True Diversity In The Plus Size Fashion Industry, Featuring Model Constance Smith.
Body positive advocate and plus size model Constance Smith has made her presence known in our industry. She’s been featured in campaigns and magazine features proudly speaking about true diversity and inclusivity.
Today this powerhouse shares her thoughts with PLUS Model Magazine along with some never before seen images.
Being plus size in a society that is not always accepting of our bodies is not easy to navigate. Can you tell us about your journey to self-love?
My journey to self love has been a worthwhile experience that I wish everyone is able to experience at some point in their life.
I grew up exposed to a lack of plus size figures in media that I could identify with and also witnessed firsthand how my family members shamed themselves consistently for the way that they looked and how society perceived and treated them. I refused to let that be my reality – I learned to radically love myself. In doing so, it calls me to embrace myself on both the good and bad days.
SELF LOVE is believing in myself and not looking to others for approval.
Inclusivity is a term many brands use, even when they are not offering clothing in sizes larger than a 22 or 24. What does the term “size inclusive” mean to you?
The term size inclusive means that no matter your size or shape, you will not be discriminated against. I have had horrific experiences shopping with smaller friends that never understood the struggle. I took it upon myself to learn how to sew and tailor clothing to fit my body, but that should never be the case for anyone. No one should feel left out.
Visibly plus size models exist mainly on social media with the exception of a select few. How important is it for visibly plus size models to be seen in major campaigns and e-Commerce for big brands?
The importance of visibly plus size models to be seen in major campaigns and e-Commerce for big brands is a push for a positive change and will have lasting effects. Representation matters.
To be featured in a major campaign was a highlight, not only for myself, but for the women and men who found my social media channel. They left positive comments expressing how they felt seeing someone they could identify with and feeling comfortable to spend their coins.
True diversity in the fashion industry is a conversation we are all having. What does DIVERSITY look like to you in the plus size fashion industry?
Diversity within the plus size fashion industry needs so much work, but necessary steps have been taken and continue to be done. It starts by looking at past features and/or identifiers. The term has lost its meaning. Diversity should tell a story of culture and experiences that inspires, supports, and promotes community.