a tank and shorts, cellulite and all.

Today, I saw this video campaign starring Denise Bidot for swimsuitsforall in which the images are untouched. “I love everything about my body,” she says. “Every bit of it … the cellulite, the stretch marks, everything that I thought at one point was an imperfection, I now realize is everything that makes me unique … curvy women shouldn’t apologize for anything. They should wear a swimsuit that makes them feel comfortable. It’s all about the confidence.” Bravo Denise and swimsuitsforall! Check it out here!

A negative body image took control of most of my young adult life; now I am taking it back! There is nothing wrong with being sexual, and exuding this sexy attitude is not dependent on anyone else but me. I don’t need the validation of other people to know that I am an attractive person. I feel it in this skin: soft, curvy, and glistening.

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XOXO Chica Rosita

30 Day Self-Esteem Challenge: Day 18 & 19

I was MIA yesterday due to my very first pin-up photo-shoot with my kindred spirit, Shellie Lynne, from Solight Photography. Exciting news! It was also my very first on location shoot. Seems I have had many first with Shellie. My very first professional photo-shoot was with Shellie and it was a combo of glamour and boudoir.

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In preparation for the photo-shoot, my weekend was filled with wardrobe selection, practicing poses, packing, and trying to keep it cool. So, I missed my daily postings for the self-esteem challenge. But, I’m almost to the finish line.

Day 18: The Last Thing You Did That Made You Laugh

I laughed so much yesterday that it’s hard to pinpoint what was the last thing. But, the most memorable from the photo-shoot for me was during the picnic pin-up scene. There was a real bowl of strawberries, and I was holding one right up to my mouth, and took a bite out of it without being asked to. I guess I was just too much into the character. Luckily there were other strawberries in the bowl so we just swapped it out to continue shooting.

Day 19: Is There a Particular Outfit/Article of Clothing/Accessory You Like On Yourself? Why or Why Not?

Practically anything that accentuates my curves is my favorite outfit. At the moment, it’s my one-piece from plus-size Catalina swimwear. I used it in my very first swimsuit photo-shoot and used it yesterday for my pin-up shoot. It’s become a versatile piece for going to the beach and my photo-shoots.

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Image Credit: DeeCee Photography

XOXO Chica Rosita

30 Day Self-Esteem Challenge: Day 8

I’m going to admit that my day started off great, and then a dip in the road has me feeling a little blue. Yes, I am allowed to feel upset, even as bubbly as I am, I have my days and this is one of them. But, no matter, I am going to get through it like the fabulous diva I am.

This post couldn’t have come at a better time. We place a lot of emphasis on what other people think about us, “do you think I’m cute?”, “how does this look on me?”, “what did you think of my article?”, “did you like my cooking? does it taste good?” The validation we seek at times can be a double-edged sword. It can be uplifting or borderline co-dependency.

The challenge for today (cue drum roll)–

Day 8: The Last Time You Smiled When Someone Complimented You. What Was the Compliment and Why Did You Smile?

I’ve received a tremendous amount of support from friends, family, acquaintances, online communities, and complete strangers. It is uplifting to have a group of cheerleaders on the sideline rooting for you, you feel like, “heck yeah! I’m a champ! I got this!” It’s when you become dependent on this validation that it can be dangerous to your self-esteem. That’s why I picked the last compliment that made me smile from a complete stranger. Here’s how the story unfolded…

I was browsing through my local Lane Bryant store, checking out the new maxi dresses and swimwear. I was wearing a geometric print tank top, some dark blue jean shorts, and a straw fedora hat. I’d just finished trying on a tankini in the dressing room while snapping a picture with the #ImNoAngel. Feeling confident, like I could take on the world with my tankini,  I wanted to bust out the “I’m the king of the world!” Leonardo Dicaprio-style move. So, as I headed to check-out, I was already feeling all kinds of goody vibes. Then, my eyes met with a woman, around 50-60 years of age, and she looked at me so warmly. She simply said, “Cute hat!” and I smiled and said softly “Thanks”. That’s it.

