“My goal has always been to inspire women to be authentically themselves and live fully NOW and not 20 pounds from now.”

StyleCrush: Marcy Cruz of

Marcy Cruz is a body-positive advocate, freelance writer and author. Cruz is on a mission to empower everyone to love the skin they’re in, and has been featured on The Today Show, Shape.com, Buzzfeed, Reader’s Digest, Refinery29 and other media outlets. Her blog, Fearlessly Just Me, is the go-to blog for women seeking inspiration in fashion, confidence, traveling and more. She is also the blog editor for PLUS Model Magazine, works for Gwynnie Bee as a first fit model/reviewer and had a short story published in Virgie Tovar’s Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion.

Name: Marcy Cruz
Age: 46
Current Location: New York, NY
Hometown: Rockaway Beach, NY
Profession/Blog: Freelance Writer and Lifestyle Blogger at Fearlessly Just Me.Net
Social Media: Instagram, FacebookTwitter, Snapchat: @mcnyc19

If yesterday was rough for you, always remember self love happens everyday and not just on Valentine's Day. It's something you commit to daily, to work on and nurture. Just take it one day at a time. This is why I rounded up some of the most amazing people I know and created the Body Love Comes in All Sizes look book. I want you to be inspired by their stories daily & fueled by their confidence. You can do it — just make that choice today to love yourself unconditionally and wonderful things will start to happen in your life. I promise. Link to the look book is in my bio. ❤ #selflove #selfloveisthebestlove #TheLookbookProject #bodylovecomesinallsizes #allbodiesarebeautiful #loveyourself #livefully #bodylove #bodypositive #bodypos #bopo #bopowarrior #beinspired #motivation #inspiration #selfcare #youareworthit #youareenough #unconditionallove #fatgirlscan #effyourbeautystandards

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WYV: How do you describe your personal style?

MC: B-girl meets Audrey Hepburn. I was a teen in the ’80s, so I was heavily into streetwear, such as ripped jeans, graffiti tees, bomber jackets and sneakers (Adidas, Puma, Vans and Reebok). I also have loved the elegance and grace of Audrey Hepburn since I was a kid, and that has infused itself in my style. I grew up wearing girly dresses with a bomber jacket, a string of pearls and sneakers. Or I’d wear a fun printed set with tennis sneakers and a string of pearls. I always have a feminine edge to my look, like florals and lace. I love color, especially fun prints, and sometimes my hair matches that. My large hoop earrings and silver bangle bracelets have become my signature over the years. I just like to have fun with fashion and use it as a way to express myself. Age or size does not dictate my style.

NEW BLOG POST: 10 reasons why 2016 was one of the best years of my life. I did some incredible things in 2016 like being in @shape Magazine's #LoveMyShape campaign, being on the @thetodayshow with @bobbiethomas and @ashley_Nell_Tipton (seen above), launching the Style22+ look book, & more! The sky's the limit in 2017! www.fearlesslyjustme.net #beinspired #2017hereicome #fearlesslyjustme #plussizefashion #bloggerlife #sothankful #blessed #livefully #enjoythemoments #enjoythenow #fashionisforeveryone #fashionforall #bodypositive #bodyacceptance #bodydiversity #sizediversity #womensupportingwomen #community #chaseyourdreams #realizeyourpurpose #believe #nevergiveup #latinablogger #lifestyleblogger #empowerment #knowyourworth #celebratemysize #effyourbeautystandards

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WYV: How long have you been blogging? How else are you linked to the fashion world and how long has it been part of your life?

MC: I’ve been blogging since 2000. I started out on message boards, doing recaps and articles on a website called Reality TV Talk. I’m a big Survivor and The Amazing Race fan, so I enjoyed being able to write about the shows from my point of view.

At the time I was working for a plus-size apparel catalog company on the e-merchandising team. Back then, I was the only fat woman on the team, and kind of felt that my voice wasn’t truly heard because they relied more on numbers, focus groups and what they thought we wanted in fashion.

One day in late 2006, I was looking through a magazine while on the subway and came across a small article featuring Velvet D’Amour walking in the Jean-Paul Gaultier show in Paris. I immediately became obsessed with Velvet and wanted to know who she was. Here was a woman MY SIZE walking in a major fashion show for a renowned fashion designer.

I became inspired to blog more about plus size fashion and being confident in your own skin. Velvet’s confidence and personality intrigued me and forced me to reevaluate how I was living my life and my own self-esteem.

