Claiming self-reliance is not something we are always encouraged to openly do. Taking credit and being proud of your unique gifts and who you are can sometimes be seen as boastful or ugly. And I'll be damned if I haven’t resisted patting myself on the back for what I have been able to accomplish as well.
Starting No Wrong Way Movement, I have personally seen how absolutely resilient we all can be and only now have I decided to give myself some much due credit for my unique gifts.
The fantastical story we are all told is that we can only be beautiful if we buy this expensive makeup or that article of fancy clothing. But the reality is so different, and I’ve learned that no part of that sparkly, retouched story is true.
I have had to strip away all the crap that I thought would make me more successful and look back at all the moments that may have never been if I had not embraced my own gifts; my own beautiful resources and pushed through.
For instance, I'm a single mom and when I first had Joselyn I'm sure many people assumed my career was over. I’m sure there was a part of me that even believed them for a second, but that second passed and I knew at that moment it was time to kick it up in gear and use my story to empower others. Little did I know I’d be regaining my strength in the process.
Until I came around, showing stretch marks was a non-existent concept for a fashion campaign, but I refused to be ignored and decided that my story was worth sharing.
I started posting countless un-retouched Instagram pictures, allowing others to see beauty in a way that hadn't been seen publicly before. By doing that I showed brands that they could embrace our bodies and leave my images un-retouched, too. Admittedly, it scared the living daylights out of me but I knew that in order to overcome the fears that were holding me down, I needed to accept what scared me the most and quit allowing myself to hide.
Here we are in 2017, and huge brands like Target, Lane Bryant and Swimsuits For All have all stood by me in breaking the rules of what beauty used to be. At the end of the day, we are just people, we cannot strive for perfection, but we are perfectly who we are meant to be and our bodies and minds are strong and capable of far more than we give them credit.
I thank those brands for being so bold and can only imagine how many people they are inspiring to be themselves. I never thought I'd get to see my stretch marks in an issue of Sports Illustrated, but I always knew I should believe in myself.
At the end of the day, never forget, there is No Wrong Way to be Yourself and that YOU are your own super power.