Nora is an upcoming plus-size Nashville Blogger! She uses her platform to speak to young women about style, confidence, and beauty. Read Nora’s profile, below, learn about the power of positive words and not allowing negative comments ruin your life.
Name, age: Nora Harris, 25
What do you do, why do you do it?
I’m a Human Resources Coordinator by day, and a body positive, lifestyle blogger in my spare time! I started my blog because I was sick of not seeing women that resembled me in the beauty and fashion industries. I wanted a woman, my size or larger, to be able to feel represented. Also, I wanted an outlet to discuss social and cultural issues that are important to me. My hope is that someone else, struggling with their journey to self-love, can find encouragement and inspiration from my journey.
What made you embrace your curves? When did you say, “I’m ok with me?”
My senior year of college, I competed in our annual Black Student Union Pageant. I was often asked, but I did not think that I was pageant material. For most of my life, I felt ugly, and ostracized because of my weight and how I look. My senior year, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and participate in the pageant.
When I looked at some of the other girls that participated, I did not think that I would win. I took up more space than them. They fit society’s mold for beauty. We had a talent portion, and I sang, “I Am Changing” from the Dreamgirls musical. Afterwards, we had a formal portion. I wore my prom dress; a red lace dress. When I wore this dress in high school, I was really uncomfortable with my body. I did not appreciate my beauty. Something changed for me during the pageant. The lyrics to the song, “I Am Changing” truly inspired me to embrace myself. I won the pageant. Everyone talked about how beautiful I was, how lovely the dress was, and how talented I was.
Many people viewed me as the winner from the beginning, but I was the only person counting myself out. That was my light-bulb moment. I realized that I had been worthy all along. I stopped trying to hide my body after the pageant. I was no longer afraid of commanding attention with my presence. I learned to be unapologetic about my weight, my features, my skin and my personality. There is power in not looking just like everyone else. Being unique made me stand out.
Have you had to deal with mean or backhanded comments from family, friends, and/or strangers? What did you do?
Backhanded compliments and mean comments . . . I’ve gotten them the worst from family and friends! I used to let the comments hurt me, especially if the negativity was from a family member. Then I realized that hurt people hurt people. As a child, I was told that I had a pretty face, but needed to drop the weight if I didn’t want to be lonely the rest of my life. I’ve had friends assume that men weren’t interested in me because of my weight.
I created my blog as a direct response to the hate. I continue to post pictures of me being a prosperous, fabulous, fat queen. I continue to live my life. I continue to thrive, unapologetically. Sometimes, when you are happy with yourself, others may be jealous. People seek to gain power from controlling how you feel. I stopped giving people the power to control my feelings. Keep shining. Keep smiling. Keep living.
What would you tell your YOUNGER curvy self?
You are more than enough. You were created uniquely and purposefully. Do not be afraid to shine. Do not be afraid to take up space. Do not be afraid to command attention. Own your light. Own your body. Own your beauty. Love will come but the most important love is self-love. Everything will fall into place.
When you were asked to do a bathing suit shoot, what was your first reaction?
When I was asked to do this shoot, I felt ecstatic. I felt honored and proud. Being considered by Melissa for this shoot, and recognized for my presence in our community made me feel accomplished. I went from wearing t-shirts and shorts to the pool, to modeling swim suits for #NashvilleCurves! Lastly, I felt nervous. This was my first shoot. I’ve never been in a photo-shoot and I wanted to make sure that I delivered!
What’s your favorite store to shop at and why? (local, online, vintage/thrift, etc)
Ross Dress for Less is my favorite place to shop. I have come across so many unique, stylish pieces for bargain prices.
Tell us about one item in your closet you’ll never let go of?
My favorite item is a body-con, kimono styled dress. I love it because it has mixed prints, both florals and stripes. This dress is an “all eyes on me” statement piece.
Describe your favorite summer look?
I love rompers and off the shoulder pieces. An off the shoulder romper, with wedges, a clutch, and a cute sun-hat would make me happy!
What does Nashville need to add to its CURVE APPEAL?
Representation. Nashville needs to acknowledge our presence. There is not a variety of plus size style options here. Lane Bryant, Charlotte Russe, Torrid, Dress Barn, Catherine’s and Forever 21 are our only options unless we shop online. Representation in both the beauty and fashion industries is needed. We have plenty of plus size women – acknowledge us! Local companies should include plus size people in their ads. I make sure to hashtag #nashvilleblogger on my posts so that people viewing the tags have a better idea of who lives here. I wish that we had a meet up group, and had fun outings where we could meet and network with other pus size people. We are visible here but not acknowledged.
Shop Nora’s looks with the links below: