Curvy Edit Shows My Body-Shamed Self Has Been Waiting A Lifetime

Tears stuck in my eyes and I tried to run away. Just saw the first curb edit show at Australian Fashion Week. Women of all sizes, ages and colors on a daily basis attended the show featuring Australian size labels that not only cater to women with curves but also celebrate women with curves.

Why do we need another show? And I answer: why? How absolutely amazing to see women come out one after another and own the runway in ways they never have before.

Yes, every show is supposed to show a wide variety of body types, and thankfully no other Fashion Week show this year has revealed that for the first time. Seeing a label that has long said that you can’t put it in your clothes was a breakthrough for an industry that has long resisted body diversity.

The Curve Edit, hosted by Australia’s first plus-size modeling agency bella managementnot only celebrating fashion-loving diverse bodies on the runway, but the pre- and post-show action with influencers who own their own style and their own bodies was an absolute joy to watch.

Jo @icurvy Nikki @stylingyou and April @thebodzilla atThe Curve Edit Australian Fashion Week 2022

Taken with Joe @icurvy (left) and April @thebodzilla (Right) At the first curb edit fashion show at Australian Fashion Week

The whole afternoon felt surreal.

Did I see this at Australian Fashion Week?

NOBODY (outside the catwalk or Carriageworks) looked like me the last time I attended Australian Fashion Week in 2014. And there are very few clothes available in my size (14-16). Yet here I was, surrounded by designers who understood it, fellow influencers, customers who wanted to see more, and models who exuded pride and joy.

Jo @icurvy Riley @healthychick101 and Katie @kate_parrott atThe Curve Edit Australian Fashion Week 2022

The front row that I always wanted to see: Joe (from the left) @icurvyRiley @ healthy chick 101 and Katie @katie_parrott

I texted one of the designers, Kerry, the morning of the Curve Edit show. Harlow Australia, is a label that I have supported since the beginning. Kelly, a “vintage” like me, and we shared the hope that this one show of his could have a positive impact on future generations of fashion-loving people of all sizes.

It was the show I wanted to see in my 20s. Maybe I just haven’t done the work yet to undo the body shaming and diet culture that’s been internalized for decades. Looking at it, I don’t think I needed to change my body to match fashion. Maybe you knew there was clothes out there for me.

If even one person saw this show and felt empowered by what they saw and realized they didn’t have to change their bodies to fit fashion, then all the work that went into it was worth it. I guess.

A dysfunctional lifelong relationship with fashion

As a child, I was always what my “well-meaning” relatives would call “plump”. Except I didn’t.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I noticed a difference from my classmates. When I sat cross-legged on the floor in the classroom, my thighs weren’t as flat as the girl next door. Not only did I acknowledge our differences, but I wanted what she had.

Despite these early negative body image thoughts, I had a deep love for clothes. My non-conformist parents didn’t believe in school uniforms, they weren’t mandatory in primary schools in Queensland in the ’70s, and when I was nine, I wore her five outfits. were lined up. I was proud of what I created from my very limited wardrobe. Most of it consisted of dresses Nan found at a local Vinny’s. Her first part-time job was at a small clothing store when she was 15. weather. Every penny she earned from her two weeks of work during that vacation was used to buy clothes at the store.

I continued to get my fashion inspiration from magazines. First was Dolly, and by the time I went to college, I had graduated from Cleo and Cosmo. All of these magazine fashions of the 1980s were shown on ultra-tall women, sizes 6-8. Most retail chains only offered clothes up to size 12 or 14.

I got smarter. I learned which styles worked for my body type and worked well in a standard 14 and made my own clothes! The messages I received from magazines and people around me were that I had a problem, not the clothes I was going to wear.

Diet culture was deeply ingrained in my parents’ psyche (to be fair, it was in most people’s parents in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s) and it was passed on to me. . I “learned” that I only feel better about my body when I’m thinner. Spoiler alert: My body has never been skinny.

Still, I longed for the clothes and fashion I saw in magazines. I will keep coming back/buying more magazines.

I wasn’t satisfied with my work life. I got a job as a fashion editor at a newspaper company where he spent most of the first 20 years of his career. Became an editor of the magazine’s weekly lifestyle magazine and booked a cover shoot with a model through a model agency. That was in the early 2000s and she was the only model I wanted to book. Because she was the only model who wasn’t a school-age size 6 or 8. The industry baffled me even though I wanted to feature diverse women on magazine covers.

When you realize you can be a part of a much-needed industry revolution

In 2008, at the age of 41, I jumped out of journalism and into the then little-known world of blogging and social media, but I was overwhelmed by the idea of ​​publishing pictures of myself dressed to anyone with a computer. I never imagined it would be. And fashion he never imagined would create a business devoted to championing body diversity in marketing. But here we are 14 years later.

When I started blogging, I realized there was a big disconnect between the fashion industry and the consumer. Women in my community couldn’t “see” themselves in clothes that featured models in campaign images, magazines and runways.

I started the Models and Me series to provide just one alternative body type. In this series, I will introduce models who wear the same clothes as me. Same but different. Not good – one alternative. These posts sold a lot of the independent brand clothes I featured.

Then came Instagram. Hazard! In 2013, I #everyday style Community – Women of all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds have joined and started sharing their daily outfits. Hashtags are now a beast of their own, but I’m still avidly following the women who were part of this groundbreaking community. contribute, Start transforming an industry that has been lagging behind. Fashion inspiration no longer comes solely from his one body type, age and color in the mainstream media. To this day, we curate our feeds to inspire you with the fashions seen by all kinds of people. And I urge you to do the same. Not everyone I follow shares the same personal style, but how boring it would be if we all wore the same outfits.

On launching my own label in 2019, I had the opportunity to lead by example in marketing, becoming the first label to globally photograph every design in every size model in stock (with the ongoing goal of expanding the size range 6-20 with). It’s definitely a case of putting my money — a lot of money — in my mouth, but there’s no way I wouldn’t have gone this route.

We are proud to be a small part of the change we are seeing through catwalks and brands that are poised to shake up this long-awaited disruption. The ultimate goal of all fashion brands is to sell clothes. Give us different visual cues to market those clothes to us so we can imagine them wearing them. welcome us

Then shut up and take the money.

Nikki @stylingyou at The Curb Edit Australian Fashion Week 2022

more body-loving reading

Why you need to stop worrying about your body shape

Body acceptance is a mental muscle and the best daily exercise

Dressing Confidence: How to Get It and Feel Good

The Styling You Annual Swimsuit Edition 2021

Changed the way I think about exercise