BY STEPHANIE CHADWICK
Model and fashion-lover Suzie Stevens has been using her bold style to boost her mood and positively represent plus-sized women online.
On Instagram, Ms Stevens posts photos of herself dressed in bright colours and bold patterns, a style she refers to as ‘#serotonindressing’.
“It’s dressing in a way that brings you joy and makes you feel good,” Ms Stevens explained.
Ms Stevens said she is unsure whether her bold and bright dressing signature physically alters her serotonin levels, but her mood is lifted regardless.
“It can be as small as a bold lipstick or as big as a fully coloured co-ordinated ensemble,” Ms Stevens said.
“Being a little bit extra has become my armour that allows me to face the world.”
Ms Stevens said she has often felt dressing vibrantly was something plus sized women have traditionally been excluded from.
“As a plus sized woman we used to be told to dress in a way to minimise ourselves and I guess my attraction to colour has always been my small rebellion against that way of thinking,” Ms Stevens said.
Ms Stevens’ eccentric personal style has drawn fashion lovers to her Instagram page @suzie_stevens by creating an online community that accepts and celebrates colourful self-expression. Her every colourful post is followed by 21,500 people.
Ms Stevens said her online following increased after she posted about her “eccentric” style as an anxiety-coping mechanism on the Shameless Podcast page.
“I was introduced to a whole new group of lovely folks who are embracing getting dressed up in isolation,” Ms Stevens said.
Like many professionals in creative industries, the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused Ms Stevens instability and uncertainty in her career.
“All of my jobs have been affected by the COVID-19 restrictions and I can’t rely on going to work each day to give me a purpose, or sense of achievement,” she said.
“I’m grateful I can still connect with folks on social media through my bright outfits and quirky sense of humour.”
With the current restrictions on public gatherings, Ms Stevens’ opportunities to show off her ‘#serotonindressing’ in public have been reduced dramatically. However, she is still dressing up to go support local businesses.
“I think that’s the main impact that serotonin dressing has had on me, it’s a way to keep me connected to the fashion loving community as well as allowing me a daily creative outlet to express myself,” Ms Stevens said.