It’s a pretty great time to be a girl, thanks to the positivity movement and all the beautiful women promoting it not only on social media but in their everyday lives. Many of you may know who Ashley Graham and Denise Bidot are because they’ve been making moves in the industry for years. But there are many voices quickly coming up on the scene to take notice of, including plus size model Rosa Barney who I had the pleasure to speak with this week. Not only is she stunning, but this boss chick has already worked with major brands including Macy’s, J.C. Penny, HSN and Ashley Stuart.
“I am so proud to be a part of the body positive movement,” Rosa said. “67% of women in the United States are a size 14 or higher, though we are a majority in real life we are a minority in the media but thankfully that is starting to change! The body positive movement is so important because we are crusading to free women from the constraints of self-deprecating thoughts and working to replace those with thoughts of self-love. I hope that by showing women that I love my body with all its curves, lumps and bumps I can help women to accept and love those attributes in themselves. Once you learn to love the skin you’re in your whole outlook changes for the better.”
Rosa did not wake up one day with all this confidence. As a child, she dealt with self-esteem issues due to her height and weight. Today, she wants to help change the way girls and young women look at themselves.
“I believe that one of the biggest things we can do to help the young women in our lives is to lead by example,” she explained. “One of the most difficult things for me to learn on my self-love journey was how to accept a compliment. Someone would say something kind such as, ‘You look great in that dress!’ and instead of saying thank you I would counter with something like, ‘no way! I feel so fat!’ All I was doing was fueling a cycle of negativity. If our nieces and daughters see that we are confident and love ourselves it will help them to love themselves in turn. Encourage them to appreciate the features they have instead of focusing on those they want to change.”
By changing the way she viewed herself, Rosa was finally able to embrace her curves and have fun with fashion. That’s why her favorite fashion tip, goes beyond any item of clothing.
“Confidence is the best accessory and it goes with everything! Don’t hide your shape, embrace it! Don’t let body conscious clothes intimidate you. Find your favorite feature and celebrate it! I love defining my waist so I like to show it off with a fitted top and "fit and flare" skirt or high waisted jeans.”
Rosa, who has already been featured on the pages of O, The Oprah Magazine, also serves as an ambassador for Trish McEvoy. She loves trying out new products and has no problem picking out which items she can’t live without.
“Trish McEvoy is a huge part of my life! She helped me get to where I am in the industry by letting me work for her and model for her line. She is such an inspiration to me and has taught me so much that goes way beyond makeup.”
“Everything in her line is amazing but I am obsessed with her Lash Curling Mascara — no raccoon eyes EVER! I also love her skincare products because they are dermatology grade. The Gentle Cleansing Wash easily removes all my makeup and NYC grit from my skin without drying it out. Once I’m squeaky clean I follow with her Beauty Booster Serum and then I’m good to go!”
Rosa recently enjoyed some fun in the sun on the beaches of Miami for her birthday. This was the perfect opportunity for her to reflect on how far she’s come and what advice she’d give to her younger self.
“I would tell her to stop worrying about what other people think, stop worrying about wearing the right clothes and start doing the things that make you happy. Sometimes what makes you happy and what others define as cool are not the same thing and that is more than ok. Surround yourself with people who love and support you because it might take you a little while before you truly understand how to love yourself but hopefully you can learn from them. Ultimately and most importantly be you!”