With the Carnival tabanca firmly in place, we here at Carnival Slayers want to take a moment to appreciate everyone who slayed at the Notting Hill Carnival. We especially want to take the time to shout out the plus size masqaraders, we saw a great amount of them playing mas in beautiful costumes this year which im sure kept those camera lenses busy.
Recently there has been a steady rise of plus size carnival slayers dressing up in the most elaborate costumes to display themselves in all the beauty and splendour that Carnival has to offer.
Costumes are becoming more “plus size Friendly” with a lot of carnival designers marketing their costumes to suit women who are less body confident.
“I have a designer that knows me and caters my costumes to my liking “Shants Edwards told me. This year she decided to play in an individual costume to celebrate her up coming milestone birthday.
“I choose my costume based on colours and design and for the past 11 years I’ve enjoyed playing mas. Red is my favourite colour, so I had my costume designed around that and this year’s theme” she continued.
I remember my friend commending me for deciding to play mas for the 1st time in a costume, as plus sized ladies were somewhat restricted to playing mas in a t shirt and would hardly be seen in a costume revealing body parts we all know t shirts can cover up oh so nicely.
But why now??? Of late, more and more women are ditching t shirt mas in favour of playing mas in a costume, I myself ‘broke the mould’ so to speak and in my 16 years of attending carnival this was the very 1st time I played an individual costume. My intention was to hit the gym hard, tone up git fit and look svelte in my personally made individual costume but sometimes things don’t go to plan and was left with no option but to embrace my culture in my plus sized glory.
A regular carnival goer told me that due to overcoming medical traumas she decided would play mas in a costume this year but choose a costume that she felt comfortable in “When I’m choosing a costume I prefer it to have a belt because it gives a smooth silhouette. Also, I prefer if the bra is long line as it helps to give a coke bottle shape when carrying weight in that area”
My thought process behind an individual costume was why not??? I’ve always wanted to be in an individual costume and was lucky enough to find a designer who not only made my costume perfectly but listened and understood about my body imperfections.
A fellow masquerader Anisha Thomas told me how she has also wanted to play in an individual costume, but this year was her 1st time also “I looked at if the individual who was doing the costume could make me one specific for my body.”
“Every time I’ve wanted to play (in a costume) they never wanted to make me something specific or they say I have to pay extra, or they can’t make it how I want, but carnival was dope and ill definitely be playing in a costume next year!” she continued.
Playing mas in costume is for everyone, no matter your size, gender or ability and long may we see a steady rise in costume masquerade for carnival; you wear the costume, the costume doesn’t wear you!
Be confident… Be You…. And play mas!
Written by R. Davis