I remember the very first time I ever had my photo taken for a streetstyle website. It was 2010 and streetstyle fashion was just growing in popularity. When the photographer Isa from Chicago Looks asked for my photo, I remember being in awe that someone would want to capture my outfit as a plus size person (though I did have small fat privilege at the time). The photo ended up being featured in the Japanese streetstyle magazine Cracker Your Wardrobe and I would appear on Chicago Looks a number of times in the years since. At the time, I was comfortable with my personal style but a lot less comfortable feeling worthy of being visible in fashion. Isa was one of the first people to see that in me and I am forever grateful to her.
I say all of this to say that there is still very little visibility for plus size fashion in mainstream streetstyle coverage. One look at most streetstyle recaps from music festivals will have you thinking that there were no fat people even there (which is one reason I've done some capturing of my own). When I got an e-mail from fatshion blogger Rachelle Abellar about a zine project celebrating different styles and fat bodies all around the world, I was all too happy to participate. And what began as a zine turned into a full-blown 200+ page book celebrating fat style!
I am going to pause to say BUY THIS BOOK NOW (easy share link: tinyurl.com/bigbabesbook) Get this book not just because it's an indie project but because this kind of fat visibility is something we need to support and see more of. Represenation matters.
I appear on page 92! I am wearing a one-of-a-kind crop top from Chubby Cartwheels, a pleather skirt from Torrid, the Ready to Stare white alpaca fur fanny pack, shoes from Cat's Closet and shades from Domino Dollhouse.
When Rachelle approached me about this project, I asked if the photo needed be taken specifically for the zine or if it could be one that had appeared elsewhere already. She said if I could take one just for the zine that would be great. So I bought items specifically for this shoot and saved items I already had but hadn't photographed yet to create this look. I shot it in Arizona in March and although I totally LOVE this Clueless-inspired look, I didn't share them anywhere. The book is the first place they appeared which is totally cool. As someone who has a hard time not posting a selfie immediately after taking it, the fact that I was able to wait is probably shocking to people who know me best. But it was totally worth it to see myself in print!
Here's the original of the photo.
Along with my streetstyle photo, I was able to submit an ad for Ready to Stare. ALSO SO COOL TO SEE.
I knew that my photo and the ad would be included. When I got the book, I was not only delighted by all of the images, inspiring quotes and interviews, but I noticed that my photo with my best friend, Kristen that was taken at the Re/Dress Galentine's Day event was also printed!
And finally, two of my favorite fellow fat babes submitted photos of themselves wearing Ready to Stare!
Terr Cacilia was featured in the limited edition plaid crop top.
Thank you again to Rachelle for putting together this book and realizing how necessary it was in the first place. This book is radical. This book is a game-changer and I'm proud as hell to be a part of it and this community.