Yellow is typically seen as something that is bright (obviously) and like a ray of sunshine. From the outside I suppose I portrayed this and it was like wearing yellow was helping me try and be that ray of sunshine. But in my mind and my heart I was tormented. I had this tape that played in my head that told me how ugly, fat, and stupid I was. That I wasn’t enough, but I was too much – too tall, too fat, too loud, too dramatic, and so on.
I didn’t feel beautiful, I hated my body, I hated my personality, I was insecure, I had absolutely no confidence and I thought that the world hated me. I was made fun of all through elementary school and high school for being ‘fat’. This affected me to the core. I didn’t walk with my head held high and actually walked with a slump and my head down.
I played sports in high school and college (basketball, rugby, football, etc.) and all of my coaches said the same thing…If only you were as aggressive and confident on the field/court as you are with your mouth you’d be good (I was loud and talked a lot- might have been a lot of hot air though). I mean come on…in grade 7 I was already like 5’9 and if walked onto the basketball court I should have been able to dominate but I had no confidence to.
Wearing yellow was almost my way of saying hey look at me, I’m great, I’m bright, I’m cheery, I’m happy but inside that was not the case. I think it was also – please look at me, pay attention to me, I need some love, do you see me?
Things only got worse when I met my ex-husband. He was the first man to tell me I was beautiful and I thought that’s all that mattered- I just wanted someone to think I was beautiful. Honestly, I was head over heels because someone actually thought I was beautiful. Things started out ok (although he was already obsessive and controlling from the start) but things got intense fast and he wanted me all to himself and then I thought it was a good thing and that this was love. If you’ve followed me and heard my story you know we are now divorced and that he was abusive and unfaithful.
His words of adoration turned into breaking me down and making me feel like I was worthless, ugly, stupid, had too much life, too much energy and that there was nothing good about me – literally he didn’t like anything about me I’m sure! I think the thing that was hardest for me was I would get excited about things in life, even the small things and he HATED that!!! But that was me, it still is and now I’m free to get excited about whatever the heck I want to be excited about.
When he left I was left in a state of horror. All I could hear were the horrible things he had to say about me play through my head. I already had a negative tape playing in my head about myself before he came along and all he did was add to it and make it worse. I remember telling my mom that my mind felt tormented and asked if I would ever feel normal, or was this normal because it had been so long.
Now here’s the good news….I have taken a lot of small steps over the last 4 years to rebuild my identity and see beauty in WHO I am, not just my body but WHO I am as a woman, sister, daughter, friend, etc. I literally had to tell myself the things that were great about me (mind you I had to get help from friends and family to make this list because I didn’t see much good back then). I told myself these things out loud while looking in the mirror every day until I one day believed them and could truly say that I loved me. Do you know how liberating that is?!!
Now, I can wear yellow with pride and I truly am a ray of sunshine, well that sounds a little conceded, but you know what I mean. I wear yellow because I love how bright and cheerful it is and its actually how I feel on the inside. I didn’t think I would ever live in a state of mind where I was peaceful, happy or content. I thought I was banished to a forever tortured mind. When I say things like I can’t believe that I am where I am today it’s not just about in terms of modeling and the cool opportunities I have, it’s my state of mind. I thought I was destined to live in torment because I didn’t know any different.
If this is you today, know that there is hope, hope that one day you can live in a peaceful and happy state of mind. It will take some action to get there but it is possible! I am proof!
Cardigan: Point Zero Curvy Open front cardigan with Faux Leather accents
Jeans: Torrid Skinny Jeans
Shoes: Nine West
Bracelets: Amadora Jewelry
Photos by Robert Skuja
All photos © 2015 Robert Skuja Photography
Eye Lashes (extensions) by Love Ur Look Beauty my official eyelash specialist
Makeup by Nichole Lukasik
If you want to see this top in motion, check out my video submission to be the Face of Full Figured Fashion Week. I did not win, but boy am I sure proud of my journey and the work involved in this video and I just have to share.