Growing up I was a plus size teenager, yet I longed to look like the girl in the magazines that I read. I was a teen who always loved fashion and yet I was also the teen that would try and shop at the stores my friends shopped at only to realize that nothing fit me properly. I have a very distinct memory of being about 15-years-old, shopping with my mom and I wanted this specific dress from Express SO BAD. At the time I was probably about a size 16 and the store only carried up to a size 12. I thought I would just try it anyway, you never know! Maybe the fashion gods would allow this too small of a dress to fit my body and I could dress like my friends. But to my disappointment it didn’t zip. My mom suggested that we try a different store and I broke down in the fitting room crying. Why didn’t I look like my friends? Why wasn’t blessed with the size 2 body that I see all the models and celebrities have? What was wrong with me? I remember feeling so bad about my body that day! Feeling like I was less than everyone else. It’s amazing that this was just 13 short years ago that I was this broken, self conscious plus size teen. I wish that I could go back in time and talk to that girl. Tell her that she is beautiful just the way she is, that curves would be accepted and sexy someday and that she will turn into a confident women who loves her body and to give a giant F.U. to the people who made fun of her.

Now I’m 28 years old, I’m a successful fashion blogger and I’m the most confident I have ever been with my body! I have made it my mission to empower women to love their bodies, flaws and all. So that a teen will never have to cry in a fitting room out of self hate and body image issues. That these girls see themselves as individuals, each beautiful and unique. That they can rock any fashion and style with any body shape. Thankfully I’m not the only one who is on this mission. Not only has this become many women’s mission, it has become a movement. A body positivity movement.

This movement has been happening for a few years now and you can see it everywhere. From designers collaborating with plus size brands, to size 22 model Tess Holiday getting signed and landing the cover of PEOPLE Magazine. We see these curvy beauties on tv, movies, magazines and even runways. With models like Candice Huffine and Ashley Graham breaking these barriers that were once put up by the fashion industry. Thanks to all of these women that are standing up for their bodies, plus size women no longer need to be ashamed or hide their bodies with big oversized clothes. Plus size bloggers are hitting the scene strong with collaborations with big brands and never once being questioned about their size. Even Barbie has come out with tall, petite and curvy dolls so that every girl can have a barbie that looks like her.  This is a totally new world we are living in and it’s amazing. Now curves are sexy and our bodies are meant to be celebrated at ANY size or shape.

Why is this movement so important? Because the generations that are growing up now are taught that we should love ourselves. Kids will now grow up seeing realistic body images in the magazines they read and knowing that they can achieve their dreams no matter what their size. This generation will grow up confident and self assured in themselves. This is such an amazing time in the industry because we are seeing a shift in the standards of beauty and see it expanding to be the most inclusive it has every been . This is a time, that I know if I have a daughter someday, they will never have to cry in a fitting room like her mama once did because she has so many body positive role models to lead her to love her body just like her mama does now.

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