We hope you loved getting to know our youngest featured blogger feature ever – Antoinette of Antoinette Johnson!! This week, we head south to Texas to meet up with Ashley of Ms. Be You Do You. This petite plus blogger is also a model, entrepreneur, and body positive activist, hoping to inspire other plus size women to be confident, bold, and authentic. Blogging for just six months. Ashley is already on a path to accomplishing big goals and having a successful blogging career. She is a plus size blogger YOU NEED TO KNOW!!!
Meet Ashley of Ms. Be You Do You!!
Blog: Ms. Be You Do You
Location: Beaumont, TX
How long have you been blogging? 6 months
What or who inspired you to become a fashion blogger? What led you to it?
I was inspired to become a plus model/fashion blogger/body activist because there are so many people in all shapes and sizes I come in contact with that exude self-hate instead of love and acceptance.
Do you blog full-time, for fun, as a hobby? Share your evolution!
I would have to say that I blog part-time with full-time energy and effort as I wear many hats. My journey into the industry was pure happenstance. I’m over 30, plus size, under 5’4″, a school teacher by trade, and a single parent. Nothing about me screamed model or fashion blogger other than my confidence, love and appreciation for different styles, and the opportunity to help a friend by taking photos for her online boutique. The first photos happened in June of last year, and along with the power of social media, today I have appeared in a magazine, modeled for 3 boutiques, walked in 2 fashion shows, experienced African Fashion week, launched my personal online site, and created a platform to form a movement to empower others to love themselves and live life their way! I now have my MsBeyoudoyou brand with t- shirts, bags, cups, etc. that I make myself in a kiosk at the mall, World Couture Boutique, and an on-line store. There’s so much I’m trying to build and do to just help others live the best life, and so far my evolution has been amazing!!! Looking forward to the future!
What is your favorite asset? Your legs, arms, waist? How do you play that up?
My favorite asset would have to be my curves and my face!!! I am very short, but was blessed to be what I think to be very proportioned, so I tend to carry my weight well in what some would call an hourglass shape. Who wouldn’t like their hour glass full? I wear form- fitting clothes most of the time to accentuate my curves and smaller waistline. I’m short with a short torso, short legs and short arms, so extra material only makes me look larger than I am. I add my face as well because I’ve always felt I had a beautiful face and smile that could capture a room, so even when I didn’t love my extra weight years ago, I knew that my face would always make the cut!
What are the challenges, if any, you face regarding being petite and plus size?
Now that I’m in the industry, planned or unplanned, I’ve been forced to face some realities. Yes, I am short. Yes, I am plus size. Yes, I will hear the word no and often. Yes, there is a place for me in the industry. Yes, I will have to pay my dues and invest in myself, and yes, penetrating the industry will be tough. I’ve also learned that no doesn’t have to be a no. It could just be a not now, so [I’ve learned] to always use that to my advantage to network and build relationships. I can’t shop from just anywhere, and there will be many returns for internet shopping and that’s okay! Nothing ever worth it comes easy, so I embrace every challenge as an experience and a way to build me!
What’s your favorite thing about being petite and plus size?
My favorite thing about being petite and plus size, along with being confident, would have to be my ability to empower and inspire others just like me. I want to show your everyday person that if you want it, go after it! You don’t have to fit into the standards of others to be great, and it’s okay to create your own standard and live in it!!! I am a walking billboard for self-love, body positivity, confidence, and style.
What’s your favorite thing about being a petite plus size blogger?
My favorite thing about being a petite/plus fashion blogger is the ability to help others just like me see what can work for them. Not everyone has a ton of money to afford the latest trends, so I love shopping on a budget and showing how really affordable pieces can be styled to look like a million bucks. I love sharing fashion and beauty tips that can help someone really struggling with things that are simple fixes. I ultimately want someone to be able to log on to my blog and find a solution to whatever they’ve been struggling with and to have gained something positive before signing off.
Who/what are your favorite designers/brands?
I am a Forever 21 fanatic and should probably own a portion of the company, mainly because their plus line keeps up with the latest trends at an affordable price, without compromising the quality of the clothes. I only wear a lot of my outfits one once or twice, so purchasing items at an affordable price is gold to me. I also like Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, and Torrid.
Describe your personal style.
I would have to say my personal style is comfy chic, with a touch of edgy to add a little flavor. I really like to push the envelope with things that I try to express my love for diversity within any wardrobe.
Which bloggers inspire you? Plus or straight size! Any bloggers currently on your radar?
The Real Sample Size, Nikki Free Style, and Style Over Size, just to name a few!!!! I love tuning in to what like-minded women have to say about what’s current. I’m also a baby blogger compared to them and am always looking for ways to improve, gain experience, and be and stay relevant!
What do you think about where plus size fashion is today versus a few years back?
For starters, people realized plus size women are beautiful too, and news flash – there are actually way more women over a size 8 than people realize, and we deserve nice options to choose from with bold colors and fashion forward trends just like the smaller women. A woman can be a size 18 or 24 and can still radiate beauty, confidence, and happiness to sell any brand. I feel like that’s what’s different in our world today!! More and more brands are extending their sizes to accommodate a huge percentage of the population. We are able to find things that we love in more places with more affordable prices today than ever before, and I’m absolutely loving it!
What do you think or hear from readers, is one of the biggest myths about plus size fashion?
Hmmmmm myths, who’s needs them? Plus size women should stay away from prints. Plus size women should stay away from bold or bright colors. Plus size woman should never wear stripes. Plus size women can’t wear mini skirts. Plus size women can’t wear see-through pieces. Plus size women can’t wear tops that show their midriff!! I could go on for days!!!!
My answer to all of these and more is to wear what you like and what you feel makes you look beautiful!! Eff their beauty standards and don’t be afraid to create your own!!!
Are you working on anything or have anything to share? Anything else you want The Curvy Fashionista’s readers to know?
I want to share that I hesitated to go to a casting call for a swimwear photo shoot and runway show due to the height requirement listed, but at the last minute decided to go. I was chosen as one of the models and am so happy I went. I want all of the readers to know that they can go after whatever they want. We never know what people are looking for. 2017-18 will be busy for Msbeyoudoyou. I will be expanding my brand to include more items available for purchase. I will have a calendar coming soon with opportunities for other plus size model hopefuls to be a part of. I will be launching my Beyoudoyou mentoring program geared towards adolescent age young ladies and young adults just to touch on a bit. So, besides adding my own experience and repertoire as a plus model/fashion blogger, I will be expounding on my body activist title to empower others.
Lastly, what does Curvy.Confident.Chic mean to you?
Curvy.Confident.Chic in my eyes means embracing your body, loving yourself both in and out while not being afraid to live in your own standards – whether it’s in fashion or just living life period!
Check out Ashley’s blog at MsBeYouDoYou.com!!
Do you dig her style? Which look is your fave? Let’s talk about it below!!
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