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Self-love in the time of COVID-19

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“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” —  Maya Angelou

These wise words couldn’t be more true at a time like this. I’m reading that this quarantine could last as long as 18 months. Yes, 18…months! Even though the thought of staying indoors (just my dog and me) sounds daunting, I’m so very ready to take on this challenge. I’m kind of looking forward to it, actually.

Like a lot of people, 2019 was incredibly difficult for me. Still, I’m grateful to have gone through it because it’s taught me so much about myself. I’ve come to realize I’m resilient beyond belief and stronger than I could have ever imagined. Without my struggles last year, I’d never know how brave and capable I am. 2019 showed me that while I love people, I don’t need anyone. We’re born alone and we’ll die alone, so it’s important to know we can thrive without help, too.

I will always figure out a way to make the most of my situation and right now is no exception. And I truly believe that you can too! There is absolutely nothing we can do about this quarantine except getting our hearts and minds right about what this will mean for the next unknown number of months.

My plan, for the foreseeable future, is to really dig deep and work on my stuff. Like most people, I’ve got unresolved issues with people in my life and trauma I have yet to work through. While I’m quarantined, my plan is to make my home a safe space even more than it already is. Here are some of the things I have already started moving on:

  • I’ve already invested in a foldable stationary bike because I’m ready to start moving again and I plan to dust off my resistance bands and workout DVDs because I want to get in tip top shape and physical health.
  • I’m planning to reach into my massive library and pull out some cookbooks, too.
  • Now is the finally the time to learn how to grocery shop strategically and cook delicious meals at home.
  • I want to finally clean out my closets and purge what I don’t need. (The extra money from selling unwanted clothes will be a big help, too.)
  • I’m also committing to continuing with my meditation practice and get in touch with spirit. I’ve enjoyed becoming more spiritual over the past year and really want to keep it up.
  • I also plan to get back to writing more — like here on this blog, but also getting started on writing my first book, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. 

This quarantine doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We just have to make some adjustments and roll with the punches as they inevitable come. There really are so many blessings to be grateful for, even during chaotic and frightening times like these. Please believe me when I say you are stronger than you think.

I’m really excited to use this period (however long it lasts) to continue my evolution and transformation and to continue practicing self-love and self-care. If ever there was a time to do it, it’s now. I honestly feel like this is my season to be a caterpillar in a cocoon. 🐛

Let’s all lean on our inner resources and focus on doing the work we need to do in order to become the butterflies we’re destined to become. 🦋✨

💖 We truly are in this together.

How are you staying positive during this strange moment in time? What are you going to work on? 

Love and health to you and yours.

xo,

Amy

Plus size fashion blogger and journalist, Amy Stretten, aka The Chief of Style, wearing a teddybear coat, rhinestone embellished distressed skinny jeans from Lane Bryant, and clear heels while carrying a rhinestone encrusted rainbow purse in Sherman Oaks, California

Plus size fashion blogger and journalist, Amy Stretten, aka The Chief of Style, wearing a teddybear coat, rhinestone embellished distressed skinny jeans from Lane Bryant, and clear heels while carrying a rhinestone encrusted rainbow purse in Sherman Oaks, California

Please note: These photos are from my archives. I have been safe and quarantined indoors for quite a while.

Coat: Amazon | Jeans: Lane Bryant | Bag: Ross | Shoes: Gift

Who is the Chief of Style?

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

I first started blogging in 2009 to create a portfolio of written work to get into graduate school. I had worked in entertainment for a few years after graduating from college and I had been doing some plus size modeling for fun. Unfortunately, in ’09/’10 there wasn’t much interest in hiring and using plus size models because being curvy wasn’t trendy or cute. (I also struggled to embrace my curvier, fuller frame.) So, I gave up.*  And while I enjoyed working for some of the biggest studios in Hollywood, something was missing. I knew I wanted to change the world, but I also knew I wanted to do so in an entertaining way…I just wasn’t sure how.

After doing some soul searching and taking a news writing course at a nearby university, I decided to pursue journalism professionally. To do that, I needed more experience. But, to get experience, it seemed like I needed to have experience. (A ‘catch-22’ millennials, in particular, know a lot about.) After applying to countless journalism jobs, it became clear that graduate school could be the best next move. (For more on what happened then, visit my About page.)

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I created this blog in part because I believe seeing a queer, plus size, femme of color expressing self-love is a radical act. And, because I have always had a seriously intense passion for fashion. I also have a unique take on trends and enjoy styling photo shoots (my own and others’). And, after earning almost a quarter of a million followers on Poshmark, where I sell new, pre-loved, and vintage items, I felt it was about time I started sharing my passion(s) with the world.

As a queer, mixed race (Native American/Black/French Canadian/Scotch-Irish), bilingual (English/Spanish) fashionista who has lived and traveled abroad, I pull a lot of my fashion sensibility from the many cultures and communities I represent and come into contact with. I love supporting Indigenous fashion designers from around the world as well as brands that care about curvy women. So, you’ll see quite a bit of both here.

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My first blog did help me get into graduate school, and in 2011 I earned a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. Now, armed with experience, education, and much more self-confidence, I’m ready to get back to this fashion and entertainment thing. I hope you enjoy following me as I share what being the Chief of Style means to me.

 

*Thankfully, we’ve come a long way. Since then, a lot has changed in mainstream media, the modeling industry, and in fashion for curvy women. Models and bloggers alike have changed the game for women of size and have inspired self-acceptance in hundreds of thousands of women worldwide. Now, the term “body-positivity” is on everyone’s lips.