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Stop Saying ‘No’ to Living the Life You Want

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“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. […] Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” – Helen Keller

“No.”

It’s a powerful word. One I’ve heard many, many times. Still, for whatever reason (maybe because I’m a typical, stubborn Taurus or because I’m determined as hell), I never ever ever give up. Never in my life have I let the word “No” stop me. I’ve been laid off, told I didn’t have enough experience, reminded of my lack of qualifications, dumped, pigeon-holed, misjudged, misunderstood, shown the metaphorical “exit,” not been granted entry, and I haven’t always fit in. There’s really no one, simple road to success and my winding career path is an example of that. But, lately…lately, thankfully, I’ve been hearing “Yes”…a lot.

As you may (and hopefully) know, in a couple of weeks, I’m throwing myself a party to celebrate the launch of this very site. (Yes, you’re invited.) You see, I’m determined AF, but in the past I allowed “perfection to stand in the way of good enough” as they say. I’ve never thought twice about taking risks when I didn’t have much at stake and I didn’t care about the outcome. But, I’ve definitely let my fears and insecurities hold me back from achieving what I want most. I have big – huge – dreams, but I stood in my own way for far too long, living small and playing it safe. I’m so over that! And the party I’m throwing will be to celebrate this transformation.

Since I’ve moved out of my own way and become laser focused, I’ve seen so much success. In just a few months, I’ve gained nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram, I’ve secured about one dozen brand partnerships, including sponsorships for my launch party (my gift bags are killer, y’all!), and I’ve received interest from several news outlets who want to share my story with their readers. I’m really just getting started, but I’ve seen so much growth in such a short period of time because I Decided (with a capital D) to be Brave (with a capital B) and get serious about making my dreams a reality. As a result, I’ve found support from my friends, family, followers…and I’m so very grateful for you. Thank you.

I may not know you IRL, but I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve held yourself back before, too. If so, I have one question for you: WHY!? Why are you sabotaging yourself from having that thing – whatever it is – that you want most? Seriously, there’s a reason and if you’re honest with yourself, you probably know what it is. Name it and stop it! Life is too short and you’re too incredible to live a mediocre life (whatever mediocre looks like for you).

What big dream do you have that you’ve been struggling to reach? Share it in the comments. Maybe I’ll have some suggestions.

May the fierce be with you, babes.

xo

Outfit details: Top: Forever21+ | Skirt: Torrid | Shoes: Macy’s | Necklace: Amazon

Photographer:  Jorge Lopez (IG: @jorgelopezmedia)

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.