For the longest time, the fashion world has been dominated by stick-straight models— Kate Moss in the 90s and Kendall Jenner now. It seems as if in order to strut in the runway, one has to be statuesque and gaunt with a clothing size of 0 - 2.
But gone are the days when emaciated models paraded in the runway and graced magazine covers. The fashion industry has since revolutionized its perception of women and raised a debate about body image with the inclusion of plus-size models—starting with the likes of Ashley Graham, who shattered the boundaries and reality of fashion by gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, walking in the Paris Fashion Week, and appearing in a music video among others, while keeping true to her coined portmanteau, “curvasexylicious.” The runways of high-end fashion designers in the recent New York Fashion Week were graced 27 times by plus-size models, proving once again that beauty comes in all sizes and shapes!
Fashion is a fantasy that all women must be able to engage in regardless of size, shape, age, and color. However, we need not look too far for inspiration for a positive acceptance of our bodies. These Filipinas, worthy to be followed in Instagram, are challenging the nuances of what acceptance of true beauty means in this world we live in.
Danah and Stacy Gutierrez
Born as identical twins, Viderlina Adrianah and Viderlina Anastazcia Gutierrez pioneered the body positive movement in the Philippines. The sisters’ blog in 2009, “The Plump Pinay,” paved the way for the first-ever plus-size web magazine, Plump.ph, in which they also serve as editors-in-chief. Since then their site has created a niche, opened avenues for their “Fat Revolution,”advocacy, and has given them numerous appearances in media while promoting their message of body love.
Oozing with their sassy vibe and love for the body they are in, the sisters have also worked with international clothing brands and cosmetics. You can also watch them in their Youtube channel, “Life with Twinsanity.”
Life has not always been easy for the twins, but they both chose to rise above impediments and society’s standards of beauty. As Danah and Stacy believe, “If a woman likes what she wears, then she becomes confident of who she truly is regardless of size.”
There’s no stopping what the sisters would do next. Apart from being advocacy models and in demand keynote speakers, they have recently authored and released their book, “The Big Fat Book of Self-Love.” Danah and Stacy want to show women that even if one is fat, one can still be awesome.
Rona has always been the “bigger” girl for most of her life, dubbed also as the “Shaquille O’Neil” in the basketball games of her school. However, having been brought up with a lot of self-security and happiness, the teases she received never got under her skin.
Unfortunately, on October 2009, she had a terrible knee fracture; this resulted to surgeries and almost two years of using crutches to help in walking. On top of all these, Rona weighed a hefty 250 pounds which contributed to certain health conditions. But after a long conversation through prayer, Rona gained clarity of what needs to be done. She started doing mindful eating and going to gym to initially do cardio then eventually moved to strength training. Her weight then plummeted to an amazing 150 pounds!
Her journey to a lifestyle of wellness didn’t end there. She joined the Plus-Size Model Search in order to inspire women to embrace themselves and give assurance to those who want to have a healthier weight that it is indeed probable. Rona made it to the Top 8 of the contest. She felt she was in cloud nine when she strutted in her high heels on the ramp during the contest despite what her doctor said before that she might never wear high heels again. She knew then that she triumphed over that impediment. She and her husband, Eric “Eruption” Tai, also joined the contest, Amazing Race Asia Season 5, and took home the bronze. Rona’s advice to women: “Get back out there, work harder, push stronger, and fight meaner.”
Teena, who has always been a kikay girl, has been a freelance makeup artist for almost six years now. But before beautifying faces with her hands, she was a regular talent for eight months as a Sixbomb girl in a noontime show. When her stint in the show ended, she did commercials and television guesting.In 2010, she launched her Youtube channel, “Ang Kikay Ko.” She is a self-taught beauty guru who enjoys seeing the kilig faces of women when they see how beautiful they are after the work she’s done. Teena’s take on beauty: “Be your own standard of beauty… Once you’ve accepted that, you’ll never be insecure with what you see in mags.” Teena has also battled negativity in life by having a firm belief in herself that “Beauty is confidence in yourself. Beauty is self-love. Beauty is something that is defined from within, not on the outside…”
Teena since then has also become more active by going to the gym in order to have a healthier lifestyle. She says in an interview in Plump.ph, “If you REALLY love your body, then you’d want it to be happy too.”
As Kat says, “Your worth is not defined by a number on a scale or in a label.”
Sister to actor Marco, and volleyball player Michelle, Kat joined Australia’s first plus-size fashion festival in 2016 the Melbourne Fashion Week. Being a plus-size model for five years and a true advocate of body diversity and positivity, Kat realized after joining the festival, how much our country is way behind in the modeling industry. She stresses, “Everyone should be advocating heath. Health is beautiful and health comes in different shapes and sizes.”
Kat disagrees with the common perception that plus-size equals fat. She goes on to explain that it could be “bigger hips or thighs” or that a woman’s body is just simply like that.
Armed with more confidence than ever, Kat hopes to land on more projects both here and abroad and serve as light to women who have been mocked or treated unfairly because of weight.
Trina does the Philippines proud by being the first full-figured Filipina to strut on the runway of the recent New York Fashion Week. Strutting on a catwalk has always been a dream of hers. Prior to walking in the runway of NYFW 2017, Trina participated in charity fashion events. Her desire is to show the whole world that Filipina plus-size models can rock the runway too. She sees an optimistic future in the fashion world because we now live in a generation of body diversity, wherein women of all sizes, shapes, and color are represented in runways, magazines, television, and billboards. When asked about fashion, Trina says in an interview in Inquirer.Net, “It has no boundaries. As long as you are happy and feel fabulous wearing your clothes then it’s all good, rock it!”
Although Trina’s Instagram account is private, she does allow us to take a peek through a hyperlink in her account to her website related to health and fitness.
StyleGenie.ph would like every woman to embrace and be proud of the beauty of all her curves and look spectacular anywhere she wants to rock! Do check out the Surprise-Me Plus Size box. You can upload a photo of your fave plus-size model’s outfit and have that closet wish of yours granted. Get started by creating a Style Profile. Use my code AZA8FL and get a 10% discount on your Surprise-Me Plus Size box!