4. Role Model

4. Role Model

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident

Role Model

The most revolutionary thing you can do is love your body.

~Author Unknown

I wasn’t a skinny kid, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming of being a fashion model when I grew up. I used to admire my mother’s modeling pictures — Mom was a thin, Twiggy-type model during that era — and dream “what if” and “one day” for myself.

Years later, as a young woman, I stumbled upon an ad looking for plus-size models for a fashion show at a nearby department store. I took a leap and went.

I wore clothes I never thought I’d wear and strutted up and down the center aisle to entice shoppers. It was amazing. My dream became a reality and I told myself: “You can do this!”

I joined a plus-size modeling agency and pursued the passion I had since I was a young girl. I never realized it would have an effect on anyone outside of myself until one day, when I was doing a photo shoot at the beach, I saw a young, plus-size girl watching from the sidelines.

She turned to her mom, excited: “Mommy, I can be a plus-size model!”

It was then that I realized my confidence in my size showed others that they, too, could be confident and do whatever they desired to do in life.

Being plus-size doesn’t mean embracing an unhealthy lifestyle. It means the opposite: loving yourself so much that you want the best for you and your body. I’ve participated in 5K races, danced, traveled the world — I’ve lived. I’ve dated someone who had never dated a plus-size woman before.

With confidence, you can do anything and go anywhere.

Confidence has no size.

I’ve been a size 26 and I’ve been a size 16 and through the sizes I learned how to love myself and take beautiful pictures even at my heaviest.

Today, I still have a role in the plus-size community sharing my story and the stories of others. I write for a plus-size magazine and our motto is: “thrive in your curves.”

I tell women at events that you have to learn to love yourself at size 22, because the feelings inside do not just change once you’re a size 2.

Confidence has no size.

~Tamara Paylor

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