Creating Confidence Through Fierce Faith
Each year as the weather breaks, women are pressured to get summer bodies. Existing during the warmer seasons is not enough. The careless judgement of physique is at an all-time high as bikini season arrives. Internet memes of chunky animals and cartoon characters and actual people exist to dismantle the confidence of those whose beauty breaks the mold of society’s standards. Though these trolls can have ill intentions and it can get discouraging, there are people who recognize the absurdity of fat shaming.
Hashtags such as #BigThighTwitter and #DontHateTheShake serve as reminders that sexy comes in all sizes. While body positive hashtags create a place where many seek solace while making a statement, it is not easy for everyone to be comfortable in their own skin. Although the hashtags are celebrated, the rude comments were not absent and the fat shaming is still an everyday occurrence.
I got the opportunity to interview the gorgeous Zuri Johnson, a plus size model, and motivational speaker who is very familiar with the reality of negative comments aimed at plus-size women. Johnson the former reigning Miss Ohio Plus America 2015, has advice for those who may be struggling embracing their bodies.
Zuri Johnson got into modeling at first for fun. Johnson participated in college fashion shows and as she realized her top model potential, she began to take it seriously. Her first serious pageant, the 2013 Miss Kentucky Plus America Pageant and Fashion show was an eye opener. In this pageant, Johnson looked beyond her insecurities with body image and proceeded to win the crown. She reigned as Miss Kentucky Plus America 2014 and the Miss Plus America 2014 first runner-up.
As Zuri went on to pursue a career and make a name for herself in the industry, she realized the strength of her self confidence grounded in faith.
Zuri Johnson, handles negative comments in numerous ways. When asked how to deal with negative comments, answered the following.
Zuri Johnson has used her platform to not only excel professionally but also to create a space for others. Her organization P31:FIT combines faith, fierceness and fitness. P31:FIT is "dedicated to the ministry of educating, empowering and supoorting women of God in areas of health and wellness so that we may live the life God purposed us for" P31:FIT is her God-given vision. Johnson was able to create P31:FIT during a time of disparity.
Currently, Zuri not only has P31:FIT but also continues to model, serve as a motivational speaker and more. She uses her talents and gifts to uplift women across the country. If you are struggling with body confidence, here's some advice from Zuri herself: