An Interview with Cailey Darling - The Self love enforcer!
      The fabulously wonderful Cailey Darling agreed to do an interview with me on Body Positivity and I am over the moon. The fabulous feminist promotes body positivity and self love by accepting herself and paving the way for so many with her plus size modelling and fabulous instagram photos. Cailey is 26, a makeup artist and living in Colorado, so It had to be an email interview which happened to turn out just as brilliant! You can find Cailey by clicking her beautiful face above. All her images in this post will be linked to her instagram, to give her the credit she deserves. So, go give her a follow!

Anyway, let's get down to business:

             How did you decide to start blogging about your journey?

    It wasn't really something I set out to do. A little over a year ago, I started posting pictures of my outfits on Instagram. This was mostly because I had a contract to do some work on a soft core BBW site and was trying to build up a bit of a buzz about it for when the site opened. due to some personal issues and factors beyond my control, I had to pull out of that contract before the site opened. But by then, I had posted many outfits and even though I was originally posting so people would go to a website to see me take OFF my clothes, I had really been enjoying putting together outfits and I was getting encouragement from people to continue and a lot of plus size people liked that a lot of my clothes were budget finds, so I kept going and soon after, I started posting my favorites to Tumblr. 
 You can find Caileys Tumblr by CLICKING HERE.

It sounds like you had a lot of support on Instagram, is this when you decided to practice body positivity?

   I found body positivity on tumblr about two years ago. Something as simple as seeing a body that looked like mine and thinking "damn, they look good" helped my own confidence immensely. Once I started posting my outfits, girls would tell me that MY photos helped her feel more comfortable with herself. I never thought I would be in a position to be like one of those girls who helped me.  Once I really got what body positivity was about, I couldn't NOT participate in it. It is such a supportive space and I wouldn't be where I am without it. 

It is an amazing movement and you are in an incredible position, is this what prompted you to begin to promote self love to your followers?

      I decided to promote it because I got too many comments and messages saying they wished they could have my confidence. I know first-hand how hard it is to love yourself. I also remember sending comments to girls like that, desperately trying to figure out how to feel better about my body.  I remember how it feels to see all of these incredible body positive people and think that you'll never be like that. It takes a long time to unlearn a lifetime of self-hatred and I promote body positivity to help anyone I can through that journey. 

 I understand this journey myself all too well, has self love always been one of your goals?

    Sadly, I can't say self love was ever a goal for me before finding body positivity. I grew up with every woman I knew hating at least one part of their body or women constantly comparing themselves to others. I read all the magazines and all the weight loss stories. I don't think it ever occurred to me that ANY woman could love herself the way I do now because I had never met an example of a woman who loved her body no matter if it was fat or thin or in flux or had stretch marks or scars or if you were healthy or not until I found body positivity.

    Why do you believe self love is important?

        I'm not sure that I have a tangible reason other than the fact that I spend so much more time focusing on other things. My life is so much easier to live than it was before and I don't know how to verbalized a reason. It is a new feeling to be soft with yourself the way you would your best friend instead of internally buckling under the pressure of beauty standards. Being your own beautiful opens up an entire world. I dress differently. I carry myself differently.  Without worrying what someone will think of my body or clothes or makeup or attitude gives me the freedom to be fully visible and express myself how I see fit.  The time I spent hiding my body and worrying about what others thought is now spent helping to encourage others to try to be a little softer with themselves, too. 

Do you have any advice to others who are looking to practice self acceptance and being body positive?

