Fashion School Series Part 1: Rejection

They say that hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes looking back on past events you can pin-point and exact decision or moment that your entire life changed or shifted.

The first time I realized this was when I was 21, looking back on my college experience. Like every fashion design student my dream was to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. If you went to FIT you were going to make it- that was the mutual understanding: you would be among the elite fashion designers in the world. When the rejection letter came in the mail and it hit me like a brick to the face! My dreams had just been crushed! Then another rejection letter came, and then another! No one wanted me! I felt hopeless and utter shock! How was I going to pursue my dream of becoming a plus size fashion designer if no one would give me the chance?

I applied not only to FIT, (Fashion Institute of Technology) but also to Parsons: The New School of Design: Tim Gunn’s school. (Now Project Runway at the time had only aired its 1st season back in 06 or 07′- and did not have the following it has today- and I was only 16 and could not apply!) When that second, third and forth rejection letters barreled through my door, I couldn’t believe it! So upset at myself. I was convinced that all of my self taught efforts had been for nothing! I should have been so proud of myself; I learned so much on my own, even made my own prom gowns without any formal training and here I was being told I wasn’t good enough.

Not going to college was not an option- I wanted that college experience and I wanted to learn what I knew others could teach me about my craft. I mean I could always just transfer right? Begrudgingly I also submitted an application to a local private college (my mothers alma mater) Mount Ida College in Newton MA.  And don’t you know I was accepted! Now I wasn’t thrilled to receive the acceptance- but I was relieved that at least I could go somewhere. I just wanted someone to give me a chance.

I just have a stick it out a year- I don’t have to stay, I told myself. The school was smaller, and local (only 40 minutes from my home town). If I just stayed a year, I could reapply and transfer to my dream school- FIT. To my surprise, I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. My freshman class of designers had 35 students (this was a huge number of designers!) It was eye opening that some of the students I met had never sewed before in their lives! I thought- how could you want to be a fashion designer and have never sewed before? Well I guess you have to start sometime! Other classmates I met, even went to a high school that offered fashion design! Now I was impressed- I only wished I would have had that available to me!

Now I couldn’t decide if I was ahead or behind? I was so confused. The whole point of going to college was to be taught. I left my interview at FIT (I knew I blew it the moment I walked out of that door) feeling totally disheartened and frustrated. All of the other applicants I spoke too seemed to be almost twice my age, and have degrees in other subjects. Should I have been this accomplished before even applying? I didn’t get it.

The discovery that changed everything was that my current local small college offered a double major program. This was a new opportunity that might not be available to me elsewhere. I was already enrolled at the college, on my way to one degree, but why not go for two? Many students who graduate with a fashion design degree walk across that stage thinking that they are the next Valentino or Dior, and often that isn’t the case; not by a long shot. Fashion Design students (regardless of which college) tend to get slammed back into reality of the real world of fashion; interning, production, management, international business, marketing etc. Its much more then I think most bargain for.

This double major for me was a game changer. What if I could get a degree in not only fashion design, but fashion merchandising and marketing? I could learn not only how to make clothing, but how to sell it to! This lit my fire! My goal was always to make a living doing what I love, and this opportunity was another way to get there. And if I decided to continue onto graduate school, my merchandising degree would open that door, should I ever choose to walk through it.

My life changed the moment I decided I would stay at Mount Ida and work to receive two degrees in four years! Yes that’s right, 2 degrees in 4 years. I made a plan, and with some luck and careful consideration, executed it. Now I was one of Mount Ida’s first ever double majors to graduate in the history of the college (graduating mind you, with over 230 credits ((the average major is about 125)) and I might add, with a 3.9 GPA (Suck it doubters!)

The double major was a huge factor but it wasn’t everything. I had truly found an amazing support system. I was far enough away from home that I felt I had true independence, but close enough that I was only a short car ride away.  The longer I stuck with fashion design, the fewer and fewer designers remained. Remember that I told you we started with 35? Well out of those 35, we graduated only 8! EIGHT! Including me! Fashion is one of those majors with huge drop out rates; once students realize the long studio classes and work involved after hours, it becomes too demanding and too much.

