Friday, December 14, 2018

Dumplin'

Before I get too deep into my Dumplin' thoughts and I subsequently start craving dumplings, let's put this out there, I absolutely enjoyed Netflix's Dumplin'. Based off of Julie Murphy's 2015 novel of the same name, Dumplin' tells the story of plus size girls revolting and joining a beauty pageant, where they end up finding self love, all while challenging the pagenant status quo. I absolutely enjoyed it for the Dolly Parton, the drag queens, the kick ass girl powerness of it all. It would have rocked my little fat girl life, had it come out when I was growing up and that's how I know it's important. It's important to tell stories of the people who are outside of the margins. It's important and necessary to represent marginalized voices in mass media. SO I'm 100% here for Dumplin' and stories like Dumplin' getting the green light. 

If you've been following me for awhile, you know it's my dream to create, produce, star in film and television. It's my goal to tell marginalized people's stories in a large scale way. It's also important to me, while entertaining people with these stories, we also educate them and hopefully open people's perspective to experiences outside of their own. As someone who has grown up fat, then took a deep dive into fat activism via the internet community, gaining an education in the sociopolitical truths of being fat, I find messaging in media around fatness very out of date and incorrect, all while being extremely passive. 

There is a line that Willowdean's best friend hurls her way after a fight, that really stuck out to me. She says to Willowdean, "Just so you know, I've never thought of you as fat". It sits with me because, I feel by saying she's never thought of a fat girl as fat, it's implying an alternative definition to the word. For so long, in mass media, the word fat has been a loose synonym for ugly, unattractive, lazy, and unhealthy. This is deeply rooted in fatphobia. How many times have you heard someone say, "I feel fat"? Fat is not a feeling. As I was getting my nails done the other day, I sat listening to thin women call themselves fat, with undertones of shame and guilt. I'm lucky enough to live in a confident fat girl bubble, where we celebrate each others bodies at any size. Not using demeaning language created by the diet industry to sell you products or the fashion and beauty industry, which thrives off of buyer's insecurities. 

I am fat and paid. I am fat and sexy. I am fat and confident. We need to understand how determental our passive language is. This is why this line stood out to me and I felt the need to write this. It was just a moment in the film, but it speaks volumes. Just like the ladies in the nail shop didn't think twice about openly critiquing their bodies, using fat as a synonym for being less than. I exist in this fat body everyday and I am very far from being less than. 

On the second day of 12 days of #ootd, my true love gave to me......





Item #3: White Chiffon Top from PLT
Item #4: Orange Tie Waist Capris from from Boohoo



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Closed Doors, Open Windows

To say the last week has been a whirlwind, would be an understatement. First let's start off by saying, I'm controlling, I like to plan things, I stress too much about money and I don't have it all figured out. Let's also talk about how I believe in the idea that, "what you think, you create". I believe the universe brings to you what you put your energy into. I've been doing some deep diving, adult, emotional work these past few months. Spending time in consistent therapy sessions, looking at what does 26 year old Brianna really want. I've been a star in my own mind since birth, but when you get to your mid twenties and you're still trying to convince people you're a star, it gets less cute. I really had to breakdown what I want, am I waking up everyday loving my life, what baggage can I leave and what isn't serving me anymore. I've been working on boundaries. Boundaries? Who is she, never met her?! As a kid, I never had the voice to set them for myself. As I teen, an unexpected divorce and ending of the family I loved, rocked my world. As a young adult, I had people pleased for so long, I didn't really know where my needs started. 2018, kicked my ass, in a beautiful way. 

Fast forward to December, a couple months into this emotional deep dive. I've been feeling less alive and thriving, and more existing to pay bills, going to jobs and repeat. I had gotten to a place financially that the lowest I've been in many years. Things were not sitting right. I had no idea what I was going to do next. This was last week, mind you. I still don't know what I'm fucking doing but something shifted. Maybe it's perspective, or me asking for what I want or respecting my own boundaries but something has really shifted for me. 

I had serious conversation with the universe. I would consider myself spiritual but I do have a very hard time trusting and having faith in a higher power but I had a conversation. I was laying in bed, thinking about how the fuck I was going to piece together rent, I had walked away from money on the table, from a job that wasn't for me. My nanny hours had been cut because of the holiday, and I didn't have any alternative plans. I refuse to ask my family, because of Italian pride. How the fuck am I going to even buy Christmas gifts?! So I just said to myself, "Universe, I really need you to show the fuck up for me". Yes, I cursed at the universe, we're cool like that. "I need you to really come through, right now, because I really don't know. Show up and I will trust where you take me". It was that quick, but I really felt it and I really meant it. I kissed my boyfriend goodnight and went to sleep. 

