5 Ways For Curvy Women To Get Their Confidence On

#2 is so important.

There's a new conversation these days, and it's all about body image, self-esteem, and confidence. Women of all sizes are learning to embrace the bodies they were issued at birth, instead of trying to turn into someone else. This healthy, constructive outlook is reinforced by the 101 true, personal stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident. Here are five ways that women can improve their own confidence levels, inspired by stories in the book:


1. Keep plugging away and you’ll change minds.

It was the morning of her first big photo shoot as a plus-size model, and Emme was excited. She was about to earn more money in one day than she usually made in a month and she was standing up for plus-size women everywhere by being recognized for her beauty. But her positive mood was ruined when the big-deal fashion photographer took one look at her and announced, "I am not shooting this fatty!" Fast-forward five years and Emme had been featured in People Magazine's coveted "50 Most Beautiful" and was a well-established supermodel. She ran into the same photographer, and he didn't even remember their prior dealings, instead fawning over her and saying, "Oh, we have to work together! I'd really love to shoot you."

2. Carrying yourself with confidence is half the battle.

When Regina Sunshine Robinson was a college tutor, she had a student named Darla who was suffering a severe crisis of confidence. Regina learned that Darla had recently left a husband who abused her in many ways, including complaining about the fact that Darla—formerly a swimsuit model—had gained a lot of weight. Darla marveled at how good Regina looked and how men were eyeing her, not realizing that Regina was actually much heavier than she was. That led to Regina's most important lesson: "I asked Darla, 'How did I walk into this room? Did I walk in like I owned the building? Did I walk in with my head up and shoulders back like I was the baddest thing moving, like I heard "She's A Bad Mama Jama" playing just for me? Or did I walk in with my head down like I was afraid or ashamed of who I was?'" Years later, Regina ran into Darla and found her transformed. She had finally realized that she deserved to approach the world with the same kind of confidence as Regina. And it worked!

3. Wear bright, shapely, fun clothing.

Maxine Young had been dressing like a "middle-aged church lady" since her high school days, believing that her best strategy as a plus-size woman was to hide inside swaths of black cloth. Then one day the young saleslady at a clothing store pushed back. "Are these clothes for you?" she asked. Maxine admitted they were. And then that saleslady took Maxine by the hand and changed her world. She showed her beautiful clothes in bright colors, ones that would actually fit Maxine's body, not cover it up. Maxine says that she wished she had realized this earlier in her life, and that she is so grateful to that saleslady: "I remember how significant and empowered I felt that someone took the time to assure and mentor me, simply because they cared. Girls need to know that no matter their size they are important… They need to know that their worth has nothing to do with their dress size and we are all valid and valuable."

4. Don’t let your body image make you withdraw from life.

Devon Kab is absolutely gorgeous. All you have to do is Google her name to see that. But she didn't know it for a long time. She spent her high school years hiding her tall, curvy body in basketball clothes and sports gear. Then, one Saturday night, adult Devon turned down an invitation to go to a concert. Why? Because she didn't want to wear her little black dress in front of her friends. That was Devon's aha moment. She realized that she was turning down all kinds of fun activities because she wasn't the weight she wanted to be. She called back her friends, said yes, and went to the concert wearing something else. Today, she makes her living as a plus-size model. Same woman, new thoughts, new life.

5. Consider throwing away the scale.

"I began my unhealthy affair with an iron gray scale in my mother's bathroom at sixteen," says Priscilla Dann-Courtney. "It was rusty, cold and very powerful in my world." Soon, she recounts, that scale was controlling her life and she had an eating disorder. A few years later, Priscilla took back control of her life. She buried that scale in a Dumpster at the Safeway store, and she has never owned a scale since. Priscilla says, "I know there are many women who can use the scale in a healthy way to monitor their physical health and wellbeing. I am not one of them." Now a psychologist specializing in helping other people with eating disorders, Priscilla has no idea what she weighs and she's actually fitter than she ever was when that scale was running her life.

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident, a book by Amy Newmark, Supermodel Emme, and Natasha Stoynoff.

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