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F*ck Skinny, Get Fit – a Trip to Indian Alley

Body Positivity Culture Featured Lifestyle 0 Comments

“Perhaps, we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us they know exactly how it should be done.” – Rudy Francisco

This was the very first photo shoot I did for The Chief of Style. As you may have gathered by now, the word “Chief” in my name means more than just the boss (i.e.: CEO), but I’m also Native American. Essentially, it’s a play on words.

For this inaugural shoot, I went to Indian Alley in Downtown Los Angeles. Very few people know about this particular street. It’s actually gated on both ends, but if you’re lucky, you can get in. Along the walls are incredible street art murals – most feature Indian empowerment-type images and many are political. I felt so badass posing with them. (It’s not everyday you see Indigenous culture represented in an urban area and in a modern way.) The murals, to me, say “We’re still here and we’re not going anywhere.” I love the juxtaposition of the Indians on horses, spray painted with a stencil. Where past and present, urban center and the rural plains meet.

I chose to do a fitness-style shoot because working out makes me feel strong, like a warrior. And, I’m renewing my commitment to a eating clean and moving more. For the shoot, I wore my new favorite workout tank that says, “F*CK SKINNY, GET FIT.” That’s truly become my mantra along this self-love and acceptance journey. When it comes to my fitness routine and overall lifestyle, I’ve adopted a much more loving way of looking at things. I’m done punishing my body and ‘hating the weight off.’ I truly want to be health, plain and simple. Fitness is what I’m after, not a stick thin figure (as I once would have killed for).

Many communities of color value extra meat on the body, mine included. It’s possible to be healthy and curvy and that’s what I’m after. So, there’s no more fat and body-shaming going on over here.

You should really check out Indian Alley if you’re ever in Downtown LA. The murals are constantly changing and they’re just glorious. Enjoy!

Amy Stretten, Chief of Style, plus style blogger modeling Forever 21 Plus and Nike in front of the murals on Indian Alley in Downtown Los Angeles.

Amy Stretten, Chief of Style, plus style blogger modeling Forever 21 Plus and Nike in front of the murals on Indian Alley in Downtown Los Angeles.

 

Amy Stretten, Chief of Style, plus style blogger modeling Forever 21 Plus and Nike in front of the murals on Indian Alley in Downtown Los Angeles.

 

Amy Stretten, Chief of Style, plus style blogger modeling Forever 21 Plus and Nike in front of the murals on Indian Alley in Downtown Los Angeles.

Amy Stretten, Chief of Style, plus style blogger modeling Forever 21 Plus and Nike in front of the murals on Indian Alley in Downtown Los Angeles.

Shirt: SquatLife Apparel | Leggings and jacket: Forever 21+ | Shoes: Nike

Photographer: Trey Jones (IG: @cjonesphotog)

We Are All Wonder Women

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“The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.”Mohadesa Najumi

The story of Wonder Woman’s origin is an interesting one. “Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time,” according to Smithsonian Magazine. “Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long.” The strong, athletic and bad ass, crime-fighting Wonder Woman remains a feminist superhero that little girls and women alike look up to and aspire to be.

I felt like Wonder Woman as soon as I put on this fab floral dress from Forever 21+. If you know me, you know I love pieces that are multi-functional. This particular piece can be worn as both a dress and a duster that gives off a sweet, vintage vibe with a lot of high-fashion fierceness. And when it catches the wind…*swoon.*

I paired this gorgeous piece with dark wash denim jeans from The Limited (I’m praying they come back!), a basic black tank top, and adorable, pale pink ankle tie heels from Forever 21. It’s a look I hope would make the mythical Wonder Woman proud.

Outfit details: Dress/duster: Forever21+ | Shoes: Forever21 | Necklace: Rue21 | Watch: Michael Kors

Photographer:  Jorge Lopez (IG: @jorgelopezmedia)

That Time I Skipped Coachella and Went to Joshua Tree

Body Positivity Fashion Featured 1 Comments

“I’m not a woman, I’m a force of nature.” – Courtney Love

I said this year would be the year that I finally go to Coachella. If you know me well, you’ve probably heard me declare this every year since the festival first began. And, once again, I did not go to Coachella this year because of scheduling…but also (mostly) because of the price tag.

