Did you know June is Caribbean American Heritage Month?
As the month comes to a close, we wanted to highlight plus size Caribbean influencers contributing to the larger plus size community! Caribbean influencers like Simone Mariposa, Flaws of Couture, and Toni Wilson are shifting culture and making waves in the plus size community.
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In an interview with Bahmanian Political Strategist, Lenisha Gibson noted that plus size Caribbean Women are working in every industry, making the lives of everyone across the globe better. She said, “When you’re a Black Caribbean Woman, people often think you’re African American, but we are not. We are Black, but we bring our own heritage, culture, and unique experiences to the World”.
Plus size caribbean Women create businesses, products, fashion brands, and more!
5 Caribbean American Leaders You Should Know!
Contreras was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the United States. She is the founder of Miss Rizos (Miss Curls), a curly hair brand that is helping Women fall in love with their hair.
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She opened a curly hair salon the same month that New York city decided to ban discrimination against natural hair. Her work is changing the culture and normalizing curly hair. She wants Afro-Latinas to feel proud of their hair.
“We use not only our curly hair salons but also our social media presence to redefine beauty standards and create a more inclusive picture of what it means to be beautiful. Our goal is to change the world one curl at a time.” – Carolina Contreras
Shirley Dorsainvil is a Haitian blogger, therapist, and content creator in Orlando, FL. She is the creator behind @haitianswhoblog, a revolutionary community increasing the visibility of Haitian influencers, bloggers, & creatives. Haitians Who Blog has helped Haitian creatives get jobs and influencer placements. In 2019, Shirley created Dorsainvil Creative, a social media management, printing, radio, and mobile media company.
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Shirley Dorsainvil continues to push the culture forward for all of the communities she represents. Remind everyone to love their bodies and take care of themselves.
“It’s important to advocate for body image because it is YOUR BODY. You choose what you want, when you want, how you want, so no one has the right to tell you otherwise. Just love on yourself girl!” – Shirley Dorsainvil
Sarah Hamel-Smith aka Curvytrini, is a plus size blogger, fashion model, and influencer from Trinidad residing in NYC. She is dedicated to helping fat people who never fit in love themselves.
She created Plus Amplified, a community dedicated to redefining the Fat experience. She is working to make society more equitable for fat people around the World. Plus Amplified was created to help show fat people their worth despite fatphobia.
“Some people will hate you no matter what you do, so find a way to be at peace with yourself.” – Curvytrini
Yoki K Hanley
Yoki Hankey, created a plant based skin care brand to help with her daughter’s skin. The mother of six, began mixing oils, fruits, and plants to create a cure for her baby. With the help of her husband, she created a brand that has helped take care of her family. Yoki used her caribbean culture to help start Itiba Beauty, a skin soothing brand.
In 2000, she had her 5th child who was very irritated at night and Yoki couldn’t figure out what was happening to her daughter. After several visits to the doctors office and ending up at a dead end, she began monitoring her child more closely and learned that it was the baby products she was using on her child. This journey lead Yoki to learn about bushes and plants.
“My children and grandchildren are still the first ones to test any and all products, and if for any reason one of them has an issue with the products, then it is scrapped. If they cannot use it, then I will not make it – it’s as simple as that.” – Yoki Hanley
Merline T. Saint Juste
Merline T. Saint Juste, known as Mimi, Is a Haitian plus size boutique owner, blogger and influencer in South Florida. Mimi’s fashion brand, Mimi’s Boutiq, has plus sizes ranging from 1x-3x! Mimi is known for her fashion shows that help show diverse bodies. She has frequent fashion shows in New York and South Florida.
Mimi has been hosting Women’s brunches for the past 4 years. Over 200 Women attended her brunch in Miami, Florida this month She is dedicated to teaching Women about the power of communication. She says “it’s important to learn how to communicate”
Who are some other Caribbean American community leaders and influencers we may have missed? We would love to add to this list! As June comes to a close, did you get a chance to celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month?!