What Do You Love About Yourself?

We asked women around the world what they love about themselves. The response was fantastic! “What I Love About Me” will be an ongoing feature that celebrates women expressing what we love about ourselves instead of focusing on what we perceive as our flaws.

  

Solveig Walkling 

I love that my head is full of stories. Ever since I was a child, I’ve felt as if my head is just filled up to the brim with them and ready to burst. I use to tell them to myself – especially at bath time or when around water (when I was younger) and invent all these characters and fantasy lands. These days, when I’m calm and resting in myself and I listen to my imagination; it is still just as colorful as it was when I was a kid. It’s wonderful and lets me look at the world differently; drifting into other worlds in the here and now and turning a pigeon into a dragon and an arch into a magical portal. One day, I’ll have to start putting them down onto paper. 

 

Mary Camp, Minda Brown, and Erin Gahan photographed by Lindsey Bowen 

Mary Camp 

I love my artistic ability with just about anything –food, home, hair, yard, painting, etc. I love, love, love my relationship with my family, children, and of course, my friends. Oh, and I love my red hair! 

Minda Brown 

I love my sense of humor and my ability to not take myself too seriously. I love my ability to give. I love my smile and my feet! 

Erin Gahan 

I am really optimistic and look at every situation from a positive point of view. I also love that I don’t take myself too seriously. I’m always laughing at myself. 

 

 

Abby Valdez 

My name is Abby Valdes and I am a “Full Figured” Model with BELLA Models in Australia, FORD Models in New York, and OKAY Models in Germany.  

“What do I like about myself?” Well now, As a WOMAN, there are many things I like, or rather, LOVE about myself. On a base level, I love my hips. My hips scream, “I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR!” When I dress, I do not dress to ‘DE-EMPHASIZE’ my hips as so many shop assistants recommend to women of shape! How insulting. I like to show my waist and my hips, not hide them.  

On a personality platform– Well I guess I like my rainbow personality. I actually rang my good friend Quinn here in New York (where I live) to ask her what she ‘liked’ about me. After a good laugh out loud, she named all the usual stuff like how honest I am, and that I’m loyal, compassionate, strong, etc. Then said, “Well, you’re a very “colorful person” to which I said –yes, sounds like me, but please explain. 

Apparently, I am colorful both inside and out (and I feel very complimented!). I am very graphic in all that I do. I always make people laugh their heads off and give people stories to take home with them. One BIG RAINBOW Girl! So, I thought…. I’ll take that!  I know that was all a bit random, but when someone calls you a rainbow–you have to tell someone! 

 

Jill Smith 

Interesting, as I sat down to write about what I loved about myself it took a while, as I have never given it much thought. I encourage all women to ponder that question as the first thing that comes to mind is “what I do or being a caretaker” when in fact, that is not who you are. I decided that what I love about myself is that I am honest, loving, and kind. I am pretty much a kid trapped in a grandma’s body and what you see is who I am. As far as physical traits, I have a great smile and have always thought my ears were pretty much perfect!  

 

Fiona McMullen 

I love my smile. I have a great big smile that is especially good if I’m in the middle of a good laugh. 

For me, when I smile I feel a great release of happy warmth on the inside that can’t help but make other people smile when they are around me. A smile is definitely contagious, and I love the fact that you can cheer someone up by just flashing one. Sometimes if I’m feeling a bit flat, I can trick myself into feeling happier by just having a smile. 

 

Kate Fridkis 

I love my underlying belief in my uniqueness. And I don’t just mean, “Yeah, everyone is their own person, and therefore we’re all special.” I mean, I actually sometimes believe that I am fantastically different. That it is my differences that make me fascinating, rather than off-puttingly odd or inappropriate. I live in a society that purportedly adores individuality, yet stresses the importance of all high school girls wearing exactly the same style of jeans. I have a big nose. I look ethnically Jewish. I was homeschooled. These are things that struggle to find a spot in the category “cool.” But I am absolutely unwilling to ignore the things about myself that aren’t stereotypically hot, or even allow them to be significantly downplayed. Instead, I have to blog about them, stare at them in the mirror, and wrestle with them until I feel satisfied, sometimes only for a moment, that I am not just getting by, or dealing, but that I am even more exciting as a person because of the things that distinguish me. 

