Walking the BlogHer Fashion Show: Anything Is Possible
By Erin Kotecki Vest on August 07, 2012
No. No. I could do it. I just had to believe. I had to believe, I had to get comfortable in this body of mine, and I had to own who I am now. OWN IT.
So with that thought in my mind, and some nudging from some people reminding me that others like me might be inspired and get that “you are beautiful” comment they too have been waiting for ... I said yes.
Flash forward to rehearsals, fittings, hair, makeup, shapewear discussions, stretch mark discussions, bra discussions, heels or flats discussions, order of models, how to walk, how may beats to count before posing ... and on and on and on.
And at every point I wanted to bail. To run out of this thing that put butterflies in my stomach. Would the community think this was lame? Would anyone believe I was beautiful and model-worthy? Would they see all the hard work and diversity of women of every stripe and say “that is awesome,” or would they say “where are the supermodels?”
And I stood on the steps off the stage, music blaring, and knew there was no turning back. I was told that if I could do it, maybe next year another woman afraid to show her cancer scars might say yes too. Maybe, just maybe, a blogger who feels like the ugly duckling due to a birth defect will volunteer and say “ME NEXT!”
Image: Kelly Cheatle of craftyb
And I closed my eyes, and I counted my beats, and I believed, for the first time in so long, that I truly was beautiful. I believed what I had always written and told my daughter -- it’s not what is outside, it’s what is inside that makes you pretty. My inside has sass, and silly, and attitude, and power. POWER enough to be winning against a disease that kills. Power enough to be humbled by the “fluff” bloggers who I realize not only work hard, but work super hard to show every woman is beautiful, fighting the stereotype that you need to be a tall, skinny, white, blonde female to be the ideal.
They taught me everyone is the ideal woman, and I most certainly was welcome in their ranks. Not everything needs news and politics, but everything DOES need beauty.
So for every woman who isn’t society’s usual cover girl ... I stepped on stage, walked to my mark, and soaked in what I KNEW was already there: family and friends who love me for me. And who all taught me EVERYONE in this community and beyond has an equally important voice. Because that voice gave me the confidence to return to who I really am.
And I am beautiful.
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