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That happened over two months ago. I’ve received compliments since then and smiled. But, I picked this encounter above the rest to convey a powerful message about self-love. I didn’t know this woman, she didn’t know me. Two strangers whose eyes met at a store they both loved shopping at, a safe haven for big beautiful women. In this space, you feel safe to try on swimsuits, sleeveless dresses, and ask the attendant for assistance with your bra size or measurements. You breathe a sigh of relief. I can just be me right now.

When I let go of any worry about what someone is going to think of me trying on this bathing suit or dress, I can just play and have fun. So, I took selfies in the dressing room and let my guard down. I uplifted myself. I empowered myself. I complimented myself. When I walked out of that dressing room, I was the king of my world. I didn’t need anyone else to tell me I looked cute or sexy. I simply was. When my eyes met with that  woman, I was already smiling, already feeling good. What here words offered for me is what many champs experience when they’ve scored that point, a cheerleader, a supporter, and someone who is saying, “Hey you go girl! You got it! I see you!” If this woman hadn’t complimented me, I’d still feel beautiful, I’d still be okay. But, it’s an added plus to know that there are women who will support you in your journey, who recognize your beauty without causing them to devalue their own.

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XOXO Chica Rosita

Plus Size Blogger Promise Challenge

I decided to take this challenge posted by The Plus Size Movement blog. Essentially, you make 5 promises for the summer. Some of these can include fashion risks like wearing a two-piece or promising to challenge negative thoughts about yourself. Anything positive.

Here are my 5 summer promises:

1. Wear a two-piece swimsuit on the beach. I did a swimsuit photo-shoot in April for submission into Curvy Connect Magazine‘s May swimsuit edition. It was the first time I wore a swimsuit and the experience was very empowering for me. As a kid, I always wore big t-shirts and shorts and that carried into my adulthood. I had such low self-esteem that I didn’t think I was worthy of wearing a swimsuit. Swimsuits were for skinny girls or pretty girls. I challenged myself to wear a one-piece and the results were amazing. My photo was selected into the online magazine and the out pour of support was uplifting. But, wearing a swimsuit in a closed photo-set is different than being out publicly on the  beach, proudly strutting your stuff. So, that’s exactly what I plan on doing. I plan on wearing my fabulous new GabiFresh swim sexy two-piece from swimsuitsforall11215131_467408590081427_5477315647884072287_n

2. Challenge negative self-talk with positive affirmations. I am sort of doing this already, but I read a message from Kelsey Miller that was sent via email from The Curvy Con. She challenged herself daily by repeating positive affirmations to herself out loud. Unlike Kelsey, I usually say these in my head and it’s not all the time. But, I intend to make it a habit to challenge a negative thought about myself with a positive affirmation immediately. If I say to myself, “You’re thighs are too lumpy!” I will tell myself, “I love my thighs, they are a part of who I am, and who I am is beautiful.”

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3. Bare my arms. I love the bare arms movement for the curvy girl. Like many body conscious women, I will from time to time cover my arms up with cardigans, blazers, and sweaters. Lately, I have been wearing sleeveless tops and dresses. I will make it a point with this central Texas heat to bare my arms proudly.

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4. Empower other women. I have made great strides in my personal journey toward body acceptance. I will continue to work on myself, but I will also encourage other women. I will offer words of encouragement, understanding, and sometimes I’ll just be there, present. I will be conscious that my opinion is my own and will only offer it when asked of me. I will proceed with empathy and compassion. My blog and modeling started off as personal endeavors, and they have turned into a great platform to show other women that plus-size is beautiful.

IMG_18475. Challenge my standards of beauty. The #effyourbeautystandards movement spearheaded by Tess Holliday is a daily source of encouragement for me. I see all these beautiful women posting selfies and positive affirmations with the hashtag. But, while I affirm that my standards of beauty are open and accepting of all forms of beauty, I will constantly challenge my preconceived notions of beauty. It took me a long time to accept my beauty and challenge society’s standards of beauty. Now, I must come into an awareness that I have biases and will challenge them. For so long, I kept hearing the constant voice of criticism from my childhood, my mother. It’s still the voice in my head that I challenge daily. I did not grow up isolated from hate or discrimination, so I am aware that my views are inherently influenced by my experiences. It is because of these experiences that I am who I am today.

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XOXO Chica Rosita