As the Western fashion industry continues to grow, diverse voices are coming to the forefront to represent the Western lifestyle from different perspectives. Meet Megan Hernandez, the cowgirl behind Plump and Punchy – a western fashion page that’s gaining traction on Instagram and Tiktok. Megan represents plus size cowgirls by digging for the best pieces and styling them to inspire her audience.
We asked Megan a few questions about her unique perspective on the Western fashion industry:
COWGIRL: Tell us about yourself and your involvement in the Western community.
First, I’m the wife of a veteran and a mama of four wild farm kids. I grew up as a 5th generation equestrian, spent a lot of my childhood working roping chutes and watching ropings, reining competitions, and rodeos. I felt the most free in a saddle and cherish all the memories in the arena with my family. After six years away with the military, we’ve come home and I’ve started my journey with horses again. With the guidance of my Paw Paw and uncle, I am training a basic horse with plans to compete in local play days and horse shows. My children now carry on the Western way of life, and I’m grateful live this life with them.
COWGIRL: What inspired you to start Plump and Punchy?
Most of my life I felt like an outsider in my own Western community. I didn’t look like the girls in the Western fashion ads, but I loved the life and I loved the fashion. When friends expressed feeling left out of Western fashion, I decided I would start an Instagram; someone needed to show that there’s plump and punchy cowgirls out there, living our best lives, loving horses, and rocking Westernwear, so I decided to give social media a shot. Plump and Punchy just had its one-year anniversary and the positive response had been indescribable. The love and appreciation from women of all sizes has motivated me to keep going and build Plump and Punchy into much more than a plus size Western influencer [page]. I want to change the mind of a historic institution to become more inclusive of all women.
COWGIRL: Tell us what being a cowgirl means to you.
Being a cowgirl means to live a life worth living, to chase what lights my soul on fire, even if that means it’s 1200lbs of wild animal: to be brave in the face of a world that seems to want our way of life to die out, to support fellow brothers and sisters in this lifestyle, and to always stand up for what is right. Being a cowgirl means loving and caring for animals, as well as respecting and representing the legacy of the cowboys and cowgirls who came before us.
COWGIRL: What do you love about Western culture?
What drew me back into the western way of life was, of course, my love of all things equestrian, but also the sense of community. Small town economies thrive because of rodeo and agriculture. We take care of each other and look out for each other, even if we’re competing. I love that we still stand on our morals; we honor the flag, and we treat each other with dignity and respect. When my 12-year-old son has a rough ride, every one of those teenage cowboys takes time to lift him up and encourage him. Every time I witness the kindness of cow folks, I stand a little taller because I’m so proud to be a part of this community. It was an honor to grow up in this way of life, and it’s an honor to be able to raise my kids in it too.
COWGIRL: What do you love about Western fashion?
I love that it’s timeless, but at the same time you can make it anything you want! A good pair of jeans and a classic pair of boots are always staples, but there are so many ways to really make them your own. You can add as many rhinestones, sparkles, and colors as you want! I feel the most like myself in Western wear; it’s an outward expression of who I am and what I love. Western fashion is inclusive. It looks good on any body type, any age, and any gender. All women should feel welcome to rock Western fashion. No one should feel afraid to go for it.
COWGIRL: What would you like to see change in Western fashion?
I would love to see more inclusivity all the way around. I have noticed many brands are really moving in a positive direction, and I’m so happy! It would be awesome to see even more body types, ages, and ethnicities being represented. I grew up with cowgirls of all different sizes, ethnicities, and backgrounds, so I love to see all of us represented. I’m thankful for the progress, and hope to see women, of all sizes, be respected and appreciated for our beauty and talent.
COWGIRL: Do you have any clothing brands you would recommend to girls looking for curvy and plus size options?
9 Grey Horses is my favorite western boutique; I love what they stand for and their owner is another plump and punchy cowgirl. We’re curating a plus size NFR collection right now! Ranch Dress’n has great performance wear that is size inclusive. I love Cheeky’s, The Tailgate Boutique, The Curvy Cowgirl, The Cosmic Bluebird, Homefolk, and Atwood’s Ranch and Home for plus size Western options as well. To be honest, there’s not much plus size selection in the mainstream brands. Plus size cowgirls have to really hunt for Western fashion that fits right. Plump and Punchy hunts it down, styles it, and shares it with the plus size cowgirl community of around 50,000 and growing every day.
COWGIRL: What do you think will be trending in NFR fashion this year?
I think we’re going to see a dazzling array of metallics, retro-inspired patterns and silhouettes, blazers, colorful felt hats, and of course fringe fringe fringe!
The NFR is a place to go all out! Be brave, be you; don’t let anybody tell you nothin’!
COWGIRL: What advice would you give to plus size girls in the Western industry?
Be kind to yourself. If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to your heart. No one is born knowing how to be a cowgirl; your journey is your own. You are valid, you are worthy, and you are welcome in the cowgirl world. Yes, there may be a few naysayers, but there will be a thousand times more who will root for you, not against you. Also, don’t fall for the trap of criticizing other cowgirls. You can’t lift yourself up by tearing someone else down. The cowgirl life, and Western fashion, is for ALL of us who love it.
Keep up with Megan on Instagram, Tiktok, and Pinterest @plumpandpunchy.