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Simone Mariposa: “I’m kind of tired of begging straight-size designers to make plus sizes. It’s time to do away with the elitism.”

StyleCrush: Simone Mariposa, plus size model and motivational speaker.

Model, body-positive activist and motivational speaker Simone Mariposa is our StyleCrush this week. Hailing from Los Angeles, Mariposa is a much-needed voice in the plus-size community, championing access and visibility of BIPOC plus-size bodies.

This week, Mariposa talks style, visibility and shares a great anecdote from a fun shoot that got a little personal.

Name: Simone Mariposa
Age: Fabulous
Hometown and Current Location: Los Angeles, California
Profession/Blog: Body-positive activist, model, inspirational speaker
Social Media: Instagram: @SimoneMariposa; Twitter: @SimoneMariposa; Facebook: @TheSimoneMariposa; Snapchat: simoneswagmami; Youtube: The Butterfly Diaries

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The look… 📷| @samanthastudio

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Wear Your Voice: How do you describe your personal style?

Simone Mariposa: I would describe my style as eclectic and diverse. What I wear changes with my mood. One I may feel super girly in florals and lace, and the next I may be super grunge in a dad hat and Docs.

WYV: How long have you been blogging? What inspired your career and love of fashion?

SM: I’ve been truly modeling since 2015. I don’t even consider myself a model, but more so a body-positive advocate and fashion enthusiast who takes pictures for campaigns every now and again.

I’ve always loved dressing well and taking fashion risks, so I started to showcase my outfits for people to see, and people caught on.

WYV: What’s one of your funniest/weirdest memories from a photoshoot?

SM: I did a shoot with one of my friends, fellow bodyposi babe Brianna McDonnell from The B Word, and I had to hold her boob while looking into her eyes. It was meant to be a serene goddess type of pose, but it got really weird really quickly. Our friendship definitely got closer after that, haha!

WYV: Who are the people close to you that have shaped your style?

SM: I don’t know if anyone has shaped my style but me. If I like something, whether it’s on someone else, or online, I put it on.

WYV: What makes you feel most powerful?

SM: Inspiring others makes me feel most powerful. I’m so proud and humbled by the impact I have on others. Also, when I dress to the nines, and I KNOW I look good, I FEEL good and I’m invincible in that moment.

WYV: Who are your top three celebrity StyleCrushes? What about each of them draws you to their style?

SM: I really love Kim K’s sophisticated classic style choices, but current Kim K is giving me life, with the straight black weave and the minimalist attire. I’ve always loved Erykah Badu’s earthy eclectic style. I think that’s me at the core, but with a little more of a classic vibe. Also, Baddie Winkle is AMAZING. Her club kid fashion represents my love for having lots of color and fun patterns in my wardrobe.


WYV: Which designers or brands are some of your fashion faves? What do you like about them?

SM: I really love Asos and the variety they offer. Eloquii is also amazing because their pieces are so classic and timeless.

WYV: Regardless of whether they are in the plus-size market or not, you could work with any designers, who would be your dream collaborators?

SM: I’d really like to work with the plus-size brand Zelie for She. The color stories and fabrics are super unique and fun.

Straight size designers, Zuhair Murad and/or Elie Saab. I love whimsical dreaminess of their gowns, and I’d be so honored to wear one of those designs.

WYV: What would you say to designers who are questioning whether to offer plus sizes?

SM: I’m kind of tired of begging straight size designers to make plus sizes. It’s time to do away with the elitism of the straight-size fashion world and make our own brands to satisfy our needs. I’d tell them, “screw up, we’re making our own garments, now!”

WYV: The plus-size industry has been overwhelmingly represented by white “small fats” for many years. How does it need to change? What would you like to see more of?

SM: I think we need more realistic representations of plus bodies. We don’t all have flat tummies, roll-less backs and super toned thighs. I am seeing more BIPOC, but its always the same faces. Where’s the diversity? There are so many beautiful Black, Latinx, Asian and so forth women who would be perfect as the faces of these popular brands.

WYV: What would you tell a teenager struggling with body issues?

SM: First of all, you’re YOUNG. Your life has yet to begin, so don’t think you’ll feel how you feel about yourself now for the rest of your life. Your strength will develop over time, but remember to know your worth. You matter, your life matters and you’re uniquely and beautifully created.

WYV: How do you wear your voice?

SM: I wear my voice in my attitude, in my activism, in my posture, in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul.


Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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