Model Behavior is an A Plus series featuring fashion models who promote body positivity, and work to create inclusivity and diversity within the industry by expanding our definition of conventional beauty.
UPDATE: This article has been adjusted to include comments from Simone Mariposa.
Styling tips and outfit ideas are helpful when you're looking for some wardrobe inspiration, but rigid fashion rules aren't beneficial to anyone. The clothes you wear should help you celebrate who you are, and no one should have to select outfits based off some generalized style guide.
Wear things that make you feel great.
She wrote on Twitter that she started the tag after someone suggested she start one about curvy women wearing "socially unacceptable" outfits, but still looking amazing. Mariposa said the idea also came after hearing a story about a plus-size woman who was made to feel uncomfortable because of her clothing choices.
Mariposa told BuzzFeed that she could relate to that woman's experience, as she used to be self-conscious about her wardrobe choices and society's judgments, "I stayed away from clothes that accentuated my belly fat, and I was extremely self-conscious [in] public. However, after a while, I stopped letting society dictate my wardrobe, and starting wearing things that I always dreamed of wearing that made me feel beautiful."
Mariposa started the #WeWearWhatWeWant hashtag on July 23, and it has already blown up in just a few short days.
"I think the name perfectly embodies breaking the rules and norms society has places on plus-size women," she told A Plus via email. "Making bold fashion choices is such a rebellious freeing move, and telling people that we wear what we want is perfect for that."
Women (and some men) are uploading photos of themselves using the tag. They're posing in different outfits and swimsuits, looking confident and stylish.
"I'm seriously overwhelmed with joy," she told A Plus. "So many women have participated, shared their stories, and have become conquerors. I'm so proud that something so simple as five words can become an empowerment tool to change lives."
Mariposa has been thrilled with the support she has received so far with the tag. She said it best when she wrote on Twitter, "So glad that a simple five-word hashtag has inspired so many women to love themselves. That's truly all that matters."
#WeWearWhatWeWant started out as a tag, but it's quickly become an empowering movement that is spreading a great message and making people feel good about themselves. "I want people to know that their bodies are absolutely beautiful, and that other people are not allowed to dictate what to do with ourselves," Mariposa told A Plus. "Our bodies are a part of our beauty, and it's okay to own the skin your in, no matter what size you are. There's someone out there who cares and is willing to be an advocate for women with unconventional beauty, and we shouldn't be afraid to show it off!"