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It’s 2019 And Body Positivity Is In Full Swing: Here Are 10 Plus Size Latinas Who Are Leading The Movement By Example

Gazing at models in magazines, online or on TV isn’t exactly a confidence booster. Or maybe we’ve just been looking at the wrong ones. Despite fashion’s obsession with skinny models, the average American woman is a size 16. In recent years we’ve seen movements for inclusivity around varied skin tones and race, abilities, gender, and ages. And this year, size had its own moment.

2019 has been the year of body-positivity —From music to magazine covers, women of all sizes are showing up and showing off

credit Instagram @lizzobeeating

In a society that puts so much pressure on the importance of appearance, and a fashion world that keeps bombarding women with images of extreme thinness and equating them with beauty, the brands —and women— that are leading the way towards inclusivity and representation are the ones that are winning. 2019 has seen brands and models defying the norm and redefining what it means to be beautiful. Women like Lizzo, the singer-songwriter who skyrocketed to fame repping the body-positive movement in her fun and daring outfits and performances, or Paloma Elsesser the Latina model who’s been featured on the covers of over 10 top fashion magazines this year and is the image of many major brands, are paving the way for curvy women to follow after them. We rounded up 10 Latina plus-size models who reflect real women in all their beautiful shades and sizes.

1. Denise Bidot

credit Instagram @denisebidot

This Latina made history as the first-ever plus-size model to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week back in 2015. Born in Miami, Florida, Bidot is of Puerto Rican and Kuwaiti descent, and she’s recognized for her groundbreaking work in representation. The model has started her own organization to support women of all shapes and sizes called “No Wrong Way To Be A Woman” —fun fact, she’s none other than Jonathan Van Ness’ bff.

2. Paloma Elsesser

credit Instagram @palomija

In the few short years since her career began, Paloma has walked for Rihanna and Proenza Schouler and fronted more than 10 magazine covers —including Vogue Mexico. The Canadian born model was raised in LA by an African-American mother and a Chilean-Swiss father. She’s now based in NYC and is the fashion world’s latest ‘It’ girl.

3. Jennifer Barreto Leyva

credit Instagram @jenniferbarretoleyva

Jennifer is a pioneer of the plus-size movement in Latin America. The Venezuelan beauty is a model, activist, and journalist who advocates for diversity. She describes herself as the first Latina plus-size model.

4. Natalia Lorenzo

Credit Instagram @lordenzo__

Natalia was discovered by a top modeling agency after she received over 114,000 followers on Instagram due to her body-positive message. The Colombian-born model admits that despite her new-found confidence she has suffered from mental health problems due to body image. Getting signed and the positive reaction she has received online has helped her learn to love herself.

5. Rosie Mercado

credit Instagram @rosiemercado

Rosie Mercado is a multi-talented and empowering Latina. After doing her fair share of modeling, the Chicana is now a TV personality, brand ambassador and lifestyle coach.

6. Fluvia Lacerda

credit instagram @fluvialacerda

Dubbed “the plus-size Gisele Bundchen”, Fluvia Lacerda is one of the most notorious plus-size models in the scene. She was the very first plus-size model to be featured on the pages of Playboy Brazil. Lacerda is the author of an autobiography and hosts a reality TV show on E! Entertainment called “Beauty XL”.

7. Barbie Ferreira

credit Instagram @barbieferreira

The 22-year old first rose to fame in the mid-2010s as an American Apparel model turned body-positivity advocate. She was featured in an Aerie campaign that went viral for the un-retouched photos of the Brazilian’s curvy body. She bagged a spot on Time’s Most Influential Teens of 2016, and more recently, Ferreira stars in HBO’s hit show Euphoria as the sarcastic, fan fiction writer, Kat Hernandez. “It’s like I won the lottery,” Barbie tells them. “Because you don’t get fat girl roles where you’re allowed to explore sexuality, where you’re not just the tragic, dowdy, chubby girl.”

8. Jakaliene Rivera

credit Instagram @jakaliene

The Puerto Rican plus-size model was the winner of Tyra Banks’ “Fiercely Real” contest. Her 2009 participation in Miss New York beauty pageant jump started her career in modeling. She has covered several magazines including ‘Glamour’, she’s walked the runway for several designers and has been the face of size-positive brands like Dereon, Rocca Wear, Baby Phat and more.

