The Big Moments of 2017
This has been a wild ride of a year, and if I tried to list all the important moments starting now, I’d still be writing after the ball drops. But there are a few in particular that feel worth memorializing, so I’m sharing them here (in chronological order, more or less):
- Marched in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of other protesters at the Women’s March in January. 2017 started on an incredibly dismal note, but being surrounded by thousands of strong women and allies taking a stand against bigotry, injustice, and misogyny was incredibly powerful, and it was the first moment hope broke back through the proverbial clouds – and the sun through the literal ones as well! The cold rain stopping in time for the march felt a bit prophetic, and walking side by side my good friend and an amazing woman made the experience even better.
- Changed the way I thought about the gym – I joined Blink Fitness last January when I partnered with them for their diverse #EveryBodyHappy campaign. I have a firm policy of not posting about things unless I actually like them, so I wanted to test out the gym to make sure their body positive motto was the real deal. Turns out, it was, and having that sort of actively inclusive atmosphere was the catalyst to discovering that the gym could be fun. I now go to the gym without trying to change myself or shrink my body, and leave energized and ready for a delicious cold pressed juice. This might seem a bit trivial to make this list of Top 10 moments, but the night and day shift between being at the gym hating my body and wanting to punish it, and being there comfortable and happy in my own skin and moving because it feels good has genuinely been life changing for me.
- Walked in my first fashion show (for the iconic Tracy Reese, no less). This is one of those moments that still seems a bit surreal when I think about it. Walking in a fashion show wasn’t even amongst the list of possibilities for me, but I was incredibly proud to do so for one of the foremost American designers, the inimitable Tracy Reese. Her designs continue to be favorites (her SS18 collection is incredible), and I love her commitment to including plus models in her NYFW show too.
- Had my 10 year anniversary with New York City. I immediately loved NYC when I moved here over a decade ago, and have truly been able to make this place my home. It is hectic and expensive and too much sometimes, but I am so happy this is my place. Plus, I met my husband here! (see #7). I wrote about 10 Things I’ve Learned in my 10 Years in NYC here, and I’m constantly adding to that list.
- Struck out on my own and made Curvily my full time job. This one was both the scariest and the most rewarding. I grew up rich in love (my mom has always supported me and pushed me to do my best) but poor in funds, and the goal was always to get a good solid paying job. Years ago I left a larger paycheck to work for a company I love, and am very grateful for my time at Gwynnie Bee. Leaving that for the uncertain life of a freelancer was terrifying, but I truly am passionate about what I do with Curvily, and every comment and DM I get talking about how you tried something new or changed the way you felt about yourself because of my blog is an affirmation that I am on the right track. I seriously love and appreciate my readers, and love hearing from you! (Always feel free to reach out and let me know what you are loving and what you want more of!) I have so many exciting plans for 2018, and can’t wait to share with you!
- Attended not one but TWO full plus size shows at the official NYFW tents. When I first started attending New York Fashion Week, I’d be lucky to see a handful of plus models on the runway the entire week. Designers like Becca McCharen-Tran of Chromat went on to include more and more diversity in their shows, but sadly Chromat, Prabal Gurung, and Christian Siriano were the exceptions and not the rule, despite the majority of women in the US being plus. So being able to attend two full plus size shows last season in the main NYFW venue (Skylight Clarkson Square) felt like a sea change. Thank you to Addition Elle and Torrid for showing, and I hope more plus brands are able to join in in upcoming seasons.
- Celebrated five years of marriage with my amazing husband. I honestly can’t adequately express just how much my wonderful, smart, funny, hot, and supportive husband means to me. I get sappy whenever I talk about him because he is just so damn great, and I’m so happy to have him in my life. He’s also super impressive in his own right, and includes being a fantastic novelist amongst his many accomplishments. If you like Urban Fantasy, I highly recommend checking out the Ria & the Monsters series, starting with Ria’s Web of Lies, and continuing in Ria’s Broken Windows.
- Helped create a truly size inclusive plus campaign for All 67. One of the reasons I started blogging almost five years ago was because I personally knew how much representation matters, and I wanted to be part of the movement showing fashion is not limited by size. The plus fashion community has made some amazing strides since then, but there are still too many times when “plus” is represented by just one body type and size (typically an exaggerated hourglass on the lower end of the plus spectrum). I definitely don’t have the toned abs of the Ashley Grahams of the industry, but I am on the smaller side of the range, so it was exciting to be able to work with a new plus size brand to put together a campaign showcasing the full 12-30 size range, with women of diverse shapes, ethnicities, and sexualities – and the campaign looked amazing. I love being able to contribute from behind the scenes too, and I was happy to work with All 67 designer Jeff Cafone and my friend Liz Black to bring this vision to life. I hope that brands continue to recognize the demand for more representative plus representation.
- Tackled my wardrobe kryptonite with Bustle & Coveteur. I love fashion and am more than happy to try any trend, but I just couldn’t get past my fear of overalls. Then Bustle’s Senior Markets Editor Gabby Prescod unleashed some styling magic on this item that had been languishing in my dresser, and all of a sudden the overalls didn’t make me look like my uncle on his John Deere anymore 🙂 This moment was a reminder that there is still so much room for me to learn and grow and experiment with fashion. I am so excited to keep going on this path with you lovely readers in tow. The shoot itself was a lot of fun too!
- Met Drew Barrymore (and she knew who I was!!!). This isn’t a humble brag, it is just a straight up overjoyed one: I met the Drew Barrymore at Christian Siriano’s launch party for his gorgeous book, and she recognized me! I almost collapsed in a pile of excited squeaks, but managed to hold it together to chat with her for a bit, and she was just as lovely, funny, and authentic as I’ve always thought. I’m generally pretty chill about celebrities at this point, but Drew Barrymore’s unapologetic way of always being herself has always been an inspiration to me for decades, so I still get a little giddy when I think about this. It is super heartening to know that my work has had the reach to make it all the way to this earth goddess 😀