Fashion content creator Paigetyler Hand used her frustration with online shopping to advocate for body positivity. In this interview, we’ll learn more about Paigetyler, her struggles as a plus-sized content creator, and the fashion industry’s plus-size problem.
About Paigetyler Hand
Paigetyler Hand is an influencer focusing on fashion and body positivity content. With over 11,000 followers on Instagram, she’s breaking the norm by encouraging people online to accept that bodies are different.
Challenges as a Plus-Sized Content Creator
Paigetyler admits that there have been a few challenges being a plus-sized content creator. For one, collaborating with brands has become a struggle because some don’t offer too many choices in her size.
But it doesn’t end there. According to Paigetyler, she also receives negative comments from people once she shares her content online.
“If I’ve got something on that’s not exactly baggy and quite tight-fitted, I will sometimes get nasty comments from people. On Instagram, someone said I’m carrying an extra tire because of my tummy.”
Reading these comments upsets Paigetyler, but she still chooses to do it. She wants to show others that there’s no need to be ashamed of their body weight.
The Plus-Sized Content Landscape Through The Years
Paigetyler wants the fashion industry should support and empower plus-sized content creators and individuals in general. She hopes fashion websites will model bigger women to help plus-sized women shop online.
She cited her own shopping experience online as an example. She explains, “When I shop for fashion online, it’s hard for me to see what it’s going to look like on my body when it’s on someone who’s super skinny. I’ll be thinking, can I wear that?”
Paigetyler’s experience is just one of many.
Countless journals highlight the size inclusivity problems present in online shopping. One study showed that plus-size exercise apparel available online has limited color variety and size availability but costs more. Another study supported the claim on hierarchies among women based on their body sizes — and unfortunately, skinny women are on top.
Stereotypes and Stigma as a Plus-Sized Content Creator
Because of her size, Paigetyler shares that most people she comes across online will always have a say on what she should and shouldn’t wear.
“Because I’ve got a bigger body, I came across a lot of people telling me I can’t look pretty or sexy or that I always have to wear baggy clothing like joggers and tracksuit bottoms. But that’s not the case. You should be able to wear anything that anyone else can wear regardless of your size.”
This is the message that Paigetyler wants to put out there. She adds, “Just because you’re bigger doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel good and feel confident.”
How Paigetyler Uses Her Platform To Promote Body Positivity
Paigetyler uses her platform to show everybody that having a different body size from the models displayed in media is normal, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
She wants to give her audience confidence in wearing anything they want, especially among young girls, as she also has a daughter. She continues, “I would never want her to be the way I was when I was younger because I really struggled with my body.”
Paigetyler shared how her weight affected her life as a teen. She used to watch Victoria’s Secret models and think that her body wasn’t good enough. This triggered her to exercise for hours and hours until she was ill. She also filled up on water to prevent hunger, tried diet shakes, diet pills and had everything and anything.
“That experience I had when I was a teenager, I don’t want other people to have to go through like that. I want someone who might be bigger to see me and other plus-sized content creators online wearing items of clothing and be like; I can wear that; my body is okay.”
Changes in the Fashion and Beauty Industry to Better Serve Plus-Sized Individuals
When asked whether Paigetyler saw any changes in the fashion and beauty industry, she admits that they have evolved for the better. She mentioned the popularity of Ashley Graham as an example.
ICYDN, Ashley Graham is an American plus-sized model and social media influencer. She is one of the most recognizable “curvy” models in the US with campaigns and has walked for international designers like Michael Kors, Dolce and Gabbana, Christian Siriano, and more.
But Paigetyler believes that it’s still not enough. She adds, “I still think it’s still very much stereotypical skinny.”
Favorite Collabs and Working with Sintillate Talent
She shares her experience with Shein, “There are lots of clothes to choose from, which is good because I’ve worked with other brands before, and they’ve barely had anything.”
She also mentioned how Sintillate Talent has been supporting plus-size content creators like herself since she started. She’s also grateful to her management team for helping her grow her career and bringing plus-sized content creators together.
“I think it [Sintillate Talent] brought more of us together because I know there are other plus-sized creators in the agency. We’re just supporting each other, backing each other up.”
Paigetyler shares that when somebody posts a nasty comment about weight on a plus-sized influencer’s profile, other influencers would immediately leave a positive comment like, “you look beautiful,” or words to make that influencer feel better. She adds that this is one way plus-sized content creators lift each other up.
What’s Missing in Plus-Sized Content Creation
Paigetyler reiterates that having skinny fashion models both on the runway and in online stores doesn’t help. If there’s one thing missing in the industry, she thinks it’s using plus-sized models when representing or selling clothes.
“I think it would help a lot more if, for every item of clothes, a different size model will wear it. This will require more budget from the brands but would definitely help promote different body sizes rather than just stereotypical, skinny. It’s not a bad thing to be a bit bigger. “
Advice for Plus-Sized Content Creators
For anyone who wants to make it big as a content creator, Paigetyler has this to say:
“Just for it. Just literally go out there even if you don’t feel confident. A lot of people feel silly, but they don’t know that you are, so hide it. Just get out there and do it.”
What’s Next for Paigetyler
Paigetyler sees herself working with brands and just owning what she does. She wants to show people there’s nothing to be ashamed of and that you can do it regardless of your weight.