Why Aren’t There “Plus” Carnival Models?

I spent the afternoon pumping my legs back and forth on a giant contraption that looks more suited for torture than aerobics. After forty minutes I resembled a creature from the deep.

Why have I suddenly begun getting swole? Those Carnival costume launches have started. I’m not even living in Trinidad, and they still lurk on my Facebook, taunting me all the way in fucking London.

After perusing these images, part of me feels like I’m not a proper representation of a Trinidadian woman, besides the fact that I’m very pale, I also don’t have abs, at least not visible just yet, It’ll get there. I wouldn’t look amazing in a costume right now, at least by the industry’s standards.

It’s a mixture of emotion; I’m both proud and annoyed. My friend is a brilliant photographer who takes a lot of the incredible pictures I’m trying to hide from; I also call some of the models buddies. You guys are fabulous, let’s just make that clear.

While we’ve got the stunning diversity part down pat, why aren’t there “plus” or even “normal” sized Carnival models in the fray? Surely we don’t all look like the seemingly perfect specimens they round up for these shoots?

Example, I have SO much cellulite, and one of my boobs is bigger than the other, they also aren’t nearly as perky as they used to be. When will one of those models show up online in sequins and feathers?

I need to see myself in this or I will keep hissing at the idea of playing Carnival like an angry cat, and that’s not fair. Alternatively, I could play with Peter Minshall and wear a beautifully constructed tent.

Anyway, considering that it’s a festival celebrating freedom from oppression, we need to start including a wider range of women and men in the optics, jus sayin’. Me and my thunder thighs are feeling left out here.

The rest of the world seems to have caught onto this fact; I was scouted as a plus model way back before Ashley Graham was Ashley Graham. The plus movement was just beginning, and I was thrown into it with multiple hang ups about my body, but getting naked behind a sheet on a busy New York street during a shoot will get you comfortable with yourself really fast.

I began to realise that this was my damn job, the intention was to be curvy and someone out there was willing to pay for and celebrate my image. Long story short, my supermodel career never panned out, I wasn’t very good at it. BUT I did reconcile with my body; I stopped hating it so much.

Alls’ I’m trying to impart is that no one will die if the Carnival industry in the Caribbean gives this idea a shot. Maybe everyone will feel a little better on that Monday morning.

Or maybe I should just shut up and focus on my cardio.

2 Comments

  1. Arian-Sun Tom

    Great post. I wondered the same thing a while back and last year I was pleased to see Xhosa Barbados (a carnival band in Barbados) do it! They used a “plus” model in their campaign and on the runway show. I wrote about it last year. We are so many shapes, sizes, shades so why not try to represent everyone. Hopefully Trini does it soon! You can check out the post if you want! 🙂

    Link: http://ariannmieka.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/behind-scenes-xhosa-barbados-photoshoot.html

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