Nothing says Real Housewives like glitz, glam and designer garments—but on a recent episode of The Real Housewives of Toronto, one cast member felt left out of the party.
In episode 6 of RHOT, the ladies attend a pop-up show by Canadian designer Mikael D at Kara Alloway’s chic McMansion (with proceeds going towards the AMBI gala, which supports several charitable causes). While the six from the 6ix browse the racks, it quickly becomes apparent to cast member Roxy Earle that there is nothing in her size.
“Leading up to the event, I was really clear that I didn’t want to go if it was going to involve a bunch of dresses that wouldn’t fit me,” Earle told FLARE. “I was assured that there would be sizes for every shape and body, so I attended the event and of course nothing fits me—it wasn’t even close to fitting me; it was mostly sample sizes.”
According to Earle, the problem was about more than sizing, so we sat down with the designer diva to get the BTS scoop on what really went down.
At the trunk show, what happened from your perspective?
The other women got to have this experience of trying on these exquisite red carpet gowns, twirling around and feeling like a princess in them, and I got to stand there, because nothing fit, feeling horrible about myself. The message that was really important to me was this sense of inclusion, that fashion should be for everybody. Everyone deserves to feel good and have a moment where they put on a ball gown and they get to twirl. Just because you’re a certain size, I don’t think you should be excluded from that process. Although body-shaming isn’t always overt where someone is outright calling you fat, there’s a way that people can subtly hint at it, like “oh, since nothing here fits you,” or “you can watch us try these things on,” or “oh, I’m sure that the designer will make something in your size.” Language like that reminds you that you’re not good enough for these clothes, and that’s why these clothes aren’t made in your size.
Is that how you felt that day?
Absolutely. The designer Mikael D is incredible and really would embrace my curves and body type and would have loved to dress me. It just happened that the host of that event did not communicate any of that to him, and the way it was presented—I put that on the host, not the designer. I’m going to work with Mikael D to make something custom in my size.
What made you decide to join RHOT in the first place?
I’m a huge fan, so when I was asked to be on it I thought it was an amazing opportunity for me to represent everything that I feel is missing on TV and missing from a franchise like the Real Housewives, which is a glamorous, beautiful woman that maybe doesn’t fit the mold of the stereotypical housewife.
You’re the youngest in the group, and you didn’t really go in knowing anyone. Were you worried about how you would fit in?
I’ve kind of led my whole life not being afraid of how people perceive me. I’m pretty confident in the fact that I’m a great person and I treat people with compassion and love and honesty and some people love that, and other people find that a bit alarming.
That’s very much the message you’ve had from the start of this season. Have you always had that level of confidence or did you go through a bit of a journey to get there?
I have amazing parents and support system. There was never anyone saying that my dreams were too big. I’m also one of four children and the youngest of three older brothers so I was constantly trying to get their attention and be part of the crew. They were always tough on me in a wonderful way and it taught me to be really confident, to have a thick skin and to speak up for myself. My three brothers made me who I am.
Did you have any experiences growing up where that confidence was shaken?
I was bullied in the eighth grade and I remember being so hurt by it. A girl was making fun of the fact that I am South Asian and had hairy arms. It really got to me. I remember thinking that I would never treat anyone that way because it made me feel so little about myself. Now, that’s why I’m doing this. To show people that you can be whoever you are. You can feel glamorous and beautiful and for any girl out there who is getting bullied because of the way she looks. Maybe people think she’s a little too curvy or too skinny or too this or that, but I want to be there to say, “Why do you care about those people? Let the haters hate!”
Did you ever hear from that bully again?
She emailed me before the show aired when she found my name online saying how excited she was to have a friend on the show. I was like, “We’re not friends,” but also, it’s so funny how things come around like that.
This idea of “own your look, own your curves” is kind of like your slogan. What does that mean to you?
I really believe that confidence and beauty and glamour comes from within. I know that sounds cliché, but a woman can dress in the most expensive outfit you’ve ever seen but if it’s just draping an ugly personality, she’s not beautiful. What’s beautiful to me is women who are happy, confident, love other people and are accepting and supportive of other women. When it comes to my curves, I don’t know anything else. Everyone is talking about how it’s so exciting that I’m the first plus-sized Housewife but I don’t see myself as “plus-sized,” this is just my size.
So how would you describe your fashion style?
Fun, fabulous, bold, expensive. I like to have a lot of fun with fashion, and I hate it when I go into a store and just because I have curves someone offers me a black muumuu. I want to show off my waist and my legs, I want something figure-forming so it shows that I have a body. I like to dress sexy and beautiful just like other women do, and I find it really challenging and insulting that people think you just want to be wearing a black cape for your whole life. I want to show myself off.
What are your go-to places and designers?
There are some designers who work with different sizing and some that are just demoralizing because I couldn’t even fit their outfits on my left leg. I’ve really learned to dress my figure and my curves, but that’s with the help of stylists—people who understand the design houses and sees what clothes they’re making and for which clientele. I love Roberto Cavalli, Hervé Léger, Marni, Ralph Lauren and Moschino.
This is a big topic of discussion right now. Have you seen more plus-size options lately?
No. I don’t think we’re anywhere near where we want to be, but there’s certainly been a shift in the right direction. People like Ashley Graham, who sent me a message the other day, have really paved the way. I’m in a position where I can pick out very couture pieces, but I want the average woman to feel and look good and have gorgeous clothing accessible to her. It’s not fair that half the population has to feel horrible about themselves every time they want to go to a wedding or an event. There’s so little fashion for such a large population group here in Canada. I hope I can change that.
What’s your message to viewers?
I want viewers to be inspired to be who they are and to pursue their ambitions. There’s a lot of very successful women on this show, and I want viewers to know that success isn’t meeting a man and marrying him for his money. There’s a road to success that involves your own accomplishments and I don’t know how much of that will be shown on this show because there is such a focus on our husbands, but there are some kickass ladies on this show and we’ve all done it on our own. We’ve built our own success stories.
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