My goal has always been to inspire women to be authentically themselves and live fully NOW and not 20 pounds from now. Fashion is for everyone and so is traveling, dating and life in general.

WYV: Tell us about your funniest/weirdest memories from a photoshoot/fashion show or with a client.

MC: I work at Gwynnie Bee in their First Fit Program as a fit model and reviewer of styles prior to launch. I’m not the most graceful person when it comes to posing, and I tend to laugh a lot, so I have learned a lot from the photographer in terms of smizing and posing more comfortably. However, I like to dance a lot when I am nervous. Dancing makes me loosen up. One day, I was telling the photographer how I was into old school rap and was into the B-girl thing back in the ’80s. I was so obsessed with graffiti and breakdancing. And then I started popping and locking, to which he started clicking away and filming me. The video is hilarious. I bet they had no idea that a fat girl can pop and lock with the best of them.

Check me out on @societyplus 's IG page during their 7 days of Midi Love, featuring 7 #bloggers wearing their popular Midington Skirt, styled their way. I loved seeing all the different looks this week. I paired my red midi skirt with an NYC tee from @lovesickfashion — denim jacket & obi belt @lanebryant and leopard flats @csiriano for @paylessshoesource Walk with #confidence always! The world is your runway, if you believe it is……. #celebratemysize #goldenconfidence #tcfstyle #mystylishcurves #plussizefashion #styleoverasize24 #40plusstyle #latina #nycblogger #stylehunters #psblogger #fashionisforeveryone #plussizestyle #fearlesslyjustme #Repost @societyplus with @repostapp ・・・ Marcy Cruz of @fearlesslyjustme is our final #7DaysOfMidiLove blogger💖 She's hitting the streets with style this Saturday in our Red Kate Midington Skirt! Paired with a graphic tee, denim jacket and printed flats; she's taking weekend wear to a whole new level! 💋✨ Click the link in our bio to shop her skirt! #IAMSocietyPlus ___________ Last day to get $10 off your Kate Midington!😱✨ Red Kate Midington available in sizes 14-30 $49.99

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WYV: What is one of the most bizarre fashions that you have latched onto?

MC: In the ’90s, while I was in college, I was heavy into military pieces. I would wear camo cargo pants, combat boots and a military canvas jacket that I bought at the Army Surplus store. I was deep into Public Enemy back then and was an activist in college, so I was a bit militant in my style. I had this Malcolm X tee that I wore all the time, too, with my hair up in a tight high bun, door-knocker bamboo earrings, winged eyeliner and a red lip. I also always wore the largest headphones known to man. Who knew camo would become a hot trend again?

It's all about #confidence and loving all of you. My belly outline is showing. My arms are out. My double chin ain't going nowhere. But I'm still beautiful, sexy, and happy. I believe in my #beauty. And I know you can be #fatandhappy — Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Special thanks to @eloquii for offering MY size in fabulous clothing. 📸: @jmilagrosphotography — #xoq #eloquii #plussizefashion #plussizestyle #stylebeyond22 #stylebeyondsize #celebratemysize #goldenconfidence #tcfstyle #effyourbeautystandards #allbodiesaregoodbodies #volup2isdiversity #skorchmag #mystylishcurves #andigetdressed #wewearwhatwewant #whatfatgirlsactuallywear #fatgirlsbewinning #seethe67 #bodypositive #bodydiversity #latina #loveyourself #bodyimage #iammyownbodygoals

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Who are the people close to you that have shaped your style?

MC: My mom loves wearing a red lip and stays covered in jewelry. She’s more of a gold person and I love silver but seeing her at the age of 67, rocking her red lip and jewelry (including a name plate!) inspires me to experiment more with makeup and accessories while never compromising on what I like for myself. I’ve never been much of a makeup person but I love a red lip because it gives me that extra ummph — that extra confidence where I feel like I can conquer whatever is thrown at me.

My blogger friends Alysse Dalessandro of Ready to Stare and ShaKera of The Real Sample Size have both encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. Their styles are totally different but I draw inspiration from both. Alysse is daring, edgy and bold — she will wear a bra and pencil skirt as a look or a mini-dress showing off her thighs, and will exude the most amazing confidence that it gives me life every time.

Related: StyleCrush: Ready to Stare’s Alysse Dalessandro

Lastly, my nieces have shaped my style because simply they believe in my beauty, even at times when I have my moments. So it pushes me to make more bold fashion decisions and be confident in my style because it inspires them to do the same.

