Before the festivities begin or the curtain call, I have to say, thank you Gwen Devoe. While I am aware that you have a great support system and your team works hard, I salute you for sharing your dream. As myself and many other individuals in the plus size industry prepare for Full Figured Fashion Week, the reality begins to sink in; this is the final year. Full Figured Fashion Week® (FFFWeek) launched in New York City, now in its sixth year, the event’s offering has expanded tremendously. It is the Grammy’s of the plus industry, a week long event that connects plus size women with independent designers, retailers, boutiques, fashion bloggers, small businesses and other industry professionals. This event has become home to an elite group of models that have went on to travel the world and do great things. I am sure just like most huge accomplishments, FFFWeek started as an impossible dream to mogul Gwen Devoe. However, that dream flourished into an epic, life changing event for many women, not just Gwen.
To me FFFWeek is the fulfillment of a promise, not just to me but the thousands of girls and women. living as a plus size girl/woman has blessed me with the opportunity to see the world through very sensitive lenses. I learned at an early age that to many people, my size made me less of a person. As a girl I was victimized, teased and mistreated because of what was then a womanly figure. I have lived under the cloud of being a “pretty face” and nothing more. For years, I poured all of my options and energy into assuring that I didn’t have to wear the frumpy clothing that fat girls were supposed to wear. I have prayed countless times, not for me to be different or smaller but for people and things to be better.
The introduction of the event revealed to millions of girls/women like myself that growth was taking place. It exhibited the possibilities that were attainable. It allowed us to see that our dreams did not have to be deferred, they could indeed be reality. Although there have been many events that bare similarities to FFFWeek, there is only one original. FFFWeek has been like a mother that has given birth and nurtured so many in numerous ways. It gave us a reason to wake up and live our wildest dreams. It has served as a visual truth to what we(plus size women) have known all a long; We are more than a pretty face, we are just as great and talented and our curves rock.
I remember leaving so inspired and filled with ideas. I have given birth to many of those ideas and I know that this year, I will leave pregnant with even more purpose. There is no particular part of FFFWeek that I will miss more than another because all of the components combined make it what it is. The only thing that I won’t miss is Gwen Devoe because I know that the mother of curvy confidence will continue to give birth to greatness and nurture this revolution.