Sunday, April 14, 2024

EASY MAGAZINE: Living in a plus-sized world


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LABELS. There is an almost obsessive-compulsive need for us humans to precisely define ourselves and the people around us. And nothing exemplifies this more than the adjectives used to describe people and body types.
Skinny, ‘bony’ and slim denote smaller body types, while words like fluffy, big-boned, thick and plus-sized are used at the other end of the scale.
Take a look at the beautiful Kristle Pilé.
For the past year, the size 11/12 has been working as a plus-size model. Even though the use of this term takes many by surprise, it is a label she readily accepts when she hits the catwalk.
“Obviously if I go into a store and I see a 1X, it won’t fit me. Because of the model industry I have to say yes, but mentally, I don’t consider myself plus-sized,” the 26-year-old asserted.
“ . . . At this size, I have to come to the understanding that I am plus-sized. I am not like those other models that wear the size two and three and I don’t want to go there. I find that when you are that size, you are competing against so many other girls.”
And frankly speaking, Kristle, a legal secretary, was happy with her size.
“ . . . I don’t want to be a size two or three because I don’t think I would be comfortable in my skin. I honestly believe there are some girls that are slimmer than me that would love to have some meat on their flesh,” she quipped with a laugh.
“I meet a lot of slim girls while I was modelling and the thicker girls beat them, especially on the runway. The crowd is more focussed on the thicker ones and because we are plus-sized we can wear, walk and act and flaunt it on the runway the same way.”
Kristle first became interested a year ago, in search for a hobby she could throw a lot of her effort into. A perennial contestant in the Richard Stoute Teen Talent competition, she realised singing was not it, and after being approached to be a  promotional girl, the Fredrick Smith alum decided to give modelling a try.
BB Fashion Week was her first foray into the field.
“I think [organiser Rodney Powers] saw the potential in me . . . He saw something and gave me a chance,” she recalled.
Of course, it was an experience racked by nerves, but she realised the crowd was appreciative of herself and catwalk presence. Since then, Kristle has walked for Pompasette Magazine’s fashion show and its organiser Toni Thorne, as well as worked with Big Girls Swimsuits and Lingerie, designed by Cheryl Gill-Eversley.
Her confidence strikes in every pose, but this was not always the case, the paralegal student at the Barbados Community College admitted.
“. . . When I was in third and fourth form, people would call me names, but it never used to move me. Sometimes I would wish to be smaller, because there are certain clothes I would have liked to wear, but obviously they won’t fit me, because I had more size than what the store was offer. I would have had to choose another outfit.”
But as her body grew, changes came. Now she said, “I consider myself curvy, not just fat.”
But don’t think plus-size labels are an excuse. Kristle still exercised, when her schedule allowed, paid careful attention to what she ate and drank plenty water.
“I think I have encouraged people to see that you don’t get to eat more or eat all the ice cream, still take care of yourself. I think I encourage people to look at themselves as a beautiful person, love yourself and love your look.”
As she steadily builds a name for herself, under the management of MHK, Kristle hoped to flaunt her fabulousness on larger catwalks.
“I would like that [modelling] takes me to a place that I could represent full-figured women,” she said.
Kristle also hoped that more fashionable options would be made available for fuller-sized women.
“Here in Barbados there are people who are thick and looking to be in fashion too; you can’t only make clothes for slim,” she stressed. “Make something that women my size and [higher] can wear.”


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