1. What are three of your best qualities?
I am a fighter, which often times makes me feel overwhelmed by all the injustice in the world. I want to drop everything and fight for the oceans, indigenous tribes and planet. I also love my sense of humor, and creativity.
2. What are three of your worst qualities?
I feel every emotion so deeply, which can get me into trouble. I have a hard time feeling reassurance from people I love unless it is through words of affirmation. Lastly, I get upset when people do not have the reaction to an experience that meet my expectations.
3. What is your favorite part about your body?
I love my back and shoulder area. I love my breasts, my lips, my legs - I just love my entire body!
4. What is one part of your body you wish you loved more?
On my most fragile days, I tend to send negative thoughts to my stomach and thighs. I think every person has days where they look in the mirror and choose a place to focus any negativity they are feeling. I tend to focus there.
5. Did you ever have a moment where you wished your stretch marks didn’t exist?
Yes. When I first began growing curves in college, I was so frightened by my new stretch marks and rolls. I felt like I'd loss control of my body. I became so obsessed with getting rid of them that I was blind to the beauty of my new body. I wish someone had shaken me during that time of my life and tell me to snap out of it and focus on other things!
6. What are one of your qualities you wish shined brighter than your exterior appearance?
I wish my intelligence shined brighter. I believe I am a very smart person, but in certain situations, I feel like my appearance is paid more attention to than my thoughts. It is hard being the only women in a room of men. It is hard to know if you are being heard or just looked at.
I grew up with only brothers, so in a way I feel like I have had to go out of my way my whole life to stay in the race with the guys.
7. What lessons do you hope to instill in your children about self-love and body acceptance?
I've thought a lot about this recently. I think my parenting style will start by teaching my children that their value does not stem from their appearance. I want the foundation of my children's self esteem to be based on who they are on the inside. I want to teach them to understand compliments that mean more than the typical, "You are so pretty!" or "You look so strong and tough!" Those compliments sink into our subconscious and train us to crave affirmation about our looks. When I want to compliment my children, I will say, "You are radiant" or "You are so intellient and brave!"
9. In ten years, what do you want your stretch marks to remind you of?
My stretch marks will always be my battle scars. They remind me of how much I've grown and the person I once was. I am so thankful for my body because it allows me to experience life and this planet. I can move as I please and explore! I feel like I am slowly collecting stretch marks and at the end of my life I'll have accumulated all these amazing stages of life.
8. Can you speak about how to resolve the competitiveness that exists between women?
If we all truly felt beautiful and accepted ourselves for who we are, I don't think we would be so competitive with each other. Maybe it's one of the world's biggest set-ups: teach women they are not good enough so they feel insecure and compete with one another in order to keep them from working together and running the world. How amazing would the world be if each person believed they were enough? I believe we have to lead with kindness and try our best to be supportive and understanding of each other. Just because someone is beautiful does not mean you cannot be beautiful. There is only one "you" on this planet.
10. What would you have told yourself at your most fragile state?
I wish I could have told myself that everything was going to be okay. I would remind myself that I am strong enough to pull through most of life's hurdles - and that there will come a moment when everything passes.