politics of style: body positivity

August 25, 2018
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We tend to take for granted that safe spaces are created and exist in a constant state of fluid creation that allows for growth, inclusivity, and learning. AFROPUNK fest has been described as safe space by festival-goers, offering black and brown people the opportunity to exist unencumbered by the laundry list of “faults” the world wants us to internalize. It is a mecca for Black fashion, Black expression, and Black freedom. That kind of freedom is fertile ground for growing a culture that celebrates the identities and bodies deliberately ignored by the mainstream. In the creation of a space that is built on a foundation void of judgment, AFROPUNK, gives us a glimpse of a world driven by true body positivity.

A recent article by The Cut went in on the racism and fatphobia that plagues the fashion industry, detailing the experiences of Black creatives and calling out the gatekeepers of fashion only affording opportunities to the kind of Black person they deem acceptable. At AFROPUNK, we say FUCK THAT NOISE! We not only celebrate but revere the fats and the femmes and this weekend, they came out in full magical force.


Brooklyn attendee Kelsey Pearle Williams said it when she told AFROPUNK, “I’m just trying to be fat and fabulous!” Let me tell you that girl is killing the game so there are no worries there. Living in a body that society considers are “outside the lines” is a lesson in patience and self-love, which is evident in Williams’ honest admission, “It has taken so much to just love myself how I am.” That being said, the Philadelphia native is the definition of freedom because she isn’t letting any pressure to conform stop her from seeking freedom. “I’m just trying to rock it! I want my belly out, I want my thighs out, I want my arms out. I just wanna feel good in my body and I want other people to enjoy it too.” Kelsey girl, we enjoy you! So much!


New Jersey girl Maiya Wright likes to show out and show herself love by doing her hair and dedicating time to working on her crown after her recent big chop. Maiya is also active with that self-love through the creation of self-awareness projects like nude series that promoted all body types and natural hair series where she showcased the natural hair textures of the Black student body at her school. Check out her Instagram and get your ever-loving life!


Chanel Goodson is St Louis goddess who works in corporate (whew CHILE) but this fierce Black woman still manages to resist in her own way by going into work with braids down to her ass (WERK) and STILL kills her job in typical Black Girl Magic Fashion. “Resistance means not confirming and giving in to society’s standards. It’s believing in yourself and believing in the way you dress.” PREACH! This is speaking truth to power – the kind of power AFROPUNK was built on.


The world might always be a step behind but that’s why this movement that is AFROPUNK is crucial to building the kind of world that represents us all without having to drag and beg the rest of the world to wake the fuck up. Power to the party. Because it gives power to the people.