Plus size influencer empowers fans and says ‘lingerie isn’t just for small bodies’
A stunning plus-sized model and body positivity influencer has spoken up about the industry and its representation of larger bodies.
Dej Morrison, 28, from Toronto, Canada, is a risk analyst at a financial institution by day, but on nights and weekends she creates stylish content for Instagram.
And her thousands of followers, @dejmorrison, are obsessed with her curvy fashion and lingerie looks as well as her efforts to help other women feel comfortable in their own bodies.
Speaking to Daily Star, Dej said: “I did consciously start this journey in 2018, during a time where I was feeling my lowest and was extremely tired of constantly feeling bad about myself.
“My eczema was out of control, I had gained almost 100lbs (7st) and had a poor relationship with food/dieting, and I had ultimately reached a point where I really lost sight of who I was because I was trying so hard to please everybody else.
“I started to dig deeper and asked myself some really hard questions about why I felt this way. Was it really me who didn’t like how I looked or was I just internalising other people’s negative comments towards me?
“I realised it was the latter and in an attempt to stop operating out of the comfort zone I’d gotten extremely accustomed to, I started sharing my journey online in hopes to help others save themselves some time and inspire them to be much kinder to themselves.”
Now, Dej is confident in her own body and says practicing “grace and kindness” to herself was the most important step.
She said: “We are so easy to extend love, empathy, and grace to those around us that we care about but tend to be the harshest critics to ourselves. The more grace and understanding I started extending to myself, the easier I was able to transition into that true confidence and self-love.
“When I have a bad day, I allow myself to be sad and feel all the emotions. But I let it be just that – a day.
“The next day I make sure to do something that makes me happy no matter how big or small and remind myself of how far I’ve come.”
But, while the model agrees that there have been “great strides” in recent years in terms of plus-size representation she thinks the fashion world needs to do more.
Dej commented: “There is still a long way to go.
“A majority of plus size models are ‘curvy in the right places’ and don’t always represent the various body types, shapes, and sizes that many women have.
“This can also be furthered by the lack of representation and diversity in these models when it comes to race, skin tones, gender and more.
“Sizing also plays a big role as a lot of brands only go up to a 3x which still leaves a lot of bodies excluded.”
And, Dej thinks fuller figured females deserve to be represented more as “who doesn’t want to see themselves portrayed in the media and fashion” and that women’s “voices are being amplified and they are being seen” when their demographic is featured.
As part of helping her audience feel more empowered, Dej often posts swimwear and lingerie photos.
Dej noted: “I’m confident with or without the lingerie as you can probably tell by my Instagram.
“For me, lingerie is a fun and sexy way of expressing my feminine and sultry energy.
“Outside of looking good and expressing myself, I also post because I actively want to dismantle the idea that lingerie or even swimsuits for that matter, are only for smaller bodies and that if you are plus size, you should cover up as much as possible.
“We don’t do that over here. There are no rules. Wear what YOU want, when YOU want, how YOU want.”
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And, Dej offered some advice for anyone struggling with their self-image.
She said: “Stop. Caring. What. People. Think. I know this is super cliche and corny but it holds SO much truth.
“We give others a lot of unnecessary power over our lives.
“When you free yourself of attaching your image and your entire self-worth to what others say and think about you or what society and media says you should look like or be, you inherit a life of peace and self-love. Freedom.”