Essie Golden at the Golden Confidence pool party.

Essie Golden.

This weekend, I had the privilege of being surrounded by ton of incredibly stylish, plus-size, bikini-clad deities at the second annual Golden Confidence Pool Party. Essie Golden co-hosted the event with Sara Rae and Chante B at the Custom Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The event was a total hit and the energy from everyone there was incredibly positive, warm and welcoming.

Designer Tora (far right) and company  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

Designer Tora (far right) and company.

Diversity reigned supreme at the event, showing the plus-size fashion world the need for more than just pale-skinned, fat-in-the-right-places models. From thin allies to curvy to plus to super size, all bodies were seen and embraced.

Essie Golden stands flanked by Tess Holliday (left) and Priscilla Ono (right)  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

Essie Golden flanked by Tess Holliday (left) and Priscilla Ono (right).

Guests included both Tess and Nick Holliday, Priscilla Ono, Chauncea Carothers, independent fashion designers and hopeful models and actors, as well as everyday folks who simply want to put on a swimsuit and be around other big bodied babes doing the same.

WYV writer Laurel Dickman with makeup aritst Priscilla Ono and model Tess Holliday  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

WYV writer Laurel Dickman with makeup artist Priscilla Ono and model Tess Holliday.

 

Bloggers Kat Eves and Sheila Lopez.

Bloggers Kat Eves and Sheila Lopez.

 

 at the Golden Confidence pool party.

Essie Golden told People that they created the hashtag #GoldenConfidence in 2015 to try to empower plus-size folks to wear bathing suits.

Brianna Hernandez, Laurel Dickman, Suma Jane Dark for Wear Your Voice Magazine with friend Jules Wood  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

Laurel Dickman and Suma Jane Dark for Wear Your Voice Magazine with friends Brianna Hernandez (gold suit) Jules Wood (black suit).

“We created [the hashtag] to help encourage plus size women everywhere to wear swimwear and feel good about themselves while doing it,” Golden explains to People. Her fans said they would only wear swimsuits “if they were surrounded by other women who looked like them.”

Models Jessica Lupinetti and Kia Billinger  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

Models Jessica Lupinetti and Kia Billinger.

From there, the pool party began in New York and has become a tour to empower everyone to #DropTheTowel and show their #GoldenConfidence.

Blogger "Embellished Dame" with Buzzfeed writer Jazzmyne Jay  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

Blogger “Embellished Dame” with Buzzfeed writer Jazzmyne Jay.

“I decided to create a safe and non-judgmental place where women of all shapes and size can come together, slay in their swimsuits and uplift each other,” Golden says. “And that’s exactly what this event has done.”

Designer and owner of The Plus Bus, Jen Wilder, with WYV writer and photographer Suma Jane Dark  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

Designer and owner of The Plus Bus, Jen Wilder, with WYV writer and photographer Suma Jane Dark.

 

A bevy of babes  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

A bevy of babes.

“Women have traveled from all over the states and even internationally, just to be in a positive space with other women. Many women come alone and leave with new friends. It’s truly incredible what an event like this can do for people.”

#psblogger Ivory Jinelle  at the Golden Confidence pool party.

#psblogger Ivory Jinelle wearing Atlanta-based designer Jibri.

Missed Out? Time for a DIY Pool Party or Beach Meetup!

Were you too far away to be part of the excitement? Create your own pool party! Put the word out on social media and take over a local pool with a group of plus-sized folks or organize a beach outing. Make sure that it is accessible, though! It is easy to overlook things when you do not need them, but pool lifts are integral for those with mobility issues who are reliant upon wheelchairs. While beaches themselves can be difficult to navigate, make sure that your meetup spot has a paved path for those using wheelchairs, other assistance devices, or simply have mobility issues. It may be difficult to get to the water, but make sure that you can include those whose needs and abilities may differ from your own.

If you live in the Miami area, it’s not too late to celebrate your #GoldenConfidence with other incredible folks around you. Essie, Chante B, and rest of the tour will be making a stop at the Catalina Hotel on August 13th. You can buy tickets right here!

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