Fashion design is not like Project Runway, you don’t just get some money, go to Mood Fabrics, and whip up a nice dress in an hour. Its measurements, and fit, and mathematics, and entire world of fabrications and technology, etc. I could go on for hours! It takes hours upon hours of hard work, endless sleepless nights, seam rippers and yards upon yards of fabric, and dedication. And sometimes, you have to just make it again. It really is blood, sweat and tears; but those who persevere and have the tenacity to endure, will succeed.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be during my time at Mount Ida I would meet a professor who would become the gateway to my now full time job in fashion. If I had changed schools, I life would have ended up drastically different. I wouldn’t have the day job I have now, working in men’s big and tall fashion in international business, global sourcing and product development. And for sure I would not have two degrees like I do now. I wouldn’t have met the same people, networked and push my career forward in its current direction.

I also might not have had the confidence to do what I love, despite the world telling me that I wasn’t good enough. In the word’s of Jim Carey- during a graduation speech he gave..” the eyes are not only viewers, but they are projectors, and the title of that story is, I’ll never be enough”. The world will always be telling you why you can’t do, what you can’t have etc. You have to decide to not give a shit and do it anyway. Go ahead and doubt me, you just make me want it that much more.  And again in the word’s of Jim Cary.. “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love”.

I am not a believer in fate, only in choice; cause and effect. But sometimes what looks like a set back or a major disappointment is really one door closing and another opening. Its hard to see at the time in this moment, but trust in yourself and in the process. You will get where you need to be, it just might not have been the way you intended; and that’s OK. My first life lesson: Success is not a straight road.

Thanks so much for reading! Did you have a college experience that way similar? Did you overcome people telling you no? I would love to see you comment!

Want to check out what I am doing now? Sign up for my bi monthly newsletter and get all the details and updates! Sign up here! www.rose-riot.com

-A

 

Holiday Dresses you can’t live without!

Hello! First I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday! Happy belated Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, or whatever which holiday you plan on celebrating- have a happy one!

New Years always seems to be the time for a little extra glimmer and glamour in your life! I always had a hard time with trying to find something to wear and that fit! Plus Size shopping, especially around the holidays was always challenging- but now there are many different options out there!

Some of my favorites are from Eloquii and Torrid. I just love a little shimmer and shine! Get the Eloquii look here! Get the Torrid look here!

holiday dresses

This sequined fabric seems to be the fabric and shine of the season this year! The placement on the Torrid dress is nice because its beneath the waist and the bow adds a hint of cute! I have had a similar dress in the past but the sequins were at the bust, and it scratched up my arms! Not cute.

The Eloquii dress has a shine to it, but it is part of the fabric, in small coated squares, almost giving off a reptile look. I am not one that likes to wear a totally bare shoulder dress- but if this is you look- you rock it! I prefer straps myself. I do like the arm arms pictured here in the Eloquii look- appropriate for the time of year.

However this year you might even be able to rock these dresses without any kind of over coat- since it will be 68 degrees here (in New England-MA) on Christmas Eve! How crazy is that! With the heat wave, I imagine New Years will be just as warm!

Even though the holiday dress options out there were many, I still decided I wanted to make myself a dress.  And honestly, I made it, because I could- so why not? I always seem to be looking for the perfect dress but never being able to find it! Well I stumbled upon this amazing gold shimmy coated ponte fabric. Its amazingly comfortable and its stretchy and it adds just a hint of shine and sparkle without being overwhelming. AND I don’t have to worry about being scratched with sequins or losing sequins off my dress! Like my dress? You can get it too! Check it out below!

amanda gold instagram

There are limited quantities available! Check it out here and gets yours today! Sizes 14-32! Limited Time use code: HOLIDAY50 for 50% off ANY dress in my shop! Order by tonight at Midnight (EST) and get it before Christmas! I don’t know about you but I love metallics this season!

I would love to see what dress your wearing to your holiday party this season! Add a picture with a comment below!

Did you know I am also working on launching an exclusive plus size jacket line that will be manufactured ethically in the USA?- Check it out here and be in the know! www.rose-riot.com

Tweet at me, Facebook me, or post a comment and let me know you signed up, and I will give you a special coupon code for my dress shop!

Stay Classy my friends and have a wonderful holiday!

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

 

Fashion Friday!

HI again and welcome back!

