Another amazing year of plus size fashion is coming to an end so it’s time to take a look at some of the personal style bloggers whose strong looks made this 2017 standout! In past years, we have seen breakout bloggers land major campaign collaborations. This year wasn’t about brands making major leaps in partnerships but rather, bloggers taking things into their own hands to share their personal style and their stories on social media.
2017 wasn’t just about what style bloggers were wearing, though they certainly brought LOOKS, but also about their message and what they had to say. We saw a range of diverse voices battling cancer with makeup, sharing their coming out stories, fighting online trolls and even strutting in New York Fashion Week. This year, personal style bloggers and Instagrammers showed that the plus size community has something to say.
Troy Solomon, @ABearNamedTroy
If it seems like Troy Solomon was everywhere in 2017, he kinda was. From partnerships with ELOQUII and ASOS, this blogger helped put big & tall babes on the map this year. He was named one of Buzzfeed’s most stylish people at NYFW. And back in August, Torrid shared a photo of Solomon on social media that sparked a major discussion about plus size clothing and gender. Solomon told MIC, “…I know that a lot of what I do and what I put out into the social media realm can be considered controversial for a lot of people. I tend to blur the line between gender roles and how they are reflected in fashion and I know this is still a relatively new concept, but a very important one.” Body positivity that is inclusive of all genders is very important, indeed.
Ashley Marie, @glamghoul
This San Diego-based Instagrammer has absolutely exploded in growth since she started sharing her fashion journey only six months ago. Her following has nearly tripled since she hit 20K at the end of August. She approaches fashion as a creative outlet and doesn’t like to define her style in any one genre or mood which makes her style relatable to everyone from boho babes to alternative chicks. Through her images, she also shares her self love journey and aims to help normalize models with tattoos.
Amanda Ramirez, @comptonsveryown
In early 2017, Amanda Ramirez’s story spread throughout the internet. This plus size makeup artist was battling cancer with a full beat. Ramirez opened up her life to her Instagram followers letting us in on her poetry, OOTDs, and daily makeup routine before chemotherapy treatments. Makeup has been an integral part of her self love journey and when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, makeup helped her continue to spread a positive message to her followers. She told NBC News, “I want to humanize cancer —it’s so easy for people to kind of villainize it and not take it for what it is — it’s just a sickness. It really doesn’t have the power to make you feel a certain way unless you let it.”
Gia Natalia Narvaez, @sassytruth_
You know most of my life I felt like I didn't fit in, even though I tried my best to stick to the status quo, I always felt like the odd one out. I eventually got to a place in my life where I was tired of giving society what was expected of me, and instead decided to slowly start relishing in what made me different. Being a fat, transgender, Latina might not be the norm but I'm okay with that. I decided that my happiness was more important than fitting in, and I'm never looking back. Being yourself is so radical, like I'm out here thriving in a world that tells women like me to hide and live in secrecy. I hope you too, can fully live in your truth, and if not at least slowly start building the courage to live your life for you. Love you Instafam, thank you for continuously providing a space for me to flourish. Dress: @fashionnovacurve 📷: @joshua_kardashian
Gia Natalia Narvaez is sharing her truth as a transgender fat babe on Instagram and her growing YouTube channel. Whether she’s slaying in swimwear or stunning in a high-slit dress, Narvaez’s style is sweet and unapologetically sassy at the same time. When she’s not sharing hauls or OOTDs, she’s sharing her story. Her post for National Coming Out Day garnered 7,000+ likes and nearly 200 comments. In the caption, Narvaez writes this powerful message, “Coming out isn’t always easy, and times will certainly be rough. But living your truth is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. And at the end of the day you have to ask yourself if you’re living your life to please others or if you’re living your life for yourself. Always believe in yourself, stand in your truth, remember your worth, and remember that tomorrow will be a brighter day.”
