Katie Sturino is the founder of the12ishstyle.com, a fashion blog for women who wear sizes 12-18. She’s a social media influencer with 280,000 followers on Instagram. She uses the platform to publicly call out brands that don’t carry inclusive sizes and encourages them to offer clothing for the majority of women in America. Sturino is also the founder of Megababe Beauty, which sells non-toxic products that solve every day problems for women.
What’s your professional background?
I started working in PR because I was interested in fashion and thought that was my way in. But I realized that the fashion PR environment was toxic so I started my own PR firm and did that for eight years. Then I switched to Instagram mode full-force. My background in PR gave me a good foundation for what I’m doing now. I learned how to promote myself and talk to the media.
What brands are most inclusive and which brands need improvement?
Anne Taylor Loft and Madewell are doing a good job at being inclusive. Pretty much every other brand needs to work on it.
We’re still making clothes for the person we think we should be rather than who we are.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
Short-term goals: I want to continue encouraging brands to invite other women into their shopping experience. I’d like to help more women accept themselves and find their confidence. I was recently on Good Morning America and helped style women of all sizes in trendy outfits. I’d love to do more of that because I enjoy helping people get dressed.
Long-term goals: I want to launch more products for Megababe that are game changers.
You spoke about helping women accept who they truly are. How did you come to accept who you are?
For a long time, I wasn’t taking inventory of myself. I was just in survival mode – head-down, barreling through my life. I eventually took a step back through therapy, energy healing and meditation and found out that I was exposing myself to a lot of things that weren’t making me happy.
My brain switched from constantly trying to reach a certain goal weight to just embracing that this is my size and I look great.
Why did you found Megababe?
Originally, I wanted to make a thigh chafing stick for women who didn’t want to use a product meant for men. I then saw a need for a good natural deodorant and a product for boob sweat.
How is your public persona different from your private personality?
It’s the same. That’s why my job is so easy. I don’t hold anything back. I never feel like I’m “on.”
What was one of your most popular posts and why do you think it resonated with people?
#SuperSizeMyLook are my most popular posts because they’re fun. They make you look at yourself differently. You may think that you can’t pull off Kate Middleton’s style if you don’t look exactly like her. But in fact, you can pull off her style and I’ll show you how.
How do you determine how much of your private life to share with the public?
I don’t share my day-to-day emotional commentary because I don’t personally find that interesting. If I’m having a bad day, I’m probably not going to get into it on Instagram.
I also don’t tend to post a lot about my romantic relationship. Always posting about your partner can be alienating for those who don’t have a partner. I don’t enjoy most relationship content and find it kind of obnoxious and in-your-face.
Also, many influencers on Instagram start their stories with “you guys” and I really try to avoid doing that.
What life experience has had the greatest impact on you?
My divorce. It opened my eyes. It broke the magic spell that my life was supposed to be a certain way. I realized that life is fragile and you can’t control everything. Your reaction and your ability to recover is what’s important.
What are you struggling with these days? What keeps you up at night?
Megababe – my desire to move fast and grow the brand.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want to have an impact on women’s lives and the way they feel about themselves. I want women to find their value not from their bodies or their relationships but from their hearts and minds.