Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Behind the Scenes With BoPo Babes: AshleyTheAdventurer

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!

Maybe you’ve never heard of my feature this week - Ashley aka @ashleytheadventurer, but she was one of the first accounts I followed that I didn’t know personally. With less than a thousand followers her page is a personal one. She says she’s “not at the level that I would like to be as far as maintenance of my instagram, and I do not have a blog apart from my tumblr.” But as we all know, body positivity is not limited to the curated images you see online. As helpful as Instagram posts are, self love is a real thing that you have to deal with offline as well. Some of the most inspiring voices are quiet ones.

Ashley was bullied for her appearance when she was younger. “Middle school is brutal, I think that is partially why it took until my 16th year to realize my worth. I've been asked my phone number as a joke, before, along with pig noises and giggling directed my way.” She says that changing her perspective helped grow her body positivity. Before the day of Instagram, she was on Tumblr. “The first glimpse of body positivity was through the account chubbybunnies when I was in 10th grade. (I thought) - here were all these beautiful individuals putting themselves out there in vulnerability for thousands of people to see… And some of them actually looked just like me, something I'd never thought possible previously.”

“The Internet was the first medium which really introduced me to body positivity and the idea that I don't have to hate my body. I think that surrounding yourself with those who, not only do not dislike their bodies but actually love and embrace them is extremely important, whether thin or plus size.”

Those women and since then, women on Instagram have been her self love inspirations. “Those out there who decide to love themselves, despite the world (are my idols). Instagram allows me to meet friends who aren't necessarily in my area. It provides be with some serious fashion inspo. Most importantly, it gives me strength. On the rough days, it pushes me to keep going, keep living.”

Being online can provide freedom and solidarity within our created safe space, but as we all know that body positivity doesn’t stop when you shut off your phone. Ashley makes sure that she does not limit her self love to IG posts.


“Online, it is more of an open platform for me to tell others how I gained that confidence and how I go out in to the world breaking the fashion rules that society makes for fat women. In real life I have to rely heavily on how I dress and the confidence I exude to do the speaking for me. I also think that it is easier to appear confident 24/7 online, which is not the case in my real life. It's a constant struggle for me to keep my confidence and some days I have to force myself to leave the house in something that pushes my personal comfort boundaries.

(Body positivity) is my everyday life. It's a constant fight. It's a constant of showing the world that I love myself despite the constant message that I shouldn't. It's allowing the positivity and love, that I so desperately want to spread throughout, to penetrate my own life.”

Sometimes people have a tendency to misinterpret or not quite understand the message of body positivity. When confronted with bullies in the real world now, she finds that education is the best course of action. “I've gotten to a point in my life where I tend to tune out the opinions of those who I do not care about, so unless you are my family or a friend then I am not going to put any weight in your words. That being said, it's often those closest to us to body shame whether directly or indirectly. If someone even hints at body shaming (me or others) I'm forthright on how I'm not comfortable with that. If they continue with the toxicity I think it's incredibly important to cut ties, (though I know) that’s easier said than done.”

She even uses her job in customer service to spread her message of self love. “I meet a lot of people and it is part of my job as a barista to connect with these people and a way that I do that is through compliments. Beyond that, I push my personal introvert tendencies and respond if someone I am talking to uses ‘fat’ as a negative word or says ‘I can't wear that.’”

Maintaining her Instagram is important to her as she hopes to “inspire others to break out of the shells in which society has put them.” She also looks forward to more inclusivity in the body positive community and in mainstream media coverage of the movement. “I'd like to see more real fat bodies in the limelight. Those who are ‘plus size’ but still have a flat tummy, no rolls, and who are white are seen more visibly than those who have rolls and apparent cellulite/stretch marks.” She knows that we all have to work together to make this a reality. “(We have to) remain steadfast and strong in what we are all working towards. The only way that we can make a change in the way we are allowed to survive and exist is through all of us working together and standing strong together.”


Lightning Round
Favorite Happy Song?
  • How can I just choose one?! The one that comes to mind first is a classic You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates
What’s a movie that never gets old?
  • Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail - I’m all about that Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks love.
What’s a book you could read repeatedly?
  • Any Harry Potter
Favorite ice cream?
  • Double Dunkers (a flavor by turkey hill with coffee flavored icecream, cookie dough, and Oreos)
Favorite brick and mortar store?
  • Target
Favorite online store?
  • ASOS
Do you have any hobbies?
  • Thrift Store shopping/Craigslist Free Ad hunting
Drink of Choice 

  • Non-Alocholic - Coffee or Tea, Alcoholic - Any Mule



Until Next Time,
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3 comments:

  1. Ashley you are a beautiful woman and your Uncle Ed is very proud of you, and not just your looks, but I am impressed with your intelligence and open mindness.

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  2. Ashley, Thank you for sharing! You are a radient soul and I look forward to your posts everyday. You are so beautiful, intellagent and inspiring.I struggle to love my body and my self every day and honestly you dont know how much you help me find that glimmer of love for myself.

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