This week I am beginning a series called “Fashion Friday’s” where I will be posting images of my outfit of the week! Friday is obviously the best day of the week- every other week its pay day! Who doesn’t love getting paid? I know I do!

Every Friday I will choose the best outfit I wore that week, and tell you all about it! Because let’s face it, I know I don’t have it all together every day of the week. I do try, but its just not my reality.

This outfit was actually made by me!- Amanda Koker! Yay! That’s my favorite part of being a fashion designer, its finally being able to make clothing in my size. During college all the samples that I made were usually between a size 4-8. Which was fine, I didn’t mind because I was learning, and I needed to start somewhere. But now that I have these skills, I want to be able to apply them to myself and to others!

me2

When I saw this fabric, I just fell in love! This fabric came out of NYC and it is the softest fabric in the world. Its Viscose Jersey and it drapes incredibly well. I had first made this garment for Boston Fashion Week! Its technically from the new Spring 2016 Line! I will be posting a video from that fashion show soon! Stay tuned for that post! I went ahead and made this version as I realized that not all women feel comfortable in a bodycon (hip hugging) dress.

Body Con dresses do look good on a lot of different women- below is a picture of my fabulous model Nina rocking it at the Boston Ice Loft! The Ice Loft was such a cool place to hold a fashion show and photoshoot! (More pictures to come from that! Stay Tuned!)

Photo: Dan Minicucci
Photo: Dan Minicucci

 

Both dresses are now available for sale! Check it out here! I also have a 25% off coupon going on right now! Use code: HOLIDAY25 at check out!

I must say this is one of my favorite dresses! It was so comfortable to wear all day, and it never clung. Its really gratifying to finally be able to wear the clothing I design. Fashion is for everyone, and now I finally feel more apart of it! Yay! Wishing you a very happy Fashion Friday!

Have a great weekend!

-Amanda

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

 

#AskLaneBryant- Valid Points Among the Bullshit..

Sometimes I find myself glued into social media, following twitter conversations or getting transfixed into my Facebook feed. I bet this happens to you too? I sit online and all of a sudden 2 hours have gone by and all I have done is read Facebook posts. Something about the internet just sucks you right in!

Well yesterday I stumbled upon #AskLaneBryant on Twitter, while updating my profile: Follow me here! It had not yet begun, it was to be a conversation between the public and Lane Bryant’s CMO. But it was evident that the conversation had already turned before it had begun! I understand we all want our voices to be heard, and as someone who works in the industry its always an interesting experience when receiving feedback or criticism. There are always “take aways”, things to learn from and to think about. However it quickly became a bitch fest.

Its always been interesting to me how bold people are when they have a screen to hide behind. Yes I know what your thinking? Aren’t I the same since this is a blog post? Sure you could say that, but I for one voice the same opinions, in person, to “your” face as much as I would write a blog post about my opinion. But your here reading it so I assume you are interested in an educated opinion.

I admit I did read through a lot of the tweets and some had valid points.

From “Ready to Stares” Alysse Dalessandro- who “Broke the Internet” with her recent release of a red dress that was not clinched at the waist line- a public show of rebellion that plus size women can wear what they want, and reminding us that an hour glass is not the only shape out there. Rock on girl!

askLB

Alysse called for campaigns with 22+ size models. I am all for this. The issue seems to be complex, as there seems to be a call from the consumer for more diversity in model selection- and some retailers seem to be making an effort. I myself (size 26/28) model the clothing in my shop, because I also feel and want to show multiple representations of what my clothing will look like. I understand that clothing always looks good on size 16, who is 5′ 10″, however I am 5; 5″ and usually a size 26.

