Q&A With Tashmere Simmonds, Love Your Body Sweepstakes Winner and Founder of Good Curvy
Tell us about your blog Good Curvy. What inspired you to start a blog?
TS: I was inspired by my own story, especially once I realized how many women were going through similar experiences and having just as hard a time coping as I was. I want to share the things that help and inspire me so that other women can be helped and inspired as well. I get lots of compliments and praise from women on my confidence etc… but I need them to understand that it was a fight to get to where I am. I had to make deliberate and sometimes, hard choices to get here and I still have work to do. I love women and I want to do my part in helping them not let society’s view of their bodies hold them back. Women are the core of my inspiration.
What does having a ‘perfect figure’ mean to you?
TS: Having the ‘perfect figure’ started with understanding that I am my standard. As long as I am putting forth my best effort and being true to myself and loving myself, I can claim the ‘perfect figure.’ Having the ‘perfect figure’ comes from being the ‘perfect’ me!
What would you tell a woman who is struggling with self-love?
TS: I would tell her to slow down and block out the noise. I would tell her to remember a time when you felt good about something you did by yourself and remember how that felt. Then, I would tell her to now do more things that would make her feel that way and surround herself with people that encourage her.
What are your thoughts on the phrase ‘plus size’?
TS: To me ‘plus size’ is just a range of sizes. The label says nothing about who a person is, what they look like, where they are from or what they relate to. I think women have been putting too much energy into labels that essential mean NOTHING in reference to who we are as women.
Do you feel curvy women are represented in the fashion industry? Why or why not?
TS: Yes and No.
Society uses women like Danielle Brooks, Ashley Graham, Tabria Major and Gabourey Sidibe and calls them curvy representation. So to Society, yes, we are represented.
All of the ‘curvy’ representatives have gone through significant weight loss and most of them have ‘flat’ stomachs and hour glass figures. Curvy women who are not actively losing weight or who do not have proportionate hourglass figures are quickly pushed into the fat/sloppy category and are dismissed when it comes to main stream recognition by ‘society’ as a whole.
So, yes, there are representatives and trailblazers who have opened doors to allow the rest of us to tell our own stories and to help fill in the blanks. This is what will allow all curvy woman in the future to be able to see positive images they can relate to, but there are still a lots of holes to be filled in.
Who are your role models? Who inspires you?
TS: I am inspired by women like Gwen DeVoe and Francie Maupin who have built brands and given platforms for uplifting curvy body types that are not mainstream. Women like Liris Crosse who kept fighting and never lost her purpose. I don’t have any role models. I feel like no one is perfect. Many women have great stories and messages, but no one is perfect. A role model is a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated. Only I know who and what I want to be so imitating anyone would be a disservice to my journey. I can only model myself after the vision I see for myself. I learn from plenty women but no one can show me how to be me better than me.
What is your favorite style of lingerie?
TS: The whole garter look is super duper sexy. There is nothing sexier than a women wearing a garter belt and thigh high stockings. A garter belt with a teddy, that is definitely my favorite! Teddies show my body off wonderfully and the garters and thigh highs kick it up about 10 notches instantly.
What is your favorite Parfait bra?
TS: I love bras!! Parfait has such an awesome collection of them, all the colors and styles. My color is pink and I absolutely adore my cleavage so the Sandrine Plunge Longline bra in Wild Pink is absolutely my favorite. My second favorite is the Lynn Y-back front closure bra in black. I just swoon over this style. It gives me even more great cleavage! They truly thought about the plight of women when they created a front closure… So I have two favorites!
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Website: Good Curvy