When plus-size model Shelly King wanted to start a movement to encourage self love it only seemed right to her that she kicked off the campaign in her hometown. Last weekend the 10-year modeling veteran from northside Wilmington in the US, hosted a plus-size model casting call for a photo and video shoot to promote size diversity and body acceptance. Dozens of women from Maryland, across the Carolinas, to Georgia, and of all shapes, sizes and ages gathered at Kickback Jacks in Wilmington for a chance to be a part of King’s campaign.
“The average size woman is a 14-16,” said King. “It needs to be showcased that we’re curvy, we’re confident, we’re beautiful women and we’re breaking stereotypes. It’s about body positive and size acceptance.” She partnered with Tiny Murphy, owner of Beautiful Beginnings Boutique at 4314 Market St., which specializes in plus-size clothing. The models selected from King’s casting call would model garments from Murphy’s store.
Fresh from attending Full Figured Fashion Week in New York, King had the idea to start her “Respeck My Curves” campaign. A play off rapper Birdman’s quote that went viral, “put some respeck on my name,” King added curves.
“It’s really more about respecting our curves and embracing our curves,” she said. “It’s about being inspired by these beautiful women, and we come from all walks of life, but we love fashion. That’s our common denominator. We just wanna look good, you know.”
After the model call Friday night, chosen models arrived early to a downtown Wilmington studio for a photo shoot. Makeup, bustiers and high heels littered the floor as plus-size models stood before a white background to showcase their voluptuous outfits and ‘Respeck My Curves’ tees. After the photos, the group turned the Harry Forden bridge on Sixth Street into a catwalk for a video shoot.
Among the models in attendance were plus-size models Keisha Jenkins, Erica Derr, Naisha Yolande, Ebony James, Brittany Lynn Dyer, DeVonnda McCormick, Mel Faison and Nikki Carter. Carter, a plus-size Native American model of the Lumbee Tribe, started modeling at age 13. King plans to launch the Wilmington video and her campaign on a website soon. She also has plans to take the movement across the country.
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I am a prolific writer, stylist and a fashion/media enthusiast who has published over 680 magazine articles on fashion, beauty, entertainment, lifestyle, celebrity interviews and cover stories for print and online platforms across Africa.