Its nice to see what the clothing will actually look like on my body type as well. I think more women will benefit and relate. However, in Alysse’s case, when she herself modeled her red dress, that was not synched at the waist line, the internet exploded.  You can’t have it both ways. You either want to see people, models, designers of multiples sizes or you don’t. Its frustrating as a designer and a brand because there is this mixed message of- I want it, but I don’t. Decide People. For me, I am going to keep rocking my size 26 ass on my website (here!) Take it or leave it.

askLB1

Another interesting point of why LB doesn’t carry sizes above 26 in their stores. I do think that they offer up to size 28 online, and in some stores. What most people don’t realize is not all stores are equal. Stores are “graded” based on traffic, physical size and location. Based on this grade, determines the products they receive or don’t receive, this includes the sizes offered as well. A larger store- like the one in Braintree MA, I consider to be an “A” or “B” store, as it has a very large amount of square footage and seems to carry the most local assortment and variety of sizes. However, if I compare that to the Lane Bryant in Walpole Ma, there is a huge difference. Walpole has maybe 1/3 of the retail space, and much less of an assortment and size range. Don’t get me wrong, they carry all the sizes, but they will distribute the sizes in much smaller quantities, thus making getting a larger size more difficult, because there might only be 1 available in that location.

Now I want you to know that I never have worked for Lane Bryant in any capacity, however I do have a corporate day job at a plus size retailer, and I imagine the basics of retail are the same. So to L J Laubenheimer’s point- there just might not be those sizes, or many of those sizes available in local locations. Could this be fixed? Yes- but from a retail perspective it will depend also on the shopping patterns of that location. If certain sizes aren’t selling- or go on clearance, they most likely will not buy so many in the future. I didn’t say that they should buy this way- but it is business. Personally I had an experience at my day job where a store manager asked a executive at corporate for more product in their location. And what was awesome, was corporate listened, and shipped more product to that location. This gives me hope that things can change, and the retailers are listening.

askLB3The wonder Curves and Chaos- who I had the pleasure of meeting in NYC last year- also calls for more diversity. I also think this is a valid point. She points out not just size, but shape and ethnicity. I agree- I think the diversity is better then it has been in the past, but I would love to see models with apple shapes, models who are petite, etc. I personally would love to see a model who Is my size 26 as well. I think its smart because it helps the consumer relate and see what the brands clothing looks like on multiple body shapes. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone can be represented all at the same time from one brand. But that’s the beauty of fashion- its not one brands job to satisfy everyone. If it were, there would only be one brand. The point is to give consumers choices and options.

askLB4On a personal note- that’s me- Rose Riot– on twitter asking about smaller brand collaborations. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for seeing Project Runways Christian Siriano produce a collection for Lane Bryant because he is crazy talented and I fell in love with his designs watching him on TV. However, brands like Lane Bryant have more power then I think they realize. As a start-up/small brand, its very difficult to get In front of consumers and a collaboration with a major game changer like Lane Bryant could be beneficial not only for a smaller brand but for the consumer. I see a lot of women commenting on wanting to see different styles at Lane Bryant. Whether its different fabrics, prints, etc. Style is taste is different for everyone and you can’t expect 1 retailer to please everyone, but a small brand collaboration would be one way to offer more variety and help catapult the next big plus size fashion designer/brand. I wouldn’t mind if Rose Riot was Lane Bryant’s guinea pig.

askLB2It was nice to see that Lane Bryant stayed classy in their response. Not for nothing, and I think people forget this while on the internet- there are people behind the screen. You are talking to people- whether is Lane Bryant or whoever, I think it might be nice to be kinder to each-other. Its easy to be an asshole over the internet or spew uninformed and uneducated opinion.. but remember your talking to a human being. Its one thing to voice your opinion but its certainly another to be nasty about it.

Lane Bryant, and all retailers- don’t own you anything. They aim to please and want you to feel valued and loved, as we should be, however they can’t be everything to everyone. If you don’t like it- go somewhere else. That’s the best part of freedom of choice. There are more choices then ever- there is no excuse. Do your homework and support the brands you care about and give you what you need.

Want to know what I am up to? A New Plus Size Jacket Line that will be ethically made in the USA.. Launching Fall 2016! Sign up and stay tuned!

That’s all for now. Stay Classy.

-Amanda

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

This is HALLOWEEN…..

First off, I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween! For the first time in what feels like forever, Halloween night fell on a weekend night! The Saturday was the perfect time for Halloween; parents didn’t have to deal with work, kids didn’t have to deal with school; and average people like you and me could have a drink or two and not have to worry so much about going to work with a hangover! #Truth

I am not a procrastinator as much as I literally am out of time, all the time. If I could have 40hrs in day, that would be great. The night before Halloween, I decided I was going to DIY my costume, and paint a sweater I bought from Saver’s. My idea was to do a skeleton type costume, but sort of day of the dead-esc but not crazy. I haven’t painted in a long time, and I forgot how therapeutic it could be.

