I spent the weekend in HOT Atlanta at The Curvy Fashionista Style Expo! I had a really, really good time. It was so fun! It's always good to see Marie and to meet bloggers that you've been
stalking watching and have met along the way. I've gone to other blogger conferences before so I kinda thought I knew what to expect but Marie was full of so many surprises and that was really great! I knew she would be. Some of the things that I was able to take away from the event that were really important to me came from the panels and meeting the different stylists, brands, models and designers. So, please enjoy my recap with pics from the weekend mixed in!
Perhaps my favorite part of the weekend was the honest discussion about issues in the plus size media community:
Kim from Naturally Fashionable was honest about the struggle of juggling multiple roles. Being a blogger, a wife, & a full time teacher became a lot to balance and she admitted that she has been sick. Blogging looks so glamourous and no one really talks about the unglamorous side of it. We all have struggles and it was great to hear that honesty.
Maui of Phat Girl fresh, admitted that she shops at Cato's Fashions and has been back and forth with them about their lack of representation when it comes to plus size clothing. I don't think that there is ANYTHING wrong with shopping at Cato's but I have been to style conferences where women were put down for shopping at places like Cato's, Rainbow, Dots, etc..
Comedian Erica Watson addressed the issue of body size and sexuality. Because it's usually talked about in a joking way. She explained that with plus size women, you're either the Mama figure or the overly sexual, aggressive, dancing in the club, "Go Big Girl, What You Gon' Do", bent over chasing some skinny guy like you want to EAT him...
Jes, from The Militant Baker talked about body size and health and that the two do not always correlate and they certainly aren't anyone's business. She also addressed other necessary inclusions like diversity in not just size, but race, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc. Her honesty about her own privilege was BEAUTIFUL.
Amanda of Fashion, Love & Martinis talked about how we crave diversity when it comes to representation in plus size media, but if you are not an hourglass or pear shape, then seeing your body shape is scarce. I'm an apple shape like she is and I totally loved her highlighting this fact.
I appreciated Shaina from Corner Rich when she talked about the plus community saying that we want diversity when it comes to representation but when we see it we put it down. "You say you want it, but do You really want it?" That quote stuck in my head all weekend. I've seen countless times where a heavier model is used by a brand and then attacked by the same people that LOOK exactly like her...
As far as the actual expo and shopping, I really appreciated being able to feel and see so many of the plus brands that are talked about and shown in social media but I don't really have access to. In the area that I live in, plus size boutiques and stores are just not around so I always have the option of shopping online but sometimes I don't so well with that option. Different designers and brands cut differently and reviews aren't always to be trusted. I'm also kinda terrible at returning things that don't fit through the mail. LOL So, I'm always afraid to spend the money on higher prices pieces. It was great to see companies like Jibri, Monif C., even Fashion to Figure. Getting a chance to feel, try on and speak with the designers was one of the main reasons that I wanted to be in attendance for this event.
For the most part, everyone was really up beat & really positive. The love and appreciation for different body types was very evident. It was a great experience. I'm looking forward to next year and I know that as far as events, Marie delivers! She's very passionate about what she is doing for the plus size community. I have followed her for years and she is always very open and honest. It's one of the many qualities that I admire about her. I love her blog so I knew her event would be amazing and I was not disappointed.
Until Next Time...