Last Saturday, Simone Mariposa, a 23-year-old plus-size model, blogger and body-positive activist started the hashtag #WeWearWhatWeWant to highlight the fact that revealing clothing isn’t reserved for conventionally skinny girls (duh).
Mariposa was spurred to action after reading of how a plus-size woman wearing a summery turquoise dress was openly sneered at by an onlooker who disapproved of her clothing choice. It’s a scenario with which Mariposa is all too familiar. “Every plus-size girl has had to bear the terrible brunt of being judged/policed for what we wear and how we wear it. I no longer allow people to dictate what I should and shouldn’t wear. It’s okay for a plus-size woman to let her body breathe in her clothing,” the blogger vented to her 10,000-strong Twitter following.
“My body image suffered greatly from it. I stopped wearing my legs and arms out, I stayed away from clothes that accentuated my belly fat, and I was extremely self conscious [in] public,” she elaborated in an interview with Buzzfeed. “However, after a while, I stopped letting society dictate my wardrobe, and starting wearing things that I always dreamed of wearing that made me feel beautiful.”
Someone suggested a great idea…
I wanna start a hashtag that showcases plus size women wearing socially “unacceptable” outfits.
— wise young fattie (@SimoneMariposa) July 23, 2016
One of Mariposa’s followers suggested she create a hashtag that would celebrate “plus-size girls making unconventional fashion choices, and looking amazing while [making them].” And so the hashtag, which has since gone viral, was born.
Much like the artist behind “Is This Healthy,” a comic portraying the daily challenges plus-size women face, Mariposa is drawing attention to the realities of plus-size women’s daily lives and helping to empower and support her fellow curvy girls. “To know that women are gaining confidence through this hashtag makes me ecstatic beyond words,” Mariposa said in an interview with Mic. “There is nothing more flattering for a woman to wear than her confidence, and it’s her prerogative, and hers only, to dress her body however she chooses.”
Unlike corporate-sponsored body-positive hashtags like #MySwimBody and #ShareYourSize, which, while well intentioned, can seem contrived and tend to fall by the wayside (or attract Twitter trolls), the rampant success of this grassroots effort and the palpable absence of mockery (knock on wood) is inspiring to see. 2016 has truly been a banner year for the body-positive movement and we’re happy to see it achieve yet another #win. Scroll down to admire some of the many women owning the hashtag.
— girl wonder (@fatalitiess) July 24, 2016
— elena (@fluoxeteen) July 24, 2016
— HONESTLY IYANU (@blackgurldip) July 24, 2016
— karli (@karlimarx) July 24, 2016
[ via Mic ]