Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Ella Halikas gained recent attention for re-creating a look by actress Julia Fox. Now, the plus-size model and content creator is using the moment to make a statement about fashion for curvy women.
"THICK GIRLS CAN ROCK THIS FIT TOO," Halikas, a 24-year-old California native captioned a slideshow of side-by-sides of her and Fox wearing cropped white tank tops, mini white skirts with black patent leather gloves and boots to match. "This is not a 'who wore it best' post, cause I'm simply not here for women always being compared to one another. But what I am here for..is to highlight what an iconic outfit displayed on a thinner woman looks like on a curvier body type!!"
Halikas went on to address society's beauty standards and how they've oftentimes made women to feel "that you can only pull off a fit like this if you're thin or have abs." Through her re-creation of the midriff-baring outfit, she proved that to be untrue.
The model explains to Yahoo Life that the low-rise clothing trend in particular "scares a lot of women" because it's mostly been shown on thin bodies.
"[The media] has never shown or celebrated a thicker, bigger body type wearing that same clothing. And if they do show it, it's typically to make fun of that celebrity or person for wearing something 'so unflattering' for their body type," she says. "I think it seems inaccessible to certain people because we often think that we have to have no belly fat and have a toned tummy to 'rock' this type of clothing."
The issue has been brought up before, as size inclusivity advocates analyzed the micro mini skirt trend in particular. For Halikas, however, it was important to demystify what curvy women believe to be true by being an example.
"Representation is so important to me, because if it weren't for me seeing Ashley Graham on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit in 2016 — someone who has a similar body type to mine — then I wouldn't be here, doing what I am today," she says. "I help inspire others to 'wear the damn bikini' and other clothing that society has made us all feel unworthy of wearing unless we are thin. I show people that you are enough the way you are, and you don't need to change to feel beautiful and seen."
Halikas explains that Fox's look seemed like one to try out as the actress is "making waves in the fashion industry right now." The model even re-created Fox's infamous black eyeliner with the help of makeup artist Michelle DeLorenzo.
"[Fox] motivates me in a creative/fashion way, and I've also been told by some of my followers recently that I resemble her in some ways — although, we have very different body types and sizes," Halikas says of her current muse. "So when I saw her post this look on her Instagram, I immediately wanted to recreate it and show my audience what this outfit would look like on a curvier body. I'm so happy with how it turned out!"
While people reacted to the photos with much love and support for Halikas and her mission to push for more inclusive fashion, she says that she's not finished with this one look.
"I hope to continue pushing beauty standards and challenging these fashion misconceptions by keeping these conversations going and showcasing what different clothing looks like on a size 14 body," she explains. "It's important to talk about these issues and stand up to the injustices that the plus-size, curve community constantly faces within the fashion industry and society, in general."
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