Welcome to the era of body positivity! Where plus size women are literally becoming hero's for showing themselves confidently. Where we are seeing queer positive movements, non-binary movements and way more diversity in the fashion world than ever before! I personally am for these movements and LOVE seeing diversity thrive! But, what about the rest of us? The ones who are being left out by the body positive movement? People like me.
I'm not complaining, but I am simply sharing my perspective of what it's like to be extremely tall with an "average" body. I am not very curvy, and I am not thin. I am "healthy". Isn't that something to be celebrated?
In the fashion world, I have heard and seen it all. Women who starve themselves to walk NY Fashion week. Women who don't care at all what they eat. Men who workout ferociously like pro athletes to maintain their abs, only to be told they are not ripped enough. People of all races, genders and body sizes telling me what they have been told by casting directors and modeling agencies and even photographers. There are a lot of body shamers in the industry, for short.
I've personally been presented with a two year, international modeling contract in the past, but before they would sign me, I had to drop about ten pounds to show I was "serious". I tried to diet for two weeks and asked for an extension of two more weeks before I realized it was not the path for me. I was fresh out of college athletics, where my weight was celebrated, especially as a 6'6 post player who could shoot the three. Now, I am being told to lose weight. I was also over being told what ti do and who to be by agencies or anyone. Remember, being a D1 athlete is a little bit restrictive...lol but, that's another story... Anyway, after I said no, I immediately was approached to act and then I signed a contract with my first talent agency in NYC. BUT, I am not hear to talk about that whole NYC journey, but I am here to say that social media is on to something special.
I LOVE seeing so much diversity of ALL kinds. But, I am running into this issue of feeling like I am being left out of the diversity movement. As a model, the only bracket people want to shove me in is "plus size". I am NOT plus size, let's be clear. You see my body up there. And for a long time I thought I should gain weight to be a plus size model because I didn't fit into any other bracket. And, I wasn't gonna try to be a size 8...at my size, that's too skinny(for me) in my opinion especially when I naturally fit size 12/14. There is something wrong here and I am the whistleblower. Modeling agencies should add another bracket for TALL women and girls. Point blank. We have spent our whole lives hearing people leave us out of friend groups, malls that don't carry our clothes sizes, transit systems that didn't think anyone was taller than 6 feet and building structures too, we know what it's like to feel out of this world. An outcast.
So, with that little back story and let's be real, rant, I am here to share how I have found body confidence before a time when TALL Girl was released on Netflix, before there were any brands representing my body diversity.
I struggled a lot with my looks. Not only am I a multi-racial, woman of color and am queer...(fact check: Races I am : Mexican, Salvadorian, Portuguese, Irish, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Russian, French)...which I am constantly left out of too because apparently my light skin tone means I'm just a white girl...I won't go down that road. Anyway, I am also extremely TALL and a Woman.
I know what it feels like to be an outcast, never being represented in the careers I pursued beyond sports. I know what it feels like to be told "you're too tall" in various aspects. I also know what it feels like to suffer from low self-worth, low self-esteem and even at my lowest, eating disorders.
Nowadays, I know what it feels like to overcome those things. I know how it personally feels to overcome various eating disorders and being so insecure that I didn't leave the house. So, now, I am making it a point to share some things I have learned. People ask me a lot on social media, "how did you get so confident?" and in short, it takes a lot of conscious work. But, I would love to share some tips below that could help with your journey of body and self-confidence. Before I go on, I just want to say don't give yourself a timeline for this. Transforming your life takes time. There will be times you just want to give up, and maybe for a short time you do. But, that's okay, just never give up on yourself. You are worth so much :)
Here is my advice
1. Use Affirmations
- seriously! Write or type a list of "I AM" statements and use visualizations, this has helped transform my life!
- change doesnt happen overnight. Especially if you've gone many years battling low self-worth. Be patient with yourself. Something that transformed my way of thinking that I had to be "okay already", was to talk to myself the way I encourage others. Why not turn the mirror around on myself. You deserve kind words, my friend.
3. Accept Yourself As The Incredible Miracle You Are
- seriously, your like one in a million! Think about how you got here! Little spermy meets wittle eggy. You were literally the one that made it, like that's crazy amazing!!
4. Reprogram Your Mind
- if you are anything like me, you had a lot of junk in your mind. That junk just replays on auto if you're unaware. Thoughts like "I can never wear that, I'm this or that". That thought right there, NAH, see, you wear what you want, because you want to! Point blank period!
5. Empower Yourself
- Last but not least, it's all about empowering the divine being you are! Know that you have a purpose here! Know that life is short and you get to live it!
Those are some tips for growing a more confident mindset. IT all starts within and once you are growing stronger inside, you'll notice how life starts to transform. I hope this helps you in someway! If you have any experiences or tips you'd like to share, please feel free to comment!
You can find me on social media here : www.instgram.com/tallwomanpowermaliaarrayah