Jewelz M also known as @jewelzjourney in the internet world is a force to be reckoned with! She is a FIERCE body positive advocate. This beautiful woman will not back down on what she believes in. And what does she believe in? Herself! And putting herself out there in hopes of inspiring other women to get out there and live their lives with confidence! Jewelz is the founder of a movement called #BigandBlunt, which encourages women to feel good about themselves regardless of size. One of her recent dancing videos has gone viral, and garnered a ton of attention. I’m very excited to bring you her story here today!
How did the Big and Blunt movement start? What was your initial goal when you started it?
The big and blunt movement takes me back to high school. I think about all the different friends that I had, and how hard it was at times to stand up for what I believed in, when others had different views. For example, not everyone I was friends with supported the LGBTQ community so at times it made supporting it and speaking up about it more difficult. It was even more difficult to stand up or speak out when it came to certain things that revolved around eating or working out. So when the school took away juice I refused to speak about it in the general meetings/assembly. Even though I don’t/didn’t really drink juice, I thought we should be allowed to decide for ourselves. But because juice is a drink, and drinking is related to eating I refused to say a word in fear others would make fun of me because of my size and weight.
So when I went body positive, I realized that I needed to stand up and have confidence. With confidence and the ability to stay positive came a whole new idea, #bigandblunt. It’s a movement for anyone who’s ever felt like they couldn’t do, say, wear or like something in fear of what others think. Be big = confidence, and be blunt = positive.
Your recent dancing video went viral! Were you surprised at how popular it became? And by people’s reactions? You’re a great dancer by the way!
Thanks you so much. I am surprised at how viral it went and so much of the positive feedback this time around. Let’s just say I’ve had a dance video go viral before and there wasn’t nearly as much positive support. It’s amazing to think that you can just post something on the internet and it’s possible the whole world will see it, I think people forget that, but I sure don’t.
Check out this awesome video: http://www.news1130.com/video/2017/05/01/plus-size-model-spreads-body-positive-message-through-viral-video/
How did you get into plus size modeling?
I got into plus size modeling when a photographer friend invited me out to do a body positive shoot and I loved it. I felt so strong and fabulous. I thought how tired I was of never seeing people like me in magazines, and how I could inspire so many people. From then on I made it my mission to help change the modeling world and society’s idea of what’s beautiful.
Do you remember a specific moment, when you thought enough is enough, I will not hate myself anymore? Tell us about that moment.
I remember finally getting at peace with my mind and then having a horrible few days trying to get dressed and I thought to myself, I did all this work to better my mind and it’s for nothing if I can’t start loving my body. I started to back track into that depressive mental state. It really got me to the point where I needed to make a decision to live or let go, because I wasn’t going to survive hating myself anymore. At this point I was on the journey without even realizing it though, slowly finding inspiration online and taking small outfit risks before I went full blown #fatpositive.
How do you quiet the negative self-talk? (I know that is one thing I’ve had the most trouble with in my life!) What strategies do you employ to help you stay positive, with all the negativity that can creep in?
I really tell myself to stay #bigandblunt, I have to stay confident and positive. And know that things might not be great now, but that’s life. To quote my good friend Ashley, “have a day”. It might not be a good day, but at least you have a day, so have a day. I remind myself I am allowed to love my body. I think about all the time I’ve wasted and it immediately makes me want to start catching up.
You are a role model for girls and women everywhere. What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
If I could give my younger self any advice, it would be to question everything, especially society and its standards. Instead of questioning if my body is good enough, I’d question why girls like me aren’t showcased, realizing the problem is a fat phobic society, not me or my body. I’d also scream to myself, that “You’re allowed to take up space is in this world.”
How do you feel about your body, now as compared to before?
It doesn’t even compare. The way I once felt about my body was devastating. Pulling my fat and closing my eyes wishing it would disappear, feeling uncomfortable in every situation because I felt like I was always in people’s way. The way I feel about my body now is wonderful. I’ve begun to see all the amazing things it does for me. I have come to realize that fat is a part of me, but it’s not all that I am.
What is your favourite thing about your body?
How can I choose? When I was insecure, my first answer would always be my nose. But now I can’t decide between my legs, my belly or my whole face, I just love myself!
How do you deal with people making comments about your body, whether it be positive or negative?
With the positive comments, I thank them and reply, letting people know how important it is to uplift all bodies. When people make negative comments I let them know that their ignorance is on display for the whole world to see, and sometimes I even question why they think my body isn’t good enough.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Waking up every morning allowing myself to be me. To wear what I want, and do what I want, and say what I want. Feeling beautiful for me is feeling confident and strong.
Those last words make such a powerful statement! And though seemingly such a simple thing, allowing yourself to just be yourself can be so incredibly difficult sometimes! So many of us tend to hide the little parts of ourselves that we are not happy with, because we are afraid of other people’s judgements. Time to set ourselves free! We all need to practice being #BigandBlunt!
You can find Jewelz here:
I started modelling about a year and a half ago after I found self-love. I met a new friend in a body-positivity…nowtoronto.com
*Photo credit from above: @craveboudoir