A lot of my wardrobe is Joe Fresh. My current favourite uniform involves a drapey grey topper made from sweatshirt material and scored on sale in the workout-wear (shut up) section of the Toronto Joe mecca at the 401 and Weston Supercentre. Today I'm wearing said topper and the Joe Fresh dress I wore on "Steven and Chris" a couple of weeks back, not because I'm attending the Joe Fresh f/w 2010 runway show at LG Fashion Week tonight, but because they fit, they're comfortable and I like â€™em. Plus they came in sizes I can wear, which turned the volume down on my usual if-I-were-skinny-I-would-wear-that mental chant regarding clothes I like but can't fit. Of course I'm looking forward to the Joe show tonight, but with added anticipation because healthy-size Crystal Renn (above) is in it.
I'm a larger-size figure type, about a 12/14. Do I identify with Crystal Renn? Well, despite a bit of a stretch way back as a plus mannequin in local circles, not really. Renn's proportions spark my envy -- she has a waist. My body decided to keep all its extra fat right out in front, in my middle so that badly-brought-up folks could feel free to ask when my baby is due. (Yes, women have asked, too.)
Renn has clearly embraced her physical beauty -- and why not? There isn't a thing wrong with her appearance. My friend Liis Windischmann (right), Canada's best-known plus model and a champion of self-acceptance, is another who appreciates her own curvy figure (she has a build like mine, but taller). And just a couple of months ago singer Jann Arden told Steven and Chris that she's always loved her body, no matter what. Me, not so much. Working on it.
In the meantime, I'll enjoy the swell of size-consciousness in the media these days. Crystal Renn is a triumph in these images on ElleCanada.com (from which the top photo was borrowed), and talks to Nathalie Atkinson in today's National Post. In a companion piece, Nathalie digs a little deeper into runway/realway and sample-size issues with Renn, model agent Ben Barry and "CityLine" producer Candy Signorini.
Liis regularly posts on plus-fashion developments for LouLou (follow her on Twitter @LiisW) and again this year put her runway expertise to use training real women for the Fashion Week catwalk (I'm still upset that I missed the Vawk show, but you can see it here). You can also see more of what Liis is about at liisweb.com.
Given such role models of beauty -- more importantly of self-confidence -- my struggle to accept my figure seems silly. Well, I'm not done yet. I don't have to be skinny to wear that.
Image borrowed from ElleCanada.com. Go look.