Here's something you won't hear many beauty bloggers say: "I love JNCO jeans, I've been wanting a pair for so long. I love those." Stacey Louidor, a Haitian born blogger who fled the medical field to post pictures of herself gussied up in fetish wear, spikes, chains, goth gear, chokers, and bold matte make up is not only a fan of the 90s throw back denim but she's also "not into florals, chevron or busy abstract prints whatsoever." Louidor is a black, plus size, beauty blogger who prides herself on bucking mainstream trends.
Raised in a Catholic family, Louidor attempted to conform and accommodate to her parents' wishes for her. The family moved to Florida when Louidor was a teenager and she later enrolled in college to pursue a career as a pharmacy technician. Louidor didn't thrive at school and soon dropped out. She slipped into a depression but found some solace—as so many young girls do—in her Tumblr blog.
When she posted her first photo on Tumblr, she was shocked to see more than 15 strangers like it. But that number pales in comparison to her current likes on Instagram which usually top out at around 1,000. Once she started gaining a big presence online, Louidor realized it was fashion that truly made her happy. Now, she spends her days working at Sephora, online shopping (something she admits she might "do a little too much of") and putting together eye-catching outfits.
"For my size I'm kind of limited in my options so I have to incorporate some mainstream pieces in there but definitely I've never really wanted to look like everyone else," Louidor says.
Not a lot of physical shops carry a wide range of plus sizes and if they do, their selection pales in comparison to the clothes available for non-plus-size shoppers. For that reason, Louidor spends the majority of her time shopping online.
"The way that I shop is kind of particular," says Louidor. "I don't browse. I go with a specific thing in mind. When I'm shopping, I have this idea of an outfit. I have it in my mind and I'm looking for the pieces that can best recreate my vision. And I can't do that when I go to department stores. Its always a hassle. I love indie shops, indie shops are becoming a big thing and I am really appreciative of that because then you can customize and you have more options."
Gaining the confidence to share her looks online is only half the battle. The other half involves actually walking out into public space and knowing she will get stares. She never imagined herself strutting down the street in the outfits she wears now.
A few recent photos show her wearing a sheer top with a black bra — a combination Louidor now loves but would have never dream of wearing before. She combines the sheer top with shiny leggings, brightly colored eye shadow and white lipstick. As much as she embraces her unconventional now, she admits that learning to break the rules takes some time.
"Honestly, it takes a while," said Louidor. "It really does. Especially as a black person, okay? I'm speaking from experience right now and also from mistakes I have made in the past where I was afraid to wear dark colors or light colors and just any color, basically. Keeping everything in the browns and the nudes, you know, very neutral."
Most days she reaches for her black lipstick but on more playful days — "any day I feel like 'ooh I want to look like a unicorn today'" — she'll reach for a lavender shade. She encourages others to experiment on their own and see what happens.
"How I started was just me and mirror, that's it," said Louidor. "Me and my mirror in my room, no one else. That's it. You don't have to take the lipstick and just wear it out. You can just start wearing it for yourself."
When she's not experimenting with fashion, Louidor reads Karine Giébel books — along with horror fictions, books on cryptozoology and anything to do with U.F.O.s. Or she drinks and listens to music, one of her favorite hobbies. On any given day, you can catch her playing Tame Impala, Garbage, KYO, Ministry or Melanie Martinez.
Fashion became a way for Louidor to totally embrace these unique, dark sides of herself. In finding her true passion, she also discovered how to make the outside match her inside personality.
By now, she knows she should expect plenty of stares when she leaves the house, but these don't faze her.
"I've changed so much these past years that when I get those stares I just walk with my head held so high and I stare right back at the people looking at me like 'Yeah you're gonna look at me looking great,'" said Louidor. "I look great, I know. Thank you, you don't have to stare. It's okay, it's obvious. We're just gonna have a stare-off and you're gonna walk away and you're gonna remember me. You're gonna remember the wild looking black girl."