Good Morning and Happy Model Monday from fabUplus! Meet Stephanie Danielle Garcia! Garcia is a model and influencer!
Name: Stephanie Danielle Garcia
fabuUplus Magazine: How did you get started as an influencer? What kind of content do you create, and what is your main channel?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: My passion for fashion started off in my teens at 15. I was obsessed with Seventeen magazine! The topics were enjoyable, at times relatable. The fashion advisory was always my favorite section, but I always noticed that there were hardly ever girls that looked like me- very rarely was it shown, I often found myself asking why? The more and more I looked at fashion, the more I noticed a pattern- girls like me were apparently not fashionable. And sadly, I went through a long phase of body hatred and shame for many years. It was not until my early twenties that I decided to pretty much act on this issue.
I wanted my blog’s focus to be about the enjoyment of simply being you. I call my readers goddesses because I want them to acknowledge their power, their worth, their very existence. I think sometimes people have a hard time with that- and I can understand that from a personal level. Now, I do occasionally write on topics about skincare and personal style, but my main focus will always be me trying my best to instill on my readers, “what it means to truly be yourself” rather than to be the standard societal norm. I want to show them what self-love and self-acceptance is by the end of the day. That will always be the ultimate journey in one’s life, especially in mine.
fabUplus Magazine: Describe your personal style. What are some of your signature colors, styles, and accessories?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: My personal style is hard to pinpoint because it all depends on what mood I am in. I love feeling good in what I wear. I love paying homages to styles from different era’s but try to stay true to myself by the end of the day. Sometimes I feel like channeling styles from Rita Hayworth, or Audrey Hepburn. Other times, I would be embracing punk/ rock n’roll or gypsy vibes. I dress however I want. I like trends as much as the next person, but there is just something about being yourself that makes Fashion…. FASHION. As the old saying goes, “true style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.” That what I aspire to be.
fabUplus Magazine: If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a little girl, what would you tell her?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: If I ever had the chance to go back in time and truly talk my younger self, I would tell her that she is so beautiful. I know she questions the way people see her and often ask her if there is something wrong- but there isn’t. She has so much power in her, that believe it or not, little Steph is really teaching me right now. She is teaching me what it means to have fun, be silly, and embrace all that I am. She may not know it- but she is. I look at who is was back then in pictures and I say, “where the hell did all this confidence come from? I need to get this back.” And I did, slowly but surely, I am.
fabUplus Magazine: For our readers who struggle with being comfortable in their own skin and wearing what they want, what are some practical things you would recommend they do to help them get to the level of confidence you have?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: I think helpful tips would be to take your time. I know personally what it is like to self-criticize yourself with your body and the clothes you wear. One of the greatest things I learned was stand in the mirror naked- I know sounds crazy and I thought it was too when my therapist advised me to do that as a chore, but I promise you it works. Standing in front of a mirror naked allows you to have a moment with yourself, to appreciate your imperfections. I truly noticed that the more I did it, the more I noticed a change of mood. I began to love myself again. Once you have found that moment of piece with yourself, the rest will follow. You will then want to try new things, explore with clothes. The key to wearing clothes experimenting. Find out what makes you, YOU. If you are a woman who only wears black, try slowly dabbling with color. Add a bit of a pattern, etc. You will start to notice that dressing up is fun, rather than a nightmare. Do not look at size labels! Find a fit that shapes your body beautifully. Look for comfort and endless style, that the key.
fabUplus Magazine: What does being an influencer or model mean to you? What do you hope it means to others?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: Being an influencer to me meant showing others that it means to out yourself out there (which is…TERRIFYING for me!) I was so used to being in the side corner that I became comfortable with it. It wasn’t till I got older that I said, “I want to be seen. I don’t care if people judge me for how I look, my body is mine and my body is beautiful. I am freaking goddess!!” I want others to embrace their uniqueness by showcasing it to the world. We all have something that makes us different from one another. Being different should not makes us hate but make us embrace. I want my goddesses (my readers) to show the world what they are made of- that makes me happy.
fabUplus Magazine: How have you seen the fashion, retail, or modeling industry change in the past decade – specifically with regards to diversity and inclusivity? What work still needs to be done?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: From where the Fashion industry had started, to where we are now, I can say that I do see a change in regards to an exploration of different diversities and body inclusivity. I do personally believe that it has come a long way, but there is always room for improvement. It is refreshing to finally see different ethnicities and body inclusivity’s are now being featured in more high end fashion shows, editorial layouts, even covers! That is a tremendous win, but I truly hope that the fashion industry does see us as equal rather than a trend.
Sadly, I have seen that, and I think that it is bad on some designer’s part. I hate that some say the reason many designer’s do not feature plus size within their collection is because the cost of the fabric. I think that is uncalled for and a poor excuse. The reality of it is women look like me, and you. We all come in different shapes, sizes, ethnicities. We have just as much right to be featured within the industry than anyone else does.
fabUplus Magazine: What does beauty mean to you?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: Beauty to me means be yourself. Life is too short to be either someone else or what society tells you to be. If you want to change yourself, change for YOU, rather for others. Your self-love is your beauty. It is also your divine goddess power. Embrace it loves!
fabUplus Magazine: How has your body image and self-esteem changed over the years?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: With the help of therapy sessions, I did in the past, I believe I have changed my perspective on my body image. I no longer torture myself as much as I did when I was on my teens. I can look in the mirror naked and have a moment with myself, a moment of gratitude.
I will be honest, I will have those not so great moments every now and then, but I learned that it’s okay, that is perfectly normal. However, we need remind ourselves how beautiful our bodies are. I often wonder if women acknowledge that their bodies are a vessel that is built on beauty and survival. My body is strong and has been there for me more times than you can count. But you cannot leave her hanging- you got to show her some love too! Shower her with mini spa days, buy her something cute to wear, take her out to some good food. Workout with her, not against her. Your body loves you… and we need to show her some love back.
fabUplus Magazine: Do you have a message you want to leave with our readers?
Stephanie Danielle Garcia: Remember that you are a goddess. Your right now, are in the process to love and accept all that you are in every level- mind, body, and soul. Focus on personal growth rather than trying to fit into the world. Be self-aware of yourself. Be a woman who has the capacity to make everything she wants possible. You are not looking to be perfect; you are looking to be whole- that is self-love.