Shedding the Baggage and Owning the Catwalk at BlogHer ’13

Elaine Griffin, BlogHer '13 Fashion Show

Image Credit: Jasmine Banks, Just Jasmine

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.


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?

Best regards,
E

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.

Elaine Griffin, BlogHer '13 Fashion Show

Image credit: BlogHer ’13 fashion show sponsored by ULTA

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.***

About Laine

Elaine GriffinElaine Griffin (a.k.a. Laine) is a freelance WordPress designer, content creator, and speaker. She brings her background as a sociologist, advocate, and educator, to her work and her writing, which has been featured on BlogHer and The SITS Girls. On The Laine List she spills her guts about life, motherhood, and balancing work and family. She also sprinkles in some fun recipe and cocktail posts. On Elaine Griffin Designs, she writes easy to follow tutorials about WordPress, social media, SEO, and blogging.
Working from her home office in Finger Lakes Region of NY, Elaine, a wine lover, also enjoys the beauty of living in wine country! Read more about Elaine...

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Comments

  1. You, my friend, are gorgeous! That dress was made for you, and you looked incredible in it!
    Truly.
    Lizz recently posted..Thursday #277My Profile

    • Elaine Griffin says:

      Talk about gorgeous!! Go on with your tall, gorgeous self! I am so happy to have rocked it with you Lizz!

  2. you rocked it Laine. I was so proud of you :)
    karen recently posted..Why I Didn’t Attend That Party Offsite During BlogHer13My Profile

  3. You looked gorgeous on that runway! :)
    Stacy Jill recently posted..PhotoGeek: The Streets of ChicagoMy Profile

  4. You look amazing! I think it is awesome you did it!
    Hilary recently posted..It’s not you, it’s me – reallyMy Profile

  5. You absolute BABE! Oh how I wish I could wolf-whistle.
    Virginia (Kissyface) recently posted..Going off topic: Old school blogging memeMy Profile

  6. YOu are such a beautiful woman, inside and out. I missed the Fashion show but I saw you late that night and you were glowing,absolutely gorgeous. Own it mama. You.Are.BEAUTIFUL.WONDERFUL.AMAZING! XOXO
    Debi recently posted..An Open Apology to The Pioneer Woman or How to make a Complete Ass of yourself in Front of Someone you Admire and RespectMy Profile

    • Elaine Griffin says:

      Thank you Debi! Who wouldn’t glow with all that makeup! ;) Like I said on Facebook, I want to see your gorgeous self up there next year! :)

  7. Elaine Plummer says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and the dress was lovely too!!!! So wish I had been there to see you strut your stuff and genuinely enjoy the moment. So glad you shared this since I wasn’t and can now feel your positive energy through the photos and your post.

  8. So sorry to have missed this! You look gorgeous in the photo! Kudos to you for strutting your stuff, and celebrating your beauty!

    D
    Dvora Koelling recently posted..One Month Progress Report: Life as a Roam Around MomMy Profile

  9. I thought you looked amazing- before and after
    Jasmine recently posted..Suicide the Night Before Blogher13 and How They Held Me TogetherMy Profile

  10. I loved seeing you up there. BIG KUDOS!
    Jenna recently posted..Summer FeetMy Profile

  11. You are gorgeous! I love all that you got out of doing it!
    Melissa Olivero recently posted..A Minecraft SummerMy Profile

  12. I got goosebumps when you stepped out onto the stage. It was your ‘coming out’ moment, when (I hope) you realized how beautiful you really are. That dress was daring and larger than life, the hat sultry and mysterious…all things you would never think of yourself, but things that were lurking there under your skin. I’m so proud of you, Elaine. I {heart} you oodles!!
    Melissa (Alienbody) recently posted..She Wondered….My Profile

  13. elaine plummer says:

    You look beautiful and feisty. So happy that your experience was wonderfully enlightening and that you got a good look at your being the way the rest of us see you. The outfit was perfect, but the star was YOU!!

  14. You looked fabulous! I’m so glad you got a chance to see how beautiful you really are.
    Elizabeth Lee recently posted..5 Things I Learned at BlogHer 2013My Profile

  15. OMG! I didn’t know that you did the fashion show!! Yay you! Although I can’t imagine you not having the confidence to do it.. you definitely don’t come across that way at all!
    Kristen Daukas recently posted..How Does Your Garden Grow – Ladies Only Blog ShareMy Profile

    • Elaine Griffin says:

      I guess the confidence was lurking in there somewhere or I wouldn’t have been able to do it. It was really hard to have to wear a “color!”

  16. You were amazing. It wasn’t just a confidence booster for you; it felt the same for all of us in the audience who was able to watch you. Watching the fashion show was one of the highlights of the conference for me. I’m so happy you had the courage to participate.
    Jennifer recently posted..Pinterest Inspired – Refurbished Bar Stool CushionsMy Profile

  17. Gorgeous! You definitely did own the stage. I love the reflections that you shared, and look forward to keeping up with you from here on out. You are officially part of my tribe – even if you didn’t know it. :)
    Natasha @Houseful of Nicholes recently posted..Hey YOU! What Makes YOU Sexy?My Profile

  18. You looked fantastic up there! I was so impressed with your poise – you looked like a natural! I did the fashion show last year, and a lot of the emotions you described here were ones I went through, too. A year later and that confidence I gained from the fashion show is still there. I hope it’ll continue with you as well!
    Christina recently posted..Summer Camp TerrorMy Profile

    • Elaine Griffin says:

      Oh, thank you! I’m glad to know you are still feeling the confidence from the show. I hope that I can continue to feel good!

  19. I know I don’t really “know” you, but I could have just as easily been you with these words. I have seen the pictures and thought how everyone looked so amazingly fabulous. This is SO very cool. You looked beautiful and I’m glad for you that you did it and took on the experience!
    Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) recently posted..Dusting off the shelves.My Profile

  20. You were simply fabulous. All that confidence (and the clothes) looked great on you.
    Cheryl at Busy Since Birth recently posted..#BlogHer13: The “What I Learned” EditionMy Profile

  21. I had no idea you were at BlogHer this summer! Wish we could have met up. You look absolutely FAB. I love that dress! You go girl :-)
    Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog recently posted..Our First Homework AssignmentMy Profile

    • Elaine Griffin says:

      I didn’t know you were there either!
      Thanks for the complements. I actually just had the nerve to watch the video! It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. :)

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