Jessamyn Stanley is 29 yrs old and her feature in Self Magazine today is all kinds of amazing! She has been practicing yoga for 5 years and her work and unabashed declaration of self-love has been infectious, to say the least.
She has over 200K followers on social media and has inspired so many people to appreciate their bodies and to not limit themselves with some preconceived notion of what their body can and cannot do.
I loved the fact that Self Magazine did such an eloquent piece on this lady, she deserved every bit of shine she is getting.
Every step of the way, she’s remained laser-focused on the importance of body positivity, self-care, and self-love.
“I am not a person society would expect to see great things from,” Stanley tells SELF. “As a woman of color, you definitely grow up thinking that there are certain limitations to what you’re supposed to do.”
Her size only further restricted her ideas of what she was capable of. “I underestimated my body for years,” she says. “I always thought that because I’m fat, I’m not the tallest, I’m not the ‘prettiest,’ there’s always going to be something wrong with me.”
Falling in love with yoga helped Stanley realize how untrue that was, but the process took time, effort, and hours upon hours of practice.
Stanley is the first to admit that practicing yoga didn’t automatically lead to self-acceptance. “I realized when I first started that I was obsessed with the way that my practice physically looked,” she says.
That constant focus on her physical appearance got in the way of what Stanley now sees as the point of yoga: tapping into her body’s strength. That all changed when Stanley started moving based on how she felt, rather than how she looked.
That mindset has extended to the rest of her life, as well. “You end up in fewer situations where you’re genuinely uncomfortable because you’re trying to be like somebody else or trying to embody something that has nothing to do with who you are. [Asking yourself,] ‘How do I feel?’ instead of ‘How do I look?’—that’s the crux of everything,” she says.
On why she never wears baggy clothes:
“I realized that there are no curvy people showing their bodies in this way, and therefore there are a lot of people who are repulsed by it…because it rubs up against what you were taught to believe. But I’m going to continue to do it,” she says.
Read Jessamyn’s entire article here.