elopement wedding dress

Last night was big for me. Last night was the first time I attended a formal event that required a floor length gown since my senior prom. That's right...16 years in New Orleans and no "Zulu Ball". 4 years in college and I never attended the homecoming ball or any fraternity or sorority gala. 3 years in law school and no "Barrister's Ball." ?

Almost 2 years ago I did this photoshoot because I would always hide from pictures. Well...the hiding didn't just happen for pictures. For years I have avoided events where I would feel self conscious or insecure. It was easier to NOT go...than to get depressed because I couldn't find anything to wear.

You see...even as the woman I am today, I still remember being that chubby little girl who couldn't fit 'normal' girl's sizes. I've had boobs since I was 8 so I was stuck in this constant limbo of "dress your size" versus "dress your age." It would take hours going into stores because this outfit was too "grown looking" or this one "showed too much cleavage for a 12 year old." I had my prom dress custom made and I still felt...matronly. Like I didn't fit in with my peers. elopement wedding dress

On top of being plus size...my body wasn't shaped like the people I admired the most. My mother and sister have awesome Coca-Cola bottle shapes and I...don't. Almost all formal wear...even plus size...feature this mermaid and trumpet style that hugs the hips and butt that I simply don't have.

So...I just stopped going. When invitations came, I made excuses about having other plans. I avoided friends or said stuff like "I don't want to spend all of that money on one night."

When my cousin Margaret called and asked me to be the emcee at the Nubian Ball, I almost said 'no.' I almost ran...again. I almost hid...again. And then I said to myself...No ma'am. It's time to get out of your own head...push through that pain...and LIVE.

I found a dress that I loved. A dress that flattered MY body shape. I made sure my jewelry, makeup, and hair were on point. I tried to be the best emcee I could be and I LIVED.

I remember coming home from college and one of my great aunts saw me and gave me a hug. She said, "You're pretty, but you're fat." ? ?

Last night, I was PRETTY. PERIOD. ? ? ?

I often have disagreements with family members over 'sharing too much on Facebook.' But, I feel it's important to share some of these personal struggles because there are other women, young ladies, and little girls who walk this road. I want ya'll to get it BEFORE I did. And, even if it takes you more time to get it...make sure you get it before life passes you by. I lost years of memories with friends and family because of insecurity.

Moral of the story: Find your confidence and WALK IN IT. My Achilles heel is body image but this message is for you to push through whatever YOUR fear is. It won't be easy, but it'll be worth it. # loveliveLIGHT