Introducing: La’Shaunae Steward
I recently talked about giving black creators recognition, and I want to follow up by talking about Black creators to support.
La’Shaunae Steward a Black plus-size model and designer who has gained internet fame from trolls. Steward became the bud of a fat-shaming meme made from a post of hers. Shortly after it became a viral meme, Steward gained a mass following. Many, including myself, followed La’Shaunae for her fashion sense, music taste, humor, and most importantly her, bold self-expression amongst all of the hate.
I’ve been following Steward since I was in middle school. A time where I felt insignificant and heavily relied on social media to escape my reality. I found La’Shaunae’s posts about a shared love for the artist Lil Ugly Mane and decided to follow her upon seeing various memes and outfits she would upload.
She became an inspiration for me. I related to Steward’s stories of being bullied for her weight, facing problems of my own with how I viewed my body, my father was my bully policing my weight. Leading me into an all-out effort to purge and shrink my body. Steward’s confidence and expression were surreal to me, constantly asking myself, How can I be like that. How could I stand up for myself and feel confident in my body?
The modeling industry needs Steward. She is vital for the representation of plus-size Black women, from her curated outfits to her plus-size shoe wear collaboration with Jefferey Campbell, Steward is a clear innovator.
La’Shaunae Steward is a model to look out for, with ambitions to be on the magazine covers where she and all plus-size Black models should have a place.
Ettachfini, Leila. “Meet La’Shaunae Steward, the Model You’ll Be Seeing Everywhere Soon.” VICE, VICE, 11 Sept. 2018, www.vice.com/en/article/gynpp4/lashaunae-steward-model-interview.
Hardy, Alyssa. “Jeffrey Campbell’s Extended Size Shoe Collection Is Finally Here.” Teen Vogue, Teen Vogue, 19 June 2018, www.teenvogue.com/story/jeffrey-campbell-plus-size-shoe-collection-lashaunae-steward.
Montalvan, Photography by Emman. “La’Shaunae Steward and Tess Holliday Break Down Why Fat Models Are So Important.” Teen Vogue, Teen Vogue, 26 Aug. 2019, www.teenvogue.com/story/lashaunae-steward-tess-holliday-modeling-confidence-owning-the-word-fat.