There is no better time than right now. At the peak of social media’s influence and how relevant anything online becomes in our culture, I think it is vital we use our voices for as much good as possible. As you scroll frivolously through your social newsfeeds, you become suffocated with a lot of ways and ideas on how “to be”. We know how to do our makeup flawlessly, stay in tune with the latest celebrity, find the latest fashion trends, and what beauty looks like. But do we know how to be happy, via Facebook? We know what happy LOOKS like, but pictures aren’t worth 1000 words anymore. Social media isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon, so the need to make social networking beneficial in ALL aspects for our lives is vital.
Meet #IMJUSTNOTTHATSIZE, a campaign designed to produce healthy thinking minds and create the next wave of special individuals. As a model, I understand that I can influence others to look at beauty as a necessity but at the same instance, I also have a journey of struggles and insecurities. I know firsthand what depression, anxiety, and poor body image feels like. Growing into an industry that bases your success off appearance first, I can certainly understand the depth of wanting to fit into a standard quo. Despite my own quarrels with beauty standards, I have grown into a plus model that has fallen in love with herself in the process. Anxiety is still prevalent for me, but modeling and becoming an advocate for healthy minds and better body image has been the best coping mechanism I could imagine.
So why is NOW the time for a shift in culture? Well, why not? While we have the mass majority of attention, highlighting the need for inclusivity for all sizes, I believe we need to push all limits. Aside from demanding the well-deserved attention, we as a culture need to prepare for exactly what we are asking for. Once we finally get the perception changed, we need to use our power to encourage the next few generations to make it a concrete staple in society.
We need more people to preach self-love before body positive; because the two are VERY different. Being body positive is general and can apply to all aspects like health, beauty, or just the sheer action in taking care of yourself. Self-love is the fuel to the fire. Once you love yourself, you become resilient and unbreakable. You know the good and bad quirks that make you, YOU.
You see…we need all young girls and even young boys to feel that it is OK and cool to love each other’s differences. That being different is the very power we uphold. Once they believe it, it then can become something so beautiful.
I have dedicated my love and energy into #IMJUSTNOTTHATSIZE because I want it to grow into a foundation for people to feel safe and happy. Right now, we are kicking off the social media campaign, but within a 3-5-year timeframe, we expect to become a brick and mortar; providing counselling services and group therapy sessions to help women and men, boys and girls find a place of inner peace. We want to infuse other awareness groups into one and provide help with eating/mental disorders, Dress For Success style programs, for those recently seeking employment after incarceration, and even academic tutoring. This is true inclusivity.
I’m Just Not That Size is saying “I’m not this nor that, I am me and the best me”. It’s a vital need in our culture to be the best we can be because our lives are so easily distracted with social media and unrealistic standards. While we are a social media campaign aiming at body positivity and mental health now, we are growing into a group of special individuals that are preaching individuality and confidence for the culture to come. We are changing the negative perception of not only social media influence but also teaching people to uplift others by spotlighting our peer’s accomplishments. Our culture should want to care and there is never a better time than right now.
Follow Lex on Instagram @lexkhenry.