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

 

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

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

Curvytend’s New Plus-Size Model Page

For all you followers out there, fellow bloggers, friends, and family, I have finally created a Facebook page for Plus-Size Model Sheila Lopez.

Please click here to like and don’t miss out on exclusive photo releases. I am very honored to grace plus-size magazines such as Curvy Connect Magazine. I will continue to work hard to break down beauty standards through my modeling, blog, and advocacy.

Join me in the positive body image movement. You don’t have to be a curvy, bbw, or plus-size person to support body image. You just have to be a decent human being. I hope I have your support.

I am currently working on my portfolio for a live casting with Torrid in Dallas this weekend! Wish me luck! ❤ 😉

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Image Credit: Solight Photography

XOXO Chica Rosita

The Belly: The New Erogenous Zone

As I recently watched Trainwreck by the brilliant, funny, and badass Amy Schumer, I was inspired to write about the belly. Actually, pretty much any other body part other than breasts, butt, and the vagina. As these are the most glorified erogenous zones of the female anatomy in our media, Inside Amy Schumer made this comedic music video in response to the hyper sexualized video vixen of our pop culture.

Check it out:

If this doesn’t make you think twice about the butt, I don’t know what will. Personally, I find that there is nothing wrong with glorifying the female body, but my version is inclusive. All female bodies are worthy of admiration and sex appeal. However, there is something to be said about the functional uses of these erogenous zones. You may like my butt and my boobs, but they serve more of a purpose than just sex.

I recently read this article from Men’s Health that shed some light on why men are fixated on these erogenous zones, specifically the rear end.  I’ve read similar articles with studies referenced about why men love curvier women and they conclude that procreation plays a big factor. I can see why the hourglass figure would be appealing to the male specimen in search to procreate. The full breasts and child-bearing hips indicate a female body in condition to give birth and provide childcare. But, the butt? What’s with that?

Growing up in a Mexican-American culture, a woman’s nalgas are something of praise and criticism. They can be too big (nalgona), too small (nalgitas), too lumpy (nalgas de queso), not proportioned, and the list goes on and on. While studies indicate that men love curvier women, culture and society’s beauty standards have a huge influence in the type of female physical features you should be attracted to. She can have an hourglass shape, but wait…she can’t be fat! The distribution of that fat has to be perfect, and that to me is ridiculous. It calls to mind the Barbie beauty standard: tiniest waist, huge boobs, full hips, but not too curvy. Not fat!

And, as I watching Trainwreck, laughing my ass off, I noticed Amy’s character was gorgeous and a lot like me. She ate what she wanted to eat, drank alcohol, and wasn’t a supermodel thin leading lady. To me, Amy is not fat. She has fat, but Amy is not fat. And even Amy, beautiful body and all, is fat-shamed.

For these reasons and so many more, I want to glorify the  belly. I want to glorify the chubby arms, the thick legs, the nalgonas.

With a quick internet search, I was able to find many websites and social media pages dedicated to lovers of bbws, curvy women, thick women, and the list goes on. There is, however, a stigma attached to these pages and its followers. The first thing that comes to mind is “it’s a fetish”; it’s something abnormal to be sexually attracted to a woman with a belly, something taboo. However, as referenced by Men’s Health article, The Science of Why You’re an Ass Man, there is something animalistic about having sex by mounting the rear end, almost forbidden, taboo.  Yet, we find it socially and culturally acceptable to glorify the ass, but not the belly.

As the positive body image movement is thriving, there is change. Plus-size bloggers, models, fashion industry leaders, magazine editors, and big women in general are taking a stand. They are channeling their voice, their power to advocate for bodies that have cellulite, rolls, stretchmark’s, big arms, thick thighs, and other attributes previously deemed undesirable for a woman’s body. In the wake of this  movement, men and women are finding a safe haven to love their bodies. And, while there is much change to society’s beauty standards to be made, it’s a step in the right direction.

 love is
XOXO Chica Rosita

Day 30

Day 30: Are You Happy With Yourself?

I thought about what I could write to back up my answer, but I believe all my posts leading up to this are evident of my new found happiness.

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I started my morning taking pictures at the graffiti art wall on Baylor St. in Austin. In the wake of the crop-top backlash in response to O magazine’s fashion advice, I decided to end my 30 day self-esteem challenge with a new challenge. What happened when I took to the streets of ATX wearing a crop-top for the first time?

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It’s a beautiful sunny and naturally hot Sunday as I step out of the truck to take some pictures. I can see there is a rather large crowd at the graffiti art wall. I thought about running back to the truck, making an excuse that there were simply too many people to get good shots, but NO! Every step I have taken this year is to raise my confidence, build up my self-esteem, and ultimately live a life loving my body.

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Every inch of this massive outdoor wall speaks loudly with its vibrant colors and imaginative depictions: some political, some about love or music, and others were messages to the next wandering soul. I tried very hard not to look at peoples reactions and focus on myself, but it was difficult not to stare. I think it was part of the process. And, guess what happened?

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Nothing.

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I mean it…nothing. Sure, some people glanced quickly while passing by, but I didn’t draw a crowd out. Everyone was busy doing their thing, taking amazing pictures of their own, a memory of this spectacular place. See, I know there are times when I will face the ugly looks and stare-downs by nasty people, but today was not one of those days, and I am happy for that reason.

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Today, I enjoyed taking my pictures with my fabulous, cute belly out and proud. Today was a good day. Today I am happy. I cannot speak for tomorrow, but I am hopeful, always the eternal optimist, the dreamer.

love is

Hooded Textured Knit Pullover Shirt by Ashley Stewart

The Chuck Taylor All Star high top by Converse

Blue Jean Shorts by Melrose

Aviator Sunglasses by Betsey Johnson

XOXO Chica Rosita