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,

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!

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    • Elaine Griffin says

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

    • 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! :)

  1. 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.

  2. says

    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

  3. 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!!

    • 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!”

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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

    • 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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