I woke up the next morning to the sound of my Venmo app, my favorite sound to be completely honest with you. Two people had sent me money, they had owed me, that I had forgotten about. I check my email, I got paid from jobs that I had been waiting for. Okay, this is a great way to wake up! Later that day, I go to my nanny job. The two year old I watch, has melted my Grinch heart and really brought some more joy into my life. Had no idea how much I needed that, and how much I loved more financial stability because my last job had none. My little friend had pneumonia but was recovering. It was a normal day, me waiting for him to awake from his nap. I hear crying and  I go check on him. His breathing was shallow, I check in with his parents, and it's clear the shallow breathing is an emergency and he needs to be rushed to a hospital. In the most terrifying twenty minutes of my adult recollection, I was caring for a very sick, clearly hurting kid, who I love, who VERY much needed to get to a hospital fast. It was traumatic to say the least, and THANK GOD he has recovered and is going to be okay. It was an earth shaking afternoon. My perspective shifted. Nanny gig is off the table for December and rightfully so, something that would have terrified me had I not asked the universe to show up, in return for my trust. Other strange, too strange to be happen stance things happened in the day or two follow. A lot of doors have closed, opportunities I was counting on. People I haven't spoken to in years, have hit me up to take meetings. Jobs popping up, seeds I had planted finally starting to bloom. Something is happening. Larger, more paid, opportunities have been showing up. This has been a matter of days. 

Like I told you at the beginning, I have none of this figured out. I did, however, ask the universe to show up and the universe has showed up and showed out, in return I promised to trust. So here I am trusting. Trusting my rent will be paid, I've almost completely made it in the last two days alone. Trusting that the doors closing aren't for me. Trusting that I'm a star and that running to what brings me joy will bring that into my life tenfold. Trusting this shift in perspective. Trusting my gut and trusting that everything I need in life, I already possess inside of myself. I'm really interested to see where this journey takes me by being open. It's been an insane couple of days and I'm so ready for 2019. I trust the universe will take me where I need to go, isn't that wild?! ++

Happy Day 1 of the 12 Days of #OOTD


 




Item #1: Leopard Kimono from Boohoo
Item #2: Tan Bodysuit from Boohoo (similar)

Belts from Torrid
Shoes were a gift

Photos courtesy of Logan Allison 



Sunday, November 25, 2018

Pillow Talk

I feel like a new person! I'm so excited to finally share with you all my Big Fig experience. Let's set the scene, my old mattress was bad, B-A-D. It was old, I would toss and turn and my boyfriend hated it. Enter, Big Fig, the mattress for bigger frames. We upgraded from a queen to a king, and we went with the foundation and box spring, for the full Big Fig situation. This is a solid bed and wow my body is thanking me every morning.

On the real, real, I could never go back. As a tall, plus size woman, I feel tiny in this big bed and that is rare. This is the best mattress I've ever had and so worth it. This isn't a blogger influencer ad, this is two months of sleeping soundly and honestly my life has changed. Can we also note my boyfriend won't leave lol!? I don't blame him, It's a lot harder to get out of a Big Fig in the morning because it's so comfy. 

How it all happened? I ordered my whole set up. It took two weeks to get to the shipping company and then two days to get from the shipping company to me. They delivered, set up and took out meh old mattress. It was SO easy.

If you're in the market for a new, top of the line mattress, I suggest BIG FIG! I have a discount code: THEBWORD and can we talk about the Black Friday weekend sales?!

I know so many of you have asked me about my experience with Big Fig and it has been nothing short of amazing! +

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Back to Basics

I  started The B Word, on a limp. I  needed a creative outlet, so I decided to post one outfit a week for a year. If I didn't like it after a year, I would stop. Since that first year, I have created campaigns, calendars, four #BEinyourskin challenges, events, videos and I was burnt out. I've been burnt out for awhile, caught between creating for passion or money. I'm my best when I'm financially stable. I'm my best when I feel emotionally stable lol. 

I've been off my game. I had to step back to deal with me. It feels good. I feel like I'm going to come back more focused then ever and that's what I need. Blogging and social media influencing was never the goal, never the end all be all but through this I have had so many experiences, met so many people, gotten to be creative for work and I wouldn't trade that. I think there is a way to marry all my passions and build it into a career. I'm working on being ready for the next level, for new opportunities, for my dreams to become my reality. SO I'm going back to basics. I'm wanting to get back to my 2015 routine, a fashion blog post a week. I always speak on consistency and I need to be more consistent. When in doubt, what brings you joy. When in doubt what routine can you realistically do. 

I'm working on exciting things and I can't wait for us to grow together ++

You all are incredible, I hope you know how bad ass you are

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Purple Turtleneck from Charlotte Russe Plus
Purple Mini Dress from Forever 21

photos courtesy of Coco Marie




Monday, September 3, 2018

Bliss

Happy September!

I'm not going to lie this summer has been a little all over the place. We always think of summer as being relaxing, fun and it was those things but I honestly find it being one my most productive, work filled times. I find myself working so much during summer and fall that I'm begging for a break.

Now if you've been following me, even a little bit, you know I love fashion. You know I love editorial fashion. You know I love theatrical, show stopping, creative fashion. I have dreamed, YES little girl dreamed of going to New York Fashion Week. I always told myself, oh I'll go someday. I'll go someday when I'm famous, when I make it, I'll go. 

