Count it -- more than 35,000 Instagram followers. That's the current range Yigo girl Ahliil "Liily" Saitanan holds under her popular @liilygyal account. By day, she's a digital content producer. On the side, she's a chick obsessed with fashion, fast cars, and tattoos, while blogging from the perspective of a plus-sized woman. As with her curves, her confidence is gorgeous AF.
This 26-year-old influencer uses her platform to promote body positivity and representation, proving sexy comes at any size. But it always wasn't that way.
Now standing at 5 feet and 9 inches tall, Liily struggled with her size growing up. She was typically the tallest and heaviest among her classmates. Although it gave her an advantage on the basketball and volleyball courts, she still felt awkward towering over her teammates.
That awkwardness carried over into the way she presented. "I could never find the cute shirts and shoes they wore because they were never in my size," she says. "By fifth grade, I already was wearing clothes meant for teenagers. I just never felt like I fit in, even if I tried. It just flat out sucked, and this stretched into my college years, being unable to find anything I wanted to wear. Even online stores for plus fashion wasn't a thing during that time."
The older she got, however, options for clothing and makeup flourished. Even Ross Dress for Less grew into a favorite stop as it began to carry better choices. "When that happened, it felt like it was finally my turn to play dress-up and experiment with my personal style," she says.
It's a style that fits into the current stage of her life. "In college, I was very into street style with my denim shorts, plain white tees and Nikes," she remembers. "Then I went into this whole dark goth phase plus tattoos and piercings, which I'm still very into."
Today, Liily blooms into dark colors paired with florals and makeup to match, and she talks all about it on her website, Liilygyal.com.
"...For the most part, I just wanted to show that a regular plus-size girl like myself can be just as fabulous." 💃🏽
It all leads back to that first Instagram account now with followers from all over the world, including U.S. brands. That's given her more opportunities to work with plenty of designers, companies, and other influencers including The Curvy Rebel and DollFace. Liily also was featured with PLUS Model Magazine.
"I just wanted to share my looks and personal style with anyone who needed inspiration or motivation to be confident regardless of their size," she says. "I think what really resonated with my audience are not just the looks, but also the sharing of my experiences in how I wasn't so confident and how I worked to overcome them. For the most part, I just wanted to show that a regular plus-size girl like myself can be just as fabulous."
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About the Author
Guam born and raised, this contributor has an affinity for island life, people, food and culture. Got a story idea? Email her at email@example.com.Follow on Twitter More Content by Lacee A.C. Martinez