Growing up I always loved the beauty or fashion industry, but I never felt that they loved me. Before you go up in arms, let me explain what I mean by that. First off, I am a black woman and then I am plus size. Being a plus-size woman we have to fight for representation within the fashion industry and begin a black woman, we have to fight for color representation within the beauty community.
When I was growing up, I rarely saw someone who looks like me in the media. If you're a 90's baby, then you remember growing up on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. I feel like every little kid imagined themselves myself "Hi, I'm ______ and you're watching Disney Channel!" Growing up I don't remember seeing many if any actors who look like me on TV. Therefore, it was hard to find and relate to the characters that I saw on TV. The only person that I remember relating to was Raven Symone on That's So Raven. I remember going to her concert and having her sign a tour photo for me (it's one of my favorite memories!) However, after Raven took a break from acting, there was no one else for me to admire or representation for the colored girls. However, this generation has been a crucial period of change and a movement of uprise within the fashion and beauty industry. We now see commercials centered around people from different ethnicities, backgrounds, and sexualities.
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Influencers such as Patrick Starrr, Jackie Aina Beauti Curve and Curves on a Budget really are changing the game by using their talents to become partners with some of the biggest named companies out there. Creating a platform for the plus size women and colored girls. Influencers such as these have inspired me to give birth to Jays Essentials.
At this point in time, there is no reason why a woman should not be able to showcase her personality through her style. Yes, we do still have a ways to go with the fashion industry, but there are brands out there that provide trendy and chic clothing for the bigger woman. That is the sole reason why I wanted to create my blog. It took me a while to learn how to find clothing that accentuates my body and makes me feel confident. And you may be someone who doesn't feel comfortable with their body and you know what? That is Perfectly OK! Because I am not solely comfortable with mine either. We all have those days when we feel disgusted with ourselves. However, that is why I created Jays Essentials. Not only to help inspire others but to challenge myself and continuously find the beauty within me. Because from where I'm standing, everyone needs to find the "essential" piece within themselves to help become their most confident and strong.
So, my challenge for you is to look in the mirror and say all the things that you like about yourself, whether it is physically or internally. The point of this challenge is to embrace our strengths and flaws and never apologize for just being us!