BeauCoo: A Different Kind Of Online Community

When I first started an "online presence" personal style blogging was a relatively new thing and most people who shared outfits online did so through virtual communities. A variety of fashion communities popped up but they largely featured girls from their teens through their twenties with relatively similar style; perhaps the longest running community and one exception to this norm was Wardrobe_Remix on Flickr. Wardrobe_Remix still exists, but Flickr is increasingly annoying to use and I started to feel a lack of connection to the community several years ago. Which means unlike the real world where people of all ages, sizes, and styles walk around on a daily basis, online communities (like magazines) seem to mostly cater to a very narrow market. While I like delving into deeper issues and discussing the positives and negatives of fashion and personal style, I tend to skate around certain topics that I can't speak to on a very personal level. For instance, this catering of communities to a narrow demographic--I largely fit within this demographic; I'm mid-twenties, white, and despite being short a standard size that is easily found in stores.

Still, when the option presents itself I'm more drawn to inclusive communities that don't just mimic the flaws in the fashion industry, but actually further the "democratization of fashion" that people always mention when discussing fashion blogs. Can you see where this rambling is headed? A few months ago I was approached by BeauCoo to join their community. BeauCoo hopes to connect women of all shapes and sizes to help them discover new styles, brands, and stores while becoming part of an inspiring, nonjudgmental, and body positive community (or #BoPo).  In addition to encouraging body positivity, BeauCoo takes your measurements and while keeping them confidential helps connect you to other users with a similar shape. You merely hit the "fit match" button under the explore tab and you're immediately viewing dozens of girls with the same height and figure. I could definitely see this becoming the primary use of the site--quick selfies in dressing rooms that offer person-to-person reviews so you immediately know if and how an item will fit you instead of playing a guessing game with online shopping and removing some of the dressing room pain that is inevitable in shopping (quick note: recently watched this interview with Dita Von Teese and was relieved to hear she also experiences dressing room horror of "does my body really look like that?" in an ill-fitted dress or swimsuit).
The community shares predominantly through an app on either your iPhone or Android, but you can also browse BeauCoo on the web. I've been using it for about a week now and I'm going to make an effort to keep up with it for awhile--blogging should be about connecting to people with similar styles and interests that you wouldn't meet otherwise and sometimes you need to engage in a community to do just that. I also recommend browsing the BeauCoo blog which blends fashion, current issues, and body positivity. I'm a big fan of style with substance. 

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