• “You can do better – but you don’t have to!” | An open letter •

• “You can do better – but you don’t have to!” | An open letter •

Dear Alessandra,

I’m very upset with → your blog post about me and honestly dislike this idea for your column. Not because you don’t like → my outfit – that’s just a matter of taste and nobody has to like my looks. It’s because you simply destroyed the message I keep trying to convey to my readers – wear whatever you want, whenever you want! – and which I want them to understand and live with three little words: not at all.

There are always other options to wear an outfit, better ones and some that look worse. You can always “do better” in someone else’s opinion. That’s why bloggers like to share their looks – to inspire their readers. To empower them to try new things, have fun with fashion, ignore what others think about them and just be free.

Lu-zhiet-an-coulotte-modificato

But taking someone’s picture WITHOUT ASKING, modifying it WITHOUT ASKING and well, in general saying that my outfit sucks like this (even though you used nicer words – but remember the post title “not at all”) isn’t okay. And it’s still not okay when you cover my face. And by the way: I’d definitely not look unhappy in the left picture, my original look, but very unhappy in your version of it. Don’t expect people to be happy about your styling “advice” that nobody asked for!

[Here’s a tip: ASK PEOPLE BEFORE YOU SHAME THEM if they want to be a part of your posts because not everyone will act like me, not everyone will take your post as “advice”, some will be offended and your posts might destroy their confidence! Also, there’s something called COPYRIGHT, so make sure you’re allowed to use the pictures (covering the face is no excuse!) because not everyone will act like me and write you why your posts are so horribly wrong – some could use their right to contact a lawyer because you stole their pictures for something that’s definitely not okay!]

Let me also explain that your idea for your look may be a better version of it by using Photoshop and adjusting the clothes to make my body look like it has a certain shape, but: In real life, with this kind of trousers, my short legs would look like elephants’ because my hips and butt need a EU size 48 while my lower legs are pretty slim. Pants like these aren’t cut like in your modified picture – no slimming at the knees, no shape for my legs. And my upper body is an average size 42/44, so the difference would be way too big and make everything look misshaped. A long jacket always hides my small waist which should actually be accentuated, and especially blazers that are longer (or let’s say any jacket that’s longer than boleros) don’t work for me because of the above-mentioned problems (there is no blazer or so that’s a 42 around the shoulders and chest and a 48 around the hips at the same time).

All in all, your idea of a better version of my look would make my 1.60m body look a lot bigger and fatter (which actually is no problem at all – fashion is not only about looking slimmer! – but you wrote about flattering) with a tiny head on top – not even a wide-brimmed hat could help to create a nice symmetry up there.

But seriously: I truly prefer my creativity, my uniqueness and my will to do and wear what I want, even though it may not be flattering, because I like it and feel great in it instead of letting strangers “optimize” me just to make themselves happier with how I look or should look for them.

I also had a look at the other two posts of your → “You can do better” column and I’m very sad and also pretty mad about your choice of words. Please stop using words like “defect” while describing others! Actually, stop describing people altogether! Stop talking about fashion “laws”! And stop thinking that your “optimizations” are improvements to the bloggers’ outfits! You are simply insulting other bloggers! And it is incredibly upsetting that it’s always the plus women themselves bashing other plus women. What you are doing is completely wrong! Especially because nobody – not me, certainly not Tanesha, and probably not the last girl, either, whose picture you used without even linking to her blog – asked you to do this!

I also want to repeat, especially for my readers: if you love your outfit and feel great in it – flaunt it. There’s no need to hide your flaws, no need to please someone else but you – only you.

And lastly, for you, Alessandra: don’t you ever tell someone what they can wear “not at all”. Just don’t.

• My 9 Favorite Plus Size Instagrammers •

• My 9 Favorite Plus Size Instagrammers •

I spend a lot of time on → Instagram. It’s my favorite social media channel and probably the greatest place for inspiration and inspiring people. Today, I want to introduce you to my 9 favorite plus size Instagrammers:

Georgina Cox • Blogger & Model@fullerfigurefullerbust

George is definitely one of my #girlcrush babes. She’s also the best source for tips for women with a fuller bust, since she reviews a lot of plus size underwear and, as you can see, knows what she’s talking about. I really hope to meet her one day!

Silvana Denker • Photographer & Model@silvanadenker

Silvana is a gorgeous German plus-size model and photographer and last year she started the #bodylove project, which is already known all around the globe. Next week (February 20), she’ll shoot in London, so maybe you want to join her or at least see it live?

