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    Forget The Resolutions. You Are A Masterpiece.

    Another New Year’s Eve approaches led by the inevitable tidal wave of resolutions. Most resolutions revolve around the female body – to lose weight, “get fit,” go to the gym, do a cleanse and so forth. Like good little consumers, we fill our Amazon carts with diuretic tea “cleanses”, “miracle pills”, and anti-aging creams, like in a trance. But why? Media has brainwashed us that there is one specific body type to define beauty and health, and with it, come all our dreams for 2020. Not only is this toxic, it is flatly untrue. Many plus size women are healthy, active and happy, so why must every year we be pressured to make drastic changes to our bodies to signify the turning of the calendar? Life is too short to spend it buried under the pages of magazines ripped out for “thinspiration” and heaps diet products formulated to fail and keep you coming back. So, I am offering a different kind of photo inspiration and dare you to enter 2020 loving your body the way that you are. Right now. Seriously. You do have the power to change yourself in the New Year,- not by changing your body, but by changing your mindset. Look in the mirror and admire your body for getting you through another year of life. Appreciate every roll, stretch mark, scar, or wrinkle as a road map of your journey into 2020. With a collective voice and positive content, the next decade can be one celebrating all bodies and expanding the definition of beauty. Enter the Renaissance of the Renaissance.

    Asia Monet as The Goddess in a Frame

    Emily Raw / Via Courtesy of Emily Raw

    One of the body positive projects I was most proud of in 2019 of was a portrait session called “the Renaissance of the Renaissance”.

    Seven women – with a combined social media following of over 1 million - set out to disrupt how media depicts the female form, by bringing plus size models together in an eye-catching, artistic shoot, putting soft bodies back in the picture frame where they belong. We were hoping that by creating the content we wanted to see, we could encourage other women to see themselves as a masterpiece instead of a rough draft.

    Sarah Hamel-Smith, Lorenzo Dinia and Sophie Turner as Bacchanalia

    Emily Raw / Via Courtesy of Emily Raw

    Together with Sarah Hamel-Smith, a plus size model and TEDx speaker, known as TheCurvyTrini, I led this Renaissance project after we discussed how many iconic women depicted in museums would likely be fat shamed today, but that the tides seem to be turning. Thanks to what I call ‘The Ashley Graham Factor’ curves are once again enviable. We wondered if the uptick in curvy representation might mean “A Renaissance of the Renaissance” : a time when fuller bodies are a symbol of beauty and prosperity. It’s about so much more than calling curvy women ‘Rubenesque’, a one-dimensional euphemism. Brooklyn-based artist and photographer Emily Raw was a natural and perfect fit as she has a desire to create art that can flip the script from the male gaze.

    “When I think of the Renaissance Era, I’ve rarely seen women of color and curves depicted in the art. It is exciting to be part of this project and part of the new narrative,” says model Asia Monet, who was our exalted goddess in a gilded frame. We encourage you to see yourself worth of that same frame, because you in all your unique strength are a goddess in your own right.

    Renee Cafaro as The Queen

    Emily Raw / Via Courtesy of Renee Cafaro

    In 2020, let's create more content that shows that plus size women who are not only gorgeous, but also worth of adoration, affection, or even worship, as the subject of a priceless works of art.

    Jonna Capone as Venus

    Emily Raw / Via Courtesy of Emily Raw

    Credits:

    Renee Cafaro and Emily Raw: art direction and visuals

    Lizzy Weinberg: hair stylist

    Models: Jonna Capone as Venus reimagined (@curvycapone ), the goddess (@modelAsiaMonet), the Queen/Icon (@foxyroxyfashion) and a bacchanalian scene featuring Sophie Turner (@sophieeturner), Sarah Hamel-Smith (@thecurvytrini) and a male friend who agreed to model, Lorenzo Dinia, PhD (@lorenzo_dinia )

    Written by Renee Cafaro, US Editor of plus size magazine SLiNK and founder of @FoxyRoxyFashion :A Curvy Girl’s Guide to Couture.

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