By Liana Jacob
MEET the inspiring woman who overcame her body insecurities to showcase her ‘large powerful thighs’ on Instagram to show that big is beautiful and gathered almost 100K followers on the way.
At a UK size 18, Tracy Griffith (34), from Texas, USA, consistently struggled with her appearance, missing out on so many day-to-day activities, fearing she would be seen and shamed by onlookers.
It wasn’t until she entered the realms of social media that Tracy discovered ways to connect with and celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. This motivated her to start posting pictures of herself without fearing what others would think and saw her accept her insecurities.
“I’ve always struggled with my body image, even when I was much smaller than I am now. I remember missing out on so many things, especially at the lake or the pool, because I didn’t want to be seen,” Tracy said.
“My issues have mostly come from media and seeing that only thinner women were appreciated. I don’t think that is the reality.
“I did a social media overhaul a few years ago and started following women of all shapes and sizes, athletic women, plus size, thin women. This allowed me to see that there is beauty in every type of person.
“All different types of people love and are attracted to people of all different sizes. Social media has helped the world to understand this a little better since real people are becoming more visible.
“I have definitely been on this journey of self-love for a while now. The first step was just acceptance.
“Look in the mirror and see your features and what you perceive as flaws and understand that they are not good or bad, they just are there.
“Now I can say I truly love parts of myself I used to hate. I love my large powerful thighs and on a good day I even love my tummy.
“Some days I still look at myself and don’t like what I see. The most important thing I have to remember is that your physical appearance does not have to affect your mental health and happiness.
“You can improve yourself, exercise, eat healthy, but don’t do them because you hate yourself, do them because you want to be good to yourself.
“I love how much the plus size industry is growing! The options for gorgeous and sexy plus size clothing are growing every day.
“Every single person, regardless of their size, deserves to feel fabulous and beautiful and wear clothes they are proud of. I am so glad to see so many companies offering such stylish clothes in plus sizes now.
“My Instagram page is my primary outlet for body positivity. I hope to reach people who may not understand how beautiful they are just as they are right now.”
While she is achieving her goal, the motivation of actually starting to accept herself proved to be very difficult.
“My goal is to continue to improve my life and myself out of a place of self-love and not self-hate, to inspire others to be kind to themselves and to wear gorgeous clothing and show people that you can look amazing at any size,” Tracy said.
“The hardest part was starting. I still have days where I am down on myself, that’s only natural. I think sometimes we are scared to accept ourselves as we are.
“We have been taught as women to constantly alter ourselves; once we let go of that, the whole world can open up.”
With many people jumping to conclusions about curvier women and their dietary habits and exercise routine, Tracy proves them wrong by sharing her body maintenance secrets.
With a high following, Tracy is faced with some criticism but she says mostly she receives very positive comments from the public.
“I currently follow a low carb diet high in green vegetables and protein. I do cardio a few days a week and weight train the other days.
“I get mixed reviews but ninety-percent of my feedback is very positive. I have had people send me messages saying my page has helped them realise they can love themselves as they are.
“Just today I had a man thank me for helping his woman understand that you can be beautiful and not be thin.
“Many people try to categorise me, calling me thick, or fat, or plump, or a big beautiful woman (BBW), but in the end, we cannot allow someone else to determine who we are.
“People can label me whatever they want, I am still going to keep doing my thing and spreading positivity.
“Just keep going. Body positivity is a journey and not a destination. Wake up every day and make a commitment to yourself. You are worthy of a full and vibrant life no matter what you look like.
“Don’t miss out on life because you are afraid of what others will think, you are the one that will have to look back and decide if you are satisfied with the life you have lived.”
For more information visit: www.instagram.com/curves_by_tracy