Instagrammer and model La’shaunae has had a busy year. When one of her photos was turned into a cruel meme back in March, model Reece King came to her defense and helped turn the negative situation into a flood of positive comments. La’shaunae was even turned into a cute cartoon. Her platform continued to grow as people took note of her trendy style. In September, she walked for Whatever 21 during New York Fashion Week breaking the boundaries of plus size models shown on fashion’s biggest platform.
P.S. Kaguya, @p.s.kaguya
You don't need to have a waist 3+ sizes smaller than your hips to be cute or sexy. My waist is 2 sizes smaller than my chest and hips. Some days my tummy is plumper than others and some days it has faux ab lines. I'm all for health and body improvement but remember do it for YOU and not for the "world" or "for approval" and stop wasting time in trying to be accepted for your outer appearance and stay forever salty. You will be too pickled to even be enjoyed. (like bitch!) It's hard at first and I wish at times I started loving myself since I was younger, like damn all these younger girls I find lately give me fucking life! But I didn't believe in myself back then. Also the people you surround yourself is so key 🔑 Comparison is the worst enemy and you are the only critic that matters. Live your life to the most optimal and slay with me and fuck the rest ☺️ p.s. Sorry for being preachy #effyourbeautystandards also – I slay in #myclavins 💖@julianwhitephoto 🌹 . . . . . . #pink#glow#highlight#natural#beauty#bbw#bbwstyle#bodypositive#honormycurves#celebratemysize#slay#magic#asianmodel#asiangirls#inked#fullfigured#fashion#model#nycmodel#plussize#summer#curves#curvy#wavy#plusisequal#pskaguya
P.S. Kaguya started sharing her self love journey in early 2017 and now uses her popular Instagram account to representing for the unconventional plus size and curvy Asian babes who don’t see themselves shown in most mainstream fashion. Incorporating lingerie alongside outerwear, Kaguya’s bold style landed her the opportunity to walk through Times Square in her underwear as part of Khrystyana and Paige Noel’s #theREALcatwalk alongside models such Denise Mercedes and Jovanna Marie.
Earlier this year, I was asked about my biggest body positivity moment. Still very new to the community, and developing my understanding of what BoPo was about, my answer was simple. But loaded with nuances that get little recognition within the community. My answer, in short, was that body positivity taught me the rules I previously thought were important regarding my body were in fact Not rules to which I was forced to adhere. I could wear what I want, I could feel how I want, and I didn't have to apologize. Please understand that my talking about my body takes on an entirely different meaning, when analyzed intersectionally. . . So often, when people discuss body positivity, they do so on such a superficial level that I'm frightened achieving depth is a fantasy! While, yes, I applaud someone for having the confidence to wear what they want, I also want people to take more time understanding the difference between making clothing choices as a visibly fat person, a black woman, a disabled person, a nonbinary femme… suddenly "loving my body" and "getting dressed" take on bold, new and heavily politicized meanings. Suddenly, it's not about self confidence, such a fickle and circumstantial thing that is anyway!… Suddenly it's about a radical act of defying oppressive systems that dehumanize marginalized bodies by rigidly categorizing us into caricatures and archetypes. Accepting the bodies that mainstream society has already deemed less than valuable is revolutionary and is noteworthy. . . This was never meant to be a place where represented and accepted bodies find confidence by being in the presence of the marginalized. I'm tired of marginalized bodies being the reason white women with layers of societal privilege feel good about theirs.
With stunning selfies and flawless OOTDs, the Instagram account of self-taught MUA Sassy may appear aesthetically beautiful but this is the account of an activist with something to say. With a political approach to the platform, Sassy discusses mental health, equality, social justice, and body politics in most of her captions helping to educate her followers on everything from gun violence and net neutrality to how to make body positivity more inclusive to marginalized bodies. Sassy describes her role as an activist to “regularly facilitate and engage in critical & intersectional conversations regarding feminist issues” and it’s certainly a nice shift to see outfit inspiration alongside the educational conversations that she continues over on her Patreon.
Fashion is more than just a form of self expression. It can be a catalyst for social change and with 2017’s breakout bloggers and Instagrammers showing us the personal is as political as ever, there’s no telling what kind of important conversations that 2018 will bring.