Still, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to head to nearby Joshua Tree for a Coachella-esque photoshoot!

I did a few different looks with some of my favorite, fabulous festival-worthy rompers by Forever 21+.

I have always loved rompers. Always always always. There’s just something about how comfortable they are while looking so put together. But,.I never used to wear them because I hated my legs. They were always too big in my opinion and I felt uncomfortable showing them. It was at Philadelphia Dyke March when I finally wore a romper. I walked in the streets and I didn’t care what anyone thought about it…Actually, to tell you the truth, I felt sexy AF and assumed anyone seeing them agreed. (Look who’s grown!) So, yes, this shoot was more than just wearing cute summer outfits, but about owning my body, and being proud of it.

That said, I love how still the desert looks behind my vibrant outfit picks.

Here’s hoping I make it to Coachella next year and can take some photos at the festival! For now, these will have to do. <3

Plus size festival fashion

Joshua Tree in the Coachella Valley

Plus size festival fashion

Plus size festival fashion

Plus size festival fashion

Joshua Tree in the Coachella Valley

Plus size festival fashion

Outfit details: Romper, shorts: Forever21+ | Shoes (brown): Merona | Shoes (black): Vince Camuto | Jewelry: The Limited

Photographer: Ivy Stretten (IG: @xenalovebug)

 

A Visit to the Museum of Ice Cream…Kinda

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“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream and that’s kind of the same thing.” – Unknown

I’m going to be real with you. Despite how my social media life is beginning to look and how snazzy this blog is *dusts off shoulder,* The Chief of Style as a brand is still very new. And for that reason, no one is sending me freebies. Well, except for the fine people at Slink (post to come). 

Tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream are hard to come by. At this point, the only way you’re getting in is if you pay $100 per person to someone selling their ticket on Craigslist or you’re a brand ambassador for a brand like Forever 21. Since that’s not my reality just yet and, thus, I wasn’t able to take a cute picture in the rainbow sprinkles pit or in the mint chocolate chip room. So, I did the next best thing: I took pictures outside. I mean, how often do you get to shoot in front of a bubble gum-pink wall?

Color-blocking and pattern-mixing has always been and will always be a thing I’m into. That said, I wanted to take advantage of a little of both…and top it off with some bling. (My fav!)

This look could work for a number of venues: work, brunch, drinks with friends…it’s got a nice mix of class and sass. Just switch up your shoes and maybe your accessories. (I pulled off the look in both leopard and nude heels. Did you notice?) I hope this look inspires you to pair a basic white with more daring colors and prints.

On the subject of body-positivity, I will say that I was hesitant to post these photos because when I look at them, all I see is Tummy (with a capital T). But, in an effort to celebrate all parts of me and release any body shame I have, I’m sharing them here. Cheers to visible soft tummies and self-love (at any size)! <3

Outfit details: Blouse: The Limited | Skirt: Forever 21+ | Shoes: Macy’s

Photographer: Trey Jones (IG: @cjonesphotog)

Everything’s Coming Up Wildflowers

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A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose.

All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women, too.

– Miranda Kerr

If you’re from Southern California, you likely heard about the wildflower “super bloom” at Carrizo Plain National Monument in San Luis Obispo County. For more photos of the beautiful yellow, purple, green and orange colors on the “velvet rolling hills” of the Temblor Range, check this Los Angeles Times photo story.

The wildflower eruption only lasted a few weeks, so I was lucky to catch it. In effort to create a whimsical photoshoot, I paired the beautiful landscape with two fabulous pieces of the same pattern from Forever 21 plus: a short romper and a long wrap dress. I love how the styling of the shoot came out and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Valentino came along for the journey to Carrizo Plain in California to see the Desert Superbloom of wild flowers.

Outfit details: Romper and Dress: Forever21+ | Shoes: Target | Necklace: Forever21 | Shoes: Merona

Photographer:  Jacqueline Vergara (IG: @animejax)