Asta Nowarra • Blogger & Model@rolypolywardrobe

Asta is one of my favorite #bodypositive people out there. And she takes the greatest pictures of herself! She’s also an amazingly lovely human being, so please go and check out her Insta and get to know her! :)

Gabi Gregg • Blogger & Designer@gabifresh

Gabi is probably every plus blogger’s idol – she just launched another swimwear collection in cooperation with Swimsuits4all and her success is enormous! She also has one of the coolest styles out there, so taking a look is definitely worth it!

Ashley Graham • Model & Designer@theashleygraham

My absolute #girlcrush – for me, she’s the most beautiful woman in the world and I really love what she does. Her work is amazing and now she’s even the first real plus size cover model on Sports Illustrated. But that’s not all: she also has her own lingerie collection at Addition Elle, which is sold worldwide.

Gisella Francisca • Blogger@gisellafrancisca

My favorite Brazilian plus blogger is Gisella, her style is awesome and she deserves a lot more followers! :)

Denise Mercedes • Model@denisemmercedes

Denise is one of the hottest fat chicks out there – and we have the same swimsuit, haha! :) I like that she’s almost always wearing figure-hugging clothes and shows us all that being fat AND sexy is absolutely possible!

Mona Harlem • Blogger@monaharlem

One of only a handful of German bloggers who really dare to live fashion. Mona’s got an amazing style and definitely deserves to be known!

Denise Bidot • Model@denisebidot

Last year, Denise was the face of the Swimsuits4all campaign called #BeachBodyNotSorry (and the reason why I did → my own project around this hashtag). She’s one of the best-known plus models and absolutely gorgeous.

* all photos are taken from their Instagram accounts

Plus Size & Body Acceptance.

ENOn Monday, I was in Brussels with PrimaDonna Lingerie. They presented an expo of vintage pieces and some interesting information about how a PrimaDonna bra is manufactured (it’s made of 45 individual pieces and hand-sewn!). The highlight of the day was their fashion show, with many beautiful women, including top model → Myla Dalbesio (you might know her, she was Calvin Klein’s plus-sized model for an underwear campaign which caused a horrible shitstorm – instead of people admiring the great choice CK made with this beauty!).

myladalbesio

When I posted a picture of her on my Instagram account, one of the first comments was about her and being plus size – which, in the commenter’s opinion, is not okay because she’s not plus-sized and our society must be totally sick if she is. It made me think about why this comment came up because I hadn’t mentioned anything about her size, neither had I said something about plus size. I had just posted a beautiful women, with a gorgeous body, presenting great underwear (and referred to my Snapchat account for more live pictures of the show – with even more incredibly beautiful women!). By the way: PrimaDonna Lingerie makes underwear and especially bras for bigger cups, which in principle has nothing to do with plus size.

Why do people care so much about this? Why isn’t she allowed to be called plus size if she’s not a specific (let’s call it “obvious plus”) size? “Body Acceptance” doesn’t only mean accepting your own body but also others’ (skinny or fat or anything in between!). It means that you’re not the one who’s deciding about their health, what size they should be, what’s better for them, what’s more beautiful in your opinion. Short: “Body Acceptance” means not running down others’ bodies in order to make yourself feel better in yours.

Sure, it’s not the best message, especially for young girls, to show a woman with an absolutely normal body and call her plus size. But that’s fashion. You’re either size zero or anything else – which is plus size. And unfortunately, in fashion, for some brands or model agencies this already starts at size 38 (EU) instead of a 42, which would be more than enough for starting plus sizes. I’m not calling this okay – this is something that needs to be changed. 38 is not plus size for everybody. It’s a fashion thing. And this is why it’s our responsibility to always remember that this is not real life. Mothers have to remind their daughters that this is business and not a goal for everyone. Girls need to stop putting themselves down by comparing themselves with models in magazines (we all know that they don’t even look like this – it’s all Photoshop!). You’re not supposed to look like somebody else!

Anyways, why do people label each other? Why can’t Myla just be called a model, why do we always have to refer to a size instead of a person? That’s not “Body Acceptance”, that’s judging, even though this time it’s not in a bad way.
But there’s always this tedious discussion about models not being plus size enough, while actual plus size models (thinking of super babe → Tess Holliday!) are called unhealthy, glorifying obesity. What do people want? You can’t please everyone (not only in terms of “plus size”, but in any situation!). You’re either way too thin and not allowed to be called plus size or you’re too fat and not good enough for the term plus size. This discussion is sad and discriminatory for everybody.

Let’s stop labeling people, see them as numbers or sizes and what they “should” be. Let’s look at this picture and see a gorgeous woman with a beautiful, normal body.

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