Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Behind the Scenes With BoPo Babes: Dudzilla

Welcome to my new blog series! I will be going behind the selfie sticks, tripods, and self timers with some of my favorite body positive babes. I suspect if they're not your favorites yet, they will be soon!

Joining us today we have Rachel aka @dudzilla. With 3,000 posts on Instagram and as many followers, she is a fierce force online. Personally, Rachel and I have been following each other for about four years and I consider her a friend. She is an X-file loving tattooed goddess with two adorable cats, but who is she behind the Starbucks straw?

Rachel does not advertise herself as a body positive account, but sometimes those are the people that I find most inspiring. Her’s is a personal account found popularity, in my opinion because of her wonderful transparency. She shares poetry, fashion, and stories from her everyday life. By day she works in management for a luxury furniture company. She's lovingly described herself as the "resident weird girl" at her work which seems to just mean that she's wearing purple lipstick and tulle sometimes.

As a child and into her teenage years, Rachel was bullied. "My step mom has a lot of body image issues and took those out on me since I was about five. I was also bullied a lot as a kid/teenager, in school. I was lucky enough to meet friends, around 8th grade, who were built similarly to me. That helped me to not feel so isolated and to shake off/invalidate any of the mean comments." She said now, hateful comments online don't really affect her. "I don’t get a lot of it (hate), but when I do, I either just delete the comments or laugh at them. After being bullied as a kid, I kind of lost the ability to let people I don’t know/care about hurt my feelings." I asked her if she ever received any negativity offline. "I carry myself pretty confidently, so most people aren’t comfortable coming up to me, much less insulting me."
She told me that back in the big days of tumblr, there were a few fat positive pages that she followed and eventually submitted to. “My self love journey started by exposing myself to people who looked like me and were happy and thriving. I later found out that a big piece of that was called body positivity.” Now, that she's involved in the Instagram community a few of her bopo inspirations in no particular order (just going through her following list…) include @rahaharawr, @jedetestetori, @thechristinecho, @girthakitt, @tonsablush, @fatshionqueen, @thunderthighssavelives, and @plussize_me. The relationships she's built, especially with fellow women (of all sizes), is what keeps her coming back to IG day after day.