Fashion Emergency or Social Dilemma?
Fashion and style are Polanco’s passions, but the luxury and high-fashion industries aren’t yet suited for customers of her size.
“Fashion in my real life is more important to me than fashion in my acting life; it’s expressive, it’s creative, there’s so much to do with it,” she said. And her followers on Instagram know this best of all. She might be stuck in a beige jumpsuit on Orange Is the New Black, but, in real life, Polanco’s enviable wardrobe is as colorful as can be.
And yet because of her size, she’s still excluded from Hollywood’s gratuitous fashion scene. “It’s funny that a lot of the brands are dressing people who are not offering anything as far as talent, they’re just out there,” she said. This doesn’t stop Polanco, however, who proudly boasts red carpet looks that accentuate or boldly show off her curves, as well as plenty of skin to boot.
But what happened when she contacted her favorite designer and was turned down? This is a lesson we can all learn.
Sizeism Starts With the Self
But Polanco’s personal battle against sizeism in Hollywood can feel uphill at times. While she’s making waves among her fans and followers on social media, the actress was recently let down by one of her favorite designers. She recounts: “I had a situation with a high-end brand the other day where I had personally invested so much money purchasing their items, and I love what they do, so I had my publicist reach out to their PR team. Their response was, ‘Oh, you’re not the sizes we have, not right now, maybe in the future.’ Now even if they want me to [wear their designs] down the road, I will not give them the pleasure. It’s disappointing, but I try to work with up-and-coming designers who will make things for me and who will collaborate with me. People who love my curves and embrace them as much as I do.”
And that’s where Polanco hits gold: self-acceptance is the key to being accepted and beloved by the masses. Humans and especially critics have the uncanny ability to pick out low self-confidence and tear you apart for it, but the more comfortable we are with ourselves, the less their insults and attacks mean. Pretty soon, everyone who matters will be on your side.
It’s not a new lesson, but it’s still nice to hear, even from some of today’s biggest up and coming stars. Polanco concludes:
“Every day, women have to boost themselves up. You have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I am fabulous, I am beautiful, I am me, and I am my own best competition.’ I always say to my followers and myself that the outfits are armor, because at times it almost hides what I feel. I look back at my old red carpet pictures where I wasn’t as confident, and it shows in the images. Now that I’ve gotten older, I realize that life is short— I’m building that confidence, and doing things as far as fashion that I’ve never done before.”
We LOVE this actress and can’t wait to see more from her! SHARE this awesome article with your friends and family! Read her full interview here.