Being comfortable in your own skin seems easier said than done, but perhaps one can take their self-confidence cues from twin sisters Danah and Stacy Gutierrez. “We decided that it’s about time for a body revolution to happen in the Philippines,” said the full-figured duo, who champion plus-size appreciation in The Plump Pinay, the first body acceptance blog in the country.
Since it went online in November 2009, The Plump Pinay has had a few naysayers, but its authors have tempered any misunderstandings about their advocacy with patience. “We just exert extra time to explain in detail what the blog promotes, so they’d really understand [...] what we’re truly about,” they said in an e-mail.
By UK standards, Danah is a size 14 and Stacy a size 12. Contrary to what their cynics may think, however, the blog is not out to promote obesity or justify their plus size physique. “As we always say, aspire [to] fitness, and not thinness,” they shared. “People need to stop believing the lie that people who are thinner are automatically healthier than those who are not.”
Finding like-minded souls in foreign blogging contemporaries like The Fat Nutritonist, Corpulent, and Body Love Wellness, the twins were also inspired to give voice to a better body image after overcoming their own struggles with their size: In the past, Danah admits to having been an obsessive calorie counter who was prone to overexercising, while Stacy spent seven months battling eating disorders. “We figured that we could share what we’ve learned from these experiences [with] other women who are [also] going through so much.”
Both 20-year-olds are alums of University of Asia & the Pacific (UAP), where Danah took up Education while Stacy studied Humanities. At present, the two also keep day jobs working for Yahoo! Philippines. But as the faces of The Plump Pinay, Stacy and Danah are also known as brand ambassadors of Forever 21 Plus, the fashion retailer’s plus size line. They’re also supporters—and repeat customers—of Azta Urban Salon, Chocolate Schu Bar, Koi swimwear, The Boudoir Dolls photography, and the home service of I Do Nails.
“We’re both very careful in accepting business deals,” said the twins, who impose stringent standards when it comes to potential advertisers on their blog. “We refuse to [...] feature products and services that we don’t personally believe in.” Not all brands can make the cut, as proven by a cosmetic surgery firm that once tried to contract The Plump Pinay for ad space.
When they’re not updating the blog, the girls tare also active on Twitter, Facebook and Formspring to keep in touch with their online audience. “Social [networking] accounts really matter when you want something to go viral,” say Stacy and Danah. “We really wanted to let our readers know that we’re very much approachable and open to them.” Their posts touch on a wide range of topics like travel, food and curve-friendly fashion. They also fly in the face of society’s preoccupation with the model-esque figure, by dismantling the myths surrounding one-sided beauty standards and regularly featuring other women who “put the ‘ump’ in plump.”
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