A beautiful image of seven Asian women from the plus-size community went viral this week. Here, Stylist goes behind the scenes of the shoot, as the women in the photo explain why we all need to be calling for more representation in , and why body positivity is for all marginalised bodies. More than that, in every campaign I saw being praised for being body positive, there was a noticeable lack of Asian representation. This led me to post a series of messages on social media , calling on the plus-size and body positive communities to be more active in noticing — and ultimately, fixing — this lack of representation. I also called on brands to start being more inclusive in who they chose to cast, not just in their adverts but also their websites and social media posts. Upon seeing one of my posts, photographer Linda Blacker reached out to me and together, we started plotting a campaign that we hoped would bring this issue to life.
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Body positivity activist and coach Michelle Elman noticed that the fashion industry and plus-size community in the U. The U. Go to the plus size ranges of mainstream brands and again not a single plus Asian woman in their campaigns, on their website or even in the sponsored posts.
When Minami Gessel isn't taking notes during lecture as a political science student in Los Angeles, she's busy posing for fashion and beauty campaigns as a plus size model. When she was young, Gessel never saw anyone who looked like her in movies or magazines and it affected her self-confidence. Through her work as a model and her own content on social media, Gessel hopes that she can be an example to young Asian girls growing up today. That's why Minami Gessel is included in this special edition of Bustle's Must Follow , in which we highlight the incredible Asian American and Pacific Islander voices you need to follow on Instagram and Twitter.