Jane belfry, Founder of the thicc
Meet Jane, she’s working her ass off to break the norms. As founder of The Thicc, Jane challenges the standard concept of bodies and how their types correspond with so called “beauty.” She challenges norms through everyday activities like skin care routines, food, therapy and even marijuana. Yep, she’s THAT COOL. Read along to see how Jane redefines trends in a way that ALL of us can relate to.
Jane, tell us about YOU and what drove you to start The Thicc?
I’ll try to keep this concise, haha. I’m from Minneapolis, I started my career there at a modeling agency called Vision doing image consultation, development, and styling. From there began freelance styling and writing about fashion for a some time there and in LA. Moved to NY a little over 5 years ago and worked as a stylist and personal shopper at Barneys, Saks. Hated it. The industry changed, I left discouraged and burnt out. I was thinking about leaving fashion completely and going back to school but came up with The Thicc when I was pitching different companies pieces about marketing within the “curve clothing” world. I thought, hey why not publish my own stuff somewhere and my super talented friends’ writing as well? So that was how it was born. Then it grew and developed from there and has become something that’s truly woven in everything I’ve done in the past.
Your pitch is to “figure it out all out, together.” Have you?
Absolutely not lol. But getting there! Having something I’m passionate about that is my own truly helps me feel more together.
In a time pushing inclusivity pretty hard, do you ever get backlash for only focusing predominantly on plus women?
Yeah it’s interesting, my goal is always and has always been to make people feel seen and inspired, but it’s hard to obviously be that for every single person. We cast based off of submissions and people we see on Instagram, so one week we might have a size 10 person, and other a size 20, it varies so much. We’re still working on showing as much shape and size diversity as possible, I understand when people reach out and say they want to see more people in the 22+ realm, I’m more surprised when we get messages about size 4s and 6s because in my head I’m like “oh I see that already”. But I think everyone really just wants to feel included in the conversation because bodies are something we all have to learn to like and live with at any size.
What about you being in the public-eye? You are a model and influencer-which means putting yourself out there. Do you go about this whole-heartedly, or do you hold back to protect yourself from the world?
That’s definitely something I struggle with. I do not want the brand to be centered completely around me because... how boring, but when you work out of an at home studio and self timer can be easier to knock out some content with quicker than producing a whole shoot (which we do a few times a week) its an easy solution. I’m a private person, even though I’m glammed up all the time and extremely opinionated, I’m shy and pretty guarded. My personal accounts are private, my personal life is certainly private, but I’ve pushed myself to put my thoughts and feelings (and photos) out there honestly when it comes to the brand to hopefully inspire others to do the same and give people the content I wish I had for years, something to relate to.
What is your best advice to someone looking to pursue something similar to you, but are afraid of the good, bad, and ugly of the internet?
I’d say to link up with other people, with other women. My team is so collaborative and supportive, all the people we work with hype each other up and gas up each others work and it helps to erase the negative, icky stuff. Certainly anything centered around bodies/women’s bodies is going to get some negative attention and trolling but there’s such a good sense of community as well.
What’s next for both The Thicc and you, Jane?
We are launching our agency division this month which will rep a (small) group of people of different sizes/shapes, with no height requirement, no measurement restrictions, and no bullshit (as is our mantra), we hope to get curve bodies and a range of shapes into the beauty, fashion, and commercial spaces in a way that we haven’t seen before. This is a huge passion of mine as my start in the industry was with straight size agencies and I modeled as a kid in times of serious restrictions.
Interviewed by Emily