Having anxiety means that sometimes , okay most times, I really hate meeting new people. Okay, so maybe hate is a strong word, but I get nervous to the point that I make myself sick. I actually used to be quite the social butterfly, but my anxiety has been getting worse over the years. That being said, I stepped out of my comfort zone this summer and joined a BoPo (Body Positive) group created by the amazing Jamie Hamilton of Jamie JeTaime.
The BoPo group has been planning and attending activities all over the Pittsburgh area for the last few months. While it took me and my anxiety a bit to finally join in the fun, I managed to hit the pool with them for a ModCloth swimsuit swim meetup in August. All of us got Modcloth swimsuits and had fun doing impromptu photo shoots while just having fun.
I came away from the meetup feeling energized and super pumped about showing off all the pictures of me in my new cute swimsuit! I also was super excited that I met so many wonderful ladies and began connecting with them on social media. The biggest thing that came from that, however, was the fact that I allowed myself to be photographed at all in a swimsuit! Not only that, but I encouraged it! If you have seen my work over the years, you know I have never been photographed in a swimsuit. I have been slowly breaking levels of my comfort zone, but something about a swimsuit makes me feel super vulnerable. Maybe it was seeing others rocking their swimsuits and seeing their confidence. Maybe I just finally reached that point where I don’t care what others think of me in a swimsuit. I don’t know, but the next week, I did a little photoshoot in a two piece, and then I shared them all over social media with super positive feedback.
I went in to this not knowing what to expect. For the most part, my experience with large groups of women oftentimes includes cattiness and cliques. It wasn’t like this at all. Everyone was warm and inviting. I met other plus size influencers, which was a super big deal because they know the struggles of being a plus size influencer. It is harder to be a plus size influencer. Our local communities don’t always accept us. We have to work harder to gain our followers. Some brands don’t want to work with us because we are plus sized. It felt so good to not be alone.
Groups like this are important. We need more body positivity, and we need groups of strong women to band together, to help one another. For example, this past weekend, Pale Ginger Pear held a free bopo swim event because she is being featured in a body positive documentary and wanted to share the experience with the group. While I did not get to go, a lot of others showed up in support! It was so amazing to see how much love outpours from those involved in the group.
While this group is local to Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, you could start one in your community. For more information about Jamie’s group, check out her blog to learn more! This group has not only helped me grow in self-confidence, but it is helping me break out of my comfort zone in dealing with my anxiety! Plus now, I have some new really cool friends!
Have you ever heard of a Bo Po group? What do you think about starting or joining one in your area?
As always, don’t forget to follow @prissymissydoll on your social media channels for more fun, fashion, and a dose of body positivity!