After publishing my first blog, Love Your Body, it immediately went viral. Media sources from around the world were talking about how “Mom blogger recreated ‘Kendall Jenner’s’ Calvin Klein ad.” And, at first, I was thrilled. It was my first time being republished and it was incredibly humbling to share such an intimate part of my life with so many. My message was simple: love yourself and do not compare your body to anyone else’s. However, some media sources decided to compare my body anyways.
I received hundreds of emails from women asking for advice and words of encouragement. I also received messages asserting that, because I wasn't (insert some ridiculous adjective,) that, I had no idea what it meant to have "real" insecurities. Others stated that I should be ashamed for shaming women with thin frames just to make others feel good about themselves. This was not my message. I hadn’t even seen Kendall Jenner’s CK ads until it was brought to my attention. I was literally doing me and hoping that women who were experiencing self-hate would find solace in my story and begin their own journey to self-love. But, a lot of people did not see it that way. All they seen was Brenda compared to Kendall.
You see, our society is addicted to comparison. And, to a certain extent, it makes sense. How can you know what is tall if you don’t know what is short? How can you know dark if you’ve not experienced light? These type of things make sense. However, this comparative way of thinking when it comes to self-evaluation and self-love is dangerous and, in my opinion, is why a lot of women are insecure about their bodies.
We were all created to be different. That's what makes our world so beautiful; the variety of culture, thoughts, and aesthetics. Self-love comes from self reflection, not from the comparison of yourself to another individual. Matter of fact, it has nothing to do with anyone else. It’s imperative that we love ourselves for who we are and not for who we are in comparison to another. We can all be different and co-exist with one another.
This is where the I Am Me project comes in. I wanted to create something that would inspire women to just be themselves. So I teamed up with photographer Rome Goodson and designer Jasmine Samone of Astonishing Apparel. Together we were able to create an organic reflection of women from an array of backgrounds who’ve dealt with insecurities and who’ve over time learned to love and accept themselves. The purpose of #IAMME is to spread positivity and acceptance of ourselves and others, regardless of race, shape, or size. No comparison. Just a group of women co-existing with one another and owning their bodies. I hope you enjoy. Read below to learn some of the insecurities these women have had to overcome, you'll be shocked!
Special Thank To:
Photographer Rome Goodson
Behind The Scenes Photographer Zachary Nunn
Designer Jasmine Samone of Astonishing Apparel
Level Salon Studio Team
Creative Directors Kyle Luce & Danielle Tillman
Words From The #IAMME Women
Name: Ashley Pickens
Quote: “It has taken me years to finally accept my body and after all those years I am finally in love with it. My melanin is popping and I love every single inch of myself!
Name: Gaybree Harris
Insecurity: My arms and lower stomach
Quote: I’ve learned that no one is perfect. It’s impossible to be everyone’s type, so stop trying to be! No opinion of yourself is more important than your own. Embrace yourself and exude confidence… that’s what beauty is made of.
Name: Ogechi Maduka
Instagram: @ogbabes Insecurity: My asymmetrical breast
Quote: God is a master artist. He created us all in his likeness and even so, no two people in this world are alike. So be you, embrace all parts, and always remember your invisible crown.
Name: Sydney Ealy
Instagram: @this_is_syds_world Insecurity: My big hips
Quote: I believe that God created me with a purpose; therefore, everything about me and my body was planned by him and I am grateful!
Name: Truth Thomas
Instagram: @verdad_bella Insecurity: My lack of curves and my hair
Quote: There are going to be haters regardless of how you look, so love your body and the skin that you’re in!
Name: Keara Smith
Instagram: @kearaSmith Insecurity: My arms and dark spots on my face
Quote: Beauty comes from within. What ever you think you feel, whatever you feel you become.
Name: Jessica Rada
Instagram: @Jadalovely25 Insecurity: My stretch-marks and cellulite (I'll still own it in a high waisted two-piece though)
Quote: No matter how much you focus on improving yourself for the future, make sure you love the person you are today, because todays self will take you to tomorrows goals!
Name: Daja Falen
Instagram: @thedajfalen Insecurity: My big eyes and skin-tone
Quote: Forget what society says is beautiful and embrace your flaws. You were created in the unique and divine beauty of the sun from the gods.
Name: Stephanie Rosas Insecurity: My fat nose
Quote: Keep moving towards becoming a better version of yourself everyday. Love yourself unconditionally and surround yourself with people who inspire you to be better.
Name: Demi Forte
Instagram: @blvckx94 Insecurity: My small breast, lack of curves, and the bags under my eyes
Quote: I am too passionate not to be a priority.
Name: Chellilina Ezenibe
Instagram: @chellilina Insecurity: Stretch-marks
Quote: When life throws you curves embrace them! There's no wrong way to have a body.
Name: Yiyi Elena Nieves
Instagram: @boricua_artist Insecurity: Lips &Small Frame
Quote: Thick, slender, full of melanin or not— we all bleed the same and are all give one body only: so take care of it and love it because it's the only one you GOT.
Name: Tori C
Instagram: @officialtori_c Insecurity: My Crooked Teeth
Quote: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; it comes in all shapes and sizes so be bold, be confident, and be you!
Name: Janay G
Quote: I’m 5’0 and weigh 140lbs. I probably will never find a dress to accentuates my curves or jeans that go past my thighs, but I love me.Know yourself then you will love yourself.It starts within.
Name: Moncherree Pollard
Instagram: @Moncherree7@Paintingbymo Insecurity: My skin. I have light patches on my body due to a skin disorder.
Quote: Live and love regardless of the circumstances in your life. Pain makes you grow just as much as love. See the blessing in either situation.