A Brief Introduction and Some Controversy
Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, has been, in my opinion, the best dressed actress on the red carpet this year. I’ve already mentioned her in the post Curvy Red Carpet but she has such great style that I’ve decided that she needed a blog post of her own.
Before we start delving into her outfits, a bit of bio and some controversial topics.
Octavia Lenora Spencer was born in 1972 in Montgomery, Alabama. Although she’s had a long career in movies and TV series, it wasn’t until the movie The Help that she’s become famous. Her role as the Minny, the outspoken maid in the movie The Help has been her passport to fame. She’s won all the most important movie awards as supporting actress, including an Oscar. And she’s become a fashion icon.
The controversy I’ve mentioned earlier is about the fact that she’s a plus sized woman in the spotlight and she doesn’t seem so confortable in her body like other fat celebrities, such as Beth Ditto or Amber Riley.
During the awards season she said that she has worn the body shaper spanx under her dresses to give her a slimmer figure (although she recalled it as an incredibly painful experience.)
She’s declared that she was not healthy at her weight: “I feel for my overly thin women as much as I feel for the overly overweight women. I think there is a lot that needs to change. It’s our society that has told [women] and continues to tell them that when you reach a certain age, you are no longer valuable. When your reach a certain weight, you are [no longer] valuable…I am working out with a trainer…I’m not trying to be a thin mint…I’m just trying to be healthy and look good for me. So another 15 pounds and I will be fine…I’m not healthy at this weight. I think anytime you have too much around the middle then there’s a problem.”
At the same time she spread messages like: “Women would be much happier if they ate. I know I sure get a headache when I don’t eat!” and “Here’s what I will leave you with: Be happy in your own skin. If you are unhealthy start by making small changes to become healthier. You are unique, beautiful, and worthy.”
It seems to me that she’s on the fence regarding body image. She thinks that the beauty standards of thinness and health are wrong but somehow she can’t shake them off herself, at least not totally.
And I’m not mentioning these controversial topics to judge her. I’m doing so for two reasons:
There are lots of people struggling with body image and it haunts successful, talented and academy award winners, too. I bet even people involved in HAES and fat acceptance sometimes have bad days or doubts.
It’s painful and if you are going through this, you are not alone.
The other reason I’ve chosen to mention Octavia’s body image issues is because I usually write about women that are into fat acceptance and that are confident and happy in their own skin. We are already surrounded by stories about dieting and weight struggles in our society and in our everyday life and I want this blog to be a place of celebration of our uniqueness, of our bodies, regardless our size.
To be honest I’m not sure if Octavia fits the body positive profile I usually look for when writing about someone’s style. It’s hard for me to talk about FATshion without knowing a person stands regarding self acceptance. Because of that I doubted if it would be a good idea to talk about her style here at More of Me to Love.
To solve my impasse I’ve decided to write about her outfits, but also to address the controversial body image topics that surround her. That way the readers can have a more comprehensive view on Octavia Spencer and can still get to appreciate her outstanding outfits.
I hope she can find some peace of mind and realize that she’s already beautiful and healthy. For now, let’s praise her amazing style. She really deserves an award on that category!
The following pictures are great examples on how you can be chic in a more casual way. The dresses are great for parties, cocktails and events that don’t require long dresses.
Strong colors like red and purple are a great way to express your personality and great if you want avoid black. I love black, but sometimes I find it difficult to chose other colors. I need a constant reminder that there are other beautiful ways to wear a dress. Like in red or purple.
This set show a variety of blue options. My favorite is the first one: the petroleum blue tone, the fabric, the fit. The second one is more tailored and I love the sleeves and the length that produce a romantic outcome. The third dress is perfect for the ones that don’t like tight fitting dresses: the A-line skirt and the top are elegant, but not too revealing. The cleavage is covered with a silk blue pashmina that is always a great way to reveal a bit of your curves, but not too much.
I am truly in love with this nude dress covered with black lace. Lace is a very versatile fabric that can be used in lots of places rather than the usual lingerie and night gowns. This is a perfect example of how to play with lace for an effortless and elegant look.
The Lady in Black
Where there’s great style, there’s black. I’m a confessed fan of the color. But I don’t think women, specially plus sized, should just wear black. Octavia wears a lot of non-black outfits but she has some space in her heart for some little black dresses too.
The first dress, from left to right, is a breath of fresh air in the black dresses’ family: there’s an art deco touch in it that is just lovely. The details on the shouder and the fit are gorgeous, too.
The second dress is a classic draped one with an elegant brooche on the waistline (brooches are a great option to embellish an outfit if you don’t like necklaces) paired with an animal print clutch that changes everything. One thing we learn from this outfit is that little details can make a major difference.
The third dress follows the same pattern as the second, a black drapped dress but it’s sleeveless this time. It has an embellished belt that is fabulous, and the hairstyle and earrings complete the elegant and fresh look.
Finally, a black satin dress with sheer sleeves (they could have a little less fabric ) and feathers along the dress. It’s not my favorite, but it’s interesting. I would take the sleeves off to give more attention to the feathery ornament.
Deep Blue is the New Black
An amazing way to give black a rest when choosing an outfit is betting on a deep blue color (Ahem, note-to-self). It’s as elegant as black, but it’s not as common. It’s chic with a twist, especially if it has sequins and a nice design.
This is one of the dresses that I’d happily place in my (imaginary) inventory of the greatest dresses of all time. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it.
Reinventing a White Shirt
White shirts are one of the bones of a wardrobe.
In the first picture, Octavia is wearing a white shirt in a casual, but not as common, way. The combination of a animal printed pencil skirt with the black belt and magenta sandals leads an otherwise safe bet to a whole new level. I loved it.
In the second picture, Octavia brings her white shirt to the red carpet, pairing it with a very fancy ruffled skirt and black belt. The result is fantastic! The cherry on the top of the bold outfit is the red clutch.
Next week we are going to have a little more Octavia: how she rocks light colors, pastels and the scoop on her hair styles and make up. I’d love to know what you are thinking about this post, controversies and all.
Patricia Morgado is a Brazilian teacher, jewelry designer and a self acceptance and fashion blogger. She has a degree in Pedagogy and a Master's degree in Human Rights Education. She believes that the key to a happy life is learning to love ourselves. She also believes that fashion is for everyBODY. You can find her jewlery work at Madame Papu's.