Below are pictures of my finished sweater. I googled a photo of “skeleton chest” to use as reference and did the best I could. I didn’t want to go for a stark white bone structure- I thought it would look to gimmicky.

Skeleton Painting Sweater

I did end up liking the end product. I also had bought skeleton hand gloves to finish off my outfit. I also dug through my most recent fashion show bag of accessories and easily found all things Halloweenish. It was great- one of the bonuses of loving roses, skulls and things all year round! Needless to say, I found a bunch of rose hair pieces in both black and red. I wanted to look day of the dead ish- and the hair pieces ended up being perfect! Its hard to see the hair pieces from the picture below- but you get a better idea of what the completed sweater looked like. Also I pulled out skeleton earrings and a red necklace to finish the look.

Amanda Skeleton

I am no make up artist- and thank god I bought red make up from the wedding I had recently attended (I wore a red ASK Fashion dress to my boyfriends, cousins, wedding). So I had deep red lipstick and dark pink blush, and red eye shadow to finish the look. Its not obvious but I wore my black sweat pants too! Had to be comfortable for a night of getting together with the best friends a girl could ask for.

Pictured below is my good friend Maria- who did way more skull make up than I did, and boy she did look amazing! That is one of the best parts of going to a Halloween party with your closest friends- you all are nerdy enough to dress up and have a great time! It was a good reminder to just relax and have some fun.

Amanda and Maria Halloween

I think that’s one of the hardest things to do today- is de-connect and relax. I decided once I arrived at the party- that there would be no fashion business after I walked through that door; that night I was going to relax, hang out, have a glass of wine, and enjoy myself!

Halloween is one of my most favorite times of year! Yet it came and went so quick! (Just like everything else seems to be doing lately!- Like where did the time go?!?)

If its not enough to feel so connected and rushed, I felt like I have had no time to recover post-Halloween. I mean that in the sense, that literally on November 1st we are being shoved Peppermint Latte’s and Christmas Music! As if it wasn’t bad enough that the second “Back to School” was over- we were already seeing Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas- jeezz! I mean I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see New Years things, any day now! I feel like saying.. Stop Rushing Me! Lol.

I am not going to lie- I am not disappointed that I can now order my favorite drink of the entire year- Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks- (the BEST!). But, it is a bit much, a bit too soon! I feel like people need to relax, and take some time to enjoy themselves and the people they surround themselves with. Sometimes I feel we forget what is really important- we get so busy, so consumed with our lives, we forget to stop and look around every once in a while. As Ferris Bueller once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”. I feel like, if you take away anything from this post- it will be to stop and look around the try to enjoy and appreciate life. This is something I am constantly reminding myself; as a business women, fashion entrepreneur, and overall busy person working 3 jobs- that I have to stop every once and a while and relax, take in my surroundings, enjoy my life, hang out with my friends and family and have some fun, and try acting like I am 25 for once! (not 25 going on 45!)

What were you for Halloween?! I would love to know! Comment below!

One last note- I will leave you with one of my favorite cover songs, from one of my favorite movies, from one of my favorite singers! It gets me into that Halloween mood!- Sally’s Song by Ame Lee of Evanescence. Take a Listen! Its Amy Lee from Evanescence, singing a song from the movie- the NightMare Before Christmas. Love that movie!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to sign up on my mailing list and stay up to date on all things- ASK! Stay Fabulous my friends!

Don’t forget to sign up on our mailing list Here!

white skull head prop

Stay Happy and Classy my friends!

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

Jackets Jackets and More Jackets!

Hello Again!

I want to start out by saying I just LOVE the fall. It is by far, my favorite season of the entire year! Here in New England, I love seeing all the trees lose their leaves, and the leaves changing colors! Highway driving becomes pretty pleasant!

I must admit that I have an outwear problem; meaning I cannot get enough jackets and coats! I just love them! They are my favorite fashion item! And fall is the perfect time to start taking out those wonderful jackets!

