The Self-Acceptance Movement & Platform for Women, "Women Who Look Like Me"

The Self-Acceptance Movement & Platform for Women, "Women Who Look Like Me"

I recently wrote about my journey as a woman unapologetically passionate about saying goodbye to the unrealistic standards of beauty and leaving more room for what feels authentic. Fully present in that empowering revelation, I felt compelled to do something to promote the diverse composition of women further. What began as a simple idea for a t-shirt movement has since become a platform on Instagram uniting and urging women everywhere to embrace themselves as they are through authentic storytelling, creative expression, and thought leadership content.

“I don't have realistic expectations or unambiguous descriptions of beauty. Why? Beauty isn't clear-cut. Beauty is versatile enough to be whatever I want it to be. I have the power to invent my own brand of beautiful. Beauty gives me that.”

At a time when equality and visibility (without shame) is crucial to our ongoing plight, treatment, and condition as women, this is my contribution to our active voice as both a collective and as individuals. To our revolution. By virtue of love, respect, acceptance, support, encouragement, and the gratitude to daily inspire one another, our wars are best fought and won, together. 

Join me in this sisterly movement to connect with ourselves and embrace women all over the world. As we are. Our voices, our creations.

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I'm Every Woman, Not Some Sub-Par Headlining Act

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I remember cringing the first time someone told me I was a “beautiful woman”: post-shower, naked, and completely vulnerable before her. In retrospect, it wasn’t so much being called “beautiful” as it was hearing it paired with “woman.” Not that I was ashamed of my womanhood or being seen in a full-blown feminine light, but in that moment I realized that I had previously only ever been made to feel marveled at as some kind of core aesthetic. Overlooked, pacified. A mute screen of woman. It was the first time I felt fully embraced as a valid representation of a woman and not hindered by my androgyny.

“My only purpose is to be the most authentic representation of myself I can be. If any or all of what that looks like makes you uncomfortable, I’m not sorry. For some, my message will be lost on. I won’t be for everybody and that’s okay. To those who see ME: Thank you.” 

I’ve been embracing myself more and hiding less. I feel empowered in my skin. On this journey of freedom, I feel a neutralized sense of gender expression notwithstanding the insistence to label me with little to no room for fluidity. I feel secure enough in my sexuality to intimately explore the full-spectrum of women—having only ever dated hyper-feminine women—as my attraction to more masculine-presenting women blooms. This transparency—still one-hundred percent human—invokes a heightened sense of vulnerability:

“How will I be responded to?”

I’m immediately reminded that I’m not anyone’s boxed perception of me—synonymous only with my propensity to leave room to redefine myself, and again. And again.

Why I Stopped Hyphenating "Self Love"

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The use of hyphens in “self love” has been resonating on a strange level of irony for me, lately. Love is just as much an individual phenomenon as it is a universal one. Yet I feel we don’t create enough space for it inside. We don’t allow it to radiate independent of social acceptability and our desire to be loved by others, enough. We tend to be great at meeting others’ needs, thus neglecting ourselves and making it that much harder to return to the empowered place where we feel worthy (without validation).

Removing the hyphen, for me, represents the space required to actively honor new and old commitments to ourselves not attached to anyone or anything. space to be better to our hearts. Space to love our bodies. Space to learn to say “no” when too many “yes”s deprive us of ourselves. Space to not allow ourselves to be mistreated. Space to find our voices and to never lose them once we’ve found them. Space to tell our stories. Space to start over. Space to make our own choices. Space to sit with our real selves beyond our surface selves. Space to express. Space to redefine inner feelings of peace. Space to heal. Space to grow.

— An excerpt from my book ‘root’, available on Amazon here.