Plus-sized models are finally getting representation and recognition over the last few years for their beauty, but it hasn’t come easily. Nearly every time a beautiful plus-sized model receives the spotlight on a massive scale, she is met with hate and resistance from a society that desperately wants to cling to the antiquated beauty standards — standards that have defined the fashion industry for decades. However, even though the world seems committed to holding these women back, Sahara Marie has shown that it is possible to stand against the status quo.
Sahara Marie began her modeling career by posting fashion pictures on social media, but she never expected her career to skyrocket as quickly (or as well) as it did. Once she started using her social media platform to spread her message of positivity, followers and fashion brands from across the globe began to take notice and give her an opportunity for continued growth. Now, she is being praised for normalizing plus size bodies.
Marie hopes that her success will inspire people to be comfortable in their own skin and happy with themselves the way they are. “Several things can cause someone to be overweight or ‘plus-sized’,” she explains. “We don’t know what is happening in a person’s life, so judging them is not fair. There are better things to worry about than body weight or what other people think about your appearance.”
Marie posts photos of herself on social media in swimsuits, lingerie, and other sexy outfits. In doing so, she reclaims her body image, showing that she is beautiful just as she is despite everything society tries to tell women like her. Still, she never gets too caught up in the public’s opinion — it doesn’t matter what people think about her as long as she is happy with her own image.
Growing her platform to become a plus-sized sensation
Sahara Marie has collaborated with several fashion and lingerie brands, both large and small. She’s worked with Dolls Kill, Curvy Sense, the Tabria Majors swimsuit line from Fashion to Figure, Shein Curve and many more but this is just the beginning of her work.
In recent months Marie partnered with Dr. Jay Feldman, co-founder and CMO of Otter PR — a top 10 PR Firm in the US with over 50 employees — to spotlight body positivity. Each day, she gets more offers to collaborate with well-known and up-and-coming brands.
Brands collaborate with models to take advantage of their audience, and Marie was able to amass quite a following, with 123,000 followers on social media and counting. Understanding that there isn’t a lot of representation in the industry for plus-sized women, she knows that seeing a beautiful plus-sized woman like herself reminds other plus-sized women that they, too, are beautiful.
Marie emphasizes that being plus-sized shouldn’t mean that you can’t be like other women. “There are opportunities for you to share your beauty with the world, but the first step is feeling beautiful yourself,” says Marie. “How other people look at you doesn’t matter as long as you think you are a beautiful woman the way you are.”
Being a role model for body positivity and self-love
Marie hopes that she can be a role model and inspiration for other plus-sized women who need to hear that they are beautiful, too. Until recent years, there haven’t been many success stories of plus-sized women becoming mainstream models. Most plus-sized models were on the fringes of the industry, modeling almost exclusively for plus-size clothing brands. Now, although, the platform afforded to models by social media allows them to break into the mainstream much more easily than before.
This exposure allows Marie to share her message about promoting self-love and body positivity. Social media can be toxic, with an array of trolls and naysayers discouraging and perpetuating stereotypes that plus-sized women can’t be beautiful. However, in finding a community of positive-minded people like Marie, others can see the potential of social media to connect people and allow them to uplift one another.
For Marie, this message is the most critical part of her role as an influencer model. Showing the world that plus-sized women are beautiful opens the door for other plus-sized women to follow in her footsteps. She has worked hard to grow her platform through social media, a resource that other women can use to share their beauty with the rest of the world.
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