Meet Rosaliz Jimenez, Dia&Co’s Fashion and Photo Director. Rosaliz has always loved clothes and magazines, but it wasn’t until she started having health issues that she devoted her life to celebrating women who wear sizes 14 and up. Read on to learn about her journey, the invention of Try-Day Friday, and the amazing work she does at Dia&Co.
I was born and raised in New York City. When I was a kid, I loved the TV show, “Solid Gold.” It was fabulous. There was one time that Debbie Harry was a guest host and her outfit was just amazing. I made my mom buy me an outfit that was similar to it for my first day of camp. Today, even though I’m plus, a lot of the women whose style I like are not plus. There are people like Olivia Palermo—she’s just a master at mixing and remixing. She’ll also take pants from Old Navy and pair it with a high-end designer. I think that’s a fun way to dress.
“Self-Diagnosing” Her Style
It’s so easy for me to figure out other people’s style, but it’s hard to self-diagnosis. I like so many different kinds of things, but the one thing that is consistent is that I’m a dress girl through and through. Occasionally, like Halley’s Comet, you’ll see me in a pair of jeans or a pair of pants. I love really frilly things, too, and things with a little bit of shimmer. It depends on the day because some days, I’ll really want to do up my hair, wear really bright lipstick, and wear heels—and other days I’ll just wear sneakers with my dress and keep everything else simple. For me, what you want to wear is almost like when you crave dinner. You think to yourself, “Oh, what am I going to have for dinner?” So, when I’m in the shower, I think to myself, “What do you want to be today?”
From Magazines to Dia&Co
I started out working for women’s fashion magazines. The funny thing is, I found a diary that I had when I was 12, and in it, I wrote that I wanted to work at a magazine or be a photographer. So, becoming a photo editor was just the natural progression. That’s what I did as soon as I graduated from college, for different publications. At the end of 2016, I was part of a massive layoff and had to rethink everything. The great thing is that at my magazine job, I had gone through my own personal style transformation and I had discovered the plus community.
We had started to cover plus in the magazine I was working for, so the editors would ask me questions because, at the time, I was the only plus editor on staff. So I took the fact that I was a little bit of an outsider and used it as a positive—I turned it around and I used it as an opportunity to help other plus women. Because I wanted to make sure if we were going to do it, that we would do it the right way—not because it was a “trend.” Also, being a Latina, I had gotten accustomed to being the only one of any type of anything, so it wasn’t a big deal, per se. It was just frustrating because it felt like fashion wasn’t for me. It took a long time to realize, “Oh my gosh—I can have fun with fashion, too.”
I had been a guest on several Dia&Co Facebook Lives and when I got laid off, Ashby asked me to come back again and I put together a presentation for the co-founders, Nadia and Lydia, and offered them my services. They offered me a job. Since I started working at Dia&Co, I’ve really focused on creating images that are inspirational—just like any other fashion image but starring beautiful plus-size women. And when I say plus sizes, I don’t just mean a 1X. I want everyone to feel represented. A lot of the women we shoot aren’t professional models—we just make them look that way. I want to make sure that the women, when they are at one of our photo shoots, feel as beautiful as they are. I want the women who are looking at these photos to think to themselves, “Oh my gosh, well, she looks great, so that means I can look great.” Having fun with fashion is not out of the realm of possibility for anyone.
Learning to Love Her Body
I was the girl behind the scenes that helped make things happened—I never would put myself out there. But in 2011, I was diagnosed with cancer, and that led to an avalanche of other medical issues. I had to have a lot of surgeries and treatments, and I had to be out of work for a long time. I was watching my body fall apart. But it had done so many great things and I never appreciated it. It wasn’t until it completely broke down that I started to appreciate the fact that my body was always perfect. It might not be perfect in a conventional way, but it was the most perfect Rosaliz that had ever existed.
In January of 2014, I decided to start dressing differently, wear my hair down, and really put myself out there to tell my story. I wrote an essay about being grateful for my body on Facebook and Maddy Jones from Plus Model Mag saw it and asked me to write something for the magazine. Then other publications started to ask me to do things. One thing led to another and I really got exposed to the community. I was really trying to accept myself—it felt phony in the beginning, but I knew that the more I did it, the more comfortable I’d become within my own skin. And it worked. It’s kind of bananas that one thing that haunted me all of my life, which was my weight and my size, became a catalyst for another part of my life.
The Beginning of Try-Day Friday
In 2014, when I decided to change my style and experiment, I started out just doing it just one day a week. Every Friday, I’d try something different. One day, I wore a sleeveless dress because I don’t like to show my arms. Another day, I wore blue eyeliner. Another Friday, I tried a new pair of heels. I wanted to push myself and get out of my comfort zone, because if you just stay complacent, there isn’t any growth. Style and fashion might seem frivolous, but they actually aren’t. They’re really an expression of how we feel about ourselves. For me, the art of grooming is even self-care. Because if you don’t care for yourself, no one’s going to do it for you. That’s how Try-Day Friday came about—it was a challenge for me to get out of my own comfort zone and to get out of my own way.
Inspired by Rosaliz to try something new this Friday? Snap a pic and share it on Instagram using #TryDayFriday and #MyDiaStyle!