There are SO many ways to find your way to a healthier way of thinking about yourself and the world around you, it all starts within you. We always wait for our environment and people within it to tell us how to act, how to feel etc. But it’s totally backwards! It starts within YOU. Sometimes that’s hard because our whole lives we’re told what we think/feel is wrong, so it makes us questions ourselves. I challenge you to find YOUR identity-not who your parents think you should be, how your teachers tell you to act etc. , how your boyfriend (or girlfriend) wants you to act , but how YOU truly feel. We all think we know how we feel but do we? Our minds and spirits are such complicated things that it’s okay to need help and guidance in this department. I know I do! We don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay! If you’re really feeling lost and in need of guidance out of depression and/or anxiety, seeing a licensed therapist or psychiatrist can be a wonderful starting point. And no, therapy isn’t just for “crazies” or people with severe issues, I think everyone should see a therapist! The human mind is a complicated thing to try to figure out, so why not have some help and guidance with it! I love this article on the blog XOJANE that talks you through how to find a therapist on your own. It’s really down to earth and simple. http://www.xojane.com/healthy/how-to-find-good-therapist There are other things you can do on your own that help you to know yourself better and, as a result, make better life choices for you specifically. Better life choices, once you give them a chance to take effect, always seem to lead to greater happiness and fulfillment, they do for me, I hope they do for you!
Okay, I’m a plus size model. Not exactly breaking news right? But I’m amazed at how many people are confused by what that means. Some people think that I’m all about “making friends with fat”, or promoting obesity, or in some other way supporting the idea that being overweight is a good thing. That’s not my message nor is it my life at all. What I care about more than anything is being healthy. We all have different bodies, different builds and different weights at which our bodies naturally do best. I’m 5’11” and a size 12. For me, that’s a healthy body shape. I know its healthy because I get annual checkups, get blood tests, have my vital signs examined… the whole nine yards. And my body is running well, thanks to a healthy diet and lots of exercise. If I wanted to be a “straight size” model, I’d have to do very unhealthy things to my body to get there. So guess what? I’m not a “straight size” model and that’s OKAY. No use trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. That’s a total recipe for frustration and ruining my self-esteem. No Thanks! There are plenty of other things to work on in this lifetime! I’m sure you’ve heard this before: accept your body as it is, don’t fight it, and make it the healthiest you can! I always knew I’d never look like Kate Moss, but at my healthiest I can strive for Beyoncé! And I’m perfectly happy with that. Find a REALISTIC goal for yourself. That’s the healthy mind part of the equation; you have to think in a realistic way in order to steer yourself in the right direction with your physical health. That’s the lesson I live by. It starts with your mind and a healthy mind IS a healthy body, they go hand in hand. But accepting my body and that I’m not a size 0 doesn’t mean that I’m in favor of sitting around eating food filled with junk. But don’t deprive yourself either! If you want a cookie have one, just not the whole sleeve! In other words, my message is, eat healthy in moderation, exercise sufficiently and let the chips (not potato chips) fall where they may. It’s so simple, why do we complicate it?!
Whitney Houston sang about wondering how she’d know if a guy really loved her. I think I’m a little behind the curve. I’m not sure if a guy is really DATING me! Everyone is so into going out in groups (less pressure I guess?),and if it’s one on one guys ask if I’d like to “hang out”, it’s impossible to tell if I’m on a date and a guy is into me until the date is over and he lunges in for a kiss. Or the “Non-date Date” I don’t want to assume if a guy asks to “hang out” that he’s asking me out on a date (this goes back to the whole guys and girls just being friends thing). But at the same time don’t want to be caught off guard. What constitutes a “date” and how do you know when you’re on one? Enough already, dudes-get some game! There’s so much confusing stuff to figure out in this world (how the elections will turn out, if North Korea is really a threat, if Ben&Jerry’s will ever bring back “mission to marzipan”) it would be AWESOME if you could give us girls a break and just say “would you like to go on a date?”. I guarantee your success rate with the ladies will skyrocket. Am I right? Or… is this just me?!
For those of you that know me, and those that don’t, I am a model in the plus size industry. 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. All the lessons I’ve learned through friends, romantic relationships and co-workers 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 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 my 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.