Pictures by Harald Austad

“When my hair is styled and the color is ideal, I discover a lot pleasure. It actually alters my well-being and my temper.”

Towards the top of Rihanna’s most up-to-date style present for her Savage x Fenty lingerie model, Paris Hilton appeared in a hot-pink bodysuit with beneficiant cut-outs and mesh leggings, her blond hair framing the sun shades on her face. The digital camera then panned to Margie Plus. The scale-18 body-positivity activist and Savage x Fenty model ambassador was carrying a virtually similar outfit together with her neon-yellow hair pulled again into two thick braids. Two girls, two signature seems to be. This shouldn’t have been outstanding to see, however for Plus, it has been a journey.

“I really feel probably the most myself when I’ve neon hair — it’s like my very own artwork,” says Plus, whose actual identify is Margie Ashcroft, of the vibrant-yellow hair she has sported since 2016. Rising up within the small metropolis of Spokane, Wash., she favored to face out. It ready her for an editorial internship at Condé Nast at a time when plus-size our bodies weren’t represented in magazines — or on workers. On her first day commuting from her good friend’s place in Jersey to the corporate’s Midtown Manhattan workplace, she bumped into Anna Wintour exterior the elevators. “I used to be carrying these off-brand scuba footwear my mother had given me for the stroll from Port Authority,” she remembers, laughing. “From that second on, I used to be like, ‘I have to serve on daily basis — be that assured woman and simply be me.’”

Plus began a plus-size style column for Fortunate, the now-defunct journal, and went on to have her personal weblog. Then, within the mid-aughts, she went by what she calls her “Eat, Pray, Love” time of self-discovery. “I attempted out each hair color underneath the solar: turquoise, blue, lilac, pink. Then I did yellow and it was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s me. That’s who I’m.’ And that’s been it ever since.”

Whereas the style trade has change into extra inclusive of plus-size our bodies in recent times (Plus has labored with manufacturers like Nike, ASOS and Endlessly 21), it has not been a blanket acceptance. “Even plus-size manufacturers have this ideally suited: You’ll want to be snatched on the waist, you need to have large, thick hips and your face must appear to be a Kardashian’s,” says Plus, who has been booked for campaigns on the situation that she cowl her neon hair with a extra pure colored wig. “It’s like, ‘We gave you somewhat bit, however we’re nonetheless form of conserving you in that field’ as a result of the wonder must be so on level.”

As you may anticipate, neon hair requires numerous repairs. To take care of the colourful hue, Plus colors her hair each two weeks. “Some individuals can look within the mirror and see roots and so they’re like, ‘It’s positive; let me simply be beachy,’” she says. “However when my hair is styled and the color is ideal, I discover a lot pleasure. It actually alters my well-being and my temper.”

After bleaching her hair (Plus refers to her pure color as a mousy brown), she applies a secret mix of yellow and inexperienced Pravana hair dyes. “For vivid color, there’s nothing higher,” she says. To counter­act the frequent colouring, she deep circumstances: Redken argan oil, Olaplex and It’s a ten leave-in conditioner are in her present rotation. Altering her styling instruments has additionally made a giant distinction in her hair’s well being: “I used to be getting numerous harm from my brushes, so I switched to The Y by Yusef thermal ceramic brushes and carbon combs, and that actually helped.”

A stable routine is necessary to take care of what Plus says will doubtless be her hair color for all times. “I need to have the ability to categorical myself and be appreciated for being completely different,” she says. “The message behind my hair color is so me: Be loud, be daring, be completely different, be who you’re. If I can do it, you are able to do it.”

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