Model and plus-size fashion expert Maxey Greene uses Instagram as a sounding board for her followers ― what they’re wearing, how they feel about their bodies, the list goes on. But she wasn’t using it for that on Tuesday when she posted a photo of her manicure. At least she didn’t think she was. Then the DMs started.
“In tiny font in the corner of the image, I mentioned how I never see fingers that look like mine,” she said of the photo posted to her Instagram story. “About two seconds after posting it, a woman sent a photo reply of her chubby fingers and said ‘chubby hands for life!’ After that they just started pouring in.”
Fingers that look like hers, or fingers that are not extremely thin, aren’t represented in jewelry and engagement ring advertisements. Greene’s commentary resonated with her followers who, despite seeing an expanding body positive movement in fashion, are still hard-pressed to find this specific but profound imagery of hands.
“I think a lot of women instantly felt seen,” Greene said.
The inherent message that the lack of hand diversity sends stems from a larger systematic issue that love, like high fashion, is seen as only being reserved for people who look a certain way. Photos of rings might seem like a small thing, but it plays to that same old trope, Greene explained to HuffPost.
“I think not seeing chubby fingers with rings, specifically engagement rings may stem from the mentality that ‘fat women can’t find love’ or don’t deserve it ― an idea that’s been ingrained in our heads for years,” she said. “But it’s just not true! Advertising should reflect that. We’ve got plus-size dollars to spend!”
Greene said she was “blown away” by the sheer number of responses from women (and one man) who told her stories of being embarrassed of their hands, less-than-stellar engagement ring shopping experiences and being ashamed to share news of an engagement due to fear of being mocked.
“Someone told me a story about how when they posted a picture of their engagement announcement on Facebook, she was made fun of for the ring being too small on her and that it didn’t look good on her finger,” she said. “It did fit her, that’s just the way chubby fingers look in rings. She was mortified and it turned a happy moment into an insecure one. It devastated me to read that.”
It’s a small movement just in its early stages, but it sends a clear message to the engagement ring industry and the ring industry in general that it’s time for a change. Inspired by the people who reached out with their stories, Greene started an Instagram account called @allhandsaregoodhands, where people can look for inspiration and to see what rings look like on hands that more closely resemble their own.
When it comes to Greene’s ring collection herself, she said she has had to get creative ― she “freaked out” when she first found XL rings at Old Navy and even used to make her own rings out of wire, stones and beads. “I just so desperately wanted them but couldn’t find them in my size,” she said. Today, she goes for vintage (“I make sure I try every one on to see if any will fit, they usually don’t,” she said) and Poirier, a size-inclusive demi-fine jewelry line.
Check out some of our favorite size-inclusive rings below and let’s give Greene ― and this entire movement ― a hand.
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