A model recreated Hunter Schafer's 'iconic' Vanity Fair Oscar Party look 'to see it on a plus-size body.' Here's what she hopes people learn from it
"We have to aspire to getting more body representation in different areas," Stella Williams says.
Stars stepped out of their gowns and slipped into naked dresses at this year's Vanity Fair Oscar Party, where numerous celebrities including Ciara, Emily Ratajkowski and Alessandra Ambrosio appeared in revealing looks. When Euphoria actress Hunter Schafer was one of the night's standouts with her barely there look, plus-size model and content creator Stella Williams felt inspired to recreate it.
Williams tells Yahoo Life that she noticed the trend of sheer looks throughout celebrity arrivals and was in awe of the women celebrating their bodies in various styles. She wondered what it would be like to see "a big girl" do the same.
"There was something about Hunter’s outfit that I loved and I was like, 'I need to see myself in this,'" she says of the feather top and the white maxi skirt that Schafer was styled in by Law Roach.
Williams gathered what she needed to put the look together and even repurposed a feather that she had from appearing in an "anti-Victoria's Secret" fashion show back in 2019 — a moment she says was pivotal in her self-love journey — as her top. She posted photos of her look onto Instagram for her community of 124,000 followers to see and be inspired by.
"The look was iconic and I immediately wanted to see it on a plus-size body," Williams captioned her post.
The reactions to it made it clear just how many others needed to see that as well.
"People are not exposed to different types of body shapes, different types of people. We've gone from a very standard set of beauty to having so many different ways people are able to creatively express themselves now, and it's new," Williams says. "Unfortunately, I think a lot of people are still behind, and they still have this foundation of what a beauty standard is in their mind, and they can't shake it."
Williams explains that she faced a lot of "body policing" in this look in particular from people who left comments claiming the outfit "doesn't flatter" her or that it only works on Schafer because "she's skinny."
The criticism isn't new to Williams as a plus-size creator. In fact, she says it motivates her to keep going.
"We have to aspire to getting more body representation in different areas like a Vanity Fair Oscar Party, red carpet and just being able to have that understanding that just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not possible," she explains of her post's purpose. "It's really important to remind myself that it's not over, there is still more work to do and there's still a space for you, even if you can't see it. To me, that aligns with my faith to keep going. There's more impact to make, there's more spaces for you to fill."
Despite the conversation that it sparked about the perceived limitations of barely there looks and who should be in them, Williams maintains that it was an effort to simply feel included in a beautiful trend.
"When I started on the internet, I did have to create a lot of my happy spaces because there were no communities for me to do that, there were no people I could look up to online to do that," she says. "People don't understand that a lot of times it's just about the fact that I never saw this [type of representation] and I don't care if I had two followers, I get to do this for myself."
She also recognizes the excitement that she felt in putting the look together as a milestone to celebrate in her personal self-love journey.
"Seeing that outfit 10 years ago, my old thought would have been, 'Man, I wish I was skinny enough to pull that off.' And now my thought is, 'Oh, cool. I want to wear that, let me go wear that,'" she explains. "So it shows a lot of growth for myself and I can only hope that more people can get to that place."
Williams believes that the less people limit themselves based on their body size, the more normalized body diversity becomes.
"My body is not a gimmick," she says.
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