Jen and her lovely husband, Ty, in front of the London Eye.
How has your own body positivity evolved over time?
My own body positivity has progressed a lot from where I was a year ago, and I think it always will. I’m not at that point where I can say, “this is it, I’m finally there!” where I’m completely comfortable in my body and proud of it, like so many body positive role models are. I suffer from PCOS, which means I’ve dealt with weight gain, acne, and hirsutism for years, which can take a toll on a woman’s self-esteem. I’m working on it, but it’s a process. Some days I’m more confident than others, and that’s okay, but I maintain a body positive mindset and reassure myself that I’m beautiful just the way I am. You’d be surprised how easily that mindset can keep your insecurities in check.
And when you’re finally getting out there and experiencing all those things you said you would once you lost weight, only you’re doing it now instead of waiting for the scale to hit that elusive number, you don’t have time to think about how insecure you’re feeling.
In the travel blogging community there is a stereotypical expectation of women (i.e. skinny, bikini-wearing, always somewhere exotic, smiling perfectly). What are your thoughts on this? Do you think there is a lack of plus size female travelers in the spotlight?
This is exactly why I wanted to start Travel with Curves! I love reading travel blogs and living vicariously through these amazing bloggers, but none of them look like me. That’s not a bad thing, of course, but it’s hard for a plus size woman to relate to a youthful, athletic, or “modelesque” girl in short shorts and a tank top ascending Machu Picchu without seeming to break a sweat. I love what those bloggers are doing, but I also want to see more plus size women doing the same, because so many are putting it off until they lose weight or get in shape, and the years pass by and they wish they’d done it already. I didn’t plan my first trip overseas until I was 32, and that’s a shame, but at least I didn’t wait any longer.