Earlier this week on Glee, as Mercedes belted out "Take Me Or Leave Me" in a diva-off with Rachel Berry, I couldn't help thinking Amber Riley has adopted the lyrics "take me for what I am, who I'm meant to be" as her personal style strategy.
Amber has been a style star on red carpets this whole awards season. She not only sparkles, takes risks and has fun with her fashion, but she also flouts all the typical fashion "rules" that fashion mags and style police try to force on women who wear anything over a size 6. After all, who says we are all trying to achieve the same tall, hourglass figure. We don't all look the same, and we should embrace that. Amber certainly does.
In a world where Joan Rivers-style fashion commentators taut mantras like, "Don't put a big girl in a big dress," when Christina Hendricks wears ruffles, it can be difficult for a curvy girl to work up the courage to shimmer in a bold, sparkly dress (Golden Globes) or flit down a red carpet in a fitted black dress with a full flouncy mermaid skirt. Amber has the courage and always pulls off her looks. She doesn't default to the much praised Grecian gown and, instead, favors flaunting what she's got in a variety of trends and fun clothes (even horizontal stripes...*gasp*). Amber's style isn't limited to the Red Carpet. She was a downright style diva in an Essence spread, and her day looks are plenty cute and sassy. She isn't afraid to "shorten" her legs by wearing cute chunky boots, a sin fashion editors only think the tall and leggy can commit. Her clothing choices show her bold personality. She doesn't shy away from crazy prints and unique accessories, as showcased by her Grammy look. While these are probably a bit over the top together, I doubt Amber is an understated person. Plus, it was the Grammys! Go all out. In an industry full of the very thin and very tone, Amber stands out. While I think some would be quick to categorize her as overweight, she has the type of body, which a lot women share, that can be perfectly healthy at her size. She's obviously active with all the crazy workouts put in to learning several new dance numbers on Glee each week and tackling a summer tour. Amber shows that healthy and sexy don't have to mean tiny and typical. She embodies a type of beauty that is a lot more attainable (and healthy) than most Hollywood starlets. Most importantly, she is confident in her skin and never apologizes--verbally or by dressing apologetically--for her curves. Amber knows what she loves to wear, and wears it. She understands fit, which is far more important than any fashion rule because you will always look your best in clothes that fit. To all the fashion critics out there, you can take Amber or leave her. She's rocking her style on her figure no matter what you say. As for us, we'll take her.