If I followed the rules about dressing as a plus-size woman, I'd be wearing Spanx under a shapeless sack. I would dress in a way that hides my "flaws," helps me blend in, disappear. Instead, I'm drawn to impractical, on-trend and sometimes daring fashion -- sequins, fur, bodycon dresses, crop tops and more than one Carrie Bradshaw-inspired ballerina skirt. I'm a woman in my twenties and I love fashion as much as any other woman. I just happen to wear a size 16.
I'm not alone. Back in '08 I started a plus-size fashion blog, jaymiranda.com. Over the years, I've connected with thousands of women and even racked up a few million page views. Why? Because other plus-size women enjoy living and dressing according to their own rules too.
One of the emails I get most often asks me how I became so confident. I think part of the answer to this is to rethink your relationship with your body, your history of body image and start by acknowledging all the wonderful things your body helps you do. It's a life-long process. The fact that this question even needs to be asked makes me sad. Why is it unusual that plus-size women would feel confident?
I know what it's like to be a shy, fat girl. In a way, my blog is dedicated to the girl I used to be -- the one who felt awkward in her body and dejected when pretty dresses didn't come in her size. If I could travel back in time I'd say: "Hey, you grow up to be a happy and intelligent, woman, it turns out everyone is imperfect, and you end up marrying the most interesting man you'll ever meet. So relax, OK?"
Yes, I am my body, but I'm also so much more. Fashion is just one way I express myself. In a recent post, I shared a weekend outfit inspired by my love of big, romantic skirts, which I paired with a cute crop top. So what if it shows some tummy? Lighten up, it's just fashion.
You can see more of my outfits and musings on style and life as a new mom at my blog jaymiranda.com.