Scarlett Hao is a body positivity activist #asiangotcurves and a founder of ScarlettHalo Collective. She has inspired me and thousands of her followers with her love for fashion and message to love your curvy body. Read about her journey and join the body positivity movement.
What does body positivity mean to you?
S: In the beginning, I believe body positivity is only being confident about your appearance but now it has a deeper impact on my whole life. It’s how I view things, see things, do stuff. It’s applying to every little bit of my life. The bottom of it is that now body positivity is a lifestyle for me. Our mind is a part of our body. So, with body positivity, I have become mentally positive too. It’s helping me in every part of my life and I want to pass this belief and message to other people so that they can start living in this lifestyle too and have a positive impact on their personal life.
“Our mind is a part of our body. So, with body positivity, I have become mentally positive too. It’s helping me in every part of my life and I want to pass this belief and message to other people.”SCArlett hao
In Asian culture, being curvy is not only about vanity but also acceptance within family and society. Do you notice changes in Asian society to accepting curvy women?
S: I definitely see progress in Asian countries. There is more body-positive movement in Korea, Japan a little, and in China, the change is slow but new brands are slowly rising. I started my whole body positive movement in the states. In the USA, the acceptance of curvy women is better now compared to years back and it took us a long time to get to this stage. In Asian countries, it will be a long path too but I definitely see progress and new steps.
How do you personally stay body positive?
S: I do not have it every day. No one can. It’s my goal to have it every day. On my weak days, I need to remind myself. I frequently look into the mirror and talk to myself. I say some lines like “You are so beautiful. You are so unique. You are the only version of Scarlet” to myself. It would be a good five minutes talk with myself and not just a quickie. The way I encourage other people to stay body positive, I make effort to encourage myself too. This is my life and sometimes I need to lecture myself about how strong I believe in the body positivity movement. Confidence is not natural. It is all from self-learning and self-practice. You can grow to be confident by practicing frequently.
How did you start?
S: When I first started blogging, I attended NYFW for the first time back in 2016. A photographer asked to take my picture and while talking about my background, he did not believe that I am an Asian woman because based on his knowledge, I was too curvy to be an Asian. It confused me. How can people identify my race by my body? I noticed there is a strong stereotype image of Asian women in the western world. Likewise, there is NO representative of a curvy Asian face in the fashion world. The actresses/models who are representing Asian women are skinny and appear quiet and shy, that’s not “All” Asian women. So, I started focusing on promoting the diversity of Asian looks and their strong personalities to educate people. Asian women do have strong personas and strong-minded. We are smart and strong. We can be bossy and powerful. And we all have a voice that needs to be heard. However, we do not show it much to the world. This is so sad!
Why are we missing Asian curvy models on the runway?
S: Because there is less percentage of Asian curvy women. However, the numbers are rising. Our lifestyle and diet are changing. We consume Western food together with our Asian food. It’s not like we are unhealthy or less beautiful, but we look different now. Our appearance has evolved with lifestyle changes. The traditional beauty standards are not wrong but it is not working for us anymore. It needs to progress with time. There will be more and more curvy Asian women in the future but we might not know. They are hiding behind clothes and family to not be judged by society. They become invisible. Unfortunately, many do not want to talk and share about it.
How can we educate and promote body positivity to our Asian family and society?
S: I think a good way is to have a representative. That’s why I stood up and that’s what I try to do. We need a person to look up to. If you tell someone that your life will become ten times better if you become body positive, they might be like I don’t know what that life looks like. They need to see it visually. They need to see what a body positivity lifestyle looks like. So, we need more representatives who can stand up and talk about body-positive movements. The more people see it, the more they will start believing in it.
However, it should not be all about the look. I love fashion and it will always be my primary content but it is only one channel how I promote plus size body. It’s not only about having access to the clothes that fit you and looking beautiful, that is all temporary and helps for the short term but does not help you for the rest of your life. Deep down people need to change mentally. You need to believe it from the inside to really feel confident about your body.
Who do you follow and we can follow for body positivity?