We’re fortunate to be living in a time when measuring up to model sizes is passé, and these two friends set out to remind us that. Maria Castellanos and Denise Mercedes are two fashionable besties who are shaking up the TikTok scene with their OOTD videos that show how various styles look on different body types.
According to Yahoo!Life, the two teamed up just last January. This initial video featured the two changing into similar outfits that all entailed a Gucci Marmont belt. They styled it with mom jeans and a black top, before transforming into a shirtdress with thigh-high boots. Needless to say, they both rocked the looks. To their surprise, the video raked in 1.5 million views.
A month later, Maria and Denise created another video with the caption, “Same style, different body types.” They were decked out in a puff-sleeved cropped top, jeans, and morphed into a dress with boots, with their final look being a simple bodycon dress and sneakers. This garnered a whopping 34.5 million views, which led them to officially create their online movement #StyleNotSize.
"I see girls commenting [on social media], 'I wish I looked like you,'" Denise said in an interview with Today. "Everyone is on social media 24/7 right now, and it can brainwash you into feeling bad about your body."
"For us, it was trying to get rid of negativity... Everything on social media is, 'This is how you’re supposed to look.' We’re giving you a hand and telling you to be yourself," Maria shared.
Essentially, #StyleNotSize aims to cement body positivity by reminding women of all shapes and sizes to dress according to what makes them feel good—never according to others' definition of what is the ideal body type. All designs, all trends are for everyone.
Despite the progress that body positivity has had in the fashion industry, the duo thinks that there’s still a lot of work to be done. "It's been tricky to find brands that sell sizes zero to 20," Maria shared. "We hope [our viewers] can see [that] there are a lot of different shapes and sizes, and [there are brands that] provide them clothing, as well," Maria said.
But they’re not stopping there. Maria and Denise revealed that they hope to launch their own collection that doesn’t revolve around size. “Unlike stores [such as] H&M and Forever 21, which have separate sections for plus-size items, Denise said.
They may have their sights set on bigger things, but they’re happy with the impact that their fun TikTok videos have made on the younger generation. "I have girls telling me I’m helping them feel more confident," Denise said. "I wish when I was younger that I had someone to look up to."
Denise’s TikTok account, where they share their videos, has 1.8 million followers and 33 million likes as of writing. We’re sure they’ve influenced more women with their empowering message than they could possibly imagine!
“I would love to see women just be themselves," Denise said. "I want them to be like ‘Oh my God, I wore this crop top, and I look good.' I want to feel like nobody cares anymore.”