Name: Janna Lounsbury
Why don’t you take a minute to tell us a little bit about your story?
My name is Janna Lounsbury and I am twenty-six years old. I currently work in mobile sales, have a rescue cat named Matilda and I am a Volunteer Fire Fighter for my local department. I have been a bigger girl all my life and it has been a struggle to say the least. In 2011, I fell into a depression. I was dealing with the death of my grandfather, as well as the loss of two friends. In addition, I was struggling with family issues and an abusive relationship. I stumbled across a post on Facebook, looking for delegates for the 2014 Miss Maritime International pageant. My first thought was that “there was no way they would take a plus-sized woman”. I sent them a message asking and got back a positive response stating they accepted all shapes and sizes. I registered and got the call that my application was accepted and that I would be a delegate in the pageant. When I heard my name announced as the winner, I cried. For the first time in a long time, I felt as if I mattered. When I got to talk to the judges, they complimented me on my confidence and personality. “That’s what made you shine,” they told me. I spent the year going to different events throughout the Maritimes. I had so many women come up and compliment me, telling me how inspired they were. It is such an amazing feeling to know that I have made such an impact on people. It is truly a rewarding feeling.
When did you begin to embrace your own curves and can you share with me about your own personal journey to self-love and body acceptance?
I really started to embrace my curves and accept who I was in 2014. After being named Miss Maritime, I modeled for a few local photographers. The photo shoot that really helped me to accept my body was a Boudoir shoot. I was so nervous but the end result was amazing. I felt sexy and beautiful. I went on to participate in Atlantic Canada’s Next Top Model & Actor, where I was named 2016 Top Model and Top Actor for my division.
Why do you think it is so important to share our stories with others?
I think it is important to share our stories because I believe there are many women out there who have and are struggling with the same issues.
With the online popularity that you have been receiving, I am sure there also comes with it a little bit of negative attention. How do you manage to stay so positive when there are quite a few critics out there commenting on the images that you post of your body?
I let it go in one ear and out the other. I can’t let a few comments or negative views affect my day or bring me down. There is always going to be someone out there whose main goal is to bring people down.
What is the overall message you want our readers to gain from your story today?
To know you are not alone. Someone out there knows what you are going through and the struggles that you are trying to overcome. To always believe in yourself and have the courage and confidence to wake up every day with a smile on your face ready for a new challenge.
What are some tips you can give to women with curves who are just starting their body positive journey?
Confidence is key, the best accessory a woman can have is her confidence. Embrace your beauty and your curves. You were made beautiful and unique in your own perfect way. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
If you could say one thing to my readers about body positivity, what would that be?
LOVE YOURSELF FIRST!!
What are your plans for the future, what else do you hope to take on?
Travel! I want to see the world and I have a bucket list of things I want to see and accomplish. I want to start a blog/vlog and help by making body- positivity videos to help spread my story and to try to help other women. I would also love to be a motivational speaker for young adults.