A lot of people say to fake it until you make it and people say that for a reason. My advice is to look at bodies like yours. Look at them being cute wearing adorable clothes. Look at the being sultry and sexy and partially or fully naked. Recognize the beauty in these bodies.  If your bodies look similar and they look damn good, I promise you look damn good, too. Remember that beauty is not an obligation for anyone. Remember that no one person's idea of beauty is universal. Someone not finding you attractive does not keep you from being attractive. One of the hardest things for me was wearing clothes I liked out of the house. The way I started wearing crop tops and form fitting clothing that showed my belly and arms and other parts I was comfortable with but was very worried about OTHERS being comfortable with.  I took pictures of myself. Dozens of selfies in the outfit I thought was cute but wasn't brave enough to wear outside. I would look at them and admire my own cuteness and post them online and soon enough, I thought I was so cute that anyone telling me otherwise didn't matter anymore.

I struggle a lot myself with wearing clothes I like outside,  is this the hardest thing to deal with when learning to accept ones self?

     The hardest thing to deal with is bad days. It can be for any reason. I know a lot of body positive people don't live as publicly as I do.  There are many people who don't post selfies. I do. And that leaves me open to ridicule and dehumanization's from people who hate me because I'm fat.  My bad days usually start with particularly mean messages or comments.  For a moment, I will see myself the way the commenter sees me and it is a constant battle to stay above that.  I get through it by being nice to myself and wearing something cute, maybe painting my nails or freshening up my dye job. I do things that make me feel beautiful for me and then I go right back to looking through body positive tags for encouragement and inspiration to start loving my body again.

Mean comments are awful, I can totally relate to being affected by them in this way. It has always prompted me to diet. However, not anymore, what are your thoughts on the dieting industry?

     I never knew what a giant fallacy the weight loss industry was until finding body positivity. I didn't realize how many "studies" on fatness and health are funded by the diet industry. There is plenty of readily-available information on dieting, bodies, fatness and how it all is a statistical anomaly for someone of size to keep considerable amounts of weight off for more than five years. Why have I not heard that before?  Why doesn't anyone I know outside of the body positive community know that 95% of people gain the weight back and many gain even more?  I have access to the same internet everyone else does.  Society has come to fear and hate fat so much that most people just take everything the diet industry and the media say as gospel. unfortunately, this includes health care professionals.  I have been told by a psychiatrist that she would not see me or provide me with my much-needed anxiety and depression medication until I lost over half of my body weight. Fat is so hated that even physicians would rather see it gone than see me in a healthy state of mind. It is discouraging.  I became very aware of dieting commercials after doing my own research. Every commercial will tell you right there in small print on the screen that it doesn't work. You just have to be looking. I am supportive of people who want to change how they eat and who want to lose weight because every body is one's own and they can do what they want with it. I do, however, encourage people to research dieting and weight loss so as not to be discouraged if the weight comes back or the diet doesn't work for them.

 Has loving yourself opened up any opportunities for you?

Loving myself has opened up incredible opportunities for me. without finding body positivity, I never would have been brave enough to post my outfits on Instagram and then I never would have crossed paths with and wouldn't have been able to curate my own clothing collection with them.

Fabulous, it's amazing that it can lead to such opportunities! You meet any inspiration beings or read any books/articles you can suggest to others regarding self love and acceptance?

Chubby Bunnies and This Is Thin Privlege on Tumblr have been incredible resources for me.  Honestly, the body positive tags on tumbkr are full of supportive, kind, encouraging, inspirational people. 

I check the tags regulary myself, so inspiring! Speaking of inspiring, do you have any body positive mantras or mottos to share?

 I really resonate with the quote "There is no wrong way to have a body." By Glenn Marla.

What's your favourite positive song?

  I love so many positive songs!  I really love Secrets by Mary Lambert. I love the idea of "confessing" the things society views as bad in a song about sharing and embracing everything about ourselves, even if we don't like it. 

I love Mary Lambert, her stuff is amazing and I know a lot of people class her as their hero! If you were a superhero whose power was to spread to gift of self love, what would you name yourself and who would you gift self love too first?

I would probably call myself The Self Love Enforcer and I would spread self love to the people who have written me the meanest, most hateful comments and messages first. People who are happy with themselves don't find others to tear down for enjoyment. Those are the people who need self love the most.


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