Challenging the Status Quo

Megan Kimberling is a Plus Model and all-around badass. There are no words that can amount to how she excels at being unapologetically herself. We met her randomly in Venice Beach one day while she was doing a shoot. At the point in time, the project was still just an idea and it’s a bit of a full-circle moment seeing her be a part of it as well as support it so much. Here’s part of her story about how she’s come to be comfortable in her own, flawless, skin.

meganthisisme1

The first thing I wanted to be growing up was a rodeo queen and I always knew that if I wanted to be that, I had to be skinny. It came from my community saying that if I wanted to be the pretty person, I had to be skinny.

Skinny was pretty. Thin was pretty and I was always told that I did this or that, that I’d be prettier

I was always made to feel that I could be prettier

I spent a lot of years internalizing those comments about my weight and what I looked like.

meganthisisme2

Nothing in my life had changed because of what I weigh.

It was the moment where I thought, ‘Oh, obviously my weight does not dictate my life.’

People spend a lot of time just fighting for the ability to be themselves.

You have two pieces of society; one piece telling children you need to be yourself. You are talented and you need to embrace your individuality. But on the flip side, it is also telling you that you need to adhere to certain standards and do things by the book.

So, for people to actually find a place in life where they can actually be themselves and be an individual, is really important.

Check out more of Megan on her website here and her Instagram page here

Advertisements

Black Girl Magic

If we had to capture our time with SaQuoira into one word, we’d choose “powerful.” SaQuoira gave us a wonderful insight of the effects of colorism in society and how she feels so empowered now for being a strong black woman. We love you, adore you and are inspired by you.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-1-19-52-pm

Growing up, I remember this, I would pick dandelions from my backyard and wish on them that I would get green eyes, dirty blonde hair and tan skin. That’s all I saw, that’s what I identified as beautiful. I felt that being lighter would be more beautiful…

You never saw empowered black women on TV. They always had a lot of attitude, they were either dirty, poor or uneducated. No one in TV, movies or magazines wanted the black woman.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-1-20-17-pm

We’ve come a a long way with representation and we still have far to go.

But people are being recognized and we’re really getting to a point where we’re not made to feel ashamed for the color of our skin.

I love being dark because I see people like Lupita Nyong’o who are just absolutely gorgeous. It makes me love myself for who I am. I feel so empowered when I look at myself – I’m strong, educated, a mother.

Breaking up with labels

Thank you to our new friend Christian, who saw the project on Instagram and wanted to be a part of it. It feels amazing to know out project is reaching people and we were so honored to tell just a little bit of your story! Remember how worthy and amazing you are!

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-12-45-45-pm

The intersection of machismo, masculinity and sexuality is a bunch of different factors at once. You’re trying to be yourself in a world that tells that you can’t because you’re living up to some standard…

I hate being labeled because it divides us so much. I think it’s ridiculous, these boxes and categories should not define us.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-12-46-07-pm

Can I just live in the body and the skin that I have? I categorize myself. I categorize as myself, as a human being.

I’ve overcome a lot of adversity just to be myself and I think that’s brave. I’m brave.

“Taking ownership of myself…”

Our shoot with Chelsea radiated so much love. Chelsea is truly an inspiration in owning one’s womanhood and sexuality. She’s all about breaking stereotypes and staying true to who you are. Thank you for giving us a little perspective from the Latinx community!

chelseathisisme1_2

… My beauty and my self worth is only defined by my being hyper-sexualized because I’m a latina woman…

That my being “curvy” and being voluptuous somehow dictates my worth and place in society.

chelseathisisme1_9

I am a multi-dimensional being. I am a creative mind. I am a survivor of domestic violence. I am a voice of body positivity.

My ethnicity does not get defined by unreleastic standards perpetuated by society. This is me taking ownership of myself.