Hey Everyone! I took a few days off to recharge and get my life. Sometimes we need those moments to refuel our spirits and get our focus on point. I live a busy life and I take care of others so often I forget about myself. I was reminded this week how much self care is needed. And that it's okay to take some time for yourself. Happy Friday! 📸: @bettyerainwaterphotography Top: @aveplus Hair color: @ionathome via @sallybeauty #selfcare #selfhealing #mentalcare #mentalhealth #metime #takingcareofme #takingabreak #puttingmefirst #fearlesslyjustme #happiness #selflove #selfloveisthebestlove #lifeisgood #livefully #confidence #inspired #coloredhair #rainbowhair #bluehairdontcare #multicolorhair #ionathome #sallybeauty

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WYV: What are some of the fashion “rules” that you regularly break?

MC: Oh gosh, tons! I wear bold colors, prints, white (gasps!), crop tops and I show my arms off. Once I made peace with my body, life became this magical journey where I could wear whatever I wanted and loved. I recently became obsessed with jumpsuits, which is a style I thought I could never wear.

WYV: Who are your top three celebrity StyleCrushes? What about each of them draws you to their style?

MC: Iris Apfel — because at 95, she slays it on a daily basis and I just love her carefree attitude when it comes to fashion. She inspires me to not let my age stop me from doing crazy things like dying my hair blue or wearing graphic tees with bold statements on them, when I have others telling me I am too old to do that. I also live to see what accessories she will wear because she is a genius at choosing the best statement necklaces and rings!

Gwen Stefani, because I feel like my style is similar to hers, and the fact that we are the same age inspires me to take risks in fashion and try new things. She reminds me that style knows no age. And that you can still feel and look youthful no matter what your age is.

Cookie Lyon from Empire is also a fave. I know technically she’s a fictional character, but I watch Empire just to see what she is wearing, to be honest. Her style is so over-the-top, as if she is giving the middle finger to the fashion police and telling the world, she will wear what she wants, when she wants to. I LIVE for when she wears her leopard-print full-length fur coat and hat. She wore a gold fanny pack once with a gold jumpsuit, and I swear I passed out in my living room. I strive to get on that level in my style confidence.

WYV: Which designers or brands are some of your fashion faves? What do you like about them?

MC: I absolutely love Christian Siriano and Betsey Johnson. Siriano isn’t afraid to design for plus sizes and he has a special place in my heart for that. Johnson doesn’t offer plus sizes but I am obsessed with her handbags and jewelry. They’re so much fun. I covet Chanel but can’t afford to even look in the store window.

I adore Universal Standard for their minimalist take on elevated basics. They offer up to a size 28 and their pieces are just so well-made and gorgeous. I love Rachel Roy’s Curvy line for its pretty silhouettes and fabrics but it’s yet another line I can’t shop because it stops at a size 24/3X. So I admire it from afar.

Other indie designers I love include Courtney Noelle, Proud Mary Fashion, Copper Union and Feminine Funk.

In terms of brands I can shop, I’m a Torrid and Avenue girl at heart. However, for denim, I shop at Catherines. Catherines’ Right Fit Curvy Jeans are the best fitting jeans I have ever bought, and they have a long closet life. I shop Eloquii but sometimes find myself disappointed because they don’t offer a size 28 in everything on their site. I also love Target, City Chic, SWAK and Lane Bryant for their designer collaborations and Glamour magazine capsule collections.

WYV: Have you ever encountered internet harassment? How do you combat their negativity and what advice would you give someone in a similar situation?

MC:  Just existing in a fat body and being happy seems to really piss some people off but I don’t let it bother me. I delete, block and move on. Most of these people are unhappy with themselves, so I remind myself that it’s not about me. The issue is with themselves. My dad used to tell me that someone will always have something to say, but it’s your choice on how you let that affect you. It’s super easy for someone to be a keyboard thug and hide behind a computer — but life is too short to waste time worrying about what someone, who you will probably never meet IRL, thinks about you.

WYV: How do you wear your voice?

MC: I wear my voice in my style, showing the world that there are no limits in what I can do in this life. I am breaking stereotypes and rules on a daily basis. I am a walking billboard for self-love, just by existing and living fully. I wear my voice in every smile, nod and encouraging acts I do on a daily basis. My fashion choices now make me feel so powerful and have become a sort of armor against the world and all its judgments and unsolicited advice. I don’t even need to speak. All I need to do is be me unapologetically.

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