|Here I am wearing a BollyX Tank and my Granite Print Joggers|
Thrilled to be partnering with BollyX on various things this month (which I will be announcing soon!). In the meantime, they asked me what my thoughts are on Body Empowerment. Sharing your own personal experience is not always easy, but I'm so glad they asked, and I'm honored to be a part of this series. Read on to see for yourself!
When I was applying for college in 2001 – 2002, I had to write an essay for my FIT admissions and the assignment was to choose a quote, and write what it means to you. At the time, I was applying for the Interior Design major, and a quote that stuck with me was one from Jay Z’s song, ‘A Dream’, featuring Faith Evans and Notorious B.I.G. The line is, ‘Nobody built like you, you design yourself.’ I remember relating this quote to designing an interior of a home, but also relating it to myself and how we design our lives.
This quote still rings true for me today, especially when talking about body empowerment. I think it’s extremely important to realize and appreciate that there is no one like you, to embrace your individuality and and not constantly compare yourself to others. Body empowerment is about taking care of yourself inside and out, and accepting that being tall, being short, being curvy, being athletic, being thin, being plump, all of it is ok. It’s not an excuse for unhealthy habits, but accepting that you are beautiful the way you are.
Rewind a few years, and I may have not been able to articulate my feelings on this. I am tall, with more of an athletic curvy build. When I was young, I was taller than all the boys, when I was a teenager, and my curvy hips appeared (still no boobs), my brother used to tease me and say that I had a ‘J-Lo Booty’. Oh, brotherly love! I was very active from a young age and through high school. When I went off to college, I lost that side of me, and spent a lot of late nights out, partying, and dancing the night away. Don’t get me wrong, it was really fun, and I’m sure pretty common! But I forgot to take care of myself, I was unhealthy, gained weight, and started to feel insecure. In my mid – late 20’s it was time for a change! I started taking care of myself again, exercising regularly, limiting my party habits, and now in my early 30’s I feel the best ever. I’m proud of my strong and curvy figure, and love where the fitness fashion industry is going with ‘body positivity’ and ‘strong not skinny’ campaigns. I think it is so important for young girls, and really women of all ages, to understand that what they see in a magazine is not real life. The amount of photo shop and editing that occurs leaves us with unrealistic expectations.
My philosophy is be happy, be healthy, and most importantly be you. I always keep that in mind when designing collections for my active fashion line, Alexis Mera. I want women to feel comfortable in their own skin. I also use models of all different sizes on my website, and I do ZERO retouching of the images. The line is made for everyBODY.
So, what is body empowerment to me (in a nutshell)?
Body empowerment is taking care of yourself inside and out. It’s about being the best you can be and accepting your body for what it is. We are all different, and if you are constantly comparing, you will never be happy. I think it’s about loving yourself, on good days and bad days. You will get back what you project.
I would love to know your point of view as well, feel free to comment below!