B in Your Skin Calendar
My name is Brianna McDonnell from The B Word, a body confident, plus size, fashion blog. I started The B Word and #BEinyourskin, a body positive campaign, in 2015.
Congratulations on all your success as a Plus Size Blogger. What was your motivation for starting your blog? Was it as a result of your personal experiences, if so, would you mind sharing a bit about that?
Thank you so much! I started blogging as a creative outlet. I would constantly get asked where I got my clothes, how did I become so confident and I thought let me put this all in one place. I wanted to talk about women in business, body confidence, self esteem, relationships, politics all through fashion images. I really wanted to inspire and empower other women to be their best, most confident selfs.
You’ve recently had quite a few significant collaborations with Deb Shops, Flaws of Couture (from Toronto), etc. – can you share some of those details with us? It’s certainly been an exciting time.
It has been really exciting! It all has happened very organically. DEBSHOPS and I have been working together since I started blogging. They were a brand that really listened to what I had to say as a plus size consumer. That has been an amazing relationship, and they approached me about a capsule collection about a year and a half ago, it just happened to work out earlier this year. I continue to work with them and love that they’re a brand that’s really trying to provide for the plus market. Sasha, from Flaws of Couture, and I was another collab that happened organically. We started as online friends, just inspired by each others style/work and then we met and it has been an amazing friendship since. She is an amazing artist, business woman and someone I consider a true friend, outside of the plus industry. Us hosting a party together was a natural pairing.
For our readers who don’t know – what does your blog typically cover (specific style, features, beauty, etc.) and how did you decide on this for your blog?
First and foremost my blog is about personal styling. I really found my confidence and self esteem through fashion. I was obsessed with fashion editorials when I was growing up, putting together outfits that made me feel powerful and cute. Fashion has always been a way I expressed myself. Fashion is the focus on my blog, but fashion and styling are really tools for inspiring body confidence and helping build self esteem in my followers. Every August, I host the #BEinyourskin 31 Day Body Confidence Challenge, a month where my blog focuses on building self esteem and body confidence through challenges, videos and activities. It’s really important for me to remember why I started this and to create content that I needed to see when I was growing up.
For our readers who struggle with being comfortable in their own skin and wearing what they want, what are some practical things you would recommend they do to help them get to the level of confidence you have?
I love this question! This is what the #BEinyourskin 31 Day Body Confidence Challenge focuses on. First I would say really look at yourself in the mirror. Look at your body and really take it all in. Make a list of things you love about your body. If you can’t, make a list of things you love about yourself. Then pick out an outfit that makes you feel kick ass and that pushes you out of your comfort zone. Commit to it. Do this everyday and sooner than you think your mind will change. The way you see yourself will change. The best thing to do for body confidence is to eliminate negative body talk.
How do you think blogging has changed the plus size fashion world and the body positive community? Why is it so important?
I think blogging has changed the whole industry. Now people are relating to bloggers, people are seeing women like them every day trying different trends and making fashion and style more accessible. I also think with the body positive community, people don’t feel as isolated in their experiences anymore. People can connect with people online who have had similar experiences as them. It was through that body positive online community that I was really educated in the politics of the fat experience and why body positivity is so incredibly important. I have really connected with some incredible people through this community, so that’s something I hope to continue to give back.
What does life look like for you outside your blog (day job, hobbies, family life, etc)
My family and friends always tell me that my blog is maybe 10% of my life and I think it’s so true. I’m really private, for sharing so much online. I work on a team that flips houses for my day job. I’m usually the only woman and usually the youngest person on the job site. I find it super important to talk about being a women in business on my blog. I also own a theatrical production company in Los Angeles. Musical Theatre is my first love and one of my greatest passions! I graduated with a degree in musical theatre, as a performer, director and now producer. It’s something I love to do.
You also have an exciting project – the #BEinyourskin Plus Size Editorial Wall Calendar. How did this come about and what can people expect to see in this calendar?
I’m so excited about this project and so happy it’s FINALLY available. I came up with the idea last September right after the #BEinyourskin 31 Day Body Confidence Challenge 2016. My followers loved the challenge and really wanted me to do it al year round. I wanted to create something that could inspire them all year. Growing up I loved and lived for fashion magazines. I was obsessed with the editorial fashion spreads and the stories they would tell through fashion and imagery. So the #BEinyourskin Plus Size Editorial Wall Calendar came together organically. I sat down and thought about what looks I wanted to do, what my team and I could pull off, who I wanted to include and then we started to shoot in March 2017. It was a project that was way bigger than any of us expected but I’m so happy it’s out and I’m really proud of it!!
Why did you create this and will this be a yearly project going forward – where do you see this going?
I created this for my followers. I created this for the women who need to see powerful, strong, sexy, artful women like them on their wall everyday. I created this for the girl in me who needed to see this growing up. I was always plus size, always tall, so this would have rocked my world. This wasn’t created for any other reason other than to inspire and make an impact. The response has been INCREDIBLE! We are for sure planning to continue this.
How can people purchase their own?
Calendars are sold exclusively at thebwordmerch.bigcartel.com. Both the standard version and the limited edition exclusive version, which features more shoots and 100 people who have used the #BEinyourskin on social media, are on sale now!
Bloggers now a days carry significant buying power for brands and some are seen as just as influential as models, if not more influential. There have been a lot of questions and comments in the industry about models being bloggers and bloggers being models – how do you think one helps the other, if it does?
My intentions were never to be a model. I know very little about the modelling industry but being around real, talented models I have seen that it’s a craft. Modelling is an art. I love creating my blog posts, I love styling, I love finding the location, I love conceptualizing it. That’s why I love blogging. I think with the power of social media, things are a lot more accessible to people. Unsigned models can model, people can start blogs. I think that’s really exciting but I also think that there is a lot of work and education that needs to happen if you’re trying to enter any industry.
Do you have a message you want to leave with our readers?
Thank you so much! Thank you for letting me share my #BEinyourskin Plus Size Editorial Wall Calendar with you!!
Website/Blog: The B Word, www.thebwordblog.com
YouTube: The B Word