So fast forward to a summer full of work, stress over finance, moving, family, relationships shifting and I'm sitting in my new therapists office (a topic for another blog post lol, but GO, I highly suggest therapy) and NYFW party invites are coming to my email. I quickly look up flights because hmm maybe, ticket prices aren't bad. I text my friend, would you want to go? I text two of my costume designer friends, would you make me custom looks??

With that being said, I have some really exciting news! I'm going to New York Fashion Week! After that first text message, it was a go. I wouldn't say I'm a outrageously spontaneous person but I really do believe life needs to be lived and why work so hard, if you don't enjoy. 

SO I leave tomorrow and I am thrilled. I will be all over social media, so feel free to follow there for more updates. I hope you all are well and thank you so much for continuing to read, engage and allow me to be parts of your life's. 

Follow that bliss ++ 






Orange Satin Set from Pretty Little Thing 
(I got a size 22 in both top and bottom, heard they run small and NO, both items ran big and I ordered up so I didn't love the fit but I would recommend trying Pretty Little Thing *NOT sponsored) 

Purple Tassel Earrings from Aldo
Leopard Heels from Nordstrom Rack 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

#BEinyourskin Week Four: YOU

Week Four
YOU

"Your best life is on the other side of confidence"
-Brianna McDonnell


August is one of my favorite months out of the year on The B Word, because of the #BEinyourskin Challenge. I created this challenge for everybody. To share things I have learned, I have experienced, and things that have helped me find myself. The world has always told me, because of my size, to take up less space, be quieter, dim your light, and I couldn’t be untrue to myself. I had to find my inner light. This is what I hope for all of you. I hope that I can inspire and empower you to know that you are enough, your story is worth sharing and you are so loved. That you deserve to live the life, that YOU love.


This week we will be focusing on our passions, our purpose and what makes us feel alive. I have always found that when I’m doing things I love, my insecurities, body hate, or self doubt melt away.


You get to recognize your own potential. You get to decide what your limits are and what they aren’t. You get to define what you believe in, what you dedicate your time and energy and body to. You get to find your passions and your purpose. They can be big or small. They can be famous or unknown. They can be close or far away. Anything you want. YOU decide. No one gets to tell you what they can or can’t do or who they can or can’t be. Only you can do that. Define your own life, for you, by you.


Activity One:
Quick Fire Questions
This is a quick fire round of questions. Write the first thing that comes to mind:



I love when I feel _______________
I’m my truest self when I’m _______________
I want more of _____________ out of life
My perfect life is full of ______________
I define happiness by _____________
The thing I want most out of life is ______________




Journal Question:


What would you do with your life if no one said no?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#BEinyourskin Week Three: PHYSICAL

Week Three:
Physical

A 1994 survey found that “Young American girls ‘are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents’’’
(Tirosh, 2016 & Normandi and Roark 1999, 4).



I find that so many people struggle with the way they look. This is across genders, races, backgrounds, sexual identities, size and shape. We all have insecurities with our bodies. I grew up really hating my arms and my stomach. Most of my followers say they struggle with their bellies as well. I spent so much time covering those body parts, wearing spanxs, being uncomfortable, for what? To make other people more comfortable? To make myself seem smaller? To take up less room?? It all mattered so much until one day it didn’t. One day when I realized I was so much more than my physical form, that’s when my relationship with my body shifted.


There is so much pressure put on us by society to make our bodies fit a certain mold, a certain ideal. but we don’t look at the power of the body. The body is an everyday miracle. This body gets you places. This body gives you the ability to run, jump, play, laugh, be afraid, feel great, all by just existing. Isn’t that a “good” body? It was when I shifted my mindset around my body from being one that was unsatisfied to being grateful for where I am every single day, that my relationship with my body changed. When I realized that my worth depended on so much more than how my body looked, I felt free. It was then I could start looking at my soft belly and releasing the expectations I had on myself. I could look at my arms and love them for how the sagged, because these arms were strong and allowed me to do so much.



This week is about letting go of an ideal when it comes to our body. Again, to create our own narrative, not one that was sold to us. What does a body that works for you look like? How can I love the body I’m in today - more??


I can be everything I want to be in this body. I don’t have to wait to be a certain size or weight. I can be vast, be brilliant. I can take the space I deserve.


You can just be in your skin.




Activity #1:

Mirror Activity 

I do this activity quite often personally, and I have a Youtube video that can guide you as well!


Step One:

Step in Front of the mirror, set a timer for 2 minutes and look at yourself. This can be really hard, but really look at yourself, your body, all of you.


Step Two:

Pick Three Things you LOVE about your physical body. If you can’t think of things you love about your body, what are things you love about yourself.


Step Three:

Tell yourself, out loud, what you LOVE about yourself and why.






Journal:

When was the first time you thought your body wasn't a good body??