Reply to this letter.

 

 

Dear Luciana,

 

first of all, I’m pleased to meet you even if not in a proper nice way. So, let me clarify from the beginning that this is an excuse letter, and it was not at all my intention to upset anybody.

 

I started bloggin very recently, intentions and aim of my blog are surerly not clear yet, as the website is not complete in all its parts and many descriptions and explications are still missing. If I lack of fairness, I’m sorry about that and I present my excuses. For sure it’s the result of my inexperience in this field linked to the willing of doing a lot.

 

I’ve already cancelled the posts, as I really didn’t want to upset anyone and I totally understand and respect your point of view, even if my intentions were misunderstood.

 

In your open letter you describe me as if I have used only negative words referring to you or the two other bloggers, but this is not true. I know than when we’re hurt, it easy to see everything negativetely, but let me underline that first of all in my post I write that I like your blog and about you that “she has a beautiful face and a good taste, and she always manages to have some very pleasant looks.”

 

These are the real feelings I have to your regards, I like your job, I like how you push plus fashion to be forward, I like what you write and how, I adore how you make up. And, even if I was really surprised, in a certain way I liked your open letter: even if there were no gentle words for me, you’ve been respectful.

Respect is for me a sacrosanct principle: my parents tought me to live respecting other people, but it became an incredibly firm value for me from when I was an adolescent and I was mistreated by my classmates abut my weight. Feeling so bad, I started living with in my heart the refrain “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you”. So believe me if I say that I didn’t want to upset anyone.


Let’s speak then about why I did these blog posts. I’ve always been curvy (if we want to call it so, or overweight, or however you want to define it), but I’ve also always been, since a was a little child, passionated by fashion. Since I was a child, I dreamt of becoming a fashion designer. I struggled a lot (as I start describing in my yet untranslated post “Su di me: storia di come sono arrivata a studiare moda” = “About me: how I succeded to study fashion”) and I succeeded in my target. It has been hard because not being skinny in the fashion world looks like, for the majority of fashion addicted, like a nonsense. I’ve always tried to enhance my body, and I builded a very strong identity also in the way I used to dress myself. Find the right combinations, emphasize the good points, cover my weaknesses, create new proportions, invent tricks… were my constant task.

But my body type was not easy to dress, as I used to have a very small waist and very strong thighs. To find a trouser for me it was like to find a needle in a haystack. Since I became more than a EU 42, it became harder and harder. In the last years, I became always more sensitive to the lack of nice and attractive clothing for a fashionable and overweight girl like me. I started dreaming about creating a brand new collection to be really cool and fashionable, for curvy girls.

The blog is part of this dream, as I want to study the needs of girls and women that feel this need, understand what they like, what they would want, and what is missing in the clothing market. The blog post “you can do better” has the aim to analyze the garments and how, being different, they could enhance more the body. All the modifications I imagined are about clothing. I never wanted to discuss the personal style, I wanted to underline how, if garments were different, they could differently show the body.

You write that you don’t think my modifications enhance your body. Well, this is, as you say, a personal taste. Sincerely, from the picture I thought you were much taller than 1,60 m, and this is for sure thanks to your competent way of dressing up, and your proportioned body. Said that I have, as you also write about you, important legs, overall in the hip and thigh part. When I was designing for a very important jeans brand, I was always trying to put into the collection nice jeans that I could wear and fit well. I liked a lot flare pants, were my thighs could enter, but I always conceived them with a tighter knee point, to enhance and flatter the leg. I am convinced that a pant well done and constructed of this kind can be perfect for a pear shaped body. Though I know that in plus size clothing is pretty impossible to find pants with this cut, but I’m sue that they would be good sellers, if existing. At the same way, I think it’s difficult to find a plus size fitted jacket/blazer that cover the hip but enhance waist and breast. I personally think your small waist is emphasized in anyway by wearing a white and fitted t-shirt. If the jacket was fitted as drawn, it will also show your sinuous shape at the waist.

So… my arguments were about clothing, not the style.

Maybe I used the wrong words to describe it. Maybe I didn’t clarify my aim. For sure I couldn’t use the same language skills in English or French as I have in my mother tongue, Italian. But believe me that I translated to “not at all” a sentence that is very soft and not so negative. Simply, I couldn’t find another short and clear translation. I always try, tests, to be correct and smooth. If I make some mistake or if I shame in someway, it’s totally involuntary. My aim is to attract women like me, not to distance them. Just to make an example, the title “You can do better” in Italian and French is impersonal. In italian I used “si” and in french “on“, that are impersonal pronouns that don’t refer to someone specifically, but someone in general. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the same concept translated in English.

