Fluff is life.
I’ve been called Fluffy my whole life. It’s a nickname that goes back to my birth. I had the biggest cheeks as a baby, so my mom would affectionately call me Fluffy, but back then, I never imagined that Fluff would become both my business, and an integral part to my own healing and my own journey with my body.
But it has. And I want to tell you about how it happened.
Shortly after having my son Joshua in 2012, I experienced some postpartum hair loss, so I decided it was time to finish transitioning to my natural hair by cutting off all the remaining straight hair. After embracing my natural, I wanted to get a Natural Hair t-shirt, but was disappointed and discouraged when most shirts stopped at 3xl. So, I decided to find a way to make my own, giving birth to my business from my disappointment.
Curvaceous Curls was the original name of the business, however, it was short lived. It was 2012, and I was frustrated by the lack of sizes available to plus size women, so I decided to focus on both natural hair and body positivity. But after a short time, I changed the name to My Beautiful Fluff as a way of saying that from head-to-toe, I am beautiful. The logo is a silhouette of me, shot at a Plus Size fashion shoot from several years ago, chosen after I couldn’t find a silhouette I liked. With both a name and a logo, I got started on developing my business.
What I thought would be an easy process of finding a plus size shirt and having them printed turned into a yearlong process. There really were not really any places to get a T-shirt above 3X. I searched online, searched for manufacturers, and eventually began the process of working with a manufacturer overseas for my shirt.
The first batch of T-shirts I received came measured in centimeters versus inches and they were sizes for kids.
We went back to the drawing board to create a new size chart that included the conversion for measurements, so I thought it was foolproof. I received the next batch, only to discover that I’d been sent only size 4X shirts in puke green.
After many tries, we finally had shirts that went up to 4XL. The following year we were able to expand and added an additional size to include to 5xl. Knowing what it’s like to really want a shirt and not be able to get it because of my size, our long term is goal is to expand to 7xl. Today, My Beautiful Fluff sells T-shirts, bags, cups, jewelry and other items, all of which celebrate “fluffy” bodies. My site also has a blog where myself and others write about all kinds of things, many, but not all, of them pertaining to plus-size women.
I’ve always been a plus size girl, so fluff is life. I’ve went through so many crash diets, starting in middle school all the way through college. My weight been up and down my entire life. Diets don’t last. I would hit a goal that I wanted without a sustainable change to any other part of my life and then I would go back to where I started. When I was my smallest and got the most compliments, I was miserable. I hated the way I looked, I hated the people who noticed me when I was thiner, but never noticed me when I was fluffy. When I realized I wasn’t any happier when I was smaller, I realized the problem was never the weight, but was how I viewed myself.
When you’re plus-sized, it’s like a barrage of people from friends, family and doctors making you feel less than because you don’t meet the criteria set forth by a standardized chart. So because of your weight people automatically assume you’re unhealthy, lazy, or overall just less than.
It took me a long time to get to point where I wholeheartedly accepted me.
I’ve learned that every stretch mark, every roll, is perfect. I’ve let go of what other people think, and I’ve allowed myself to accept me, to stop comparing my worth and value to the thoughts and opinions of others.
Change is a hard thing to do, but even if you want to change, you can love yourself today as you are so that you can fully appreciate yourself after the change. I no longer believe in diets, I no longer stive to hit a goal weight. My primary focus is making healthier lifelong changes so that I can be around to see my son grow old. You can be healthy & happy at any weight. The hardest thing to stop listening to is the opinions and comments of others. I remember how proud I was when I first started only to feel crushed when the first time I posted a picture, it was shared by someone who said how huge I am and how I am promoting obesity. It hit me like a ton of bricks, I cried so hard. No matter how much I loved myself, how much I speak to myself with kindness, this person’s words still cut like a knife at first. Then I had a realization that I am not promoting obesity.
I’m promoting self-love and self-acceptance.
I’m promoting that I can be 300 lbs and still love me completely.
The person that shared it is the exact reason that I could not quit.
I realized at that moment that I’m worthy of sharing, of being and existing as a plus size women without the criticism of strangers on the internet. I learned to take the good with the bad, and continue to keep being my beautiful fluffy self.
My Beautiful Fluff has been an integral part to my own healing and my own journey with my body. I continue to share that all bodies are beautiful, and the best part of this is being able to share with women who are like me. Growing up, there were not plus size bodies prominently displayed, so it made me feel like something was wrong with me. I want to use my platform as more than a business, but a place where women can feel beautiful, included, and have a sisterhood of women just like them.