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When Jonquel Norwood’s Magic At Any Size series went live, the media literally fell in love with this “reimaging of the iconic Disney princesses as modern plus size fashionistas” and for good reason.

With the average size of the American woman now a size 16 and 67% of women in the US wearing that size or larger, it’s time that those women are showcased in a positive fashion. That’s what body positivity is all about.jonquel-headshot-logo

30-year-old Norwood has been drawing since she was 15. A native of New Orleans, she moved to New York in late 2014 and stumbled into something wonderful: the plus size fashion community.jonquel-images1

A self-proclaimed geek who loves to read comics, watch anime and is a huge Disney fan, Norwood struggled with weight and body shaming most of her life. Her art was a way for her to channel those emotions and struggles into a positive space. She wasn’t exposed to much plus size fashion growing up in the South so moving to New York was a profound turning point in her life:

“I can’t but wonder if I struggled so much because I had little-to-no knowledge of the plus size industry until late 2014. In the South, we really don’t have a lot of brands accessible to us. Sure, we had Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, Torrid and Avenue. But that’s all I knew and all my friends back home can name to this day.”

“The first big eye opener for me in this new world was Full Figured Fashion Week and the Golden Confidence Pool Party. At those events, I met bloggers, models, designers and even discovered PLUS Model Magazine. I had never been in a room full of plus size women before, never mind the fact that they were all beautiful, confident and successful (is that even allowed?). I remember feeling so overwhelmed at the FFF Week town hall meeting, when Maddy [PMM Editor-in-Chief Madeline Jones] spoke on the panel. I could feel a pounding in my chest, feeling like this is where I belong. It’s okay to breathe now; I don’t have to hate myself anymore. I started my body positive journey aided with the help of a NY attitude, where I learned not to care what other people’s opinions of me were.”

This new world also inspired Norwood through her art. She began drawing illustrations of plus size women she saw and admired. Her artwork has been noticed and celebrated on social media by celebrities such as Rihanna, actress Danielle Brooks and even Barbie herself.

Since then, Norwood has also worked with clients such as brands Yona New York, Jibri and Rue107, and Full Figured Fashion Week. This young artist and designer is well on her way to being a leader in the body positive community.

Not only is she calling attention to body diversity by re-introducing the beloved characters we all love through her art but Norwood is sending a direct message to the world that beauty comes in many shapes and forms.

We’re honored to announce that she shared with us exclusively, the latest addition to her Magic At Any Size series….

Pocahontas!

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We also chatted with Norwood on what inspired her latest illustration of Pocahontas, her own view on body positivity and more…

PMM: How does it feel being a part of the body positive movement through your art?

JN: It feels amazing. I’ve learned to love myself through my art. It means so much when other people say I inspire them or make them feel beautiful. A legendary plus model told me I’m the official artist of the plus industry.

PMM: How has plus size fashion had an impact on your art?

JN: It’s a big part of my inspiration and process. If I see something amazing, I have to draw it. I particularly love indie designers because they take risks with their designs.

PMM: How has being a part of the plus size fashion community changed your life?

JN: Well, I’ve learned how to dress myself, for one thing. I didn’t really have a personal style before, nor did I care, but you know how NY is. Now I throw on fur at the first wind chill and I even have a favorite brand. I can tell who designed something without seeing a tag. You have to remember I have no background in fashion, straight-size or otherwise. I just felt fashion didn’t belong to me, the “fat girl”. Now I own it. I proudly say I’m in fashion.

PMM: What inspired you to create this series?

JN: A huge love for Disney and a desire to send a message to the world… “Hello, we’re here, we love ourselves and no one is getting in the way of our ‘happily ever after'”. The media really tries to paint this picture that true happiness and success can only come in straight size. I refuse to buy into that anymore. Magic has no size.

PMM: You have said that certain designers and trends have inspired the fashion worn by the Disney characters in your Magic At Any Size series. What was the fashion inspiration for Pocahontas?

JN: Courtney Noelle’s designs have inspired me a lot in this series and Pocahontas is wearing a duster inspired by her Kat Duster. Pocahontas’ dress was loosely inspired by Native American designer Bethany Yellowtail.

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Kat Duster by Courtney Noelle

PMM: Where do you see this Magic At Any Size series going? What characters will be next?

JN: I honestly don’t know where they are going. I didn’t see them getting this big. Maybe they can lead to bigger opportunities for me, work? With the unveiling of Pocahontas, right now the focus will be on her.

Want to see more? Visit Norwood’s official website at www.jonquel.com to commission her for some art of your own.

She also has a store featuring makeup bags, notebooks and prints featuring her art. Click here to shop.

You can also follow Jonquel Norwood on Instagram @jonquelart and on Facebook @jonquelart.