Jae’lynn Chaney goes far. From Hawaii to the Dominican Republic to the hip hotels of Portland, this Vancouver-based travel blogger assesses her experiences and raves about them to her social media followers. While there, she models new clothes and touts a useful product or two.
Chaney has such a large and loyal following that she is considered an “influencer” or someone who can persuade her fans to buy a product or service simply by mentioning it on her social media. Top companies pay her to review their products and services, which is not unusual for social media celebrities. What’s amazing about Chaney is that she’s at the forefront of a new phenomenon: plus-size influencers.
“For so many years, the narrative we’ve seen is, ‘You don’t fit society’s standards of beauty, so you have to be miserable and not travel and go places and wear clothes. that you are not wearing. ‘not like,’ said Chaney, 25. connect with me. I give them hope and inspiration that they can live their best life, no matter their size.
The idea that tall people should enjoy the same respect and opportunity as everyone else is not new. Current thinking about body positivity (celebrating all body sizes) and body neutrality (body size is neither good nor bad) originated in Llewellyn Louderback’s 1967 essay in the Saturday Evening Post, “More People Should Be Fat”. In 1969, Bill Fabrey, inspired by Louderback’s ideas, founded what became the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. In 1979 Louderback published the book “Fat Power: Whatever You Weigh Is Right”.
What is new is that national brands are finally appreciating this power, namely the power of the consumer. Airlines, hotels, theaters, clothing lines, and big-box stores like Walmart and Target are getting the message that Chaney and hundreds of other influencers are shouting every day: Bigger people won’t be told ‘they can’t be fashionable, comfortable or just plain happy.