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In a world where thin, tall, and size 0 are synonymous with the word "model," Courtney Smith is making it her mission to broaden the term.

January 08, 2015

In a world where thin, tall, and size 0 are synonymous with the word "model," Courtney Smith is making it her mission to broaden the term.

Smith, 25, the designer behind the women’s clothing line Rum + Coke, has decided to only cast plus size women of color in her advertising campaigns, despite the fact that her clothing is sized from 2 to 24. Why put such an emphasis on showcasing curvy girls?

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“No one questions why there are only small women in other brands’ shoots. I put women of color and larger women in my photo shoots for many reasons. One, because I believe in the multiplicity of beauty, and two there are so many women who seldom see women who look like them in advertisements,” Smith told Refinery29.

Smith’s clothing isn’t just a rebuttal to the idea that there is a one-size fits-all standard of beauty; she sees her line as a tool of empowerment.

“I want women to be their most beautiful selves. There are so many negative messages: You’re not thin enough, you’re not young enough; you’re not light enough. These all basically tell women they are inadequate unless they change something about themselves or purchase this or that. I was inspired to create Rum + Coke to send a different message. You, woman, are enough. [Women] are beautiful in whatever package they come in,” Smith added.

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