Being a woman is tough everywhere, but fighting discrimination and biases in the business world is even harder. Therefore we should congratulate and applaud the “girl bosses” more often and more sincerely. International Women’s day is a great opportunity for me to express my admiration for my favorite girl boss, Katie Sturino. You may already know Katie from Instagram (She has 677k followers) or you may be a fan of her cosmetics brand, Megababe. Yet, Katie is not only a famous instablogger or a successful woman entrepreneur, she is a body positivity and body inclusivity activist who shows her activism in a very brilliant and funny way. If you have not heard about her before, I bet you will hit follow button on Instagram before you finish reading this article.
An Unfiltered Fashion Influencer
Let’s be honest, tell me what comes to your mind when I mention a fashion influencer on Instagram? Ok, I am describing my stereotype: An extremely beautiful 20 something girl wearing size 4. Blonde hair with beach waves, flawless skin, and bushy eyebrows are a bonus. However, Katie has nothing to do with those stereotypical fashion bloggers. I personally find her very beautiful yet her beauty is very different from the standards of society. First, she is a plus-size woman. Moreover, she does not use any magical filters. She shares her most authentic self on social media, makes fun of herself and responds fat-shaming and all body image struggles with her unique sense of humor.
Rather than posting posh photos in trendy outfits, she makes creative outfit posts on Instagram that entertain and inspire followers to break outdated fashion rules. Using #SuperSizeTheLook hashtag (with 10700 posts) Katie copies outfits of celebrities. She is manifesting that women can wear whatever they want regardless of their size and can rock the outfits. To wear a stretch dress or a crop top, one does not have to be as thin as Hailey Biber or Blake Lively according to Katie. She encourages followers to buy that dream dress and kill it without even losing one pound. I find this movement very valuable since while all social media is full of disturbingly perfect photos that distort body images and self confidence of women. The ideal beauty image in social media is especially dangerous for adolescents and may contribute to some serious psychological illnesses such as eating disorders. I wish more Katie-like muses for Instagram to make women love themselves again as they are.
Katie does not only change the mindset of followers, but she also works hard to change the fashion and beauty industries that are responsible for the self-image distortions of women. The struggle to find clothes that fit inspired Katie to raise her voice against the lack of size inclusivity of fashion brands. If Katie, in New York has difficulties, imagine plus-size women from less developed parts of the world and their problems to access to clothing items. Katie used her social media power to push fashion brands to widen their size options, posting her photos in poorly fitting, small clothes with #makemysize (11500 posts) hashtags. Hundreds of plus-sized women supported that movement posting to that hashtag and made a call for brands that ignore women wearing above size 10.
From Fashion to Cosmetics, Katie Is Challenging All The “Perfectionists”
As well as fashion, Katie is challenging the cosmetics industry, which is the second usual suspect of unrealistic beauty standards. In an interview “What I don’t understand is why someone who makes a cellulite cream or an anti-aging lotion would try so hard to fix something that’s ‘wrong’ with you, rather than make you comfortable so you can just go about your day? Why isn’t that considered the forefront of beauty?” Thus, when Katie decided to step in cosmetics industry, rather than offering products that will feel women insecure, she developed products to make them feel comfortable. When she built her brand Megababe, first product she launced was offering a solution for thigh chafing. The cosmetics industry have long believed that the real problem of women were wrinkles or stretch marks. Cosmetics giants neglected body discomfort issues, “hush-hush” problems that women do not want to talk about. Megababe addressed those overlooked and undiscussed issues such as thigh chaffing, boob sweat, or body odors. When Katie first launched her star product “Thigh Rescue” in 2017, most people around her thought that it was a niche product, implying that thigh chafing is a “you problem”. However, this so-called niche product was sold out quickly and thousands of women could wear skirts on a hot summer day for the first time for years (if you have chubby thighs that touch, you can relate). The natural, aluminum-free deodorant of the brand was sold out in eight minutes after launching on JCrew.com and in under three minutes following a restock on Megababe’s own site. The waiting list for deodorant and body wipes included 13000 people, Elle magazine stated.
In todays’ toxic social media environment, women are pushed to feel imperfect, flawed, and under the standard. Unrealistic filters and photo editing apps, fashion designers who work with anorexic top models and cosmetics brands that make women hate their skins leads to a distorted body image. Women, especially young girls are more vulnerable and they face psychological problems since they do not meet beauty standards. In such a culture that prompt insecurities voices like Katie that remind us self acceptance, self love and confidence are a true treasure. Happy International Women’s day. Don’t forget to celebrate the gorgeous woman you see in the mirror. She deserves the best!