For those of you that know me, and those that don’t, I am a model in the plus size industry and an advocate for Body Diversity. I am currently on a mission to find others like me with strong minds and big hearts, interested in bringing about a new beauty revolution. The greatest way to influence change is to do something about it! It’s time to take action. All the lessons I’ve learned through friends, romantic relationships and the industry are my fuel to inspire a new conversation. The lessons we learn in life will either make or break you… and they broke me for a bit… but now, 3 years later, I’m turning it around.
We find out at a young age that first impressions are defined by how we look. I have to agree that first impressions are important, but that shouldn’t be the end all. Being in the fashion industry has forced me to take an in depth look at these superficial ideals and at myself. I have come to the conclusion that in order to have any sense fulfillment in life we have to learn to redefine what beauty IS . We should always look deeper at a person’s character, actions and behaviors. Wouldn’t that provide us with a deeper sense of connection? We won’t stand a chance if we are always judging each other and ourselves! The judgment can stop with one person at a time changing a negative thought or idea.
Being a model I have personally struggled with the issue of people making assumptions about me solely based on my looks. I am very fortunate to be able to do what I love, but the career path I have chosen does comes with a price. I have seen too many girls and guys, including myself lose their sense of identity.
It’s time for me to take all of my experiences, and the tough but important lessons I have learned, to share and grow with other people who can relate and be inspired by my journey. I feel honored to have the opportunity to encourage change and instigate a rebellious conversation about beauty. Accept my invitation to join me on this quest!
My mother is a labor and delivery nurse and works around beautiful inspirational women all the time. She’s friends with this one nurse in particular who has a 10 year old daughter. Her daughter came home from school one day crying because she felt like her stomach was too fat and that everyone was teasing her about it. The mother pulled out the picture of me from Glamour magazine and showed her my own “perfectly imperfect” stomach. She told my mom that her daughters eyes immediately lit up and she smiled and said “She has a stomach like mine, and she’s so beautiful!” And her mom reassured her that she was beautiful too. Wow, I remember when I was 10 years old I was still wearing my Jelly shoes, baggy T-shirts , and spandex shorts. I had NO concept of fashion, or body/self image, I was just a 10 year old girl running around and playing. At 10 years old girls should not be worrying about whether they’re fat or not! This is absolutely crazy! 10 year olds should just be able to be 10 year olds! Playing and being children. I was so unbelievably happy to hear that my picture was able to turn this girls day around and hopefully her self perception! #CurvyClique
I get messages from all around the world and each one definitely strikes a chord within me. They write me these beautiful and sometimes heart wrenching stories about their lives and struggles. They say I inspire them when in reality their love and support has inspired ME and helped me accept myself as well, it’s a beautiful catch 22! One of the stories in particular stood out to me. I had a man write me saying that he’s been with his girlfriend for years and she has always struggled with her body image. He would constantly tell her she’s beautiful, that he finds her sexy in every way but she never believed him. The images this woman was fed from a young age as to “what is beautiful” ended up warping her own self image in a very bad way. He was writing to thank me because when his girlfriend saw my picture in a magazine she finally believed that she can be sexy and beautiful. Seeing another woman who looks like her liberated her to feel like she’s not alone, because she’s NOT! And her boyfriend (and MANY men) love women with curves, love women of all sizes! I thought it was so sweet that this man cared so much for his girlfriends mental well being to write me and thank me. We all could use a little more of that in our lives….Stand Up For Your Loved Ones! #CurvyClique
Welcome to the #CurvyClique! I always think of that Kanye West, Jay-Z song “Ain’t nobody messin’ with my Clique-clique-clique.” A while back I decided to create my Curvy Clique, a community of people that gather together to lift and inspire one another. I’ve been on a personal journey developing myself as a woman from the inside out and it’s been quite the adventure! I figure if I’m going through these emotions, personal, and physical developments, then other people must be too. The only way I’ve been able to survive this roller coaster of personal and physical growth is with a community of family and friends. But what if you don’t have a supportive community of family and friends? That’s where #CurvyClique comes in. Curvy Clique is not just a community, but more of a family of Hopeful Hearts that want the best for themselves physically and emotionally. The relationship we have with ourselves influences every aspect of our outside lives, especially our relationship with others. Through personal growth and development with body image, improving the relationship with oneself, we allow ourselves to be open to the positivity the universe brings. No negativity allowed! The world has enough haters in it, and even worse we all have our own “inner hater” we have to deal with on a day to day basis. It’s time to talk about the frustration people have with the media’s, and the world’s unrealistic expectations of beauty and the effects it has on us all! Women AND Men! Every person has curves; some are smaller and some are bigger. EVERYONE is welcome into the #CurvyClique because as humans we all basically want the same thing: to feel accepted, loved, and to be a part of a compassionate community.
REBELLE BYTES TV: Danielle van Grondelle
Lizze Miller’s interview with plus size model Danielle van Grondelle
RE:BELLE BYTES TV: DENISE BIDOT
Lizzie Miller’s interview with plus size model Denise Bidot click below to watch!