courtesy Marie Denee, thecurvyfashionista.comA few years ago, when the blogger and social media influencer scene was just taking shape, one forward-thinking woman saw a void in the fashion world and decided to fill it with confidence and body-positivity. (Here’s what we can all learn about body confidence from plus-size models.) Little did she know it could become her day job—and a well-paying one too.
“I wanted to provide resources to show and share the various options out here for plus-size women,” says Marie Denee, of Atlanta, GA. “At the time finding plus-size options, especially contemporary options, was a challenge, so I created The Curvy Fashionista.” Her site, thecurvyfashionista.com, has since gone on to be more than just a look book of outfit inspiration—it’s a digital community of body-positive fashion cheerleaders. Denee’s community thrives on content from her website, but also in her Facebook groups, Twitter exchanges, and the very real, open, honest, and kind community she has created in real life too.
courtesy Marie Denee, thecurvyfashionista.comThe 35-year old blogger isn’t a one-woman show, though, and she recognizes that spreading positive vibes and broader messages about inclusive beauty and fashion is a team effort. Her curvy fashion media team has grown in recent years to include a video production team and a photographer, all thanks to her growing sponsorship base. And she’s upfront about what she earns.
“I make from $500 for a quick Instagram share about a movie or brand to upwards of $5,000 or more for a fun and playful branded video. I get paid to try on jeans and do splits in them,” she says smilingly. “It is still mind-boggling but even more cool that it helps someone find something that works for them!” (Here’s why looking at plus-size models boosts your mental health.)
Brands pay Denee to wear their clothes, style them, encourage other women to feel confident in their own skin, and step outside the traditional plus-size fashion box—and she’s pretty strict about only working with labels and lines she genuinely likes.
courtesy Marie Denee, thecurvyfashionista.com“For one of the brands I work with, Dia & Co, I love the service they provide to plus-size women and have been noticing how well unboxing videos do, so a live unboxing was both hilarious and fun to do with my readers!” Unboxing is when you walk viewers through opening a package and making sense of its contents. “They got a chance to see my initial responses as well as get a peek into the process.”
Genuine, unfiltered thoughts are helping Denee reach big goals.
“As each year passes, the income grows. I make over $100,00 now, and I think that this will be the most productive year yet.”
Positivity pays. Literally. See how this writer earns $80,000 a year testing shampoo.