Earlier this year, body positive activist and body confidence coach Michelle Elman took to Instagram to call out the U.K. plus size community's exclusion of Asian women.
"The U.K. plus size community excludes Asian women," Elman wrote. "And it’s largely due to the fact that Asian women are always stereotyped as petite."
According to Elman, Asian women are still stereotyped as petite, leading to a lack of Asian representation in many mainstream brands' campaigns, promo materials, events, conversations, and sponsored posts.
She expressed resentment at having to group women from an entire continent into a single entity. "The fact that I’m even using the term Asian women is ridiculous," says Elman. "Imagine a British person being asked to represent Germany. We shouldn’t be asked to represent a whole continent, but to not represent an entire continent is worse."
As a follow-up to her initial post, Elman partnered with photographer Linda Blacker on a photo shoot to show the actual breadth of representation possible among plus-size Asian women, and the result is absolutely S T U N N I N G.
The shoot happened as a result of Blacker reaching out to Elman back in March, asking Elman if she'd like to collaborate on an awareness-raising project.
To find her models, Elman said she reached out to bloggers who had responded to her first Instagram post. "Then I reached out to my followers via Instagram and found Mina Kumari, Vanessa Sison, Simsimma Sandhu and Saalene Sivaprasad."