It’s time to size-up Silicon Valley in a whole new way. Though the region is renowned for game-changing developments like Google and Facebook, a female entrepreneur with a brick-and-mortar store on the scene in San Jose is hosting a tech revolution of her own, using the web to push open doors for plus-sized women. Launched just last October, Curvy Girl is the only plus size lingerie boutique on the West Coast, and only one of two nationwide according to owner Chrystal Bougon, and is gaining notoriety for its campaign to let larger women shine.
Bougon lamented, “There are so many pictures of models in lingerie, but I’m constantly asked for pictures of our products on ‘regular’ bodies… In the fashion world, anything over size 4 is considered plus-size. I know, it’s a big joke.” Inspired by a customer with no shame or insecurities about her bigger body’s beauty, Bougon decided to use the shop’s social media as a platform to celebrate our average, non-model, women via her “Regular Women” photo campaign.
Feeling proud and liberated, larger ladies have responded eagerly, posting their snapshots to Curvy Girl’s Facebook page in astonishing numbers. Bougon tells HuffPost Style that since starting the campaign, Curvy Girl’s page grew by 3,500 fans in just 3 days, a response that she says is “so touching and empowering, too.”
Before the media blitz surrounding her boutique, Chrystal had taken to the Curvy Girl blog to pitch her idea. “About a week ago, one of my favorite customers sent me a private message asking if I was comfortable with her posting a picture of herself in her panties and bra on our Curvy Girl secret group….Of course, I said YES!….”
The goal of the customer was to show what a “regular” woman looks like in lingerie. Women with, “rolls, bumps, lumps, scars, stretch marks, surgery scars, breasts that are natural and that have breast fed,” can still be, “STUNNING and BEAUTIFUL.”
Chrystal considers this a generous, brave, and bold gift to all women, who often use online platforms to police each other’s bodies.
Though she anticipated the backlash and has received plenty, from being accused of encouraging obesity to fetishizing heavier women, Chrystal refuses to let that discourage her customers from empowering and inspiring one another. “We know people will say mean, nasty things about these beautiful bodies and they still agreed to let me add them to my blog and share on Facebook.”
To share your pic at Curvy Girl’s Facebook, Curvy Girl’s foremost requirement is that participants be a size 14 or up, also no Photoshopping, no professional photos, and no private parts exposed, including nipples and pubic hair. — Casandra Armour