Bold Artists is now Bold Artists & Advocates! Every Friday, we’ve been featuring the work and story of an artist who devotes their talent and passion to the idea that plus bodies deserve representation and admiration! Well, we want to expand even further! There are so many great stories of plus advocacy out there, performed by people in a variety of industries. So, we’ll be sharing all of their stories on this platform!
Our first Bold Advocate of the Week is Jenelle DeLaRosa! In case you missed it, here’s her interview with Patricia DeLuca in the article, “Bold Independence.” (Originally published in Bold’s Summer 2020 mini-magazine. Intro by Patricia DeLuca)
Existing within Diet Culture is a restriction we all share. Some bodies are far more restrained, hidden and maligned than others. But we all suffer from its power. How do you want to be free? Bold examined this idea with four artists/entrepreneurs who broke away from the standard and pursued work based on body positivity.
What were you doing before launching Plus Size Professional? I started in the healthcare space; I worked in health tech for about six years, really focusing on the employer health space and looking to leverage the access to care for individuals, and then with the ability to provide compliance organizations. So I think from an early start, I was trying to work on inclusion without even understanding and realizing. I was focusing on individuals that could potentially be marginalized and supporting them through that journey from the healthcare space.
How did your work become more inclusive? I started pitching myself as a market strategist, going into organizations that were looking to expand and become more inclusive in sizing. I helped them run focus groups and develop the value proposition, persuasive tactical messaging and have a strong product behind as well. What I see as a plus-size consumer is the options are so limited, and when you look at a brand, you can tell when they just don’t get it. I feel like I can help.
Do you consider your work an act of independence? For me, it was understanding that the work that I was doing was impactful to my community. These are tangible things that I did, and I achieved. That was, has always been important to me. And I think that’s why I enjoy working with startups versus a broader base, that organization because you can measure your work and your development. Starting my business, which is “one size fits none,” and Luminary allows me to interweave the work that I’m doing. It has given me such a deep sense of independence, even though I am still tied to a company.
What advice would you give someone who wants to be more body-inclusive in their work, but doesn’t know where to start? Look at either brands or people that inspire you. What’s the driving piece there? And then also analyze yourself. Like, what impact can you have in your role that is authentic to you? That’s important is ensuring that you’re still having that authenticity. I think the best way to start is to do it on the side to have a low risk. At Luminary we have more than 600 women – either they’re entrepreneurs, or small business owners, or people that have regular corporate jobs, but are looking to launch something or they are just thinking about it.
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