Also, I make sort of legendary sandwiches. This is not skill that the modern woman is supposed to brag about. I get the sense that I should be merging major corporations or something instead. But when you can make a truly thrilling sandwich, you’ve got let the world know, even when the world isn’t ready to listen.  🙂 

*You can visit Kate’s blog at www.eatthedamncake.com

 

Lauren Maksimovic and Peter Morrissey 

I would have to say if there is something I love about myself, it is probably my positive outlook on life and always trying to find the funny side of things! I am a bit of a larrikin, always happy and I believe you have to make the most of every day. I try to not take life too seriously and just have a good time with whatever I’m doing, I only surround myself with positive people, and people who I love and who make me laugh. I believe that life is beautiful and the only way to be is with a smile. 🙂 

 

Stacy Chapin photographed by Lindsey Bowen 

I love my baby blues, my smile, and my 5’10” frame. I like my confidence. I love my children, my husband, and my life! I have a good balance in my life. I love that I am outspoken and opinionated. My successes and failures make me who I am. I would rather someone dislike me for who I am and what I have become, rather than like me for who I am not.

 At forty-one, I finally have accepted (not sure I love) my small boobs, my large thighs, and my size eleven shoes. 

 

Amanda Oxford 

I love that at 23 I feel more beautiful than I ever have because finally I’m comfortable in my skin. I love my curves and could never ever imagine being smaller than a size 14. I love that every day I get to show people that plus-size models are beautiful, strong, and just like every other women out there. That’s what I love about me. 🙂 

 

Amber Lynn   

I love my sense of gratitude. Of course, I am so thankful for my husband, my kids, and my friends; but I also find myself grateful for other things throughout the day. I’m appreciative for the service I receive at a restaurant, for the bagger who cared for my groceries or even the guy who anonymously picked up my trash can after a windstorm. I express my gratitude with words, smiles, and hugs. I thank God for every day that I’m blessed with to be alive and with my family. Being this way helps me in so many areas of my life. It calms the stress of being a stay at home mom in that I can remind myself of what I have and it makes what seems like a big deal, so small. It takes away the frustration of times like when my husband calls and tells me he’ll be late home because I’m just glad he’ll be coming home. It reminds me to love life and I’m more attentive and present in it. 

 

Emily Takis 

I would have to say that my favorite feature is my smile. I think a smile can open up the world if you know how to use it! 

 

Lauren Koenig 

One thing I’ve always loved about myself, is my ability to just let go. I love to walk into a room where I don’t know anyone and have the best time of my life. I believe in who I am, what I stand for, and where I want to go in life. I think that when you are around people…and you let them know that you are comfortable with who you are, then that will give them the confidence to help them let down their wall. 

 

Michelle Renee 

As a model, I initially might think of my eyes, or my legs, or something physical as what I like best about myself. But, if I am truly honest, I have to say my best feature is my strength. To those who know me personally, they know I have had many health issues for some time, and regardless of what I go through, I am able to keep pushing on. My strength is a gift, and I believe that I can do anything because of it. I have been a teacher for many years, and when I was first diagnosed with a very serious health problem, and given a very poor prognosis, I thought I might have to leave doing what I love best (teaching). But, I do honestly believe that because I continued working, no matter how I was doing physically, I felt so much better both emotionally and mentally, and have been able to continue because I am incredibly strong. I credit my mom with giving me much of my strength, and I remember her telling me, “Take advantage of how you feel today, because this may be the best you ever feel again; do not waste it.” And she was right. So, I live every moment to the fullest, as cliché as that may sound, because I am an incredibly strong person. 

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Molly Schmidt photographed by Lindsey Bowen 

I think that I am a compassionate person who cares about other people. I love my personality and that I am easy going and honest. I love my lips, smile, gams, and chest. I also like my fashion style. 

 

Ysabel  Velásquez  – Venezuelan Journalist 

My mom taught me not to compare myself with other girls. I grew up in a country where the imperative esthetic is dominated by the Miss Venezuela type: extra thin and extra tall. Embracing my uniqueness makes me the strong, confident, and beautiful woman that I am today. 

As a journalist, in health, fashion, and beauty sources, I encourage girls through my articles, promote that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t include starving, and to be successful, loved, and beautiful you don’t have to be thin. Curvy girls can have it all by loving ourselves exactly as we are. 

I love myself in all the extension: my body, my curves, my power to make a difference, and to be a role model for all the women who suffer in silence for not accepting their shape. I tell them that life is easier when you walk proud, take care of yourself both inside and out, and discover the beauty within you. 

I would like model too, but here we don´t have a plus fashion industry. Through the Internet, I discovered wonderful blogs and webs like this that allow women to make strong networks with girls around the world that have the same fight. I have the awesome opportunity to be the guest blogger for Madison Plus. I write CityStyle Caracas, reporting hot trends this side of the world translated to curvy shapes. 

