Yesterday, my photo was featured on the page of Fashion Bomb Daily. I have followed that page for years, and It was such a great honor to be recognized as a fashion influencer.

Before you are featured, there is a clause that warns you that people’s comments can sometimes be harsh and states that you need to be ready for the backlash that may come with such exposure. I remember reading that and thinking, sure okay, I deal with that everyday.

That Hayet Rida VBO 5.jpeg

Boy, oh boy. No matter how confident you are when you set out, there are some comments that can really pinch you hard. I write this because maybe its okay for you all to see my vulnerable side, and to prove to you that not every single day is once that is drenched in envious confidence.

I could put out all the names of these people and all the things they said about my body, my stomach and my ability to wear skinny girl clothes without fear. But there is a larger issue here.

As each comment came in, I looked at all these women’s pages and what made me so sad is that these women were so so beautiful. They exhbitied confidence in their smiles, their posts, their outfits and even in their words. But I had to wonder what sort of confidence it took to challenge someone else’s self defined, hard earned, trying to stay above the water confidence? I mean lets forget about me for a second, who I hurt for is all the little girls who may have read those comments and re-affirmed the fact that they would never take the first step to dress or be who they want to be.

That Hayet Rida VBO 4.jpeg

I also challenge the notion that I should have conformed my body to a specific standard. Now I will be the first to tell you that I love me some spanx. Do I own three pairs? Okay maybe five. BUT!!!! I do not wear spanx so that I can shield certain aspects of my body from the uneasy looks of those who have filtered their vision to only see flat tummies. And so when they said I needed to wear spanx, to me they were once again telling me that in order to be beautiful or fashionable I had to squeeze my soul into a piece of garment as a first step to looking anything near decent. That is something I cannot get over. Especially since I was actually wearing spanx :-) 

That Hayet Rida VBO 3.jpeg

To anyone who has hidden behind their keyboard and lashed such un-ladylike comments, know that the little girls will not get hurt by what you say to them, but they learn to hide themselves to avoid the hurt that people like you will unleash on their calculated steps towards being half of the woman that God made them to be.

This world is big, things are happening, we are all trying to win. So to stop in a God given blessing of a day to unleash hurtful words on another woman takes more energy than we are all designed to have. And,  I don’t want to hear about freedom of speech, because your freedom to speak does not give you the permission to take away someone else’s freedom to be who they want to be. 

Let us all learn to lift each other up, and understand that we know not an inch of someone else story, or struggle, or motivation. To be a true woman is to respect that every kind of woman has the right to be their own kind of woman.

Vent over.



Thank you to Bangtel for allowing me to shoot this piece in one of their amazing locations!!! Check them out HERE