With a brick and mortar location in San Jose, California, Curvy Girl Lingerie is one of the only IRL boutiques you'll find in the States that exclusively caters to plus size women (and it's e-retail site is worth a look for anyone not in San Jose). Building upon its revolutionary self love, owner and founder Chrystal Bougon will now be embarking on another project: A reality TV show called Plus Life. As the trailer and blog posts surrounding the show imply, this isn't just going to be an inside look at what it's like to run a business, but a peek at the lives of the women who both work and frequent the San Jose boutique.
The idea of making a television series based on the store's body positivity and business savvy has been with Bougon since the beginning, as she told me in an email interview. But until now, she's regularly turned away production companies from helping her achieve this dream. As she put it to me, "In the three years we have been open, we have been approached by many TV producers and they have even made sizzle reels in the past. But, they always lacked compassion and were more going for that cheap fat joke."
IMO, the issue with reality shows often lies not just in authenticity, but in intent. Too often are reality shows edited to tell a different, more dramatic tale than what truly unfolded. Unsure of how an outside source might change the story of her store, Bougon instead teamed up with executive producer Adryenn Ashley and crowdsourced the funds to make a reality show of her own.
And so, this 10-part series will showcase the plus size women who work and frequent Curvy Girl Lingerie. The store itself caters to women sizes 12/14 to 26/28, stocking plus size lingerie, panties, stockings, and even a few vibrators for good measure. Bougon tells me she wants to create a "safe place where women of size can come and discuss their sex lives. Emphasis on safe place."
Outside of body positive online communities, finding places to celebrate plus size sexuality in real life is rare. From my point of view, this is what makes Chrystal Bougon's work so revolutionary.
According to Bougon, the show is set to air on a not-yet-revealed major network after 11 p.m. (due to sexually explicit discussions) on an as-yet undecided weeknight. Personally, I can't wait until Bougon's unapologetic message of self love and sexual discovery hits its largest (pun not intended) audience yet.
“Everyone deserves to have all the pleasure their bodies are capable of,” Bougon adds. “Enjoy your body right now! Don’t put your life on hold waiting until you lose another 50 pounds. Go out, have fun, enjoy it!”
What's even better, though, is that Bougon is refusing to allow negativity to find its way into her discussion of body positivity. "It's my dream to have 30 minutes of TV time with zero diet discussion and zero diet industry supporters or advertisers. Can you imagine that? A full half an hour about sexy, smart, sassy and beautiful women of size and not one peep about diets or how sad we are about being curvy?"
The TV series is still looking for supporters and advertisers in its quest to change the national perception surrounding being plus size, but Bougon will not accept any help from diet industry giants. This is because she has had enough. Chrystal Bougon wants to teach plus size women to love themselves. Chrystal Bougon is set to change the world — one bogus beauty standard at a time.
Images: Courtesy Curvy Girl Lingerie