by Lorna Finn, fabUplus special correspondent
IG | @cystumofcurves
FB | CystumofCurves

Even though it appears that the plus-community has come so far with visibility and representation, there are still so many incidents where the world tries to tear apart visibly plus bodies.

This couldn’t be ever so evident in Miami, Florida where a very popular yet visibly plus-size woman was denied entry because she didn’t fit the clubs beauty standard for the evening. In fact, it was overheard that the club promoter stated, “We’re not letting fat girls in”, which as we all know can completely humiliate a young woman’s self-esteem and create misconception of what it means to be beautiful in this world. That incident received national attention on all the entertainment platforms in America, causing an uproar of feelings and anger among the plus community and outrage that once again plus bodies were being ridiculed for not meeting a superficial beauty standard placed upon them by society.

That is when Empress Hepburn knew enough was enough. It was time to create a safe place for plus bodies to feel loved and celebrated in South Florida.

Empress Hepburn decided after that very public incident that she wasn’t standing for the exclusion of plus-size women in Miami, Florida. As a Miami native of Caribbean decent, she has always appreciated curves as part of her culture and because she herself has always been plus-sized.

“I wasn’t raised to believe that my beauty
had to be defined based upon my size.”

Empress and I spoke briefly about her thoughts regarding the public incident. “Growing up in Miami, it has always been an issue, due to the pretentious club scene here and amount of celebrity visitation. Club promoters feel that ‘big girls’ or ‘fat girls’ shouldn’t share the same spaces of notorious celebrity figures. Only women that look like super models or have a certain physique deserve to exist in these spaces.”

However, Empress sought out to change that by creating Curve Fest Miami; a Carnival theme celebration fully dedicated to the empowerment of plus bodies across the world. Her heritage is known to celebrate Carnival every year in the Bahamas where hundreds of thousands of men and women come to celebrate the nation’s independence in full color and costumes. Empress knew that fusing her culture and her mission would be the perfect event to uplift men & women of all shapes in sizes in Miami which will take place August 30th – September 1st.

fabUplus: What Can guests expect when they attend Curve Fest Miami this year?
Empress: Guests can expect to experience a new kind of celebration of plus bodies. I wanted to bring a different spin into the plus industry that hasn’t truly been done before. I wanted a full parade of beautiful women and men to come together for a weekend of festivities. The weekends events will begin with a Networking Mixer and Education Session, followed by a Dance Classes taught by some of the plus community’s hottest plus choreographers, a pool party, and then Sunday the official Curve Fest will be held. The Curve Fest will have live performances, Carnival Themed Contests, and end in a Plus Parade and Party down the streets of Miami. It will be a whole day of celebration.
fabUplus: What is something about you that many people don’t know?
Empress: Many people don’t know that I am a single mother and truly advocate for that space. One of the other reasons I wanted to produce this event is to show that women can do anything they put their minds too especially single mothers.
fabUplus: What are some of the other visions you see for this event and your budding brand?
Empress: I truly want to be able to offer workshops to female entrepreneurs and grow this event to expand outside of the South Florida area. I really want to provide tools to women to help them reach their professional goals and personal goals within self. I am currently an entrepreneur myself and putting on Curve Fest Miami has ignited this passion within me to help others win as well.
fabUplus: What is the one take away that you want the world to understand about being plus-size?
Empress: I want the world to understand that we are beautiful, capable of living out our dreams, that we can’t be denied just because we don’t fit the mold of unrealistic standards put upon us. Your body is yours and it doesn’t limit your success unless you let it. It doesn’t make you not attractive unless you feel unattractive. You control how you feel and the way you love yourself.

To purchase tickets and for more information please be sure to checkout and follow the movement on Instagram @curvefestmiami and on Facebook under the name Curvychella.

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