One-of-a-kind information bomb sock it to you with glittery eyes kind of gal.
She's got an opinion and sass and she's not afraid to use it!
Expert in all things visual & otherwise.
I grew up between the Midwestern US and northern India, which offered me a broad cultural experience, particularly as a woman.
I knew I wanted to help people, and found some skill in listening to and understanding people. I ended up with my Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2013 after moving out to California to get a way from Missouri winters and enjoy the beach and sunshine. I went through periods of disordered eating (primarily binge eating disorder) and some compulsive exercise to manage this feeling that the body I had been in my whole life was wrong, too big, and undeserving of love, affection or freedom. Like many women I withheld or avoided experiences because my body was not good enough yet (dating, speaking up in class, wearing a swimsuit without three other clothing items over it) and was in a constant state of anxiety about how others perceived me.
As a young adult I tired of this constant struggle; wanting foods or experiences but instead withholding them, punishing my body instead with things I hated and then overindulging when I couldn't take it and hating myself before, during and after. My body dysmorphia turning pictures and mirrors into surprising and terrifying disappointments. I had begun therapy after high school and a therapist suggested "Food: The Good Girl's Drug" by Sunny Sea Gold. It was literally life changing. It introduced, for the first time in my life, the idea of accepting and enjoying my body as it was. I found other authors and works that lit a fire for me, and I finally began enjoying taking pictures and wore my first fatkini. I've never looked back
I began the experience of offering strangers compliments on their clothing, hair or makeup, revelling in the sudden joy of watching the other person light up at being seen and validated. I wanted to do this on a large scale, and after meeting with Tresla and sharing lots of conversations about our hopes and experiences we decided to start our podcast and our company, Yes&
I hope to offer my own experiences as insight, encouragement and hope. I never saw the possibility of being a fat person and also being content, happy, empowered and whole. I am starting to see that now, and want to be part of that. I want to be a part of the change in our society from narrow (patriarchal) definitions of beauty and success to one that is inclusive, empowering and many faceted. I hope to be part of hope and healing and change. I want to make sure that other young people are not burdened with the experience of feeling so wrong that they don't deserve love and happiness.
We (Tresla and Guru) found each other at a Meetup at a Comic Book store, brought together by laughter, a history in Missouri and the rare but exciting experience of the promise of shared clothing as a plus size woman. We discovered we shared a passion for the beach (all day? Yes please!) as well as the experience of being "wrong" in our bodies; too big, too loud, too much, too different. We were both already starting our journeys to ignore those messages and truly own our fabulousness and out power!
Tresla brought an impressive skill in producing, organizing, making connections, effortlessly visualizing and bringing into existence relationships, functions and words of encouragement and understanding. Tresla is also a gifted model and photographer, a skill Guru has benefited from massively ;). Guru was 5 years into a career in mental health having recently finished her Master's Degree bringing with her some understanding of the process of trauma, healing and empowerment through communication, connection and community.
We share the pain of trying to be invisible, or cram ourselves into the narrow definition of what being a woman is as well as the beauty and exhilaration of finally being able to speak up and be heard on our own terms. Some of this speaking up is through this podcast. Both of us struggled, mostly alone to figure out how to exist and be happy until we finally found community in Instagram, each other and in the body positive community. We hope this podcast and the other work in our future will offer others who are currently pressured to be invisible a peek at what is possible, an alternative to doing what others tell you is "correct", when that "correctness" feels stifling or painful.
We believe every person has beauty and value; we believe a person is much more than their appearance and their ability to meet the current societal standards. We believe that people deserve to express themselves and live the joy they see. We believe in compassion and caring for each other.
We hope this podcast, company and community will be able to do a small part in increasing that joy, compassion and empowerment in the world.
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