It doesn't matter if you are a superstar or if you work at the local grocery store — finding clothes as a bigger woman in this world can be unbelievably hard.
So when plus-size actress Chrissy Metz wanted to slay Elton John's annual Oscar party in style, she knew she had a long road ahead of her.
“I really wanted a deep hunter green, and my fairy godmother of fashion made it for me very quickly. A lot of designers won’t work with plus-sized people, period, and I know a lot of plus-size women feel like they have to avoid jewel tones or color in general, but I love bold colors. I am not going to pick only black just because I am a plus-size girl. Hopefully it will encourage other women [to follow suit]," she told Yahoo Style.
That "fairy godmother" is Chan Gaines of House of Cyndarella, a former member of Snoop Dogg's "Doggy's Angels" turned designer, and the story of Metz's dream dress is nothing short of magical.
Metz and her stylist, Jordan Grossman, had something "elegant" in mind.
"We were informed she was attending the Oscars Thursday night and she would need two looks," said Grossman. "For any 'sample size attendee,' this isn’t a problem. So when it comes to dressing Chrissy, that gives us very little time. A majority of her red carpet looks are custom-made. ... Luckily our fashion fairy godmother Chan is used to our last-minute requests and made Chrissy’s Elton John dress in the span of a few hours."
It happens all the time in Hollywood, Gaines shared, but as the resident expert on Metz's body, she wasn't stressing it.
"I work with a lot of stylists," Gaines said. "And normally I am the go-to girl because I do it quick and right."
And that much is definitely true. After scoring only nine yards of the perfect fabric, the result, needless to say, was stunning.
"It’s a gift. I’ve been doing this for 15 years."
Unfortunately, save for Gaines, Grossman, and small handful of other designers, the gift of styling plus-size women quickly and efficiently is one that is rarely put to use. "I know plenty of stylists that won’t take on any client over a size 4," Grossman confessed. "Showrooms typically only offer sizes 4-6 (and 6 is rare in most cases)."
Gaines' explanation? The media's constant reaffirmation that thinner is "better."
"Frankly, a lot of designers aren't up to the challenge," Gaines said. "With plus-size, every curve is different, and I think they take the easy route. ... They think what you do on a size 2 you can’t do on a size 22. You’re supposed to stretch yourself so you can compliment it."
That isn't to say these fashion gurus see only doom and gloom when it comes to mainstream and the plus-size industry. Both Gaines and Grossman feel women like Metz are the ones who will change the industry.
"I have never worked with someone so genuine and kind," said Grossman of Metz. "She has made me a much more positive, thoughtful human being for which I am forever grateful. ... She is constantly surprising me with ideas and little easter eggs. Our fittings are always fun, even if she has to try on 100 things. She is always making the whole room laugh."
And for Gaines, Metz's sheer existence in the public eye is changing the game.
"Metz is so confident, and so beautiful, and people will see that and want to work with it. It's a slow process, but things are getting better."
Let's hope that's true.