The YBIF series was started as a result of a book I started writing many years ago, “Your Body Is Fabulous: Dress Like It,” because I feel style and fashion is nothing if you don’t love the body you’re dressing. So, every Thursday I feature a lovely lady, bloggers as well as other gorgeous ladies I know or meet, who tell us what makes their bodies fabulous! The purpose is to empower women to to accept and love their bodies’ as they are by showing women with various body types, skin colors, hair textures, and more. Today the fierce Briana of stops by!!
What makes your body fabulous?
It is STRONG. I spent many, many years fretting that I wasn’t a delicate little petite size 0 flower, LOL. Just like a lot of women, I struggled with finding that happy weight and size for myself…finally when I hit my late 30’s, I embraced my “sturdy” build and began to focus on getting in the best shape possible and nourishing my body with mostly unprocessed, whole, clean foods, and water. I became a serious gym rat, and started strength training on a regular basis, which completely reshaped my entire body. As a result, I feel (and look) way better now than I did 20 years ago! Plus I can (fairly) easily squat 275 lbs. BOOYAH!
What is your favorite thing about how you look? And why?
I’d have to say my overall flow/style. I make a concerted effort to always wear what works for ME, regardless of the current trends. I try to reflect the confidence, inner peace and acceptance I feel through the way I dress, and I think that comes through more often than not. Getting older made me realize you can be sexy, elegant, cutting edge, trendy, whatever, without letting it ALL hang out, all the time! I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my locs and every single one of my tattoos! Plus, I have some a decent amount of lean muscle for a chick!
What are your favorite things to wear to flatter your body or just help you feel good?
Maxi dresses that hint at my figure rather than screaming at the top of its lungs
Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses, ALWAYS
Wide legged slacks, impeccably tailored
Perfectly fitted pair of tight jeans
Heels, almost always (the higher the heel, the closer to God, LOL)
That perfect unique statement wrist cuff or pair of earrings
When it comes to finding clothes, what are some issues you come across? And how do you solve them?
*Sigh* I’m short, with a smallish waist , HUGE thighs, and a BOOTAY (thank you squats and lunges, LOL). Finding pants that fit off the rack is a perpetual issue. My tailor is my BFF, as I get most of my clothes altered and hemmed. I also tend to stick with brands that I KNOW fit me the best, so I can order online without too much trouble. I’ve also discovered the beauty of custom-made clothing. The person who makes dress shirts and suits for my husband made me some button down shirts, a pantsuit, and a pair of cherry red slacks that I will be buried in the day I die, they are just THAT amazing!
What role do you think the media plays in body acceptance?
The media has done a great disservice to women accepting and loving themselves for who they are. It is a constant catch 22- if you are too big, you catch hell, and if you are too skinny, you are burned at the stake. For example, it is incredibly disheartening to see new moms, in what should be the most amazing time of their lives, crucified in the media if they are not back down to a size 00 by the time the baby pops out and the cord is cut. We put too much pressure on ourselves as it is, we certainly don’t need any external pressure! On the other hand, I have developed a great love and respect for the few celebs who always keep it 100 and seem to be REALLY comfortable with the skin they are in. One person who comes to mind for me is Queen Latifah. I also LOVE the numerous bloggers out there (present company INCLUDED of course ) who spend a lot of time and effort showing the average fly chick how to work with what she’s got (no matter how big or small it is), and how to work it to the MAX! Reiko and Juanette are two other bloggers that I adore for this very reason!
What are your thoughts on female body acceptance and appreciation?
Basically, we cannot leave it up to ANYONE ELSE to define and validate OUR beauty. Each woman has to travel her own path of discovery and figure it out for herself. But before she can do that, she has to decide that she’s WORTH it – we spend a great deal of time (as mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and aunts) loving and caring for others while putting ourselves last on the list. The only way to successfully continue to be superwomen is through regular and consistent self-care: mental, spiritual, emotional and physical. Once a woman starts to take care of herself, the love, acceptance and appreciation will come automatically.
Briana can squat 275 pounds; I’m scared of her (in a good way)!! lol There was so much goodness in her interview, and she summed it up with the fact that we can’t leave the definition of our beauty up to anyone else. I LOVE that!!