Another amazing year of plus size fashion is coming to an end. 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. Rather, bloggers are 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. It was 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. 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. This difference 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. 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_
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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
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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. King 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. This was to break the boundaries of plus size models shown on fashion’s biggest platform.
P.S. Kaguya, @p.s.kaguya
P.S. Kaguya started sharing her self love journey in early 2017. She now uses her popular Instagram account to representing for the unconventional plus size and curvy Asian babes. They are a special group 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. This was done as part of Khrystyana and Paige Noel’s #theREALcatwalk alongside models such Denise Mercedes and Jovanna Marie.
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Date night makeup from last night and a shit quality photo! 🤷🏾♀️ My brain is on E today. I totally forgot TODAY is valentine’s so I’m scrubbing my house down and throwing together some last second gift situations that will be more sentimental and interactive than material. That’s my new thing- stop showering everyone I know with STUFF so that I don’t have to BE THERE. . . Just looking inwards, I know that I blame so much on my social anxiety and ADHD. And maybe lots of things actually are a result of sorting through all of that. But I also know, just being honest with myself and you all, that I throw material things at ppl because I’m exhausted! And I don’t want to spend the extra energy of being fully present. So I toss gifts to feel accomplished. . . I know parents will feel me here on this: My kids always show me my flaws and where I have it all fucked up. My kids have been showing me how much they prioritize material accumulation and consumption to being present and engaging authentically with me, family, friends… everyone. And I know that’s ME! They’re showing me myself and how, since working for myself, I have been throwing THINGS so I can give myself a break and not do that which is harder for me- being emotionally present and vulnerable with them. I’m not perfect and this isn’t a fucking pity party. That’s not how I navigate my life. This is me telling you that I dicked around with my time and I started the month broke, so I have to actually do something MEANINGFUL for today. Because let’s be real, if we didn’t have these holiday markers reminding us to pause and do something sweet and thoughtful for one another, many of us wouldn’t make the time. And we wouldn’t realize that we never slowed down long enough to see that so much time has lapsed. . . So for all my folks out there needing ideas for Valentine’s Day that don’t involve spending more than $5-10, drop your ideas below. . . And for anyone needing to hear it today- You really are loved and wonderful and Enough. The one thing I can truly say I never get tired of is Loving People. And I love you.
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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. She does so in most of her captions helping to educate her followers on everything. This could go 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”. 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. 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.
Who were a few of the bloggers, influencers, and instagrammers that inspired you this year? Let’s discuss.
Alysse Dalessandro is a plus size fashion blogger, writer, social influencer, designer, and professional speaker. After graduating with a double-major in Journalism and Gender Studies from Loyola University Chicago, this entrepreneur is best known as the owner/designer for body positive fashion brand and personal style blog Ready to Stare. Her brand has become a haven for those whom fashion has otherwise ignored. It's a space where individual style is celebrated and breaking the rules is encouraged. Alysse has been featured on Good Morning America, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and more. She recently walked in dapperQ's fourth annual queer fashion show during New York Fashion Week.