11 Plus-Size Fashionistas to Ring In Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Check out these 11 Instagrams by talented Asian and Pacific Islander plus-size models and fashionistas.
A common complaint about plus-size fashion is that it predominantly represents feminine, white, small fats. Well, the critics aren’t wrong. The voices, faces and cultural identities of other folks are ignored en masse by media and clothing brands.
These 11 plus-size models and Instagrammers have to fight harder and speak louder just to be seen and heard. Beautiful, talented women and femmes, these folks share Asian and Pacific Islander identity.
If mainstream media won’t do it, it becomes the responsibility of the consumer and internet-savvy to curate their news and media streams to reflect the world around them, not just as it is sold to us. You can start by introducing these new faces into your world.
1. Bishamber Das
British-Indian plus-size model Bishamber Das shines in this incredible dress by Boohoo. Fashionably fearless, her style is a bit of everything. Her recent tropical vacation has us drooling over the location and fashions! Follow this gorgeous model for curvy style inspiration.
2. Naomi Watanabe
Queen of the Marshmallow Girls and the brilliant mind behind the Japanese plus-size line Punyus, Naomi Watanabe is hardly an unknown. Watanabe is talented, hilarious, stylish and beautiful which helps her boost the voice and visibility of Japanese and Asian plus-size women across the world.
3. Priscilla Katerena
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MODEL MONDAYS … WHERE I FIND MY ZEN . . . @ArtHeartsFashion @nelsonprproductions @kiyonnacurves #CurvesontheRunway #LAFW #ArtHeartsFashion #curvymodel #curvyfashion #gettyimages breakingbarriers #naturalhair #curves #honoryourself #honormycurves #sofisticated @beautyoverstandards #nelsonproductions #Priscillakaterena #plusmodel #runway #losangelesfashion #lafashionweek #elevate positivevybz #celebratemysize
This beautiful multicultural model was raised in the Samoan Islands by her grandmother until she was ten. Unable to speak English other than a simple “yes” or “no,” she spent her young life immersed in island culture. A member of the Polynesian Exchange, Priscilla Katerena hopes to increase visibility and cultural representation in the fashion world and beyond.
“I would like to see more representation of all ethnicities not just black or white or as labeled exotic. It was difficult for me when I started modeling to identify with certain models because I knew they didn’t represent me culturally though they may have looked like me. I feel like every little girl, whatever her ethnic background needs to see various role models they can look up to or identify with,” she tells The Curvy Fashionista.
4. Ushshi Rahman
Ushshi Rahman is a NYC-based Desi fashionista who represents the alternative plus-side of fashion. Rahman is excellent for fashion-forward goth-meets-bohemian-witch inspiration. If images of multicolored hair, leather jackets and gorgeous dresses alongside posts about food and beauty are your thing, this is your IG.
Check out this last-minute OOTD for incredible nighttime poolside inspiration. The season is upon us!
5. Jessie Lupinetti
Jessie Lupinetti is a bicoastal Filipina-American petite plus-size model. On top of carving a niche for petite plus Asian models, Lupinetti also has a community-based passion. As a survivor of domestic violence, Lupinetti is on a mission to empower other survivors and show them how they can move on to find true happiness and success.
6. Vivian Geeyang Kim
Plus-size model Vivian Geeyang Kim is serving up much-needed body diversity in Korean fashion. The creative mind behind the plus-size fashion blog 66100, Kim is creating spaces for larger bodies in Asian media.
7. Veronica Pome’e
Veronica Pome’e is a SoCal-based beauty of Polynesian descent. She spends her spare time community organizing and helping others to find self-love and empowerment with the group Change In LOVE.
“[Self-love is] putting your needs and wants at the highest standard, and holding yourself to that standard. [Self-love is] being self-empowered and it’s completely unconditional,” she writes on Medium.
8. Aarti Olivia
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Typically, I post throwbacks of my older fashion posts on Thursdays. I hesitated from doing that last week. Looking at these images while I am unable to stand for too long let alone walk, makes me sad and angry. But I will choose to look at these pictures instead with a sense of hope and excitement. Whether on a wheelchair, crutches or standing on my own – I will have fun with fashion blogging again. Right now, I have bigger worries like a stubborn calf pain on the injured knee that could be a muscle strain or blood clot. Will be seeing my Doc later to figure out what's going on. Wish me luck 💙 #aclreconstruction #meniscusrepair #disability #intersectionality #psblogger #plussize #justkeepswimming #holdonpainends #effyourbeautystandards #tbt
Aarti Olivia is a Singapore-Indian intersectional feminist first, fashionista second. Her approach to accessibility and representation within fashion makes her stand out from a crowd of folks who are often more concerned about brand than impact. With a love of bold prints and a variety of silhouettes, this Wear Your Voice contributor will soon become one of your favorite fashionistas.
9. Liily AS
Plus-size Instagram fashionista Liily AS always serves great casual island style. This Filipina-babe rocks bralettes, hot pants, athleisure gear and swimsuits to keep it cool living on the island of Guam. Follow this fearless babe’s Instagram for killer warm weather inspiration.
10. Allison Teng
Allison Teng is always impeccably dressed with the most perfectly curated looks. Blending preppy with the latest trends, Teng takes us through her life in SoCal and her immaculate wardrobe for the Curvy Girl Chic blog. Check out her blog for in-depth reviews and a peek into her life.
11. Tinder Kaur
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So not long ago a relative of mine, who shall remain nameless and labeless, kept getting on me about losing weight. She said stuff like, "Why won't you lose some weight"? Or "I hope you lose some weight". And of course the "are you trying to lose weight"? 😐😑😐😑. . Now, at first, I was getting annoyed with her😲, because I kept telling her that I actually am happy with myself, and my body, AND that my shape & size is what gets me model work😜. But then she said something that made me realize that I shouldn't be annoyed with her, she said, "well when you have someone who loves you exactly as you are, it is easier to accept yourself". To me that meant she based her self confidence, and her perception about her body on what others thought about her. . I am sure when I was younger I thought the same way, but I am a woman now, and a boss. And I know FOR A FACT that I don't give 2 💩s about what others think of me. As long as I am happy with myself. And your significant other is happy with you, if you're happy with yourself. 💖💑💖. So moral of this story is, don't let someone else's insecurities become yours! If you are happy with yourself that is the greatest accomplishment one can have!🏆. . . #tbt #bodypositive #throwbackthursday #throwback #curves #fit #thick #curvy #model #plusmodel #curvemodel #indianmodel #ipmmodels #potd #pic #photo #confidence #key #selflove #self #me #proud #tinderoni #thursday #cheers #happy #healthy #honormycurves #effyourbeautystandards #celebratemysize
Tinder Kaur is a Punjabi-Sikh plus-size model. Based in Los Angeles, Kaur once worked in Silicon Valley. Since leaving tech, she has had jobs as diverse as walking in New York Fashion Week to campaigns for Kohl’s and Ashley Nell Tipton’s JCPenny line.
“I want to convey strength, independence, and intelligence. What motivates me is spearheading this movement within my own ethnicity and culture,” Kaur tells Chubstr.