The following is the first of an ongoing series we’ll be doing across all personas. The posts will feature women who we feel embody some element of the persona they’re featured in, and we hope you’ll be inspired by hearing their stories! Today we are featuring Tanesha Awasthi of Girl With Curves, a revolutionary style blog that celebrates the beauty of a curvy, feminine form. She is a true beauty, inside and out, as you’ll soon see through her responses …
Hi Tanesha! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to feature you here on Darling. Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Thank you so much! I’m a full-time Account Manager in the tech field, and a blogger in every other moment of my being. I have a an English degree, am a licensed esthetician, and have a passion for helping girls and women. I’m also a mommy to a one-year-old English Bulldog named Kingston, who sneaks into blog photos once in a while!
When did you start your blog and what inspired you to do so?
I started the blog in February of 2011 as a way to share my love of fashion and shopping, but it quickly turned into a mission for change. I want to change lives through fashion, by promoting positive body image and self-esteem.
Girl With Curves is clearly more than just a fashion blog—it’s a catalyst for change in the way we view beauty. Did you begin the blog with that intention, or did that mission form along the way?
Not at all! I started off just posting images of me wearing my everyday outfits, and when I received the first note from a reader saying that seeing me made her feel better about herself because she could relate to having curves, I had the feeling I was on to something. Being able to help women feel good about themselves is an amazing feeling, and I’m beyond fulfilled just in knowing I’m helping at least one person in the world.
We saw an interview you did on Bay Area Focus where you mentioned that you had the privilege of attending NY Fashion Week one year. As most of our readers have never had that opportunity, could you share about what that experience like for you—the good and the bad?
It was a dream come true, but a true reality check. I got to meet fashion designers and celebs I look up to—Oscar de la Renta, Nina Garcia, Kim Kardashian—and it was an amazing feeling to get to meet people you look up to and admire. But, the harsh reality that plus size women, or anyone over size 12, isn’t catered to in the fashion world was really in my face and it was hard to digest.
Attending runway shows where the biggest sizes most of the designers make is a size 12, is a sad but true reality that the average woman has to deal with. (Not to mention the fact that the average woman is bigger than a size 12, so she can only dream of wearing the beautiful designs that grace the runway each season!) It was nice seeing the designs up-close and personal, but not being able to wear them is a torture in itself.
What does your process look like when you’re styling your outfit for a post? Does it differ from your everyday outfit selection?
My mood typically determines what I wear, unless I have a special event to attend and then I dress for the occasion. (Any excuse to wear a dress, is a welcomed one!) When I can’t find anything to wear, I usually start with the shoes, and work my way up.
We all know that body image is a big issue among women. Would you say you have good body image? If so, what advice could you give to readers who are unhappy with what they look like or feel unworthy because of their mind’s view of their appearance?
I definitely have a good body image now, but it wasn’t always this way. It took me years to embrace my height, my curly hair, my big feet (LOL), and my natural curves. Being able to accept one’s body takes time and mental toughness, in a world where the ideal beauty portrayed in the media isn’t what most of us look like. The majority of women don’t fit the cookie-cutter mold of beauty as portrayed in the media, and until society at large realizes this, we won’t be able to be happy with what we look like, and we won’t accept ourselves as we are.
The best advice I can give to anyone is to realize that if you focus on being the best version of yourself, playing-up the things you love and not worrying about things you don’t, you will attain true happiness. It wasn’t until I started viewing myself this way that I was able to stop obsessing about the things I wanted to change.
And lastly, what are three style tips you could leave our readers with?
1) Never shy away from a trend because fashion rules say you shouldn’t wear it. Rules are meant to be broken, and anyone of any shape and size can wear anything, with the right fit!
2) Be yourself when it comes to fashion and getting dressed. Don’t follow trends just because magazines say you should. Wear what you love, and stick to it! That’s what personal style is all about.
3) Make sure your clothes fit well—even if it means going up a size! Size is just a number, and they’re not created equally among all designers/brands, so ignore sizing. When you ignore the number and simply wear something that fits amazing, you’ll be happy you did!
Images via Girl With Curves