Atlanta is where I learned everything I know about accepting my body and my curves. I came in with insecurities about my height, my shape, and my personal style. I grew up with women who were no bigger than a size 8 and wore designer clothes. The women in my life over a size 8 wore church clothes. I was over a size 8 and I wanted to wear designer clothes too. I struggled finding clothes and styles that complimented my shape. I struggled finding pants that were long enough. I struggled putting outfits together period. I had to do something. I needed specific guidance. I began working with a local modeling group by this time, but these were things that I still had trouble coming to terms with. I began looking for women on Facebook and social media that I could relate to and who seemed to have figured these things out and it turns out I didn’t have to look too far.
I would often hear of women who were doing great things in Atlanta as far as plus size fashion was concerned and the ones who stood out most were Nedra Phillips, Telethia Penn, and Francie Maupin. These women became the model trinity for me. They had mastered some of the things I struggled with the most. Somehow the seemed to have mastered these things and I was ecstatic to see the possibilities. I had not met any of them in person but I was already inspired.
Nedra Phillips was shorter than most girls, but her shape was out of this world and she did not hide her body. I was inspired by how she wore and modeled clothing that accentuated her shape.
Telethia Penn was my height inspiration. I often felt tall and awkward but when I saw her I saw the light. She was tall shapely and confident. She knew her angles and she could walk the runway like it was a sidewalk she’d crossed a million times.
Francie Maupin was a combination of both... very shapely and also taller than average. She was beautiful and confident but what stood out for me was her personal style. She was very classy and ladylike. She had a classic style that just rose above the rest.
I used these parts of them to fill the parts of me I couldn’t see. What I gained from these women became part of my journey.
All of these women have since grown and given back to the community. Each one of them hosts their own workshops and seminars to empower and uplift women.
Phillips currently works closely with Shun Melson modeling and teaching the next generation of models. @NedraPhillips
Penn currently hosts model workshops with various photographers etc. @TelethiaP
Maupin has created a women’s empowerment series called Kurves Night Inn. @MissDivaKurves
It shows me that I was correct in what I saw in them all those years ago. Seeing how far they have come reminds me that my own journey is not complete and they continue to inspire me, now, along with many other women I have met along the way. Thes experiences help me put my best curve forward!
Who have been your curvy inspiration? Do you have women in your life who have made a positive inpact on you? I’d like to know your experience... Leave a comment.