Regarding the copywrght, before taking your picture I looked into your blog if there were some restrictions, and I couldn’t find any. As I pin with Pinterest one image in total legality, I downloaded it. I did the modifications on clothing to show how, in my opinion, they could fit well the body. But I coverred the face with a smile as I thought that it was not correct that an anauthorized modified image could circle and been published.

About asking the permission, sincerely I couldn’t imagine to have the possibility of getting the attention of such an important blogger, and I simply didn’t think about it. This is caused by my desire of doing linked to inexperience. I will probably need to think deeper before publishing something.

I don’t agree, anyway, about the fact that I’m insulting other bloggers modifying their clothes. I am only showing how, if clothes are slightly (or more evidently) modified they can give a different aspect of the same body. For sure I modified them with my taste, but this is in my mind and I cannot take it off. If you don’t like the modifications, it’s a matter of taste and probably you won’t love my personal style. But in Italian we use to say “Il mondo è bello perché è vario” ( meaning litterally “the world is beautiful because it is varied”, maybe similar to the English phrase “variety is the spice of life”).

Please believe that I am very far from wanting to shame anybody.

My aim is to emphasize the lack of offer in the curvy / plus size clothing world. As the title of my blog says “Plus Belle” (= more beautiful) means that also who is, for example, heavier than normal can be beautiful, also more beautiful than a lot of others.

I always defined myself in Italian ,speaking about the body, “morbida”, that means soft but has no proper translation in English. Now there is this “Curvy” word that looks, for many, more acceptable and no-shaming. Well, if we want to use it, I think curvy girls and women have a much stronger power possibility of seduction than others. The softness of the body and the welcoming feeling gave by the sinuosity of curves is instinctively very attracting on men’s unconscious.

So I want girls and women to feel beautiful, to love themselves. And I think clothing can be an instrument to empower this feeling and feel even more attractive. The problem, I think, is that plus size clothing is usually built to cover the bodies, whereas I think it should discover the beautiful parts and camouflage the weakest ones (that I’ve always called, reffering to me, defects, that in Italian has tough a lighter meaning than in English). I want more beautiful and appropriate clothes for curvy an plus size girls. And if I can, I’d want to partecipate in creating them. Only who knows difficulties and real problems in finding the right garments can, in my opinion, create the perfect wardrobe for who find the same complications.

I hope, in the future, to be able to let people understand properly my aim, and possibly share it. In order to create always a stronger creed that plus size clothing can be fashionable, comfortable, qualitative and attractive and can make feel a girl sexier, cooler, definetely right. I hope a plus fashion charming also for normal weight girls. A piece that one can wear and her slim friend ask where it’s been bought because she wants it too.

And to avoid misunderstanding, I want to underline that for me it’s importnat that anyone feels well and love first of all herself. There is no way to be loved if first we don’t love ourselves. Beautiful clothing can be bought and worn for pure personal pleasure. But as we live in a society, we have to compare and live together with other people. And where there are many people, there are many way of thinking and judges are inevitable. I’m sure that the biggest part of us would like to be positively judged by others, and if clothing can help to do so, I personally want to dress the best I can.

I respect in any case who don’t bother about other’s opinion. Dress with what and how you like.

This is the message I believe in, this is what I wanted to point out, this is what I meant. Sorry again to you Luciana and all the other people who felt badly about my posts. I’m one of you, I want everyone to feel well, happy and lovely.

Best,
Alessandra

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24 comments

Reply

“Regarding the copywrght, before taking your picture I looked into your blog if there were some restrictions, and I couldn’t find any. ”

It’s the other way round.
I don’t know Italien law, but in Germany (and I think, internationally, too?) it’s like this: You are NEVER allowed to use a picture except you asked for permission or made them yourself.

I appreciate your idea to analyze outfits and I think it’s useful for people who want their outfits to look harmonic. There ARE women who want to look taller and slimmer and that’s okay. It’s also okay to give recommendations. But you can’t take other people’s pictures without asking them.
So, either ask them or draw pictures with fictive outfits.

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Dear Nria,
thank you for your message. I took information, obviously, about this. What I found, as international rule, is that is possible to use a picture for personal, non-profit, educational… use, also without asking permission.
If then the image is modified, it becomes a creations of the modifier.
It’s called “Fair Use”. Please see this article and the image “Can I use that picture” with the questions I posed to myself:can-i-use-that-picture

I don’t know if in other countries other laws work differently, it can be but as far as the information I got, I didn’t have news about it.

