I know this photo is fuzzy, but it is one of my favorites!
I wanted to share with you all something very important to me, that has changed my life in a big way.
I have loved the Tory Burch brand and everything it stands for since I discovered it back in 2012. Not only do I adore her classic bags, statement making shoes, and chic jewelry, I also love the messages and inspiration that the brand brings to the table.
There is a powerful new movement within our midst for women. It’s called Embrace Ambition, and it’s part of the Tory Burch Foundation. The foundation was created for female entrepreneurs, and offers so many resources that allow these amazing women to achieve their dreams.
From the Tory Burch page itself: “Our goal at the Tory Burch Foundation is to give women entrepreneurs the tools to level the playing field by providing access to affordable loans, education and networking. But we also believe that in order to succeed, women must embrace ambition… I look forward to the days when the cultural norms that hold women back are simply a part of our history and not our present circumstance. When ambition in a woman doesn’t have a negative connotation. I no longer shy away from the word ambition. I embrace it.”
I love everything about this powerful statement. It’s true; many women are afraid to be ambitious. There is a stigma that surrounds us, that it’s a positive trait for men to be ambitious, but for women it’s perceived negatively. I want to end that, and Tory wants to end that. Why shouldn’t we be ambitious, and chase after our dreams? Why shouldn’t we have the courage to put ourselves out there?
I started this blog back in August of 2016. I had (and still have) big aspirations of becoming a fashion blogger full-time. I want this because fashion is a huge part of my life. But, real talk: I see myself and my body very negatively. Surprising from someone who shares photos of themselves every day, right? It’s true. I don’t like what I see in the mirror. When I try to talk to people about these feelings, I usually get the “but you look fine!” response, or “I mean, you could probably lose a little weight, did you think about toning up?” Neither of these is okay.
It’s extremely frustrating when you don’t feel confident in yourself. It’s been a long journey, and it’s a journey that will continue for quite some time, but I am learning slowly how to love myself. I adore fashion; it makes me happy finding that perfect dress that highlights all of my assets, or the shirt that looks flattering directly off the rack, without any additional tailoring needed. I have followed fashion bloggers on social media for years, and it always saddened me that they all seemed to be gorgeous, rich, and the same size (teeny tiny!) No one was my size, and there were not many plus sized bloggers either at the time. I was always worried if I was too big to be a fashion blogger, not pretty enough, or not having enough money to always be buying these expensive items and jet-setting all over the world. I dreamed of the fabulous life, and I still do. But in reality, I know I don’t have the means currently to do that, and neither do most of the women that follow these accounts.
Finally, that all seems to be changing. We are all beautiful in our own shapes and sizes, and I am trying to learn that for myself. I want to look at myself less critically in the mirror. I want to be able to say “this dress looks gorgeous on me” instead of “this dress would look way better if I was ten pounds lighter.” I know that I am not the only woman who feels this way, or struggles with accepting themselves. There is also a new wave of influencers out there who cater to women on a budget; how to shop and travel without spending a fortune. We’re not perfect looking, and most of the women you see behind these blogs are not always confident in themselves either. It’s easy to fool people online, to make it seem like life is easy and perfect. It’s not, and that’s something I am coming to terms with.
So I chose to start my own blog. I wanted to share beautiful outfits that you can wear every day. I wanted to show other women how they can learn to feel more confident in their own skin using clothing as an outlet. How the right pair of shoes can change your entire attitude because let’s face it, rocking those killer heels is a huge confidence booster! But ultimately, my goal is to teach other women how to completely love themselves, with or without clothing. I have a very hard time with myself in photos, especially when they are taken by other people. I am not confident in front of a camera. I prefer selfies, because I can control the photo. But when others take it, I have less control. I see myself the way others see me, flaws and all. Slowly, I am learning to see myself the way others see and accept me. My husband is my photographer, and he is my greatest fan. He pushes me every day to be the best person that I can be. To chase my dreams and dream big. To see myself through his eyes. When I see myself through his photography, for a moment I can see what he sees, and I love it every bit of it.
The Tory Burch #embraceambition movement means so much to me, because I chose to push myself outside of my comfort zone, and am learning to embrace being ambitious to achieve my dreams. I put myself out there, for millions of people to see me every day, because I’m hoping I can help even just one woman learn to love herself a little bit more. I started my own campaign, Styled by Confidence, so I can share my story and help to inspire other women to be their best. It’s my dream to one day be able to not only blog full time, but to start my own personal styling business that focuses on teaching you how to feel confident through clothing.
So please. Don’t tell me I “look fine” when I am trying to open up to you. Nor is it okay to tell someone to hit the gym (unless it’s a serious health concern). We all get insecure about our looks. But when we do, don’t just tell us we look fine, or where to improve upon. Dig deeper, and tell us we are confident, ambitious, strong; powerful, big dreamers, successful, or kind. Beauty is only a small part of feeling truly confident in your own skin.
If you want to support the Tory Burch Foundation and help other women achieve their dreams, sign the pledge to #embraceambition, and consider purchasing one of these adorable Embrace Ambition bracelets. They’re $30, and 100% of the proceeds goes to the foundation. (I have the rose gold!)
As always, we are accepting posts from readers to share your own Styled by Confidence story, which you can email to us here