Stretch marks + no longer wearing a bra. Thoughts on sharing your big, bold decisions.

When there was a mild war going on between Rihanna and Karrueche Tran, I was fully on Team Rihanna.

Obviously.

Not because I disliked Karrueche at all – I didn’t know enough about her to have a view on her.

It was entirely because Rihanna feels like she could have lived down the street from me. It’s a Caribbean girls sticking together thing.

So yeah, I was not into Miss Tran.

Until…

Karrueche posted a picture of her bare ass on Instagram. The picture highlighted the stretch marks on her booty (Instagram has since deleted the pic).

In the caption of the photo she said, “I’ve got a tiny little booty with stretch marks… there’s nothing wrong with the way God made us.”

In a later post, she referred to her stretch marks as ‘tiger marks’. Raaawr!

Because of Karrueche Tran, a new possibility was born for me.
 
Story #2:

This summer I spent a sweaty week in LA, interviewing people for a video project I’m producing.

One of the interviewees was Liz DiAlto. While she was getting her makeup done, I overheard Liz say, “I’ve stopped wearing bras. I feel so much freer – I love it!”.

She was fiery and defiant about it. No squeamishness. No hesitation. No bras = done and done.

Because of Liz DiAlto, a new possibility was born for me.
 
I’m telling you these two stories to illustrate this point:

Every time you take a courageous step, every time you buck the status quo, every time you say NO in a situation where women are traditionally expected to say Yes, new possibilities are born.

 
Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 11.29.02 AMWhen you allow others to see your bravery, they begin to consider the existence of their own.

When you allow others to see you flipping the bird to social norms (like underwire), they begin to consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they could do the same.

It’s not enough to be courageous.
It’s not enough to be bold.

Please talk about your courage.
Please share your rebelliousness.
Please let the world see the mountains you are climbing.

Two important things will happen when you do:

1. A community of like-minded people will quickly grow around you.

Choosing an unusual career path, moving in with the guy your family thinks is a weirdo or trying to talk about ‘consciousness’ and ‘the Universe’ in a group of hard-core church folk can be… difficult.

Even if you’re convinced you’re on the right path, making unconventional choices can often feel isolating.

But when you talk about what you’re up to, your right people will be able to find you more easily. They will come out of the woodwork and bear-hug you in gratitude.

Think the other women in the room smirked when Liz said she’d decided to stop wearing bras? She got high fives and looks of “You’re a damn rockstar”. Because she is.
 
2. Your liberation will fan the flames of another woman’s.

When Karrueche claimed her tiny booty and referred to her stretch marks as ‘tiger marks’, she watered the seeds of body-love in the hearts and minds of thousands of other women.

When Liz defiantly announced she was no longer wearing bras, she inspired other women to go au naturale and no longer feel self-conscious about it.

Women like… me! wildsoultank

Here I am (in a very bra-less state) wearing one of her Wild Soul tank tops.
 
In an immediate sense, sure, your choices are about you first and foremost. But in a grander sense, every choice you make is so much bigger than just you.

The stories you choose to tell, the bright red lipstick you put on, the picket line you proudly stand on, carry not just your voice and experience – they carry us all.

Whether it’s through your Instagram feed, at the next parent-teacher meeting, or a private conversation with your closest friends, your voice is a beacon for the rest of us.

Your curiosities and admitted secrets and daring ambition shine a light of potential and opportunity into the heart of every person listening.

So talk about your journey. Share your aha’s. Tell us the truth.

It’s all we really want.

xo
Annika