I have always thought of myself as a fat girl.
I was the girl who never had a real boyfriend.
Who, in spite of outward appearances, never really had a whole lot of confidence in my looks.
At 34 years old, I still struggle with confidence and my appearance. So, so many of us do.
Like many women in this new dawn of anti-fat shaming and embracing what makes us all beautiful, I am recognizing the strength of my body. The amazing work it has done, and will continue to do. It – I – am beautiful.
I am on a quest to love myself.
And so one day, this happened.
@elainesgriffin You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. -Momo
— BlogHer (@BlogHer) June 28, 2013
I threw my usual caution to the wind. I sent an email, and just when I had forgotten I even sent an email, this happened:
Hi Elaine, if you are still interested I am happy to invite you to walk the catwalk this year at the conference. Would need to know today, so I can introduce you to our show curator and get them started.
What do you think?
What did I think? I thought I was scared. I thought I was crazy. I thought I didn’t have the strength.
I thought I really needed to do this. A couple of weeks, a few outfits, and a whole lot of nerves later, I did.
Here are 5 reflections on walking the runway at BlogHer ’13:
1. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I knew this before, but now I *know* it. I feel it. And I can live it.
2. Having a few absolutely gorgeous women dress you up and tell you how beautiful you are is a huge confidence boost.
3. The pure fact that we were willing to put ourselves out there makes us a serious force to be reckoned with.
4. Women want to see themselves reflected on the runway. They want to stand, to cheer, and to gain strength in knowing how perfectly beautiful they all are.
5. Shedding my baggage and walking, no – owning – the catwalk in front of hundreds of women at BlogHer ’13 was one of the hardest, most rewarding risks I have ever, and may ever take. If you have the opportunity to do something similar, do not hesitate!
The personal reward and confidence boost from taking a risk and connecting with so many amazing women will last a lifetime. This is just one step for me in saying good-bye to my inner fat girl. To owning my body. My strength. My beauty. It’s a long road, this shedding a lifetime of negative self-image. I’m getting there, and I hope you all are too.
***THANK YOU to the BlogHer co-founders, Lisa, Elisa, and Jory, for creating this life-changing community. To Darlene and her magnificent crew at the Gillard Jones Agency, you have no idea how much you gave me in those two days. Thank you to GiftBar for curating the amazing clothes and accessories, and thank you to Ulta for the hair and make-up.***