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This Plus-Size Model Responded To Trolls Who Tried To Body-Shame Her Aaliyah Costume

“I think you look amazing! Aaliyah would approve.”

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Alicia Mitchell is a plus-size model, designer and former beauty queen from Newark, New Jersey. Recently, an old photo of her dressed as Aaliyah for a costume party was shared online.

Instagram: @fatgirlglamour

Mitchell told BuzzFeed News: “As soon as I turned on my phone, my notifications started going crazy. I went on to Facebook and saw that someone had tagged me to a post that a gentleman had written about me in a negative light and I was like: wait a minute, I don’t know this man, and I looked through the comments and it was chaos from there.”

The 34-year-old explained how a post on Facebook sparked a wave of abuse directed at her for being a plus-size woman.

So I’m the Big Girl That everyone is Posting about ! If I was a size 2 No one would have an issue...

“I had people in my inbox making judgments on my appearance, calling me a fat bitch, saying things like I should have been on a treadmill for Halloween, all types of things, I was so confused because these people don’t know me from a can of paint, I’m the sweetest person in the world, you don’t know me or what I do, for you to make such hateful statements like that,” she said.

And so Alicia responded to the trolls on Twitter and let them know: “yes I’m Big but I work with what I got.”

I’m the Big Girl / Fat Girl That’s getting reposted in this picture ... I was Paying Homage to Queen Aaliyah 💕I love her look and I have always been a fan of her ! Women come in all shapes and sizes No need to FAT SHAME ME ... yes I’m Big but I work with what I got 💕 https://t.co/LaUPpEKGYV

She told BuzzFeed News: “My thing is, you have to be happy with who you are, and I made a statement of saying, everybody has flaws with their body and everybody has something that they want to change, but why spend all your life trying to fix something and miss out on the fact this you only get one life and you have to live for today. If you want to lose a little weight, then absolutely work on that process while you’re living, but don’t stop living.”

She also wanted people to know that health and well-being is more than skin deep.

Mitchell said: “I am all about health and wellness, I’m a healthy big girl, I love to work out, I love to eat healthy, but sometimes I want a celery stick, and sometimes I want an Oreo cookie and all of that is okay as long as you have a balance and I had to learn that. You can enjoy your life but everything in moderation.”

Her confidence clearly had an impact because even the person at the centre of the trolling attempted to apologise.

Instagram: @fatgirlglamour

“He was in my inbox trying to explain himself. He tried to apologize, tried to clean it up, he tried to say it wasn’t his intention he said, ‘oh I thought you were cute but it was the wrong fit.’ Who are you to tell me what looks right on me? Now you’ve started all this, these people that don’t even know me, I’ve got people in my inbox sending hateful messages, my picture is going around everywhere and I was just minding my business and you started something that I didn’t ask for.”

Her costume was in homage to the late singer Aaliyah and her performance two-piece for the single “Try Again,” released back in 2000.

Giphy / Via Giphy.com

Mitchell said: “I’m a fan of Aaliyah and we were going through for videos and I was like, how about I do the ‘try again’ look? My friend, he’s the designer Marco Hall, he was like 'yeah I think you should do it, that’s an iconic look that she did,'"

“So I thought: Let me push the envelope and let me do something outside of the box because I imagine some people wouldn’t think of a plus-sized woman pulling off a little bikini top, leather pants and a belt like that.”

Her message of body positivity in response to the trolling has been a source of inspiration online. Her tweet generated messages of support and compliments.

She said: “When I saw the way people on Twitter started standing up for me, I was blown away. Seeing all the love on Twitter let me know that I can really handle this, more women were telling me that they could relate to me, they were telling me, ‘thank you for being an encouragement and an inspiration to us.“We wish we had the confidence to do this, thank you representing for the larger women, letting people know that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and you don’t have to be a skinny woman to be beautiful and you can wear what you want.’ So I was inspiring plus-sized women, smaller women, men as well.”
Alicia Mitchell

She said: “When I saw the way people on Twitter started standing up for me, I was blown away. Seeing all the love on Twitter let me know that I can really handle this, more women were telling me that they could relate to me, they were telling me, ‘thank you for being an encouragement and an inspiration to us.

“We wish we had the confidence to do this, thank you representing for the larger women, letting people know that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and you don’t have to be a skinny woman to be beautiful and you can wear what you want.’ So I was inspiring plus-sized women, smaller women, men as well.”

I’ve been Representing for The Big Girls for a Long Time ... Show your Love ... Your Style has nothing to do with your style ❤️ I should feel free to wear what I please and not be Fat Shamed for it !!! We have to live our Best Life .... #plussizebeauty #plusszemodel https://t.co/tRXPRykOFw

It’s not surprising that people think she looked incredible.

@Makeupiswhatido @_iAmRoyal You look fantastic! Werk, sis!

@Makeupiswhatido Girl you DID THE THING eff them you look gorgeous Now where you get that bra?

@Makeupiswhatido @JediMassaYoda You’re beautiful....... period !!!!! Don’t worry about what other people think . They have insecurities of their own but feel the need to shame other people bc misery loves company . You’re beautiful the way you are 😍😍

Including music icon and longtime Aaliyah collaborator Missy Elliott, who gave Mitchell’s look her approval.

@Makeupiswhatido Aaliyah would of loved this🙌🏾

@Makeupiswhatido @maintishe You hair, outfit, makeup, and everything is on point though. 💯

@Makeupiswhatido Aaliyah would be proud period

@Makeupiswhatido @OneXMind Aaliyah must be looking down at you smiling at the joy you bring to those around you. Haters must just sit their dumd asses down.

@Makeupiswhatido I think you look amazing! Aaliyah would approve.

Ade Onibada is a junior reporter at BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Ade Onibada at ade.onibada@buzzfeed.com.

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