You've probably heard about the two best friends turned fashion influencers, Denise Mercedes and Maria Castellanos, who have been turning heads on NYC streets. Not so long ago, we wrote about their TikTok challenge “Style Not Size” where the two BFFs of very different body types have been dressing up in matching outfits.
Their snack-sized videos took social media by storm, and the size 14 model Denise has grown her Instagram audience to a whopping 1 million followers. "She inspired me and I gained confidence in myself, and it then became about inspiring others around us, too,” said the petite size 2 Maria about her friend.
This time, they’re back with some new jaw-dropping outfits that prove it’s not size, but style that really matters. And we’re talking crop tops, high-waisted jeans, body-con dresses, swimsuits, and whatever it is that makes you feel beautiful!
Bored Panda reached out to Denise Mercedes to find out more about their viral “Style not Size” movement. Denise, who made herself into a captivating influencer with 1 million followers, said it all started back in early 2019 when “my friend Maria and I would pose for photos wearing the same bikini."
It did so well and people reacted so positively to it that we continued doing it here and there.”Their follower count started growing, and when the pair shared their very first video on TikTok, it got more than 1.5 million views. “Once TikTok had become popular, we decided to do a fun video and that’s when it went viral,” the style influencer said.
They then realized it was time to come up with a hashtag of some sort and start an actual body positive movement, since so many women found their videos so inspiring. They let their Instagram followers vote between #ThroughThickAndThin and #StyleNotSize, and the second option won.
Denise said that their key message is “to dress however you please and to love your body.” Also, she added that it’s time “to stop comparing yourself to others.” Feeling confident in your own skin is what makes everyone shine from within.
She also stated that “the fact that we can inspire so many women to feel confident and be themselves makes us want to continue this movement.” The pair is over the moon to get so much positivity from people on social media.
And lastly, Denise shared her perfect autumn outfit for curvy women, which is basically some high rise mom jeans, boots, a shirt and a leather jacket. “That’s always my go-to,” she added.