Fashion has changed over the years depending on the beauty standards of the times. From finding beauty in women with large hips back in the day, to Marilyn Monroe’s size 12, to the standard model size today being a size zero, life comes at you fast.
However, two women, Denise Mercedes and Maria Castellanos, are taking a stance to prove that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and fashion should follow.
How It All Started
Denise and Maria were best friends who would pose for photos for fun wearing matching bikinis in 2019. People reacted so positively to their pictures that they thought they should continue to do it.
Today, Denise has over a million followers on Instagram alone!
Friends Inspiring Each other
Denise is a size 14 model, so she already knew her way around the camera. This inspired her best friend, Maria, to channel that same confidence in herself even though she was a petite size two herself.
Together, they became an inspiration to women of all body sizes who could relate to one or the other and still feel like they could wear whatever they wanted.
TikTok Was A Game Changer
Their real breakthrough happened thanks to TikTok when the duo decided to dance their way through various stylish but matching outfits.
The growing popularity of the app got them over 1.5 million views and a growing number of followers.
The Power Of Hashtags
Rather than simply bask in their growing popularity, these two women saw it as an opportunity to actually create some sort of body-positive movement to continue to inspire other women.
They asked their Instagram followers to vote on a hashtag that could help spread the movement. Between #ThroughThickAndThin and #StyleNotSize, the second option won.
Beauty Is In All Body Types
Just like they hoped, the hashtag started to trend and along with it the number of people it was inspiring.
It’s not often that women feel represented in fashion as, although the average waist size is a size 16 in the U.S., there’s still a gap between the industry standards and real-life women.
The Effects Of The Lack Of Diversity In Fashion
Some studies have found that women benefit from feeling better about their bodies and even retain a memory of plus-size models better than that of the thinner ones.
This would mean that the repeated exposure to unrealistic expectations has a real impact on physical and mental health.
No Limitation On Any Kind Of Style
What’s really lovely about Denise and Maria’s content is that their outfits are all jaw-dropping on both of them.
From bodycon dresses to crop tops and high-waists, nothing is off-limits. There are no outfits that are only suitable for specific bodies.
The Key Message
Denise said once in an interview that their key message is “to dress however you please and to love your body.” because it’s time “to stop comparing yourself to others.”
The same set of clothes will look different on every body, but that doesn’t make it better on one over the other. The only thing that matters is that YOU feel confident in it.
From Party Looks
There’s no reason why you can’t wear all the glitter, all the prints, and skin-tight clothing if that’s what you want to wear to a party.
What’s more important than what people will think at that party is celebrating yourself and your body.
To Professional Looks
The same applies to your workplace. Just because you need to be professional, doesn’t mean to hide yourself.
The beautiful thing about fashion is that it’s malleable and can reflect you in any situation.
To The Beach
Arguably the beach is the place where people feel most self-conscious, covering their body rather than soaking up the sun and playing in the water.
This proves that as long as they like what they’re wearing, they can rock it and get their tan on!