If my friends were to characterise my fashion style, they may use the word adventurous. I have been complimented for taking fashion risks, especially relating to being plus size. As a curvier woman, there has been an expectation that I will dress modestly and cover up any ‘imperfections’. In recent years, I have grown to love my round belly and chubby arms. I have found pieces that accentuate my curves in a way that makes me feel confident and sexy.
I found that crafting my social media timelines to be a tool for inspiration was the first step. I began unfollowing accounts that made me feel insecure, and replaced them with women who had body shapes similar to mine.
With the current lockdown, many students may be struggling with their body image, as they may have lost the routines associated with confidence. These are some influencers who can reignite that self love fire.
Francesca Perks // @francescaperks
One of my favourites is Francesca Perks, a style blogger living in Manchester. We have similar style and shopping habits, and I personally connect with her page. Her aesthetic is beautiful: a retro style complete with scrunchies and delicate, feminine florals. She experiments with pastel colours and prints, perfecting a uniquely eccentric style. As a smaller influencer, she is more likely to communicate with her followers through the comments and direct messages. This is really refreshing, as you feel closer to her.
Lara // @laragiii
Lara is one of the first body positive influencers I ever followed. Lara is glamorous, donning heels and bodycon dresses. She has helped me to feel comfortable wearing trendy fashion that can sometimes be exclusive to smaller body types. One of the main reasons I follow Lara is because of her Depop (@laragiii) where she sells affordable, gently-owned plus size clothing. I’ve purchased from her more times than I’d care to admit, but it’s the perfect shop for end of term events.
Michelle Nayla // @michellejulietnaylaa
Michelle is a plus size influencer based in Cardiff. Similarly to Lara, her clothing is glamorous and some of it is sold on Depop. Michelle poses often in bikinis and bodycon dresses, helping women feel more confident in more revealing clothing. Her feed is the perfect inspiration for a night out or holiday outfits!
Sophie is British, based in Berlin, Germany. A scroll through her feed, will show you dark florals and black lace throughout her posts. In true Berlin fashion, Sophie’s style is somewhat alternative, with the addition of gold accessories and feminine prints.
Emma Hill @emmatamsinhill
Compared to many instagram influencers, Emma isn’t afraid to feature her bare face. What’s unique about Emma is her revolutionary brand “All Body UK”, a loungewear company with sizes ranging from small-5XL and showcasing models of all bodies: able bodied and not. Emma has perfected a balance between humour, honesty, and fashion on her platform.
Tinar Dandajena @tinar.dandajena
Tinar is a model from Coventry. She has opened up about her weight gain on her Instagram page, and expressed the challenges of being a plus-sized woman of colour. Tinar has successfully created a platform to uplift women of colour through fashion. Tinar often models activewear brands, changing the concept of the ideal model.
@dickgirldiaries is popular on both Twitter and Instagram. Her posts are informational for cisgendered people, and aim to uplift members of the transgender community. In addition to her identity as a transgender woman, she is plus sized. With the complex combination of these identities, she has showcased the struggles she has faced with dating, body dysmorphia, and both transphobia and fatphobia online.
Sophie Butler // @sophbutler
Sophie was the first disabled athlete for Gymshark and has made waves on Instagram as Cosmopolitan’s “Health Influencer of the Year”. She has been honest about her spinal cord injury and the challenges she has faced with her mental health as a result. She posts workouts fit for athletes of all abilities, and also showcases her physiotherapy on her feed.