When the body positivity movement began gaining strong momentum on social media and mainstream media followed suit, I was hopeful I’d see a woman, on TV, who represented me. From Kate on This Is Us to Kelli from Insecure, the presence of plus size women on TV is growing, yet something still feels like it is lacking. I find myself yearning for a plus size character who resembles me physically, financially and romantically.
With style trailblazers like Toccara Jones, Liris Crosse, Denise Bidot and more, TV’s plus size fashion hasn’t caught up modern plus size fashion. Nor have the storylines. I remember the pride I felt watching Toccara slay on each episode of America’s Top Model and the tears I shed when she was voted off. As someone working towards a size 10, I’ve yet to see a plus size woman in jeans on TV. What woman doesn’t love a good pair of jeans? FashionNova looks good on us too!
Plus size fashion has improved since the days of dressing us in anything but form-fitting ensembles. But when I see certain plus size celebrities and their wardrobe limited to baggy dresses, I’m triggered by the limited options in my own closet. I love my curves and not everyone is in a rush to lose weight. Instead, plus size women would like to accentuate our best features with fashionable designs.
Television makes us dream, gives us inspiration. A good character transforms us. They fill us with envy from wardrobe to hair. A good character instantly becomes your BFF in your head, especially when they look like you. I’ve yet to see a plus size girl be given the space or romantic storylines like the chemistry between Laura and Stephon or Carrie Bradshaw leaping into the NYC street on her way for a date with Mr. Big. With so many singles, it would make sense that women of all shapes got to play out their love stories and have everything fit into place or completely fall apart in 30 minutes.
The lack of representation reinforces archaic standards of beauty. All praises to Lizzo’s in-your-face wardrobe, because it reminds the world plus size women can be sexy. I want the world to watch a plus size woman standing in her glory ushering a lover out her door or kissing the “it” guy without it being some sort of prank. I need TV to catch up because life doesn’t look that anymore. I need TV to understand not only are we here to stay but we carry a lot of spending power. Everyone from Savage x Fenty to make up gets up. So pull up like Rihanna said and get it together soon please.