Let Ciara Nicole, Jessica Hinkle, Alysse Dalessandro and Gabriella Flores take you away to a gorgeous desert oasis.
by Jessica Hinkle
Women are often taught, overtly and subtly, to shrink themselves and to take up as little space as possible. We are taught that there is an ideal body we are meant to spend our lives chasing and somehow if we don’t, our worth diminishes. We wanted to break from that and show that everyone is beautiful, and deserves to take up space.
We had specifically set out to conceptualize a shoot featuring a model above a size 22. Anyone above a size 18 is a vastly underrepresented size in editorials and campaigns. Everyone has seen “radical” campaigns using models that are sizes 12-18. However, that isn’t actually radical at all.
We wanted to show Ciara in bright vibrant looks. The tropical style against the desert setting calls to mind an oasis. We used a mixture of vintage and new clothing to create an interesting palette that would make her the focus. Ciara doesn’t blend into the desolate background, she stands out. She is not hiding, she is thriving. She stands tall and strong.
While we were shooting, a man decided to circle us on his ATV. He drove over to our site and started to drive in circles around our model and crew while staring us down. It was definitely an intimidation tactic by someone that felt threatened by a group of fat women unapologetically dressed and creating. When people react in this way, trying to silence or make us feel unsafe, it only shows me that working to change these ideas of what a woman should be is crucial.
We all have the right to exist and be happy in our skin. It isn’t easy when we are constantly reminded of how society feels, as though our bodies are up for discussion. Self-love and expression is a way to push back. Whether you choose to stand out or blend in, you are worthy, and you deserve to take up space in this world just like anyone else.
Concept: Jessica Hinkle, Alysse Dalessandro, Gabriella Flores
Styling: Jessica Hinkle, Alysse Dalessandro
Clothing: Proud Mary Fashion, stylist’s own
Accessories: Ready to Stare
Photography: Stevie Anderson
Makeup: Tiffani Blakely of Concierge Makeup
Hair: Eileen Noda
Model: Ciara Nicole