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Hi Beauties, 
This year I bring you UNCONDITIONAL BODY BEAUTIFUL. It is a year long collaboration  which I created-slash-founded, and I will be doing this with with many other bloggers, (links to their blogs are on the side). We will focus mostly on discussing our bodies more than on fashion, but at the same time we will fuse the two together. 

I had been thinking of starting this collaboration for a very long time, but I was too scared to. I found my insecurities (which I mostly keep hidden from my blog), started rearing their ugly heads. I was scared no other blogger would want to join me. I was scared that if I bared my soul too much on here, something terrible would come of it. I was scared nobody would care about my story. 

Then I reminded myself that the whole reason I ever started to blog, was because once upon a time, long before I started blogging, I hated every inch millimetre of myself. For a long time, I literally wished myself dead; in large part, because I felt ugly; and of course, too fat, and therefore, not good enough.  My body image issues started very early on in childhood. It is a miracle that I am here at all.  Being skinny is no longer a number one goal in my life. I haven't felt depressed or tearful about my fat (aka, had a 'fat day'), in years. And I no longer want to die just because I, or someone else, doesn't think I am beautiful. 

Tell me that isn't progress.

I know I was not alone. I know that there are millions of other girls people out there who are in that boat right now, and it is quite possibly, the very worst place to be; because nothing, and I mean, nothing, is worse, or more detrimental to a human being, than one hating oneself. If you ask me, I would say that hating yourself, is probably as close to living in hell as it gets while we are still here on Earth. Nobody deserves to live like that. Nobody!

I started this blog primarily because I wanted to help others who are still in that boat. I want that teenage girl out there who cannot see her own beauty and so is wallowing in self-hatred, to stop seeing herself as ugly and worthless. I wanted to inspire all those women out there who are hiding their true style simply because they feel that their body is not worthy of being decorated nicely, or pampered, based on their weight, to stop feeling that way too. I want each and everyone of you to realise that you are worth no less than anybody else walking this Earth! You and your body do deserve to be treated with respect. both by you, and those around you. I want you to feel liberated and to embrace who you are unconditionally. Beauty is not limited to what we are spoon-fed as beautiful by the media. Just think about how some so-called beautiful celebrities, whose beauty is celebrated, who you do not think are all that. Think about the people you know personally, who to you are beautiful, because they are filled with internal beauty and virtues such as integrity, honesty, tact, generosity, selflessness, and so on. Beauty is so subjective, (and often transitional), that it is not worth suffering over not  possessing whichever body-type or dress size is fashionable in the here and now. 

I wanted my blog to demonstrate to everyone, that being skinny will not make your life perfect, and that being on the larger side doesn't mean that you can't be stylish, and maybe even a bit vain. Skinny does not always equate beauty, success, contentment, good health, intelligence, or anything else that people strive for in the pursuit of a happy and fulfilled life. And at the same time, fat does not always equate ugly, failure, sadness, poor health, stupidity, or anything else that people do not desire in their lives. That unrealistic ideal of happiness, which we are sold by Hollywood, won't be at the end of some fad diet, or in a size zero garment. Good health is not at the end of a weight-loss-by-any-means-journey, which focuses entirely on the numbers on the scale, instead of looking closely at the foods we eat, the amount of exercise we do, and our emotional well-being. Happiness, I believe, starts with loving (and respecting) ourselves unconditionally. Wouldn't you agree?

On the 14th day of every month of 2015, we (myself and all the all the other bloggers taking part), will  each publish a post on our blogs about a different part of our body. We will combine that with an outfit choice of our own, so be prepared to see a myriad of styles to inspire you, as well as body positive discussion to  prove that a happy and stylish life isn't all about being thin or fitting perfectly into some mould of aesthetic beauty which is being dictated to us. 

Finally, I'd like to share a curious fact with you. It was never my intention to make this collaboration all about plus size women. Women of all sizes, races, social classes, etc, have a story to tell, and it deserves to be heard. So I invited all types of women to join us. A few women never got back to me. Others initially said yes, but then backed out after thinking about what this collaboration meant doing. In the end, this collaboration ended up being a plus size affair. Some of the thin bloggers and models I contacted, admitted to me, via private messages, that they did have hang ups about their body, but that they were not willing to share that publicly. 

Personally, I refuse to accept a dichotomy or divide between thin and overweight women. I see us all as one. Who we really are ultimately, is who we are on the inside. Our struggles may not all be the same, and they may appear to differ in regards to how much of a grave situation we are in. But a problem or a struggle is still a problem and a struggle, and we, as a human race, should stand together to fight against our enemies. Thin women are not under any less pressure than overweight women to conform to an aesthetic ideal, which is partly about weight, but also about behaviours, lifestyle choices, fashion choices, beauty choices, and so on. Hence why I made a conscious decision to make this as diverse and eclectic as I possibly could. All that said, my personal rejection of the thin-fat divide, does not mean it does not exist. I guess than our thinner sisters - who if we are going to be radical about it, are in a privileged situation - do not feel the need to dispel body image myths. There is no drive to admit that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Why provoke the status quo when you are in a comfortable position, even if it isn't as perfect as we are led to believe? Or maybe, just maybe, I am absolutely crazy. Anything is possible I suppose. 

Anyhoo, I will be sharing my story with you asap (like I explain in my video), but it will be very long. It has been an extremely hard post for me to write. It's just so painful for me to go back and recall so many hurtful moments. I have cried so much as I have typed it all up. I would write a bit and then I need to step away before I got back to it. I guess I have issues, but who doesn't have issues... 

(PS: If you are a blogger - of any size - who I haven't contacted about taking part in this collaboration, but you would like to join us and tell us your story, then please e-mail me at RebequitaRose@gmail.com Thank you)
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