Admired women of the fashion and social media scene explore their personal journey of accepting, loving and dressing up their different body shapes and sizes.
The fashion industry and its standards of perfection is a hotbed for complex, body image relationships. Along the way, the creative form of expression meant one had to be a certain size, height and weight to be ‘in style’. Thanks to outspoken trendsetters, diversity and size inclusivity is getting its due airtime. We speak to 6 inspiring women from different walks of the fashion circuit, on loving their bodies and how they find confidence through fashion.
Kristy Yong, director of Ms. Read and d.d collective
The business of inclusion
“Ms. Read pioneered plus-size fashion in Malaysia. We certainly had a fair share of upturned noses but each occasion reminds me of WHY we do what we do – which is the business of inclusion. This brings me back to my roots of how the brand was founded over 20 years ago by my mother, Helen Read. Today, Ms. Read has evolved from a home-grown brand to an omni-channel international retail business.”
“It’s a struggle because I love good food. However, a growing awareness on fitness and achieving mental clarity has helped. I begun fitness training thrice a week as something I’ve decided to do for myself this year. It also enables me to make better business decisions.”
Celebrating all shapes
“Every action leads to a reaction and it boils down to us as individuals within our communities, to make conscious decisions to be inclusive. We often receive feedback through our Customer Experience team that our models only represent Caucasians and are ‘not plus-sized enough.’ This feedback led to Ms. Read's #MSRBodyPositive campaign, which celebrates women from all walks of life and of every shape, size and age.”
Comfortable in your skin
“I’m a creature of comfort and being comfortable gives me the confidence to carry out my day.”
See also: Kristy Yong’s Travel Diary: The ‘Trans-Scandinavia 2015’ tour
Nana Al Haleq, fitness model
Putting fun into fashion
“One of the usual comments I get is that I can’t pull off certain styles as I’ll appear too sexy and bulky. I usually take such ‘unfriendly’ remarks positively, perhaps they don’t understand how to dress my body. There are always ways for me to rock every style (as seen on Instagram). Alterations may be needed but that’s what makes fashion fun.”
From skinny to fitspiration
“I’ve been skinny all my life and clothes wouldn't fit well, at 42kg and 160cm tall. I desired to have shapes and curves in the right places; hence, I picked up fitness and built my way to my dream body. I now weigh a comfortable 52-55kg. I loved my figure then and I love my figure now, too. Above all, I love that my body is now healthier and a reminder of all the hard work I put into it.”