One of my favorite jackets I had made when I first graduated from college- pictured below. And it is one of the best jackets that I have ever made. It got me thinking- I wish I had one in MY size! In college they teach you the how-to’s of fashion design and pattern drafting and draping, and typically you build your skills based on using a “standard” model size- usually sizes 2-6. Well I don’t know about you, but I have never been and never will be a size 6!

Black and White Leather Jacket

This is my constant frustration with the fashion industry. I feel like, even though the plus size fashion community has only continued to grow there is still so much more room for improvement.

So that is where I am going to begin. I will make this jacket in MY size, and rock the hell out of it. I am tired of being an after thought for major retailers, especially when it comes to outerwear. I still find myself thinking- I wish that was in MY size. Well No more of that nonsense! This time next year I am launching a full fledged outwear plus size fashion line.

I would love to know your struggles with finding the right jacket for you! What is your biggest complaint? I hate when I find jackets I love that don’t fit right, AND don’t have pockets! I mean really? What person who wears a jacket doesn’t want pockets! It seems crazy to me!

I want to feel funky, and fabulous too! I feel like we are lucky enough to get a rack or two, yet our more slender counterpart gets 20! Its craziness to me. I found myself looking for a new fall/winter coat to wear to my day job, something warm, well fitting and functional that had my kick ass style- and I came home empty handed. There is nothing more annoying then not being able to find what I am looking for! Its getting cold out, and I need a jacket! And I imagine all of my fabulous plus size friends out there need one too!

Keep your eyes pealed for my new jacket line next fall (2016!). It time that I take this problem head on and design the jackets that I have always dreamt of! After all I want a kick ass jacket too! I deserve to feel strong, fabulous (and warm!) and so do you! I can’t wait to show you want I am currently working on and developing!

I would love to hear your feedback! What are the top 3 things you look when shopping for a jacket/coat/outerwear. Please give me a comment below and I might just send you a coupon code for my Etsy Shop! (Shop Here!)

If you LOVE this jacket as much as I do- leave your email in a comment, and get on the mailing list- be the FIRST to know when this jacket will be available for Pre-Order! Woo! Or Sign Up for my mailing list here!  www.rose-riot.com

Thanks for reading!- Stay fabulous!-

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

 

Ohh give me the beat boys and free my soul.. I want to get lost in your rock and roll..

Hello!

Sorry its been a while! I cannot believe it is already September! Where did the time go? Where did the summer go? I am ready for leather jackets, combat boots, scarves, hats, gloves, shawls, sweatshirts and more! Fall is my favorite time of year. There is something about the way that fall smells, that pumpkin spice, the dying leaves it just fills me. Though I will admit I am not a huge pumpkin spice fan, as much as I am a Gingerbread latte fan- but that’s more in the holiday season- not rushing that! Well I would love a Gingerbread coffee right now, but I guess I can wait.

What I really intended to write about besides my clear coffee obsession is music. You’ll notice the title of this post is song lyrics from Bob Seger’s song “I want to get lost in your Rock N’ Roll”. That’s truly how I feel about rock and roll music in general. Its in the moment of venting frustration, pain and struggle- and knowing that other people (usually the artist) is speaking the words you thought were only in your head; that these feeling were specific to you. That’s the thing- they’re not, and its wonderful. Other people have gone through the exact same thing- the struggle that it is to be human. Sometimes it just feels good screaming song lyrics in my car.

Lately my personal and professional life has been draining me dry- bringing me to the point of exhaustion. But what has gotten me through- (a thank you to my friends, family and boyfriend who are my constant rock and support)- but on a more personal level- that time when its just you and your thoughts; what has gotten me through is the music. It always has been the music. It “frees my soul.. I want to get lost in your Rock N’ Roll and drift away..”.

A new song I discovered from a recent favorite artist is “Fighter” by In this Moment. Listen here.

The song lyrics that stick out to me the most are:

“I will fall and rise above
And in your hate I find love
‘Cause I’m a survivor
Yeah, I am a fighter

I will not hide my face
I will not fall from grace
I’ll walk into the fire, baby

All my life
I was afraid to die
And now I come alive inside these flames”

I pick these lyrics in particular because what speaks to me is surviving; rising above. Someone once told me, (in reference to being a star) that you must burn to shine. I thought this was appropriate to both how I feel and the visualization of fire in these lyrics.

