Bertha Pearl, a friend of mine and the owner of Size Queen Clothing, was showing her clothing at the first ever Queer Fashion Week in Oakland, CA last year. Like most first time events, there were a couple of hitches, but thanks to the professionalism of the crew and designers, these hiccups were totally invisible to the public. Bertha Pearl caters to plus sizes, especially large plusses, and she did not have enough models in the 22+ range. She put a model call out on Facebook, which I was happy to oblige.
While I was there, one of the models said that they were too nervous to model a monokini swimsuit. I shocked myself when I volunteered to do so – it was as though someone else’s words were coming out of my nervous mouth. Thankfully, I was brave enough to just roll with it and go out there in my swimsuit – dimples, rolls, and all. It was like I was out there, looking the entire audience in the eye, seeing myself reflected back at me… for better or worse.
Seeing an old friend from Portland and repping her line on the runway was a soul-lifting experience and empowered me to continue kicking ass all year since the event.