Women of Color and Body-Positivity: Paola aka @ChubbyBabe_

You know my favorite part about a great party? Those moments when you bump into someone you make a great connection with. You end up talking about things that make you realize, "FINALLY! Someone here gets me". I've invited a few lovely ladies to this month's #bodyparty in hopes of recreating that same kind of serendipity. This month we're talking color, culture and body-positivity. 

Meet Paola. 

This one right here, she's a #bopo powerhouse. Need an uplifting word from a friendly face? Take ten seconds out of your day to visit her Instagram feed and get what you need. Read more about her journey to body-positivity as a woman of color. Check out her interview below:

Introduce yourself (your name and describe who you are in a few words, what you do (blogger, etc.), and let us know your race, ethnicity, background, where you were raised..etc.

Hello, my name is Paola and I’m a body-positive activist and book blogger. I’m a photography student and I love helping others. I was born and raised in Venezuela, and later moved to the U.S. when I was around 17 years old.

How does your cultural background affect your overall views on beauty ?

As a Hispanic, the outside and physical appearance is pretty important. I believe most Latinas are taught to feel valued and grow their self-esteem by how they look. We have to be sexy yet classy. Be bold and have curves in all the right places. There’s too much pressure to be perfect. However, I don’t think this really affects how I view beauty overall, but in the past I used to be self-conscious about my skin tone. And, as a little girl I used to only like blonde and blue-eyed dolls. However, I currently live in Miami and being surrounded by women from all over the world has definitely taught me to appreciate beauty differently.

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How does your cultural background affect your views on body positivity?

Body positivism is something that is still foreign in my home country and telling my family I wasn’t interested in losing any weight was quite the shock.

How does it feel being a woman of color in the online body-positive community?

I feel like there’s not much representation of women of color in our community and media in general. Whitewashing in the beauty and fashion industries is so,so common and damaging. I think we need more representation and take a stand against it. Why not celebrate the wonder of every shade?

What helped you start loving yourself, completely?

My journey to body-positivity was far from easy, but oh-so worthy. It started about a year ago when I stumbled across a body positive hashtag on Instagram that changed me forever. I then started following and interacting with all these wonderful women from all shapes and sizes and learned the greatest things. It was an incredible experience.

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What’s one thing you want to see change about the way women of color (and their bodies)  are represented in the media, on social media, amongst your friends and family?

I want the media to stop photoshopping our skin lighter, I want more diversity, I want dolls in every shade, I want models of darker skin tones and different hair textures. I want the belief that lighter skin is more beautiful in our society to stop.

You can follow Paola on Instagram @chubbybabe_. The body-positive space on Instagram is a great place to find like-minded people encouraging self-love and acceptance. Keep in mind, though, that any and everyone has access to you there. The trolls can and will find you. But remember the support of strong, beautiful souls like Paola are there to have your back. 

All month long, Short and Tailor is hosting a #bodyparty, where you, and me, and everyone we know is invited to celebrate themselves. Your boo shouldn't be the only one getting all the love and attention. Treat yo self. Stay tuned for the next installment in the series, and leave Paola some love down in the comments. Tell us where you are in your body positive journey.