As a blogger, influencer, digital marketing specialist, photographer and fierce diversity warrior, Melissa Walker Horn (AKA, ‘Suger’), hasn’t left many career stones unturned. She’s a champion for self-awareness and confidence, and hopes to share that with women globally. She took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about her background, her thoughts on shifting perceptions, her favourite plus-sized fashion and shapewear, and what she believes to be a true expression of diversity.
Tell us about yourself (who you are, what you do).
I'm Melissa, online I go by my nickname, Suger. I’ve been blogging since 2009 on my blog Suger Coat It as well as being owner/operator of my social media consultancy and our family run landscaping business. Add to that a secondary blog The Leave Home Blog and I’m pretty busy. Being an Aries with a side order of ADD will do that to a girl.
The desire to work for myself, and always be doing my own thing, became the catalyst for turning my plus-size fashion blog into a lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves. My story is one of self-awareness and confidence, something I wish I could offer every woman and girl out there. Maybe one day.
What made you decide to become a role figure for the curvy community?
I didn’t set out to be anything to the curvy community in the early days. My blog started as a personal blog and grew from there to talk about the things that impact me and my life as it went along. From there, because I was identifiable I think, I was given a platform which is something I will never take for granted.
You’ve been an incredible voice in this space. What do you think the media could do more of to portray strong, fabulous women like you?
Thank you. As for the media, there’s a desperate need for diversity in the stories being covered by media. There seems to only be two extremes being covered by mainstream media, half-naked in the streets or glorifying obesity by existing. There’s no middle ground, and certainly no coverage of day-to-day successes and happenings.
I think there needs to be focus on more women, of plus-sizes and shapes, of many many more colours and abilities. We all need to stand for that. As much as it’s nice to have your five minutes in the spotlight, the real question we have to ask ourselves as we get put forward is, is there someone better positioned to tell this story, am I here because of the privileges I have?
What are some of the misconceptions you have encountered as a curvy lady?
There’s so many. People will always tell you what to do or who they expect you to be. You can’t listen to them. In fact, you have to break them down and trample all over them. You are capable of doing or being anything, so let them have their misconceptions, don’t even take them on.
What message do you have for other curvy girls out there trying to find themselves?
To be yourself, in actual action. Don’t worry about who you could be or where you’re going, celebrate this moment and exactly who you are. Through my blog I hope to advance the position of women through confidence, self-awareness and self-sufficiency. To level the playing field for women, even in the smallest, grass-roots kind of ways might just be my life's work. I'm 35 though, what the heck do I know?
What keeps you inspired?
I have some amazing people in my life. People who have shaped me, built me up and kicked my ass when I needed it. They’re my inspiration and they keep me going, creating and challenging when I feel like stopping. And so does my stubbornness TBH.
We have to ask, what is your favourite Sonsee product?
The singlet slips! I’ve had it in both colours for years now and they still wash and wear beautifully. A great foundation for a layered outfit.
And finally, what is your favourite curvy girl quote?
My favourite quote is ‘Make Yourself Proud’, I’m not sure if that qualifies but it certainly applies to a lot of what we’ve talked about.
You can follow Melissa and her journey on Instagram under the handle @Sugercoatit