Recognize. Represent. Reclaim. Revolutionize.

    The Body Beautiful

    I've never thought I was allowed to enjoy fashion, and the fashion industry has done little to dissuade me of that notion. As a woman of size, as a fat woman, I've rarely, if ever, seen anyone who looks anything like me in fashion magazines or on fashion websites. I've admired fashion from afar, treated avant-garde pieces and couture outfits as forbidden fruit. At times, fashion has taunted me as I flipped through the glossy pages of Vogue or W or Marie Claire. I've admired beautifully cut blouses and billowing slacks and strangely cut but intriguing skirts. I've thought, If I were thin enough, I might be able to taste this forbidden fruit. I might know what it feels like to wear beautiful clothing and feel beautiful in beautiful clothing.

    There are all kinds of women and men and non-binary people like me who have wanted to feel like a part of the fashion world, but who have been implicitly and/or explicitly excluded. Most designers only make clothes for very specific bodies-impossibly thin, angular, lacking in curves. And certainly, that very specific body exists, but it is not the only body. It is not the kind of body most people live in. Designers make it seem like they are not so interested in clothing women but are, instead, interested in clothing the idea of a woman. Fashion magazines only reinforce this narrow aesthetic by featuring this elusive idea of a woman on their pages.

    But what do those of us who are more than an idea or ideal do? What do we wear? How do we express ourselves through clothing when we have so few interesting options? If we do not see ourselves represented in fashion, in film and television, in literature, how do we feel like we belong to a community beyond ourselves? These are questions I have struggled with for a very long time and will continue to struggle with not only as a fat woman, but as a black woman, and a bisexual woman.

    ARI FITZ WEARS DIANE VON FURSTENBERG TOP, ROBERT LEE MORRIS EARRINGS. GABRIELLE RICHARDSON WEARS NO. 21 DRESS, SONIA BOYAJIAN EARRINGS.

    What we really need is drastic, revolutionary change. We need to forget the status quo because the status quo serves no one.

    PHOTOGRAPHED BY ADRIENNE RAQUEL. STYLED BY CHRISTINE NICHOLSON. ZURI TIBBY WEARS COURREGES TOP, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG PANTS, SERGIO ROSSI SHOES. DIANA VERAS WEARS CHRISTOPHER JOHN ROBERTS BLAZER, MARC JACOBS POLO, BASERANGE PANTS, AGL SHOES, THE SHINY SQUIRREL EARRINGS, ANA KHOURI EARRINGS. GABRIELLE RICHARDSON WEARS SOLACE BLAZER, APIECE APART TOP, ELIZABETH AND JAMES SKIRT, GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI SHOES, AVERY GREGORY EARRINGS, TALENT’S OWN RINGS. ARI FITZ WEARS DIANE VON FURSTENBERG TOP, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG PANTS, ELLERY SHOES, ROBERT LEE MORRIS EARRINGS. EZINMA WEARS TIBI DRESS, TIBI BELT, BROTHER VELLIES SHOES, DINOSAUR DESIGNS EARRINGS.

    PHOTOGRAPHED BY ADRIENNE RAQUEL. STYLED BY CHRISTINE NICHOLSON. ZURI TIBBY WEARS FENDI SWEATER, GUCCI JUMPSUIT, FENDI SHOES, FENDI SOCKS, GUCCI BELT, MONICA SORADO BRACELET, SONIA BOYAJIAN GREEN AND WHITE EARRINGS.

    And we need far more than to say that every body matters. Designers need to acknowledge this reality and so do fashion magazines.

    PHOTOGRAPHED BY ADRIENNE RAQUEL. STYLED BY CHRISTINE NICHOLSON. DIANA VERAS WEARS CHRISTOPHER JOHN ROBERTS BLAZER, MARC JACOBS POLO, BASERANGE PANTS, AGL SHOES, THE SHINY SQUIRREL EARRINGS, ANA KHOURI EARRINGS. EZINMA WEARS NANUSHKA T-SHIRT, REJINA PYO SUIT, ALUMNAE HEELS, SIGERSON MORRISON HEELS, WE WHO PREY EARRINGS, DINOSAUR DESIGNS EARRINGS.

    Every body is unique and carries with it a history that deserves to be honored by fashion.

    PHOTOS
    Photographer: Adrienne Raquel
    Photo Assistant: Senem Gunes

    BEAUTY
    Makeup: Kim Weber
    Makeup Assistant: Kyle Sheehan
    Nails: Gracie J.
    Stylist: Christine Nicholson
    Stylist Assistants: Tyler Okuns, Davian Rodriguez, Raven Shephard
    Hair: Andrita Renee

    VIDEO TEAM
    Producer: Maura Gaughan
    Shot by: Charlotte Prager, Dani Okon, Katie Sadler
    Editing: Charlotte Prager, Dani Okon, and Dylan Pailer-Friedman
    Sound: Drew Joy

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    Diana Veras

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    Ezinma

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    Zuri Tibby

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    Ari Fitz

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    Gabrielle Richardson

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