‘It’s important for young women to know that it’s ok to live your life in the body you are in at this moment. Your voice matters. You have to speak up.’
Marcy Cruz, Arverne
“I went on my first diet when I was 10. I weighed 110 pounds and I was ‘supposed to’ weigh 90. The doctor made it sound like a dire situation. I’ve been told throughout my life that unless I lose weight, I’m not going to get married, have kids or be happy.
“Another message I got is I have to shrink myself to fit in. I’ve never fit in anywhere. Now, at the age of 50, I realize fitting in is boring. When I was younger, all I wanted to do was fit in. I was 13 in the ’80s and there were no places to shop; I went to the men’s department and got creative. I was ripping and distressing my jeans, bedazzling clothes and using bleach and tie dye. I love how you can express yourself through fashion. Being fat, you stand out for negative reasons because society has programmed us to think fat bodies are bad, that you’re unhealthy, and that something is wrong with you.
Plus size bodies are not temporary, and we’re all not one size.
“Years later I was looking through ‘In Touch’ when I was inspired by Velvet D’Amour, a gorgeous woman whose body looked like mine, walking the runway. She was a size 26/28. I want to see bodies like mine in editorial fashion. I started going to indie fashion shows and I worked for Gwen Devoe for full-figured fashion week for two years. I didn’t see a lot of women who looked like me represented. We shop!
“Plus size bodies are not temporary, and we’re all not one size. Women that are 26/28 just want quality, fitting clothes. Clothing is a basic need. Why are we being denied that? I started writing about fashion shows and trends, and then it got more personal. I’ve been working for ‘Fashion to Figure’ and I’m also a freelance writer.
“I became a signed fit model when an agent was looking for someone to fit for a brand that was fitting for extended sizes. Unfortunately, the majority of the industry does not care about us because of our size. Inclusive means we all wear the clothes! I realized that I have been taking the blame for my body and spending my life waiting for death to catch up to me, and it was causing me not to live in the present. Happiness comes from within. It’s important for young women to know that it’s ok to live your life in the body you are in at this moment. Your voice matters. You have to speak up.”