Time to meet another one of our Bold Bosses! For those who don’t know, Bold Bosses are influencers, models, artists, writers, advocates etc. within the Bold Community who act as Brand Ambassadors. They help us spread our messages of self-love, diversity and advocacy!
Today we are featuring Penny Keys, who shared with us some beautiful ideas about identity, resilience, her love of tattoos, and never apologizing for who you are!
Bold: Tell us a bit about you!
PK: I’m a 35 year old single mother to a 13 year old son, and the youngest daughter to two teachers, both of whom have passed. I have two older siblings. I’m currently living in Aurora, CO and just enjoying life. I do bookkeeping for a local grocery store, which isn’t my ideal career, but it’s fun nonetheless. My free time is usually spent hanging out with friends, attending concerts, and getting tattoos. “Treat others the way you want to be treated” is a golden rule in my life. Respect is key, kindness is vital.
Bold: How did you get started as an influencer? What kind of content do you create, and what’s your main channel?
PK: I’m not currently a dedicated “influencer,” but it’s the direction I would like to take. It all started after my depression hit me very hard and I had no other choice but to find peace. In doing so, I started a small personal blog. The blog (that I named PK’s Gabspot) focused on my dark thoughts and finding my way through them. It also helped me acknowledge traumas in my life that I pushed way to the back of my mind. In doing so, I made the blog public and found that people were finding inspiration and motivation to acknowledge their own issues. I even started getting flooded with messages from people wanting advice or telling me they had been through something similar and wanting to find a path to peace. I found a lot of joy in being a sign of hope for my friends and sometimes even strangers; for the first time in my life I felt like I knew why God kept me strong and why I always had hope even during my darkest hours.
Bold: What type of modeling do you do?
PK: Not a model, but wanting to try it out! I’m told a lot I have a very unique look and I want to see what everyone else is seeing! Plus, my self confidence has grown so much, I feel like I have a lot to offer.
Bold: Describe your personal style. What are some of your signature colors, styles, and accessories?
PK: I’m a tomboy who enjoys t-shirts, hoodies and jeans. But every so often I get super girled up and shock the masses with a skirt. I’m tattooed, heavily, and I really enjoy the culture behind tattoos, so anything associated with that really captures my style. As far as colors, I like neon colors or black-there is no in between. Accessories. Because of my tattoos, I’m not big into jewelry only because I feel like it clashes. But anything else I’m okay with. Graffiti and hip hop are essentially what influences by style.
Bold: What are some tips you’d like to share with aspiring influencers or models?
PK: NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE. But be considerate, empathetic, and stay kind.
Bold: If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a young human, what would you tell her?
PK: Don’t waste time trying to impress others.
Bold: What’s your family and personal life like? Who are your best supporters?
PK: My personal life is filled with work and being a mom. I’m a homebody who really just hangs out with the same small group of friends when the timing is available. My best supporters are my friends- I have some of the best friends in the entire world (biased, I know). But I truly believe each one of them are God-sent. They cheer me on even when I don’t deserve it and that means a lot. With both my parents gone and my family being somewhat dysfunctional, it’s nice to know that I have my friends. They really push me to be the best version of myself. I gained my confidence through them- they really helped me realize how awesome I actually am.
Bold: What does being an influencer or model mean to you? What do you hope it means to others?
PK: To inspire.
Bold: What are your goals and dreams as an influencer or model? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
PK: To become an inspiration to others, to help others feel comfortable with who they are and help them own their story. My blog is something I’m extremely proud of- it’s not big but I used to be a very private person, so to allow myself to expose so much was huge.
Bold: What are some things you’ve noticed in the world that you’d like to advocate to change?
PK: I wish people would find compassion again and stop being so self absorbed. Helping others, uplifting them, and just being understanding would bring so much relief to the world (in my opinion). We are so focused on acquiring materialistic things we seem to be forgetting the fortune in just being kind and just doing things because it’s the right thing to do, not because it might go viral.
Bold: What does beauty mean to you?
PK: Being pure, genuine, and kind.
Bold: How has your body image and self-esteem changed over the years?
PK: I went from avoiding the mirror to now telling myself how pretty I am every day. I have my days of inadequacy, but I try very hard to redirect my thinking whereas before, I’d sulk and let it get me depressed.
Bold: Who are some people who inspire you? PK: PINK. She’s me, I’m her. We are the same. My son. He pushes me to work harder. My niece. She’s the girl I wanted to be growing up, but never had the confidence to be. My brother. We aren’t close and only talk a few times a year, but he’s the most intelligent man I know and is self made. He’s actually the reason I started to tell my story. One day he sat me down after I cried to him about substance abuse and he just asked me one question: “Do you want to die and have someone else tell your story? Or do you want to die knowing you tried everything you could to tell it yourself?” Sold.
Bold : What are some unique hobbies you have?
PK: Spontaneous trips to the tattoo shop and going to live shows featuring bands I’ve never heard of before.
Bold: What Makes you BOLD (unique, awesome, and you)?
PK: A couple of years ago, a four year relationship was coming to an end and my depression was hitting me very hard. Crying was a daily occurrence and I just felt worthless and in one of my darkest moments, I forced myself to believe that I was worthy of a better life. I was settling and ignoring all the traumas I endured in my life, so I decided to try harder at becoming a happy version of myself. So, after the breakup and after losing one of my best friends to cancer- I made it a point to acknowledge, address, and heal. A couple of years later and I can say that I’ve never been happier, and I never thought I would ever feel this excited about life again. I am BOLD because I took a risk at giving life a second chance when every thought for months was to just end it all. I am BOLD because I didn’t give up.
Bold: Do you have a message you want to leave with our readers?
PK: Don’t let people tell you who you should be. Own every roll and every awkward gesture you make because someone, somewhere will find it to be beautiful. You could be the change the world needs, so just own who you are and don’t ever apologize for it.
Follow Penny at:
Facebook: Penelope Rockets
Pinterest: Penny Keys
Tik Tok: @pennywallets