Size did not ‘dictate their accomplishments’: Why Gabourey Sidibe and WWE’s Nia Jax will headline theCURVYCon

Actress Gabourey Sidibe is the keynote speaker at the fourth annual theCurvyCon event during New York Fashion Week. (Photo: Gabriel Olsen/WireImage)

TheCurvyCon — a three-day convention that brings together celebrities, body-positive influencers, and their fans to celebrate plus-size diversity — is kicking off its fourth annual event during New York Fashion Week from Sept. 6 to Sept. 8. Yahoo Lifestyle is returning as the exclusive livestream partner with full coverage of the event.

One of the convention highlights will be a keynote fireside conversation with award-winning actress and author Gabourey Sidibe about finding body positivity and confidence while in the public eye. Lifestyle influencers Chαstity Garner Valentine, founder of, and CeCe Olisa, founder of — the two launched theCurvyCon in 2015 — will moderate the discussion.

TheCurvyCon founders Ch αstity Garner Valentine, left, and CeCe Olisa, right, with model Precious Lee at the third annual event in 2017. (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Curvy Events, LLC)

There will also be a panel with WWE superstars and Total Divas stars Brie and Nikki Bella, and Nia Jax. And, for the first time, workshops focusing on topics such as fashion inclusivity and self-love will be offered.

“TheCurvyCon’s goal is to uplift women in a way that will stick with them for the rest of the year,” Valentine and Olisa told Yahoo Lifestyle. “Gabourey Sidibe and Nia Jax have conquered their spaces in spite of what the norms are for their industries, showing our attendees they did not let their size dictate their accomplishments. They have both dominated their industries and opened the door for other women and young girls to pursue their goals in these spaces. We are so proud to have these two forces to be a part of theCurvyCon.”

With a focus on diversity in plus-size fashion, title sponsor Dia&Co and the Council of Fashion Designers of America will co-host a presentation and panel discussion — featuring designer Tracy Reese and musician Lizzo — on the future of inclusivity in fashion.

Nicolette Mason, Claire Sulmers, and Gabi Gregg at the 2017 theCurvyCon in New York City. (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Curvy Events, LLC)

“Our goal is to facilitate change in the fashion industry,” said Valentine. “There is still much work to be done, but we are excited to see the conversation on size diversity and inclusivity more forward every year.”

Along with plus-size pop-up shops featuring emerging brands such as Astra Signature and Rue107, there will be an exclusive runway show of Loft‘s fall collection. Also, for the first time, theCurvyCon will hold an open casting call to give attendees a chance to be part of the fashion show.

“This has been a grassroots movement from the beginning,” Olisa said. “We’ve created an in-person experience that reflects the powerful body-positive movement happening online. At the same time, we continue to break down barriers in the fashion industry by aligning plus-size fashion with mainstream fashion during New York Fashion Week.”

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