Censored Bodies

For ages, dominating magazines, the silver screen to Instagram have been mostly skinny models. Flipping through the pages one could barely see big girls wearing extravagant dresses, let alone in the fierce realm of social media. The campaign, Censored Bodies, thus uncensors the beauty of plus-size bodies. 

A black model with an exaggerated hairstyle surrounded by vintage hairdryers while holding a NOIRANCA handbag Patti

In the face of the rampant veneration of the “perfect body”, slipping into a size 2 dress has inevitably become most girls’ dream. Bigger body shapes are, in turn, ostracized in such beauty standard. Though conversations centering around body positivity have been percolating society, most still subconsciously endorse the slim figure in spades. Beauty, nevertheless, doesn’t just disappear if one does not bear an hourglass or runway-skinny silhouette.

Being in the studio with bonafide new-gen plus-size model, Lezlie, is almost like making an ironic, if not galvanizing, statement. Against the simple white backdrop is her – nearly naked – juxtaposed with newspapers and magazines that carries images and messages of slim beauty. “I never thought about being a model, I just feel like it. I enjoyed shooting casually with my photographer friends,” she giggles, “one day my friend Jennifer texted me and asked me if I was interested to do a plus size swimwear shoot, then my journey began!”

“I love every part of myself, I’m filled with flaws, strength and attitude.”

A black model with an exaggerated hairstyle is blowing her hair with a vintage hairdryer while holding a NOIRANCA handbag Amanda

She made the right choice, for she being featured on Google’s Instagram account is a testament to this instinct. It holds a palpable sentiment that beauty is not just a colloquial word for skinny bodies; every body type is beautiful, in its very own way. Lezlie explains, “body positivity means way much more than I expected to me,” posing confidently in front of camera flashes, “it’s all about accepting your inner self and we are not that perfect as what we see in mainstream media platforms.”

Having a plus-size body that’s rarely represented, her body is therefore wrapped with vitriol, more vigorous than one could have ever imagined. “There were too many hateful criticisms made based on my body,” says Lezlie, “and I think the only thing I can do is to read constructive comments from online and spend my precious time for my loved ones.”

“It’s all about accepting your inner self.”

A black model with an exaggerated hairstyle is sitting on a vintage salon chair while holding a NOIRANCA handbag Amanda

Our bodies tell stories of who we are, so as Lezlie’s, wherein the way she models unfurls an aura of sophistication – as if she is telling us what she’s been through. “Being a plus-size model doesn’t mean I encourage obesity as so many people are concerning, there’s always a reason for why we have such a huge change of our bodies.” She is, in fact, speaking aloud the iron-clad truth: the beauty within is always ignored. “It could be traumas or something that we aren’t be able to deal with, but it’s okay, as long as we keep trying to accept what happened before or what we are born with.”

“Advocating body positivity means a lot to me, I hope everyone can stay healthy both mentally and physically.”

The studio is infused with so much passion, whilst Lezlie somewhat surprises us with multiple photo ideas of how she can interact with our bags. She says, “I love being captured and I can clearly feel myself being alive when I’m in a shooting session.” Reading the articles on the newspaper about beauty standards, she continues, “I treasure every shooting experience I had, and I’ve been gaining so much energy throughout this journey.”

A black model with an exaggerated hairstyle is wearing a black leather jacket with a NOIRANCA handbag Grace

Uncensoring a plus-size body, Censored Bodies serves as a liberating manifesto – of self-love, acceptance, and body positivity – for all the girls who are expected to live by unrealistic beauty norms. This has always been what NOIRANCA stands for: a diverse, inclusive female community that celebrates all forms of femininity. It’s time, to step out of the so-called ideals and define beauty in your own way.