Wilmington-based plus-size model Shelly King kick-started the body positive campaign called Respeck My Curves, which aims to promote self-love toward women all over the country. The 10-year modeling veteran came up with the idea after attending the Full Figured Fashion Week in New York and later decided to launch the campaign in her hometown of Northside Wilmington.
Shelly King Launches ‘Respeck My Curves’
Shelly King coined the word Respeck from controversial rapper Birdman, who famously called out radio hosts to put some “respeck” on his name when engaged in a heated argument. But King’s battle transcends more than just personal ego, she yearns to promote diversity and acceptance toward women of all shapes and sizes.
With Respeck My Curves, King managed to bring dozens of women from nearby Maryland and Georgia together at a gathering held in Wilmington. Not only were the women all willing to show their support for her campaign, but they were eager to audition for a chance to be a part of it as well.
“It’s really more about respecting our curves and embracing our curves,” Shelly King said. “It’s about being inspired by these beautiful women, and we come from all walks of life, but we love fashion. That’s our common denominator. We just wanna look good, you know.”
The campaign partners up with Beautiful Beginnings Boutique, a retail store that focuses on plus-size clothing. Models who are selected from the open casting call would get the opportunity to model pieces from their fashion line. The chosen models will then participate in a fashion shoot complete with professional hair and makeup, they’ll all be sporting Respeck My Curves tees. Aside from King, other plus-size models who graced the event were Keisha Jenkins, Erica Derr, Naisha Yolande, and Ebony James.
It is no secret that fashion has an ongoing battle as they convince more clothing lines and brands to be more size inclusive, so Shelly King and her campaign are looking to combat the narrow image of beauty that mainstream media presents. With Respeck My Curves, she breaks stereotypes and redefine what true beauty really means.
“The average size woman is a 14–16,” said King. “It needs to be showcased that we’re curvy, we’re confident, we’re beautiful women, and we’re breaking stereotypes. It’s about body positive and size acceptance.”
The good news is, it isn’t King’s campaign that is making a drastic change. Plus-size models have taken center stage at big events such as fashion week, and a number of retailers have dropped the term plus size for good. Although this may seem like a small step, the future of body diversity certainly looks promising.