If you are anything like me, you have been through the following scenario more times than you can count. You go into a store after hearing rave reviews about it from friends and the various Instagram personalities you follow, finally pick a few things, only to try them all on and feel super down about yourself and your body when none of the items fit.
Well fear no more, because there is finally a gal who knows and acknowledges the struggle that many fashion addicts face anytime we set foot in a dressing room. This angel in the form a fashion blogger is 37-year-old Katie Sturino, creator of the blog The 12ish Style.
Sturino is a former Wisconsin native turned New Yorker, the owner of a PR firm and dog mom to pups Muppet, Cheese and Crumb, from the Instagram account, DogMeetsWorld. The account was made famous by Sturino’s first puppy-mill rescue dog, Toast.
Sturino decided to start her blog, The 12ish Style, after struggling to find any fashion inspiration for her mid-sized figure and realizing that many women across America were also in the same boat. She launched the blog in her hopes to introduce size-inclusive fashion, tips and tricks for how to dress in a body-positive way for women just like her.
It would be about three more years until Sturino would embark upon her journey of self-love that would later spark her hashtag movements. In 2017, Sturino ended her marriage to the social media influencer Josh Ostrovsky, who is better known by his moniker, The Fat Jew.
During this time, the blogger gained 60 pounds. In an Instagram post from February 2019, Sturino has two pictures side by side: one from 2014, and one from 2019. She captioned it with “People live their lives as if everything will change for the better when they lose the weight. 60lbs heavier and 100000x happier, I’m proof that it all starts in your head.”
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People live their lives as if everything will change for the better when they lose the weight. 60lbs Heavier and 100000x happier, I’m proof that it all starts in your head💗💗💗 Step one? Notice what you say to yourself when you look at your body. Try to stop the negative self talk! You don’t have to say something nice but just don’t talk 💩. Give it a try!
Sturino began her first hashtag movement, #MakeMySize, after opening and trying on clothes from brand Net-A-Porter, and being frustrated when nothing fit, according to an interview with Refinery29. In the same interview, she discussed how she has struggled with what she calls “the guessing game” of finding clothing that works for her figure, and explains how she would have thought that companies would have made this task easier by now.
Sturino uses the hashtag in her hope that the brands she posts about can see how the larger-sized garments that they make actually fit a woman’s body. Some of the brands that Sturino has addressed through her hashtag include Rag and Bone, Aritzia, Frame, Rebecca Minkoff and Uniqlo.
Many times, the brands that Sturino has posted with the hashtag will respond kindly in the comments section, letting her know that they are working on expanding their line, or asking to speak with her to discuss what they can do to be inclusive of more sizes. However, not every brand has graced the blogger with a tasteful response.
This past August, Sturino posted on Instagram trying a leopard print wrap dress from the brand alice and olivia and captioned it, “I love this leopard dress and I’d love to wear it in my size,” along with her hashtag, #MakeMySize. The blogger’s post was met with the designer discussing how the brand “takes pride in making clothes for a variety of body types,” but that a dress cannot fit every shape.
The commenter then went on to suggest that perhaps Sturino tried a blouse and skirt that came in the same pattern as the dress to accommodate for her “voluptuous top.” Both Sturino and her many followers replied to alice and olivia, explaining how the brand’s response was flawed by suggesting what they thought would “work” for Sturino instead of acknowledging her request for the brand to offer more inclusive sizes.
Sturino has also used her platform to highlight the brands that are inclusive of size through tagging them in her posts with #MadeMySize. These brands include Modcloth, Loft, AYR, Madewell and the blogger’s favorite, Veronica Beard.
In addition to her Make My Size hashtag, Sturino has gained popularity using the hashtag #SuperSizeTheLook. Sturino takes inspiration from some of the outfits her favorite celebrities and fellow bloggers wear, and makes similar looks using clothing from brands that are inclusive of size. The blogger has “super sized” looks from Chrissy Teigen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Selena Gomez and many other celebrities.
Sturino also has fun with couples and BFF looks. She has recreated looks from Jenny Mollen and Jason Biggs, with her blogger friend, extraextrastyle, and recreated a look from Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber with her model friend, Hunter McGrady.
Just like her other hashtag, #SuperSizeTheLook has not been without criticism. In an Instagram post from April 18, 2018, Sturino addressed several negative comments that both she and her friend had received about a supersized version of a look from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry that they had recreated. The comments included suggestions to lose weight, that the bloggers shouldn’t pose next “thin” people, and many other hurtful words.
However, Sturino took the comment in stride, captioning the post with, “When they go low …” She later went on to point out how much work we have left for making people accepting of all body sizes, but she also acknowledges that we are slowly but surely making progress.
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When they go low… My Meghan Markle #supersizethelook series with @extraextrastyle has been getting a lot of love recently, but not everyone sees it as a good thing. It always shocks me how far we have to go to change people’s minds about body acceptance. We have been force fed a diet of 0% acceptance for people in the public eye that are not a certain size and I would dare to say many of the people who make comments like this are struggling with their own body acceptance. But it’s working…slowly we’re moving the needle❤️❤️❤️❤️
As if she didn’t have enough on her plate, with being a fashion icon and advocate for the body-positivity movement, Sturino has also dabbled in the personal-care business with her line of products called Megababe. Sturino set out to solve issues that many women face but never really talk about: thigh chafing and boob sweat.
She released Thigh Rescue, an anti-chafe stick that is reminiscent of a stick of deodorant, and Bust Dust, an anti-boob-sweat powder that comes in a bottle with a pump to dispense the product. The products have been a mega success (pun intended), with Ulta, Target and Goop selling the products at their stores.
With the average American wearing between a size 16 – 18, it is refreshing to see someone who acknowledges this and actively works everyday toward making fashion more inclusive of size, while showing woman that they are beautiful at any size, regardless of what society says.