#TheRealCatwalk : A Movement of Body Positivity and of Acceptance of ALL bodies.

25 ladies modeled lingerie in the middle of chilly Times Square in NYC! In the name of Body Positivity!

What is Body Positivity?

According to Urban Dictionary.com body positivity is attempting to make everyone else feel comfortable in their own skin and Wikipedia.org states its a feminist movement encouraging acceptance and forgiving/attitudes towards their bodies. Body Positivity is so much more than just encouragement, acceptance, or comfort, it is a movement to transcend invisible boundaries set by society on what a person should look like physically.

Photo by @aceofny_

This movement was emphasized recently at The Real Catwalk event took place in the middle of bustling Times Square showcased women of all shapes and sizes. Curvy women, petite, fit women, mature models, and a transgender model bared it all in the name of body inclusivity in the cold northern NYC winds. With a purpose to give the world a message: Although the mainstream media may not showcase the normal or average woman in fashion, we are here to stay and breaking the molds for the underrepresented in society.

Photo by: John_ellis

The Beauty Behind The Real Catwalk Movement

The brains and beauty behind this movement is the beautiful and compassionate Khrystyana who is a Body Positive Activist and model who has produced prior events such as this. Her dream was to have a larger all inclusive event for all shapes, sizes, and colors and when Paige Davison messaged and reminded her that it was the week of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show they knew that the time was now. I think we can all relate with the feelings we felt when the lingerie company didn’t even use a curvy model such as Ashley Graham, and don’t get us started about what was called a curvy or plus size model. This inspiration is what drove the birth of this Real Catwalk.

Photos by: @aceofny_

This was not an anti-Victoria Secret fashion show, instead as Khrystyana puts it this is a “Pro Everyone Fashion Show” and says “Sometimes it takes a woman to get undressed to be heard”. Abbey Drucker helped organize the ladies for the photo shoots and 25 models showed up to show the world a runway walk to remember and impact for years to come. Khrystyana put much thought into this event and wanted to make sure there were women of all colors, shapes, and sizes on the runway. She remained steadfast in her vision and brought ladies together of all sizes, not just focusing on the plus size or curves as body positivity.  Body positivity has created a bridge where women and men can connect across boundaries both geographic and invisible. On a whopping $o budget Khrystyana made this event a major national success in 3 days! She also wants others to spread this message across the world and host these #REALCATWALK events! Contact Khrystyana on Instagram to see how you can collab and be a part of this paradigm transition.

Photos by: John_ellis
Khrystyana coordinated this event, follow her on Instagram at @khrystyana

Insight from a Few of the #Realcatwalk models

Tammy B.

Instagram: Tammybnyc

“Having the honor to walk in The Real Catwalk was one of the most freeing and scariest experiences of my life.  At first, it was scary, to bare all to NYC in the middle of Time Square. However, once I remembered this was to represent all women across the world who feel as if they don’t have a voice against societies standards of beauty, it became easy.  I remembered it was for women everywhere from the 9 year old girl getting teased to the middle age woman that just had a child, the list goes on.  I knew I had to represent for all women as a reminder that they too are beautiful, at any size! At that point it became freeing.  There were so many empowering and phenomenal women that I had the honor to walk with, like Khrystyana. This wasn’t about just plus women, this was for every one, every woman out there to remember.”

 

Seana Steele

Instagram

Photo by: Aceofny_

This beauty is a NYC powerhouse and visual artist making moves and representing an underrepresented area in society, Transgenders. She is breaking the stigmatism and barriers associated with this group through modeling and art. Her participation in this was vital to show society that it is OK to be different, it is OK to be proud of YOU.

Lily

Instagram: The Lily C Project

“I’ll do anything to support women…including catwalk in lingerie down Times Square😬 Together we walked to reinforce one beauty standard: BEING YOU. Because being you is the definition of beauty. It was cold, but my heart was warm surrounded by the fire of all these powerful women. I am able to stand here today because of the women in my life. I grew up depressed & considered taking my life in my early twenties. I finally chose to be happy by following the lead of women in my life. I am blessed today to constantly find inspiration in others like @khrystyana. Leaders who remind us how beautiful and powerful we all are. Today I’ve turned 180, but it wasn’t something that happened in a day. It took years of turning off the negative voices in my head and creating many more positive voices. Surround yourself with women who inspire & love you. I truly believe that is my biggest strength, the people supporting me. They are the fuel to my flame. want to change the narrative. Lingerie helped me explore my own self esteem. It was my secret underarmour. I wasn’t wearing lingerie for anyone as I learned to embrace myself and find confidence. It is a personal choice. How I dress is for me. Whether it be bare or covered. My body is my choice, not an invitation.”

Ariel Pierre

Instagram@couvertier_louis/

Photo by: John_ellis

“This catwalk for me personally was a protest. It was a protest against monolithic beauty standards forced on all women. For me I was walking creating my own runway to empower other black women who aren’t considered beautiful the way they are because of societal beauty standards and big/fat girls who are scared to show their beautiful bodies. I walked for younger me n the inner insecure me now. This walk meant representation for girls/women like me. This walk was me telling men they don’t own our bodies. This walk was me telling society u don’t get to control this black body. This walk was me concurring my fears of street harassment sexual assault and that voice that says ur not good or pretty enough. This walk let me show my pride and my wonder and I’m more that happy I did the walk.”
Leslie Flores

Instagram:@latinlady17404

” For me this event was about empowering women and showing them that at any age you can be beautiful. As a 48 year old model, I represent the in between sizes at a size 10 and I am proof it is possible to be a full time model at my age, shape, and size. My inspiration is to show women that even in simple attire you can be sexy even without a big budget. It was an honor to walk alongside the beautiful women and inspired me to keep going” 

From the Author:

I want to personally thank Khrystyana who was so compassionate and helpful in showing me her vision and what her movement was all about! She was so selfless naming model after model who helped and who also inspired her! She is a beauty inside and out! And a special thanks to all the models I reached out to and the amazing response I received! Body positivity brings us together across boundaries both visible and invisible! I will add more stories from models as they come but I had to get this published and share with the world! 

Cover Photo: Abbey Drucker

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