This week’s StyleCrush is Briana Hernandez of the plus size blog Mama Fierce. Born, raised, and thriving in the Bay area, Hernandez and Mama Fierce believe there’s no wrong way to have a body and no wrong way to dress it. This hilariously clever, effervescent fashionista brings forth her brand of whimsical cool with each and every outfit.
Wear Your Voice: How long have you been blogging? What inspired you to start Mama Fierce?
Briana Hernandez: I started three years ago to keep myself mentally stimulated as a then-stay-at-home mom. I was trying to maintain my personal identity through embracing fashion.
WYV: How do you describe your personal style?
BH: Playful and edgy. I like pieces that turn heads for whatever reason.
WYV: Who are the people close to you that have shaped your style?
BH: I have an older sister who was a ’90s alt chola-and always had the illest hand-me-downs.
WYV: What message do you try to send your audience through blogging? How do you think the media can convey that message to larger audiences?
BH: There’s no wrong way to have a body and there’s no wrong way to dress it. The media needs to start using models, actors and personalities outside the rigid “beauty” standards of race, size, gender ID and physical ability. Period.
WYV: Who are your top three celebrity StyleCrushes? What draws you to each of them?
BH: Sia, because she is just ridiculous and I love her. Janelle Monáe, because her style just exudes her electric spirit and she looks better than any dude in a suit. And obvs Dascha Polanco, because she’s a big-assed Latina who designers aren’t here for, even though it doesn’t get more stunning than her, so the world is obviously insane.
WYV: Which stores/brands/designers are your faves? What draws you to each of them?
BH: My absolute fave is Eloquii, since their styles are accessible yet boundary-pushing. I’m a print junkie so I love CowCow. And Monif C. is where I get my jumpsuit/romper fix.
WYV: Which big-name designers would you like to see move into the plus-size market?
BH: Anna Sui and Betsey Johnson. I love their color explosions.
WYV: How has being a mom shaped your style and your relationship with your body?
BH: Being pregnant actually taught me how to love taking up space! I really miss my giant belly. It made me feel grandiose, like André Leon Talley.
WYV: How do you plan on raising a body-positive, feminist little boy? What would you tell adolescents who are struggling with body issues?
BH: I make it a point to talk about my body with kindness and objectivity. “Yes, that’s my soft belly. Yes, that’s my jiggly butt.” And always with a smile on my face. I generally don’t talk about women’s appearances at all since I want him to place as little importance on that as possible.
As for kids who are struggling, I would tell them to constantly question beauty standards. Where do they come from? Why are they important? Which ones bring you joy? Which ones would you ditch if it weren’t for societal pressures? And if there are standards from which they desperately want to rebel, I would tell them to ask themselves how a perfectly confident person would go about that (how that person would react to negative comments, how they would take compliments) and then do exactly that. Act confident and you will feel confident.
WYV: How do you wear your voice?
BH: I wear it with my ridiculous, impulsive tattoos, clothes that don’t hide my body, a face that doesn’t hide my emotions.