A Body Image Journey // Rosanna Durst

 This is Rosanna! She is a full time private music teacher, recreational hockey player, and Trekkie. She lives with two cats, Joey and Eagle. Rosanna enjoys board games, and loves spending time with her family.

 

Alwaysm: Tell me about a time that you had a negative thought about your body.

Rosanna Durst: “Well, I’ve had a lot of times like that throughout my life. I recently went through a divorce, and that really wrecked a lot of things. I was just not good enough in any way, especially with what I looked like.”

 Alwaysm: How have you responded, in the past, to negative self talk?

Rosanna: “The first thing I do is put on something I really like to wear. I make a real effort to put on things that look good, and that I enjoy wearing and that make me feel good about myself. I was taught from a young age that everybody is beautiful. I repeat those things back to myself, things that my mom taught me.”

 Awesome. Tell me more about that.

“I’ve heard my mom say negative things about her body, but then she would always turn it around and say, ‘It’s not a good thing to think those things. They aren’t really true.’ She would tell me I was beautiful all the time when I was younger, and I always thought that she was. So when she would say something negative about herself she’d say, 'Wait. No, that’s not true.' And she always had good things to say about other women of all different shapes, sizes, races, everything. Even when she wouldn’t conform to what they were wearing or have the same kind of style, she would always notice what is beautiful out there.”

 That’s awesome. I love that. Would you say, then, that you grew up with a pretty positive self image?

“I think I have for the most part. We all go through the negatives, especially going through puberty, everybody goes through that. For most of my life, I’ve been pretty positive about myself.”

 Awesome. Tell me more about dressing up and going out of your way to look nice when you feel negatively about yourself (Which is awesome, by the way). How do you go about that?

“Well, you saw how many clothes I have. *laughs* I am  constantly turning over my wardrobe. When I notice something that I love, I like to see if it looks good on me first. If it doesn’t, then it’s not going to happen. I choose to flatter the things that I love most about myself. I do like very flowy things, that cover up some of the weight. Most days I put on makeup nicely, and I do it for myself. I look in the mirror and think, 'This looks nice. I’m going to play this up and then I can take on the world.'”

 Yes! Love that. So how did you come about discovering what you love best about yourself?

“It was really in the last couple of years in my personal life. My husband made me feel very beautiful in the beginning. The way I reconciled that with happened was to see truth in what he had said and recognizing that it was still true; trying to look at it objectively. I think we all see ourselves as less than other people see us.”

 For you getting dressed is empowering. I love that, I am all about it. What are you thinking about most when you get dressed in the mornings?

“Well, I teach young girls music lessons. I see them every week. So, how I feel about myself is going to send messages to them. I always have that in my mind, as well as trying to look professional. I try to look upbeat and happy to send positive messages.”

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 Funny how kids pick up those things, and when we feel good about ourselves it can rub off on them. It sets an example.

 Do you have any advice for young women struggling with their self-image?

“One of the biggest things, especially with me being plus-size, is believing that beauty isn’t directly tied to your weight or any features at all. All women are beautiful in some way or another. There are standards that society puts out there like, ‘If you have more of these things, you are more beautiful.’ I don’t think that’s true at all. Beauty has to do with what type of attitude you have, much more than if you’re the right size or shape. I don’t think beauty is even necessarily related to health, or status in life, or what you do. It has everything to do with how you see yourself and how you present yourself.”

 Good advice! Every single woman on the planet is built differently, it doesn’t make sense to compare anyone to another.  

 What do you like about this outfit that we chose for your cousin’s wedding in New Orleans in November? How does it represent you well?

“It represents me well because it’s not over the top. It’s going to be really cute. I love those red shoes. I wear them any chance I get. I can’t walk in them very long, but I really love the heels. Also, the way we cinched it at the waist, playing that up is a good thing. I also like the sleeves, they are in the perfect spot; I have a little flab up there on my arms. I like the neckline, it’s going to be really nice for November.”

Yeah, it’ll be a great look! It’s slightly edgy and funky, but also very professional and polished.

*This interview was lightly edited for clarity and brevity