 

Kim Lee 

I love my laugh and my ability to laugh at anything. I love that I can make other people laugh – even if it’s at my expense. I love my sense of humor. I  love my love for life; laughing and having fun is therapeutic. I love my confidence; I don’t care what others think of me. I love my ability to roll with the punches. I like my boobs. I like my eyes; they are very unique. I love being tall. 

 

Kate Thomas 

I love my bum! It used to be a physical feature that I tried desperately to change. I always saw it as too big, too round, and frankly just — in the way! Now, I love it! It’s part of me and makes me feel like a woman. I love the way it makes me look curvy and feminine. The fact my boyfriend loves it too makes me love it even more. I go to the gym regularly. I’m no longer working-out to change my shape, but to keep my body toned & healthy.   

 

Carla Rinker 

I love my arms. They are strong & muscular, while still being feminine. These are the arms that held my chubby babies for hours on end, still carry the hurt or sad child, hug my friends and husband, and massage my clients for 20+ hours a week. They are a symbol of my balance between compassion and strength as a woman, mother, massage therapist, friend, wife, and daughter. God help me if I didn’t have these arms! 

 

Natasha Devon is a Body Confidence Campaigner, journalist, broadcaster and plus size model. 

I love my walk. It might sound like an odd thing to love about oneself, but it represents so many different things for me, it’s a walk that expresses a thousand emotions and encapsulates who I am… 

1994…I’m 13, my ex-fashion model turned buyer mother takes me to one side and says ‘Natasha, we need to talk about your walk’… 

My walk wasn’t something I’d given a great deal of thought to; I just knew how I FELT and that was, for various reasons, like absolute crap. It transpired that I walked as if constantly searching for something I’d dropped – head down, deep in concentration, meandering from one side to the other in a potentially annoying fashion. 

So, approximately 12 years and 2 months after I took my very first steps, I re-learned the art of walking: Shoulders back, head high and with lashings of attitude. Round and round the dining room table I went, mimicking my mother’s swishing posterior as she demonstrated the art of the strut. At school, everyone noticed that Natasha had a brand new walk. It was a strut that suggested I had bucket-loads of the confidence that most teenage girls inherently lack, but the truth was that it was the other way around. Walking that way made me feel like I could conquer the World. 

Ten years later, 2004… An eating disorder had me in its clutches. I was on my way back from yet another visit to the GP, clutching yet another prescription for high-dosage antidepressants, when I realized that, in addition to all the stomach cramps and headaches and mental anguish I’d been experiencing over the past 5 years, my back ached. It ached because I’d lost my walk. I was hunched over, once again scrutinizing the ground, searching for something that wasn’t there, shuffling uncertainly like an OAP. 

Six years later, 2010…The agent at the Plus Size Modeling agency has just told me I have the best walk of the day. I smile to myself, thinking that it’s just the way I usually walk, slowed down slightly as if to show off beautiful couture. In 2008, I waged war on the eating disorder that had robbed me of everything. I still don’t know where I found the strength but, somewhere along the line, THE STRUT returned, without me even noticing. ‘That guy is looking at you because you are SO hideous and fat’ became– ‘That guy is looking at you. You must look hot today. Crank up the strut and show him what you’ve got’. 

My walk represents everything I am and everything I have conquered. I see some women looking at me sometimes as if to say ‘who does she think she is?’ The answer is — I think I am Natasha Devon and I’ve earned the right to feel proud. 

*What do you love about yourself? 

**Thank you to all the women who sent in material. We love everything you wrote! You are all uniquely beautiful! 

***If you would like to participate with future “What I Love About Me” features, please e-mail your material to nelizabethanna@aol.com. Please keep the verbiage to 2o0 words or less. We look forward to hearing from you! Thank you.

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6 Responses to “What Do You Love About Yourself?”

  1. Brazy Moda Says:

    I love everything about me first because god doesn’t make Junk, and i am a beautiful BBW and so happy with me I saw this quote a while back and remind myself of this always… I dont like myself i love myself by Mae West. Love this page 🙂

  2. […] here is a post that includes me at Plus-Size Models Unite. That’s right, people, I’m a plus-size model now! Ok, not exactly, but this may be as […]

  3. Megan Leitch Kovanen Says:

    I love this article. These are lovely, beautiful and confident women. I feel pretty honored to know a few of them. Kim, Carla, Molly, Jill and Stacy! You are amazing women. What a gift of empowerment and strength you are giving to yourself, other women and most importantly your children! Way to go beautiful ladies!! And, Angela and Liz – still beyond over the moon proud of the two of you. Enjoy this magical adventure.

  4. Wow!! What a great feature!!

  5. Michelle Says:

    Wow – loved reading what these women love about themselves. If everyone asked that question every day, I would think that the world would be a happier place.

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