In any case, when Luciana clearly expressed her disappointment about that, I undestood that my aim of trying to understand how to improve and flatter our image had been misendertood and not comprehended. Consequently, as I didn’t want to upset but only help and give advices, I decided to cancel the post and the two other similar ones.

I will find another ways to express my suggestions.

Best,
Alessandra

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Hello,

ich denke, dass egal wie Du es erklärst, dein Verhalten überhaupt nicht ok geht. Tu es einfach nicht mehr und sei bitte unterstützend.

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Dear Malina,
I don’t speak German and I translated your letter on the web. It is a shame if you didn’t read my letter, because I think everyone has the right to defend himself, overall when he has been misundestood.
Best regards,
Alessandra
——————————————————–
Lieber Malina,
Ich spreche kein Deutsch und übersetzte ich Ihren Brief im Internet. Es ist eine Schande, wenn Sie nicht meinen Brief las, weil ich denke, dass jeder das Recht, sich zu verteidigen hat, insgesamt, wenn er falsch verstanden worden ist.
Freundliche Grüße,
Alessandra

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Hi Alessandra, I was really mad yesterday, but now I think I might write you something more friendly. You said you were talking about clothing, not style, but all you did was repeat what every single plus/curvy girl is tired of hearing: hide this, hide that, wear this to look thinner, wear that to look taller… we can’t stand this anymore. Who said we have/want to look taller and thinner? We wanna wear whatever we want to!!! That’s why it bothers so much to read another someone saying “you could do better” or “don’t wear culottes” etc.
Every woman, regardless her size, should wear whatever she wants to. And people have to understand we are not here to please them, but ourselves… so we must wear what we want. And that’s why we don’t want another blogger saying how bigger or smaller we look with this or that clothe. We must celebrate the brave curvy/plus women that show us daily we can wear WHATEVER WE WANT, without carrying about our big leg, fat bellys, etc.

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Dear Carolina, thank you for your message.
Whit what happened today I clearly realized that there is a big part of plus/curvy women that pretend to dress however they want. I obviously known already that, but probably I didn’t get the weight of this approach.
My one is for sure a bit different, so probably you’re not part of the target I aim to accomplish. As you can fully read in Lu’s blog in my reply to her comment:
“I personally try to chase beauty, if I can. And in my taste beauty is made of proportions working in a certain way among them. I persist with my opinion and, if I can, I want to try to look as much beautiful as I can. And if I can camouflage my weakest part, I do it! The important thing is that it doesn’t appear as a cover that have to hide, but a part that is balanced with the rest and possibly enhance some good points.
And for me, to be the best as I can is not a need originated from other’s opinions, but it’s my inner desire. When I feel right and comfortable with myself, I’m stronger, I can stand difficulties, I can go wherever I want. For me it is really a powerful sensation, and I know clothing can help to feel this way.
If I’ll can give advices on how to feel better, I will. And it’s something I want to make through my blog as image consultant. Obviously I won’t have customers that think in the same way you do, but ok: it means I’m focusing on a different target.
I know there are girls and women that needs to be more confident with themselves. Probably, when they will get this self-assurance, they will want to dress whatever and whenever they want, as you do.”

Thank you again for writing and letting the upset feelings calm down.
best,
Alessandra

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Oh wow, you just get “famous” by harming other people. Really sad beginning of a blogger story, don’t you think so?!

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Yes, I think so and it was not at all my intention to harm anybody.
I sincerely think that post got too much audience than needed. And, for sure it has been totally misunderstood.

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Dreaming about creating a new brand/collection for curvy women. Certainly not the best way to get startet in this market. Alessandra You can do better and you should. Offending others will not get you to your goal as you see.

Regards, Emilia

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Dear Emilia, for sure you’re right about the not so great start. But it is important to learn from mistakes and try to improve.
I sincerely think I did not offended anyone. I’ve only analyzed a look and tried to improve it following my taste. Of course everybody has his own taste and my changes could not be loved from everyone. But in my post (that I decided to cancel as it hasn’t been understood in the right way) I clearly wrote appreciations in Luciana’s regards. As wrote on my repy letter, it was only a matter of clothing.

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Dear Alessandra,

I left an open letter for you on my blog – http://luziehtan.de/2016/02/you-can-do-better-but-you-dont-have-to-an-open-letter/

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Dear Luciana,
Thank you for your letter. I answered and I hope you would better understand my aim.
Sorry, in any case, for the unconvenient feeling created.

