Friday, August 12, 2016

Behind the Scenes With BoPo Babes: BrittPysar

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!

Britt, aka @brittpysar has a self love journey that started offline. When she moved from Vancouver, BC to Hamilton, ON this year she found the change to be a bigger one than expected. Moving across country is already a huge deal, but she found herself following her passion – retail. She finds plenty of opportunities to spread her body positive message at her job.

“I work in retail in a plus size women's store and listening to the way some women talk to/about themselves is heartbreaking but it opens up the opportunity to engage in more meaning conversations about the real problem, which NEWSFLASH, isn't any of our butts or bellies or hips or thighs, the real problem is corporations and conglomerates selling women's bodies and setting a standard that is unattainable for the vast majority of us.”

Not only has her new job provided meaningful conversations with customers, but she says she met an amazing group of women who continually inspire her.

“I work with this group of hilarious, confident, empowering, beautiful and absolutely kick ass women. Working alongside them has changed the way I see myself and other people and has given me this beautifully positive outlook on life. They really are my inspiration. I have never felt such a connection to other humans beings so quickly, and I feel for the first time that I am exactly where I am meant to be.”

Having followed a lot of bopo accounts and being a frequent commenter on their posts, she decided to put herself out there and see what happened. Over 1,000 Instagram posts later, she’s got a following of almost 17K! She’s made quite a splash, I’d say!

Since her online debut, she’s used social media as a tool to meet other babes. “I have found this beautiful community of like minded people who I can share my thoughts with and have open discussions with about important topics. Honestly, I don't think I ever really utilized the hashtag search function on any social media platforms until I started getting serious about having these very real conversations about self love with total strangers. Seeking out people who believe in the same things as you and striking up conversations and friendships is the best way of improving your view on not only your own body, but understanding societies standards for our bodies as well (and why those standards are so unrealistic and damaging).”

She professes much love for the bopo community, but says there are three women online that really helped her grow on her journey. “Josie (@josie_landry) is absolutely freaking amazing and inspiring. She stands for so many wonderful things and speaks her mind and she is such a kind and caring woman. Also, Megan (@bodyposipanda) the ultimate bopo warrior! I feel a real connection to everything she stands for. Corissa of @fatgirlflow - she is body positive, sex positive and just straight up amazing.”

Of course, meeting like minded people in real life can be a lot harder. Especially as an adult moving to a new city (I have personal experience with that). Britt has some great advice.

“It can be a lot harder to find a solid group of people to follow around that constantly build each other up all the time, human beings don't come with a search function. But there are two major things I have learned about body positivity IRL since starting on this journey and that is 1. If you have to force it or fake it, it isn't worth it. If you have people around you that are bringing you down, causing you to think negatively or feel bad about yourself then you need to get yourself out of those relationships. And 2. Putting positivity out into the universe is the best way to get it back. Telling the people around you (strangers at the mall, your parents, your friends, coworkers, random people on the street etc) that they look good, that they're kind, they're inspirational, they have a great sense of style, good hair, a charming smile, contagious laugh or that you love them - these things come back to you a thousand fold. I really do believe it. When you build people up it just feels good. And those people spread that positivity around and it eventually comes back to you - feeling good about yourself starts within and doesn't necessarily start with how you feel about your body. Kindness shines from the inside out.”

Following her on Instagram you’ll see photos of her looking absolutely fab, but what you’ll also see is unfiltered no makeup snaps. She opens up about her mental health and insecurities as well. She strives to be open and honest about who she really is. “I think that online it is easier to edit out the negative aspects of your life, but I try not to do that. If I am having a rough day for any reason, I post about it, as do many of the bopo accounts that I follow. I believe it's important for people to realize that we all have off days, we all have moments of weakness and none of us are anything close to perfect.”

She knows that encouraging others to love themselves can be helpful and eye opening, but stresses that self love is something that has to happen on your own time. “My husband has spent a lot of years telling me that I am beautiful and that he loves my body. I still hated myself regardless of his kind words. Engaging in meaningful conversation about why so many women and men feel as though the don't live up to societies standards is really what made me reevaluate how I was treating myself." Instagram really helped the conversation get bigger for her. "I've always been a bit more introverted. I feel that in high school I was always more concerned about being "cool" or included than I was about being authentic. Instagram is a place for me to speak my mind and engage with other people. Being my true self and speaking my mind with no hesitations feels so good. I wish I had the courage to be myself when I was younger and if I can help even just a single person through a difficult time in their life, I feel as though that's success.”

She said she was bullied when she was younger, simply stating: “Teenagers are mean.” She said any hate she receives no is usually in regards to rejecting a man. She is a married woman after all! But, she’s no stranger to hate online. She chooses not to discuss the type of comments she receives, but rather how she handles them. “For the most part, I ignore it. The delete button is a tool I utilize often. A lot of people are just looking for a reaction and I try not to give it to them. Sometimes I take the opportunity to create a conversation that hopefully the "hater", other readers or myself can learn from. I mostly try to get rid of any hate though, because I want my IG to be a safe space, and to me it just isn't worth it to get into these huge debates and put vulnerable people at risk for bullying just so I can make a point or win an argument with a hater.”

Her best advice if you’re starting out on your body positive journey or even if you’re in the middle of it and need a little encouragement is to put it all out there! Using the internet, particularly Instagram as a bopo resource. “Take a photo and put it on the internet! Looking at photos of ourselves forces us to see ourselves from a different perspective. My body is just a body. It could belong to anyone and it happens to belong to me, and I am so lucky to have it. It isn't the same to me as looking in the mirror. When I have a bad mental health day, or a bad body day - I take a photo of myself (usually baring it all) and I write something that I would want someone to say to me. I think about what I would like to hear from a friend or loved one and I put that positivity into the universe for everyone else.”

When asked if there was anything she wanted to say to y'all she gushed "SO MUCH!" Her love for this community is palpable. “You are all inspirational and wonderful human beings. Each and every interaction I have with you wonderful bopo folks from around the world brings my heart so much joy. I learn so much from you guys everyday and I am so happy to have a group of people that I get to learn self love with. I have never been a part of such a supportive and incredible community and finding you all has changed my life in such an amazing way.”

Lightning Round
Favorite Happy Song?
  • I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
What’s a movie that never gets old?
  • I love movies and I seriously watch the same movies over and over and over. It drives my husband absolutely insane. That being said some of my current favourites are Fight Club, Big Fish and Silver Linings Playbook
What’s a book you could read repeatedly?
  • Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
Favorite ice cream?
  • Caribou tracks - vanilla with caramel ribbon and rolo
Favorite brick and mortar store?
  • Probably Addition Elle, maybe Old Navy - they have seriously been blowing my mind the last couple months  
Favorite online store?
  • ~*~*~ASOS 4 eva~*~*~ or ModCloth
Do you have any hobbies?
  • Anything related to the mountains! Hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding!
Drink of Choice

  •  OJ or Hard Cider!
You can also follow her YOUTUBE.

Until Next Time,
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