I have been a plus size influencer/blogger for the past 7 years. I have received thousands of comments, DMs, emails, etc. over the years and some of them have followed a pattern. It’s a pattern that saddens me because it is a direct reflection of societal norms that have been ingrained in us as being plus size. Although the plus size movement has come a looooooong way, there are still things that we battle both externally and internally within our own community. One of those things boils down to the notion that there is a right and wrong way to be plus size. Let me explain.
The Right & Wrong Way to be Plus Size
Tell me if this sounds familiar to you, whether you’ve thought it or actually spoken it. “I’m too _____ to wear that”. “But I have this ______ so that wouldn’t look right on me”. “I wish I had her shape so that I could wear something like that”. I’m sure that it does sound familiar because these are the types of messages that I receive all of the time. Now let me start by saying that I do believe that not everything is for everyone. Each body is different and therefore not every piece of clothing is going to compliment you in the way it should. For instance, I can’t wear slip dresses to save my life. They are so cute but never fit my body right. However, I first try it and don’t just assume that it won’t work for me. Then if it doesn’t work, I don’t personalize it and make it seem as though there is a flaw in me. And I think that’s the key.
On top of that, there has become this belief that certain shapes, namely hourglass, are the “right way to be plus size”. There’s a lot of layers to unpack that could really be a TED Talk. However, I’ll keep it brief. With the influx of plus sizes becoming more mainstream, brands that were newly entering this market were & are only using models of a certain shape and size. Therefore, psychologically we become conditioned to thinking that what we are seeing the most must be the plus size “ideal”. That brings about a lot of comparisons to how you look versus how they look and not just they, me too. Although I am bigger than most models, I see the messages about coveting my shape and how I’m “curvy in all the right places”. But who told you what the right places were?
I think that we have to stop and think about how the same systems that told us that it wasn’t okay to be plus size are now dictating what type of plus size we should be. And that’s really unfortunate! Because no matter if you carry your weight all over, or if you have a bigger stomach, or if you have large arms….your body is still worthy!
Top & Skirt Set – Amazon (*see fit notes below) | Hat – Amazon | Shoes – Target | Bag – Amazon (similar)
*Material in this set does show cellulite. It is not a thin material and actually has a nice texture to it, but it does not conceal dimples. However, I am wearing shape wear underneath my skirt so that really helps to minimize that.
Photographer: Steve Suavemente
I’ve not always been plus size…but since I am…i have embrassed it. Yeah ice breast those comments to…but I believe when you wear it coupled with confidence its a whole different outcome. I get told often that yeah you are plus size but you wear it so well…or you look great. I appreciated you and your style. I get excited when i see your fashion week after week. Please keep the styles coming.
You are spot on with this! I love it (and that shade of green too)!! Recently, I have gotten to a point where I’m more focused on embracing my shape and finding outfits that flatter me. I’m 5’4 top heavy, apple shaped with slim legs. Not a hip in sight🤣. I love A-lined dresses especially with a defined waist, anything peplum, or cascading cardigans. I absolutely love seeing different plus size shapes modeling plus size clothes! Tall, short, apple, pear, curvy, or straight. Anything else feels like an injustice. I was someone who stayed away from leggings because my legs are so slim. Last year I tried them out. I was so comfy that now I’m like who cares🤷🏽♀️.
I absolutely love to hear that! It’s so important to embrace your shape and find clothing that compliments you. And if it doesn’t, that does not mean that there is a flaw with your body. Also, a lot of things are mental and we stay away from them for no reason but our own
Thank you Kristine for your open talk about this issue. Also, I appreciate your starred footnote about the outfit fabric not being one that conceals cellulite. That is the actual kind of intel we need when shoping online retailers! You rock!!
Thanks so much! And yes of course. I feel like it’s so important to be informed so that you know what to expect. Never want anyone to buy something because of me and be disappointed.
Can you post the link of the shapewear ?
I would love something on the shapewear as well!
I feel seen! Like many plus size women my size/weight fluctuates and it’s difficult to even really identify my body type. And when I constantly see the “hourglass” it makes me feel like that’s the only plus size body shape that’s beautiful. I love your blog and IG. I’m constantly recreating your looks and finding the confidence to love my body as is and be bold in my personal style. Thank you!
Thank you for post this . I identify.
Thanks for reading!
Hello what size are you wearing it looks really nice on you. I’m curvy 14 trying to figure out if I can for xl
Hello, I’m wearing a size XXL and I am a size 18
Thank you so much for this post. Being a short girl who is 5’1, I was raised to not wear certain things because I had hips and everything else below. Now that I am older and have had kids I no longer care what people think. This post just confirms what I have always thought about myself. I’m the bomb! 😘
Yes! I absolutely love this
Thank you for this post, it helps curvy girls like me to love ourselves and go forward
Thank You so much for this article Ms.Kristine .
Thank you for this blog, I have an hour glass, so I understand the comments you mention. I can remember being so insecure due to those out loud comments when I would walk down a street. The comments are so loud anymore, or maybe they seem quieter because I have become very secure in me. Thank you again!
Hi Kim, thanks so much for your comment. So happy to hear that you feel more secure in yourself. That’s the key
I really appreciate this article on shapes and sizes. At one time this is how I felt about myself but now I’m loving my curves, my pouch (tummy) and thick thighs. I remember saying I would never wear leopard print because of my size but last winter I bought some leopard leggings and guess what I loved how it looked on me and received a lot of compliments 🥰. Love your fashion ideas and articles keep up the good work.
I absolutely love to hear that! Thanks so much for reading!
This looks amazing on you!
May I ask what size you’re wearing?
Thanks so much! I’m wearing an XXL
You look really great! Im plus size but the problem is a lot of shapewear I have tried makes other parts of me not look right. If I wear a full girdle, my boobs get smushed and usually also I have a panty line. I like the the ones that are like biker shorts and have the chest area cut out where you can wear your own bra but then I have to make sure the bottoms (skirt or dress) are long enough to cover the short. If I wear a panty girdle, I get muffin top or if it’s high waisted, it rolls down and again…panty lines…What kind of shapewear do you wear that doesnt give you muffin top or panty lines?
Hi Jessica. Thanks so much! I wear shorts or thong shapewear to avoid panty lines altogether. Also, I always get the high-waist ones to avoid a muffin top. The one that I’m wearing in this post isn’t as tight as my normal ones so I just rolled it down to still show the two-piece. Since its a larger size, it didn’t really cause too much bulging at the waist. The brands that I’ve been wearing lately are Shapermint & Spanx. Hope that helps.