9. Grisel Paula

credit Instagram @griselangel

Afro-Dominican model Grisel Paula is a plus-size model turned business woman. Her modeling career inspired her to start a size-inclusive fashion line. With the motto “Sexy for all” Paula launched Rebdolls which features clothes in sizes ranging from size 0 to size 42.

10. Frankie Tavares

Credit Instagram @frankietavares

Tavares is an industry triple threat, having used her modeling platform to also become a successful style influencer and founder. The model turned entrepreneur is the founder of Curvy ALLSTARS, a brand that promotes wellness and inclusion with an active lifestyle.

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Demi Lovato Gasses Up Her Teen Self In Her Latest Music Video ‘OK Not to Be OK’

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Demi Lovato Gasses Up Her Teen Self In Her Latest Music Video ‘OK Not to Be OK’

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Demi Lovato is hardly a stranger to opening up about the things that have plagued her. The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer has long used her voice and platform to shed light on the issues that so many young girls struggle with. Namely body image. Like many young girls across the country (who are reportedly more likely to suffer from the pressures of our society’s pressure to obtain the “ideal body”) Demi Lovato has been open about her years struggling with eating disorders. Moreover, in recent years Lovato has positioned herself as an advocate for young girls suffering from similar issues.

In a recent music video, Lovato is opening up about her pain by doing so with a girl she can relate to on a completely different level: her younger self.

Lovato’s newest song comes with a heartwrenching and brilliant collab with Marshmello.

In her latest video, Lovato finds herself transported to her childhood bedroom, waking up in her old bed. When she looks in the mirror, she finds herself staring straight into the face of her younger self (a la Camp Rock). Marshmello also wakes up in his own childhood room, and the two artists end up settling with their past demons throughout the rest of the video. 

The lyrics of the song detail the process of coming to terms with dark emotions and mental health struggles. “Don’t get lost in the moment, or give up when you’re closest,” Lovato sings in the new music video. “All you need is somebody to say, it’s OK not to be OK.”

Throughout the video, the teenage and adult versions of Lovato and Marshmellow rage in their bedrooms in the video before ultimately finding a balance. The video concludes with both versions of Demi holding hands and meeting up with the teenage and adult versions of Marshmello while dancing down a street.

“I think it’s just such an important subject,” Marshmello said about the song’s release on World Suicide Prevention Day. “I think a lot of people, about negative feelings and negative thoughts that are affecting them are kind of scared to bring it up, scared to talk about it. When in reality, they’re scared because maybe the person won’t relate or the person won’t understand, when in reality most of time the person that you could bring it up to, will most likely has felt like this or will understand or can relate as well. So I think it’s very important to talk about it.”

Check out the music video below!

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Vanessa Romo Marks The Cover Of Vogue México In A History-Making Feature

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Vanessa Romo Marks The Cover Of Vogue México In A History-Making Feature

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Vogue México knows a good trend when it comes to the fashion world. Their recent decision to feature model Vanessa Romo on the cover of their September issue proves that they also know a classic too. Speaking with Vogue México the model opened up about her career, challenges, and experiences that have allowed her to position herself as one of the modeling world’s most prominent figures.

The model with Mexican roots started out her career by modeling on small projects then moved up to uploading images to Instagram and eventually became discovered by Forever 21. Soon after, the North American fast-fashion brand offered Romo a collaboration and she was ultimately signed to an agent.

Now she’s Vogue México’s September model.

In her interview with Vogue, Romo says that the first time she saw plus-size models on a runway, her view of the fashion industry completely shifted.

Seeing women with bodies just like hers, made Romo feel represented in a way that was beautiful and confident. Speaking to Vogue México, Romo explains that she struggled her first two years as a model because she was still in college at University of California, Santa Bárbara. Because of her Latin roots, Romo studied Chicano Studies and Spanish. Her interest led her to continue to explore her identity and Romo decided to audition for Nuestra Belleza Latina on Univision in 2018.

Romo told Vogue that she decided to take part in the competition because she knew there was a need for this representation in the Latino community. When she finished the contest, she realized that she needed to continue breaking expectations for models.

“With this new inspiration, she decided to learn to love her body. Modeling and fashion were for her a way of exploring her own confidence and growing her,” Vogue México revealed. “The power of modeling captivated her so much that it was then that she realized that she herself wanted to be part of the change. Just as she needed empowerment, she knew that there were so many girls and women who needed it equally.”

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