Like most people I’ve spent most of quarantine in loungewear or pajamas, only reaching for a basic tee and jeans every once in a while to do some grocery shopping nearby to stock the pantry for a week or two inside. So it was a nice and welcome change to play with some summer fashion this month, if only to give myself an excuse to dress up again even while being home. I even got to wear one of these “new” outfits out and out with my best friend, Brooke, when we got to see each other again a few weeks ago.
So here’s a bit of a little known fact about me for you all: I tend to stay away from doing much exercise in the fall and winter. Why? Well I know the reason may seem superficial to many people but it is because of my hair. When the temperature starts to dip below 60 degrees I make a point to straighten my hair, be it with a roller-set or using my Instyler. As much as I love my natural curls, I started this cycle back in college as I found that having my hair straight in the fall and winter just made it easier to manage. While the overall time it takes to get my hair from curly to straight is not as bad as my curly routine, it is a lot of work that can easily be for naught if I so much as perspire a bit or let some water, like rain or snow, touch it.
Thus any strenuous physical activities, like exercising, are regulated to the warmer months in spring and summer when I go back to my natural curly hair routine. But even then gymtimidation keeps me away from and using arm and leg weights while playing DDR at home can get pretty boring after a while. Which leads me to this post.At the start of the summer I did some research to find some out-of-the-box exercise classes preferably in water because let’s face it, summers in NYC are the worst. Thanks to Google I found out about Aqua Zumba. As someone who used to go to Zumba classes (on land) twice a week, I found the concept interesting so I mentioned the idea of giving this a try to Jonquel of Jonqel Art as well as to two co-worker friends of ours that have built in gym days to their weekly schedules. They all immediately jumped at the idea and we bought our first time passes for the following week. Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Back in April I put in my order for my first Dia&Co. box and I received a beautiful windowpane print ELOQUII dress that I loved but would did not fit very well. Devastated I asked my friend, Jonquel, body positive plus size fashion illustrator of JonquelArt, if she wanted to try it on only to find that it fit her perfectly. That particular dress was a more conservative style than what she normally wears so even though it fit her very well, we ended up sending it back anyway. Needless to say this started our semi-monthly Dia box parties. We now order our boxes around the same time so that we can go through our individual pieces together, giving our honest opinions on how things fit, providing style recommendations as well as giving each other the opportunity to try anything that interests us from the other’s box.
Well the inevitable has happened –body positivity has gone mainstream. Untouched and unedited ads have garnered so much media attention to the point a straight size brand has “resorted” to featuring plus models in their marketing campaigns to profit of this trend even though these same models don’t fit in the very clothes the brand sells in stores. This particular ad campaign received some backlash on social media, with many people demanding the retailer introduce size inclusive collections that reflect what they currently marketing and of course bringing up the debate as to whether or not plus should be dropped all together as creates unnecessary division. Modcloth immediately comes to mind as a brand that pushed for this as they announced back in 2015 that they would be dropping the “plus size” category on their site. It was a decision that received massive praise across the internet for it implied the idea of shopping by style instead of size. I’ll admit that at first I was ecstatic to hear about this change because I thought this size inclusive shopping experience meant more pieces being available in plus sizes. Sadly that was not the case as there are many pieces up on the site that are only available up to a size 12 if you are lucky. In order to ensure that you are shopping pieces available in plus sizes, you have to refine your search by size which is basically manually re-creating the plus size page they once had. Now I have to give them credit, they conducted an independent survey on their customers to find out more about their needs and wants in terms of fashion. HOWEVER, the very idea that simply dropping the category is being size inclusive is very misguided.
Which leads me to the what initiated this blog post. Lovesick.
Webster’s dictionary defines modesty as, “the quality of behaving and especially dressing in ways that do not attract sexual attention; propriety in dress, speech or conduct.” Even with this definition “modesty” brings to mind images of plainness, frumpy clothes and overly-religious reserve; all things that the body positive movement is against. For the most part being body positive has meant wearing revealing clothes such as body-con dresses and crop tops, understandably so as plus size women are reclaiming visibility after decades of being taught self-loathing to the point of hiding their body. However, this in turn has made the movement somewhat exclusive as those who chose not to empower themselves in such a way are put down as needing more self esteem and confidence.May exclaim: “Show those arms! Your figure! Them legs!” Continue reading