It’s no secret that fashion is one hell of a merciless industry. I mean, how many times have we heard how unrealistic standards and high expectations have pushed girls to the brink of insanity? And although the stigma around plus-size models is fading away, the steps are so tiny, it’s barely visible.
Luckily, more and more women are willing to take matters into their own hands and rewrite the rules altogether. One plus-size model, Denise Mercedes, is doing just that. The size 14 Dominican model has launched a TikTok challenge titled “Style Not Size” with her friend Maria Castellanos. The two friends of different sizes are putting on the same outfits, sharing the snack-sized videos to 3.4M followers, and showing that beauty comes in all shapes and forms. Their videos have now been liked a whopping million times, proving that healthy and happy women rule the world!
The post shared in 2019 with #StyleNotSize series on social media
When Denise Mercedes and Maria Castellanos first met five years ago, they had no idea of the conversation they would eventually start around body positivity. The two met because their partners are friends, and now they work together as social-media influencers. Mercedes has been a content creator for curvy, plus-size women for years while Castellanos is a professional dancer who has also started dedicating time to posting on social media.
When I first met Denise, I was starting out as a photographer and I asked if she minded if I take some of her pictures. It became a weekly thing and then our friendship grew from there.Maria Castellanos
We’ve been so blessed to have so much support from others, to see growth in people and to see and understand what it is to be an influencer. To have young ladies reaching out about their insecurities and how we’ve helped overcome it or at least given them a hand to do so. We will continue to fight for this movement and to change the rules of the industry.