I am so pleased to have my fabulous sister, Lena, as a guest blogger this week.  She is my best friend in the whole wide world and since the moment we laid eyes on each other 20 years ago we have been silly, strong-willed, super fabulous girls!  Lena has overcome some of her own challenges and I asked her to share her perspective on living in a society that based worth on pants size and how that affected her self-worth and what she did to overcome the challenges.  I think you will find that she is f-rickin hilarious and we have similar writing styles and outlooks on life.  The moral of the story: we are who we are and our pants size doesn't determine our worth.  Enjoy & until next time, my lovelies! - R

I’ve never really thought of myself as a "blogger," but after my recent Facebook debut, I’ve been told otherwise. Raylynn has since asked me (more like insisted *cough—what?*) that I be a guest blogger. I must admit, this whole experience reminds me of the scene in "Princess Diaries" when Lily asks Mia to be a guest on her cable show. I would be the princess in that scenario. Yup. Just waitin’ for my castle. I suppose Raylynn can be a princess, too. We would definitely share a castle because I love my Raylynndy a lot! :-] Anyway, it’s not very often I get to drag my soap box out of my closet. Poor thing has been getting a bit dusty! Who am I kidding. This metaphorical soap box has been replaced several times due to wear….Let’s get down to business (Go on. You know you want to sing the rest. I did.). The purpose of Raylynn’s blog, that I’ve perceived, is to help all of us girls feel good about ourselves through self-empowerment and sexy outfits. If you think about it, those are our top necessities. They go hand-in-hand. Looking and feeling cute proves that we can handle anything the world throws at us. 

Growing up as a plus-sized gal in a toothpick-obsessed world has certainly been an adventure, not just for me, but all the S women. (Feels weird to consider myself among the ranks of the "women." It occasionally slips my mind that I am, in fact, an adult and have been such for a of couple years now….) High school had its tough moments because I wasn’t a walking paper cut waiting to happen.

Fitting in, overall, was hard. It wasn’t until high school was almost over when I discovered a way to try to fix my self-esteem problem. I joined Weight Watchers. Before I go any further, I’m not planning to go on and on about why losing weight is important and why everyone should do it. It was the right thing for me, though. I’ll delve more into that in a minute.

My "ah ha!" moment came during the summer before my senior year just prior to getting senior pictures done. I had a gorgeous black dress that I wanted to use for one of my outfits. I hadn’t worn it in a while; I bought it freshman year for Winter Formal. I decided to try it on first, before taking it to the studio. I couldn’t wait to wear it again! It was my "little black dress," so to speak. Little was right. I couldn’t zip it up. I was devastated. The dress that had made me feel so good about myself became my worst enemy. Something had to be done. Hence joining Weight Watchers. 100 pounds later (give or take—it fluctuates), I’m still not a toothpick. But you know what? I’m glad. I’ve come to appreciate my curves even more. In addition to the healthy habits I’ve acquired, the weight-loss journey has helped me discover my personality, as well as my style.

Personality-wise, I’m not nearly as shy and self-conscious as I used to be. (I have my weak points, but who doesn’t? Some situations I have yet to be brave enough to face without wanting to curl up into fetal position.) With this new-found confidence, I’ve discovered a lot about myself. I actually have social skills, for one. Another, totally unrelated, is my inner wanderlust. My confidence cup runneth over, so that’s where it runneth to, I guess. I want to travel SO BAD! England is at the top of the list and I am determined to get there someday. Hopefully, the rest of the world will follow. Apologies. I digress.

Style-wise, I feel a lot more motivated to look good and I feel more confident in my choices. To be perfectly honest, my style is hard to define. If I had to categorize it, I would probably say "geek chic" or "hot hipster." For instance, a couple weeks ago, I wore a maxi skirt and a Doctor Who t-shirt. An odd combination, to be sure, but it worked.  I wear what I feel like. Some days, I dress like a geek, others, a princess, and sometimes, an odd mixture of both. By the way, I now officially own my very own pair of hipster glasses and wear them with pride. Yeah, buddy!

No matter our style, ALL of us are supermodels. Don’t let society tell you otherwise. Many times I wish I could confront society as a whole and give it a hearty slap across the face (among other places) and tell it, in my roughest, toughest, mobster voice, "What the heck, society? What’s the sitch, here? Why you gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human, too? (Love that song, by the way….) Don’t you know that my life is hard enough as it is without you turnin’ up your surgically-altered nose at me? Ain’t nobody got time for dat! You know what you are? You are selfish. You are controlling. You got no compassion! Well, you know what? I ain’t gonna take them shenanigans from you no more! I’m gonna be me because that’s who I’m s’posed to be! (CAN I GET AN AMEN!?)" Whew. Deep breaths, deep breaths….

Fortunately, though, society is slowly relaxing its death grip and ever so slowly becoming more accepting of the curvier gals. Just look at Adele, Meghan Trainer, or Mary Lambert (to name a few)! They’re rockin’ their curves and making bank in the process! "All About That Bass" and "Secrets" are two of my new favorite jams. They basically tell me that I can be awesome and curvy at the same time. I also love Bruno Mars’, "Just the Way You Are." That song is so empowering, especially since it’s a man’s point of view on how women should see themselves! We can be amazing just the way we are.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Don’t let your curves, or any self-image insecurity you may have, hold you back. You are unique, you are loved, and most importantly, you are a daughter of God. Rather than letting your imperfections hold you back, let them push you forward.

Peace out, girl scouts!

(The day it all began .... cut me some slack, I was 13 and awkward.)

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