As a plus size woman, I often find the rejection from society so in my face 24/7 there is no escape from it. Especially with todays technology- its so easily assessable around the clock; its almost suffocating at times. I mean look at the you tube post that recently went viral- “Dear Fat People” is all I will say- I mean look how easy it is for people to just spew hatred, especially on such a public platform; its disgusting.

This is where those lyrics become true for me.. “In your hate, I find love”. I give a thousand kudos to those women putting themselves out there and publicly taking this hate- someone like Whitney Way Thore. Good for her- she’s honestly more brave then I would be. It takes balls to be out in the public eye and say “Fuck you guys, I am who I am, take it or leave it” (not that she said those words), but she doesn’t have to. Actions will always speak louder then words. And not for nothing, but I don’t see anyone else who comments or criticizes stepping up to the plate. Its easy to be bold behind a screen. I think its cowardly. Whitney has all my support and I cannot wait for her second season of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” to air. It takes courage to be a symbol and get out there. What I love most about her is her realness and her positive attitude- her platform #NoBodyShameCampaign You Rock on Girl!

I love ITM next lines “I will not hide my face/ I will not fall from grace”. I love love love this because its again exactly how I feel. Despite what you might think of me (or anyone else) as a plus size person- I will still always be here, and I will NOT hide my face. You have a problem with me? That’s YOUR problem, not mine. I am a firm believer in self reliance and responsibility. ITM’s next line ” I will not fall from grace” I just love even more, because to me it means no matter what shit you have to say about me, or what you think of me has NO power over me. I yield my own results, and no one else. If I “fall from grace” it will be because of me, and not you. YOU and only YOU determine your fate. Your choices will determine your outcome; no one else’s. And if you don’t choose for yourself, you let someone choose for you. You give up your voice. I say, Fuck that! I have a lot to say! I will not be silenced and neither should you.

“I will walk into the fire”- this next line- is embracing this journey.  Knowing what lies ahead and walking through the flames anyway. Having the balls to know what you want and to go for it. Only you have the power to shape you. You are all that matters. Every day I work on loving myself, and who I see in the mirror. From P!NK’s lyrics (Fuckin’ Perfect)- I will “change the voices in (my) head, make them like you, instead”. Its true. The only voice you control in your head is yours. There will always be people telling you what to think and what to do- but YOU need to decide for You! You make that choice. Take control.

“All my life/ I was afraid to die/ And now I come alive inside these flames” This is perfect. (And not dying in the literal sense here people). All my life, I was afraid- those lyrics are true. Growing up you become afraid of not fitting it, of being the outcast, of being called the fat girl. I felt the same things, I am not different than you. But- and this is important- because I embrace my inner freak, embrace my life and my journey- I not only “come alive” but I thrive! You walk into the fire, and come alive inside the flames. Its all about change. To me, its about letting go, and allowing yourself to transform and change into the woman you were born to become.

I don’t mean to sound preachy here- but this song, Rock N’ Roll in general for me, is empowering. Screaming these lyrics in my car on my ride home from my day job, gets me through the day. I scream sometimes to just feel alive; to say I am here. And it feels good. Let it go- release all this energy that’s building up inside. Decide for yourself how you feel and what you want. Don’t ever let anyone tell you your not enough. Or that your not this or not that; its always something. Why does it seem always so hard to find the people who want to help you instead of wanting to hurt you.

This is again one of my philosophies. We can make it together. There is already some much hatred in this world, so much shame and blame. There is no need for any of this. And down to my core I don’t understand the need women feel to tear each other down. I truly can’t understand. If women as a whole knew just how powerful we were together, we would be unstoppable. Its recognizing that inner power and using it, and not letting anyone take it away from  you. It never hurts to help. We will make it together because “I’m a survivor/ yeah I am a fighter” and so are you. The fight isn’t easy. But if its worth fighting- never stop. You ARE worth fighting for. Don’t anyone ever tell you otherwise.

I want to hear from you! What do you think? Who inspires you? What music gets you through your day? Shout out in a comment below! Thanks for reading!

Did you know I am developing a plus size jacket line? Follow my fashion journey here! Sign up and be in the know! http://www.rose-riot.com

Stay Classy!

-A

Ⓒ Rose Riot 2016