I’m Plus Sized, So What?

So here’s the real question of the day: why is being plus sized so taboo? We just found out Sports Illustrated is featuring a plus size model for the first time ever. Ashley Graham is sporting a sexy string bikini and wants the world to see her sexy curves. She looks incredible.

This topic of “plus sized” has been an interesting one for me, considering I do boudoir photography and my motto is Boudoir is for EVERYbody. I am a plus sized person myself, and my goal is to let all women know that no matter their age, weight, or size, she is sexy and beautiful just as she is.

But try watching TV, looking through magazines or shopping in a mall and you would be hard pressed to find mannequins and models showing off clothes for those that are larger sized. It’s difficult for me to envision what something might look like on my figure as most of the mannequins are showing it in a size small, and even that is pinned back. So, I have to do the envisioning thing of how the top might not fit over the boobs, but then hug my mid section too much. Then I get discouraged as I don’t want to waste time (and depress myself) trying something on that wasn’t created for my body.

Veronica Yankowski I'm Plus Size, So What?Last year, I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with the famous Supermodel Emme that changed everything! Emme is the world’s leading plus size model, television personality, author, lecturer, creative director of clothing lines, and globally recognized women’s advocate for 20 years. I contacted her because I felt our missions and ideals were aligned, and we had a lot in common. Initially, she was supposed to have a boudoir session with me, but her schedule kept conflicting with mine. So one night, she called me to tell me that I was inspirational and to keep going on my mission of empowering women of all sizes. She asked if she could attend one of my Glam Days and photograph and write about it for her blog. I was floored!! But our schedules never seemed to align…YET! (I am still working on it!)

Since that conversation about a year ago, Emme has launched a campaign to have more plus size clothing created for women. It’s a market that’s often overlooked. We follow each other on social media and keep promising to connect, but that conversation stuck with me. How amazing is it that one of the world’s leading advocates for women and body image called ME an inspiration?

So, I keep thinking: how can I do more to help women feel beautiful, to not beat themselves up over every flaw, and to still feel attractive even though they may not be at their ideal body weight? If I’m being honest, I am victim of this, too. I may champion for other women and  although I consider myself a very confident woman, I do have my days where I feel fat and unattractive. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But I try not to dwell. The more we dwell and focus on the negative, that’s all we see in ourselves.  

I challenge all of the women out there to start focusing on the things about you that you love. Stop nit picking on the 20 extra pounds, the wrinkles, the cellulite, the big nose or whatever you don’t like. Focus on how great your smile is, how fabulous your legs are, how infectious your laugh is. We know men are tired of us always saying how fat and horrible we look.

Imagine if you stopped whining to your husband and started to believe you are the goddess he already thinks you are? Imagine how sexy he would think that is? And your friends don’t have to remind you how pretty you are because you already believe it. You know we all have that annoying friend who is always down on themselves and thinks they’re ugly and fat and they’re not. They are irritating! I know you can all picture your size 4 girlfriend claiming that her thighs are so big and she doesn’t know how her husband can stand her. And your plus size ass just wants to smack her. I totally get it. Imagine if that woman could embrace her beauty the way you do, how refreshing would that be? Amazing, right?

How do we as a society get to that point? How do we get to a place where we as women stop bashing ourselves because of our imperfections? I wish I had an answer. For now, I am trying so hard to help one woman at a time through my photography. I get to give her a makeover and photograph her in a way she has never seen herself. And when I get texts and emails that claim, “You finally gave me ME back! I can’t stop looking at those photos! I can’t believe they are me. They are so empowering and I want to remind myself of how great it feels every day.” That empowers me. That makes me confident that my mission has meaning and purpose and that I am touching women of all ages and making a difference. I know those women will look at those photos when they have a bad day and remember they are sexy and fabulous, as I do with mine. My photos are my reminder on my bad days and keep me from complaining (most of the time).

Now I just think to myself, I may be plus sized, but so what? It’s just a number. I’m still beautiful. And so are you.

Veronica Yankowski I'm Plus Size, So What?

Veronica Yankowski I'm Plus Size, So What?

*So this is me… plus sized. Whether you love it or hate it, I can’t apologize for who I am. These photos make me feel like a supermodel.

Veronica Yankowski

Veronica L. Yankowski is an award-winning celebrity photographer, author and photography educator. During her extensive career she has had the privilege of working with many celebrity clients such as Dina Manzo from The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Signy Coleman from The Young and the Restless, Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, Jon Bon Jovi, and many others . Her photographs have graced the covers of magazines and last summer her boudoir photography was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Veronica is an accomplished author and her first book "Dialogue 3" was published in 2002 and showcases her photographs of people and places and the tragedy of 911. She is currently a continuing education photography teacher at Brookdale Community College instructing courses from beginner DSLR to more advanced portraiture courses and also hosts workshops around the state to amateur and hobbyist photographers.

She has been interviewed on several radio talk shows, featured on blogs and her work has been on several reality TV shows such as TLC's Four Weddings, Bravo's Cake Boss, HGTV's Dina's Party and The Real Housewives of NJ.

Veronica is currently speaking in the tri-state area on photography and how women can build their confidence in photographs. She instructs women how to pose better, and sell their brand with a perfect head shot.

Since beginning her professional career in 1996 as a photojournalist, Veronica has won many awards for her portraiture work. She worked for some of the top media outlets in the tri-state area such as The Star Ledger, The New York Times and the Associated Press.