It’s been two years and change since I started at Abrams Media, and six months since RunwayRiot launched. In that time, it’s been my privilege to witness countless women celebrating women — women owning their bods who don’t need a brand or a magazine to grant them permission to feel O.K., women who are tired of being sold nonsense, or being excluded from the pictures, the stories, and the conversations. Most recently, getting to see the overwhelmingly touching and educational response to our first group editorial was my most rewarding experience to date.
Today’s my last day, and here, I’ve cobbled together ten of the most deeply satisfying long reads I’ve been honored to feature. These are the pieces I keep coming back to. Share them, past them on a zine, or post them on your LiveJournals.
1. Model Georgina Burke on Her Impossible Quest to Find Clothes that Fit
In a country where a size 14 is the average size model, the famous Australian model writes for RunwayRiot that when she shops with friends, she can only leave with a hat or a handbag, and that during fashion week, if she needs an outfit stat, it’s impossible.
“We have a long way to go before the changes making their way into the fashion industry’s conscious result in men and women of all sizes having the same access to clothes that fit…It’s crazy to think that in a country where the average woman is a size 14, there is so little size 14 clothing actually out there.”
2. Fashion Blogger Naballah Chi on Taking Off Her Hijab and Why She Put It Back On (It’s Not Because She’s Brainwashed)
DIY fashion blogger with dope steeze talking self-image, faith, and modesty.
3. I Used to Be the Only Woman of Color in Fashion Workplaces: There’s No Excuse for Fashion to Not Be Inclusive in 2016, and I’m Responsible Now
Lindsay Peoples, who was often the only woman of color working at fashion publications, penned a sobering piece on her unshakable commitment to using her platform to make fashion look less pathetic and exclusionary.
4. I Know My Worth Is Deeper Than My Soft Stomach and Thunder Thighs and It Makes People Uncomfortable
We’ll just leave this year and let it soak in like seasoning. (Nicki Minaj lyric.)
“We decided to all dress up for dinner and I had the perfect dress, a black infinity floor length dress that I choose to style backless. Rolls and all. During the dinner my girlfriend and I went to the restroom. The hostess sees us and says “both of you are beautiful” but as I walk past her I guess my back was too disruptive for the dining customers, she places her hand on my shoulder and says “stop” and begins to fix my dress to cover my back rolls.In shock, I let her do what she felt was right. I didn’t let it ruin my night, on the contrary, I let it roll off my fabulously curvaceous back. Clearly, her problem not mine.”
5. Precious Lee Wants Designers to Cut the Bull: Don’t Say It’s About a Sample Size, You Have an Entire Year to Make Clothes
Real talk with model Precious Lee after the Christian Siriano x Lane Bryant show on why designers have no excuses not to take diversity for a spin.
6. Curvy Women in Impressionist Art Was My Unexpected Road to Seeing My Body As Beautiful
Seeing as fashion’s not serving it up, this Rioter looked to masterpieces of the old old days.
7. What Combatting Insecurities Taught This ‘Thick’ Island Girl Being Confident in Her Own Skin
Receive life from this woman. “I weaned off of this idea of what the world defined a woman as with all of its vain connotations.”
8. How This Illustrator Is Beating the Fashion Industry at Body Acceptance OG writer Eliza Dillard talking size discrimination and art with Tumblr, Rihanna-approved (after Eliza anyway,) illustrator Jonquel Norwood
9. Denise Bidot Gives 17-Year-Old a Style Makeover and a Lesson in Body Confidence
Chromat babe Denise Bidot took Vera Tieno, a promising young woman of Brooklyn, on a shopping spree, and then she got her swag on with famous people.
10. RunwayRiot’s Unretouched Body Positive Squad Fashion Editorial Featuring Universally Sized Clothes
Our body positive unretouched editorial featuring eight gamechanging women. I could have cut down the words of the models to some sound bytes, but why would we? They all demand more diversity in fashion and deserve airtime and action.
Photo by Jen Plas