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Hello Alessandra. I didn’t know your site or this section, but I know Luciana’s work and she has been doing a wonderful job at empowering women by telling them that they can wear whatever they want, whenever they want. Also, this section on your website, you may think is helping others, but it shames women and their choices of style. You do not have to agree with their styles, but it’s not your job to “fix” them. I suggest you rethink it and take this post down, especially because it infringes copyright (covering Luciana’s face does not exempt you from this, intelectual property is not “nudes” that you just chop off the head and it’s ok). Thanks

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Dear Debora,
thank you for your kind letter. As already written in the reply letter to Luciana, my aim wasn’t to criticize her style, but to point out that certain garments, with some modifications, can show a different body.
I will find a different way to explain my thoughts.
I also appreciate Luciana’s style and the willing of empowering women. I didn’t imagine this category could be so risky and could shame others. This is why I decided to cancel it, as give bad feelings is the exact contrary I want to give with my blog.
Thanks again for your point of view!

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“Although she is curvier than me, she has a beautiful face…”? Words curvy women never want to read. And even worse if there are written by a curvy woman herself.

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Dear Stephanie,
I’ve always tough Curvy was a nice and gentle way to define who is overweight.
If we can’t use this word, what would you suggest?
I don’t think it is possible to use no definition at all. For example, we cannot cancel words as blonde, tanned, tall or wahtever. Some adjective have to stay, as concept. The important thing is that they are not linked to a negative under meaning…
How would you define me speaking about my body?
Thanks,
Alessandra

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I think what Stephanie wanted to state here that the word “although” and the fact that you point on the pretty face is just plain rude and absolutely a part of the fatshaming problem we face. There is no “although someone is fat they have a pretty face”. This is just massively impolite – and I am using kind words, as you always try to emphasize that you do as well. Let me tell you something – just because you use kind and nice words doesn’t mean that it makes the message any less inappropriate. I see that you try to apologize, or do apologize for this post, but in every possible way, find excuses for why you wrote and altered things. If your intention or aim was to point on the clothes itself, why in hell was there not ONE single hint about it? It would have been way easier to state for example “I would love to see garments like this produced”. But no. Nothing. The “advice” you gave to the clothing industry (if that was the real aim) was exactly what plussize women try NOT to find in stores. It is exactly what was found in ANY store in the Plussize Section, and what we try to escape.

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Dear Anna,
I’ve cancelled the post because it has been clearly misunderstood and because my aim is NOT to offend or shame anyone, but possibly to help. But if my post was still online, you should clearly read the correct sentences I wrote, not the wrong one as you report. In fact, here’s part of the original text:
“Although she is curvier than me, she has a beautiful face and a good taste, and she always manages to have some very pleasant looks.”

Although was referred to the fact she’s curvier than me, not to her beautiful face and her good style!

So, sorry but I can’t accept your comment based on something that I did not write at all.

I consider my face one of my strong points, and I’ll always push women to emphasize their good points. In my opinion, glance is the strongest instrument a woman have to seduce and impress. If she has a strong glance and personality, the rest of the body is often a detail.

So it’s not “althought the face”. NOT AT ALL.

Regarding the taste of garments, well it’s personal. In Italy I don’t find what I would like to find as plus size clothing. I take care a lot of details, and for me some important details, like cut and fitting, make the garment. I’ve always seen plus size flare jeans made with: wrong cut and fit, wrong fabric, wrong wash, wrong proportions of pockets etc. As a designer, I know that these details make a concrete difference between a garment that you wear because there’s nothing else, and one that you love because it makes you feel beautiful, comfortable and right.
Then, if you won’t like what I’ll do, well, i think someone else will instead love it. It’s normal: not everybody like the same things.

That is why the quotation marks are placed. I am able to read the correct sentence you wrote. So my reply fully was based on your exact words – I think I am pretty capable of referring my comments to facts. For the record – QUESTION MARK ” although someone is fat they have a pretty face ” QUESTIONMARK is what I ( and probably almost any other person except you ) read in your statement and NOT me quoting you wrong. Thx.

Dear Anna,
maybe comas are used in a different way in English than in Italian, and then I’m not able to give the righter sense to my phrase… Maybe I’m not good enough writing English, well, it can be.
But I put myself first in the curvy world, describing myself as a curvy girl. So if you read a judge to Luciana, you should also read a judge in my regards…

*Quotation Mark not Question mark of course

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you stole a picture, defaced it and offended a wonderful person.
holy shit. thats incredible shitty!

i hope others like lu will call you out on your bullshit.

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Dear Marla,
I think you can find the right reply and meaning in my letter to Luciana.
Maybe you’ll understand the aim of what I did, that has been totally misunderstood.

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