Personally, I’m very happy to live in an era with so much change happening around women’s equality. This is a time where all the “set rules” no longer apply. From the power of a woman’s voice being heard & respected, shattering the glass ceiling that once kept her quiet – to someone like me, who was able to quit my 9-5 job to pursue a career of my own doing, calling myself the boss of my own brand at the age of 27.
Empowerment starts with embracing yourself, inside & out. Although I’m empowered with what I’ve been able to accomplish in my career, the emotional feeling that comes with it wasn’t a natural one to obtain. I’d be lying if I said I was someone who rarely caved into the insecurities of being a woman. I still fall victim to those negative thoughts that creep in & try to shatter the self-esteem I’ve worked so hard to build up since adolescence.
But the head on my shoulders today is one that fully appreciates the body of the woman standing tall to rise it up. In partnership with Natori, I’ve been inspired to share the personal story behind how I’ve learned to embrace myself as an empowered woman today.
I used to be someone who was very insecure of her small chest, because I was surrounded by people that made me feel less of a woman. I remember it starting in middle school when some girls were hitting puberty & wearing a training bra meant EVERYTHING to a preteen. The insecurity started then in the locker rooms and followed me all throughout my teenage years & into my younger twenties.
I always figured I’d develop late, since I was the last of my friends to get her period (beginning of Sophomore year in high school.) Many women in my family on both sides have D-cups & slim-to-muscular frames. But as I approached my teenage years, my boobs remained small and I began to feel like I had less to offer when it came to the attention of boys. The reason for this was due to the surrounding conversation filling the halls of high school. My sponge of a mind absorbed all information that posed a threat to my “likeability” or attractiveness – in this case, boob size.
My small boobs would sometimes become the negative focus of forced conversations, where all it took was one person to point them out and poke fun at my “lack of womanhood.” It followed me to borrowing clothes, as it became an opportunity to say certain tops/blouses would “swim” on me because I was so much smaller chested than said-person. I hated the threat of being outed by my (then) social circle & as a result, I began to dislike the body I was in.
As I entered college, my focus shifted to stuffing my bra with those silicone inserts, or doubling up with a tight-fitting bralette over my existing bra, or wearing anything push-up along with exposing any degree of cleavage. The reason for this was due to the male conversations I would eavesdrop from. At one point or another, the size of a girl’s bust would be mentioned. Naturally, this translated into me having to do whatever I could to showcase I had the same potential & level of attractiveness.
I look back at those moments now & laugh at the pettiness of it all, but I understand why it affected me so much during these times in my life. Those years are so tough for girls to go through, and the reality is that a majority of women will continue to feel reminded of it as they mature. If it wasn’t for my decision to quite literally start a blog, then I’d be facing & struggling the same degree of fear today. Little did I know I had set myself up for the biggest life lesson I would soon discover on my own –
Finding self-confidence & learning to believe in myself.
Choosing to pursue a career as an influencer isn’t for someone who’s afraid of risk. Although I was insecure about my breast size, I wasn’t intimidated of the hard work that went into turning my then-passion project into a full-time, profitable career. Because I wanted to see it through & make it a reality, I had to push out of my comfort zone to position myself as a fearless leader. In order to succeed, I was forced to leave all those insecurities and fears behind me, for they would only deter the mission & goals I’ve set for myself.
During this process of checking negativity at the door, I found myself becoming the confident woman I’ve always wanted to be in the most natural way imaginable. Those busy hours dedicated to my blog allowed me to pick & choose how I wanted to spend my now-limited free time. As a result, I started not caring as much about what people thought of me, because I knew what I was doing would ultimately pay off. I learned how to say no, how to demand the respect I deserved, and removed the things/people in my life that didn’t contribute to my happiness.
This found confidence continues to build from within and becomes stronger with each opportunity I face with pursuing this career. The energy I put out there, stemming from that confidence, radiates & attracts the right kinds of people & opportunities I choose to associate with.
Yes, I still face insecurities as a woman but they’re not as detrimental to my happiness nor do they define who I am & how I behave. I’m surrounded with the most empowering inner-circle of people I could’ve ever imagined finding. We build each-other up while supporting every decision, opportunity, or challenge that crosses our path.
I wish I could tell my 10 through 20 year-old-selves that like the Feathers bra, the right people & opportunities will find you, support you, grow with you, and continue to build you up. That one day you’ll have the best group of girlfriends in the world and a boyfriend who loves your 32A tatas! But most importantly, that you will find a happiness within yourself that no one can compete with nor take away from you.