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As we move into the third month of 2020 I've been reflecting on personal growth and how I've changed over the years. There is something about the passing of a decade that affirms just how much I've grown and changed. When I think about it i've accomplished a ton and have a lot of experience under my belt. I feel good. I feel proud. It's also refreshing to see how creatives, people, the world around me has grown too. We are doing great. 

The last couple years took a toll on my self esteem and confidence for some reason. Maybe it's the amount of people dying around my family, The loss of a life long pet and even friends I'd thought would be around forever becoming a figment of my imagination. Our lives are constantly changing, it's easy to get caught up in everyone else's lives and forget to take care of our own well being. It's easy to get so caught up in serving others or working a job or putting a mask on the fit in and forget that YOU matter and taking care of YOU needs to be your top priority. 

How often do we put ourselves on the back burner to survive and take care of others? I'd say it's best that we stop trying to be so selfless. People can't make personal growth if we are stepping in to enable bad behavior or exploiting ourselves. When we step back to work on ourselves, we are no longer available to help others avoid working on themselves. 

 Lately the passing of time is reminding me of my confidence and showing me how to stay in the moment. My light is slowly glowing brighter as I step back out into the public. It's critical to take the time required to heal but not to get too comfortable in your isolation. We have so much power and change happens faster than we can imagine when we put our minds to it. Lately I've been putting in the work for myself and my jewelry business. Taking a break from modeling has been intersting though. When I first took the photos for these fashion blog posts, I kept thinking all of these body shaming thoughts. 

When I realized it, I was kind of shocked. You think when you understand your narrative can be a bit self destructive that it just goes away and you are magically healed but it's not true. You have to constantly work at it. I'd fallen pretty far off the deep end and I was hating on myself pretty badly. The last two photo sets I've done made me cry! All because I perceived myself as ugly or fat. 

That is so messed up!! But I know people can relate. We are constantly judging ourselves because we live in a judgmental society that encourages shallowness. We compare ourselves to others because we are taught to compete not enjoy the diversity of human beauty and bodies, specifically women. In this realm we can not thrive. We need to accept all varieties. Endless possibilities.  

I will not affirm it, shallowness or self hate! There is so much change and way more body inclusivity, we have to take part in it! We have to break out of our comfort zones and break free from our own judgement. So that's what I've been doing. I've been setting myself free from the conditioning I've accepted. I no longer believe the lies I've told myself for years. I am not fat because I have curves. My shape is not ugly. We can not stay the same if we want to feel better. I refuse to tell myself I am not beautiful or valuable any more. And returning to the message at the top of this post, I am no longer hiding myself in others or their problems to avoid working on myself. 

This look is edgy. I decided to go with a red lip to draw attention to my face, specifically my mouth so you can definitely understand me when I say No. And I can look in the mirror at my face to tell myself 'I am beautiful and powerful.'  

The jewelry is from my Extravagance Collection. I love the combination of light and dark beads. The soft and hard colors of the stones is similar to the contrast in the snake skin leotard I wore as the top. 

The boots are harley davidson. I up cycled them from one of my sisters friends who was getting rid of them. They are quite comfortable and absolutely bad ass. 

These pants are up cycled too. The last couple holidays when my Aunt comes over she and her daughter, have been bringing some of their old clothing. It's kind of fun to find new clothing this way. It is hard to find pants that are long enough for my legs though. Good thing high waters are kind of in! haha.

Because the pants are a little short and the weather has been cold I put a pair of leg warmers on. I've had these sparkly black knit leg warmers for years. Since high school so probably a decade! They bridge the gap between my boots and these cropped pants. 

The set for this look is a black cloth back drop. Black back drops are so fabulous for editing because the entire set kind of disappears when you adjust the colors in photoshop. It almost looks like I am floating in space but I am just in my home studio with a single light, Craig Blackmoore the photographer and a black cloth tacked to the wall.  Creativity is key when you are building up enough to own a studio space!

Looking back on the years there's been a ton of growth in my life. I had some really low points and I thought I was alone. I remember some nights crying myself to sleep when surrounded by people who I thought I loved or who I thought loved me.  These nights can attempt to break your spirit but I never let it. 

I tried to remember to let those feelings of no self worth burn away as fuel for my self love. I refract that energy into more intense motivation so that I never forget how easy it is to isolate yourself and never do it again. I let these feelings humble me as a reminder that most people feel this feeling at one point in their lives, if not multiple times. We have to remember to lift ourselves and others up, not tear them down. There is no prosperity or abundance in the destruction of people. We need to stay positive and remain optimistic. 

Asking for help is never easy. Admitting you are hurt is never easy. Communicating what you need takes strength and it is necessary to keep going. When we stop ourselves from speaking up we stop ourselves from moving forward. Being vulnerable never feels good. It is hard to admit it to ourselves and show it to others. When we actually take a step into the next moment there is relief. We have options and there is always another option. Don't close yourself off to the world. Reach out to yourself first and others when you need it. We are capable of so much. Creativity can bring us out of most compromising situations or thought patterns. 

My original reason for getting into modeling was to familiarize myself with myself. If we don't know what we look like then we will be surprised when we finally do see ourselves. When I took a break from seeing myself as a model, the moment I saw myself again and how my body had changed, I was shocked. I model because it builds my self esteem. I feel good because I know I look good. 

Fit is everything when it comes to clothing. Having a tall curvy body can be stressful when it comes to shopping for clothing. It gets even harder when you don't shop retail 99% of the time. If clothing is too tight or squeezes me in the wrong spots I absolutely feel horrible. FIT IS EVERYTHING. I have large breasts and long legs. Bra shopping can be insanity. Nothing makes you feel worse than nothing fitting. Now a days I try to think about it like this though: My body is custom so generic clothing is not going to fit me. I need special pieces. That is why I love fashion. It gives us the opportunity to create personalized pieces. Things made just for us! It's cool that fast fashion provides affordable clothing but we need designers who are making pieces for all body types. 

I've been watching all the seasons of project runway and it is actually very disappointing how often you hear designers complaining about 'plus sizes' and 'plus people'. If you call yourself a designer and can't work with different body types you are not a designer. There is nothing more unprofessional and nothing that perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards than thinking that way. Some one has to say it. 

Be you proudly and profoundly. Don't get so caught up in the image people portray. Who some one is can barely be captured in a photo. Their actions in real time show us the most. Step into the moment, don't be insecure. Realize that everyone has a wounded mind and thinks there is something wrong with them. This fact alone is sad but it is true. When we stop operating through self hate and judgement we have the ability to shine as bright as can be. This is when our confidence is built stronger and we grow into a better version of ourselves. 

Anyone who judges you for your looks is in the wrong frequency of life in the first place. Being alive and teated with respect is not only for those who are socially deemed 'beautiful'. It is our obligation to ourselves and the world to see beauty in all that surrounds us. Look for the best in yourself and others. 
Nurture that. 


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