Melinda Parrish is a plus size model for Ford Models Chicago, a blogger for Huffington Post, and is working on a book of essays called, “Confessions of a Recovering Fat Kid”. She grew up struggling with body image from when she was a child but has since learned what it takes to change that mindset to one of being more positive and confident. She shared advice on how to transform the way we view ourselves to feel more beautiful, happy, and loved in our bodies.
Here are the 3 Steps to Love Your Body
Tip #1 Pattern Disruption
I asked Melinda about how she changed her negative body image that she had as a child to one of confidence. She talked about the concept of ‘pattern disruption’. The practice of using a ‘pattern disruption is about noticing self-deprecating language about yourself and replacing it with positive self-talk. The best way to do this is to look in the mirror and say outloud to yourself things that make you feel good. Here are some examples: “Did you see how the mailman looked at you as though you were the hottest thing he’s seen all day?” Or “You are happy and healthy and are kind to others, so carry yourself with pride.”
Tip #2 Take The Pressure Off
Melinda encourages women to change their relationships with their bodies by not focusing overly on weight loss or insane physical transformation. She suggests leading a healthy life based on food choice, exercise, and plenty of sleep but avoiding becoming obsessive. If you happen to overeat during a meal, view it as a little hiccup in the day and move on. It can become a downwards spiral for many if they beat themselves up for a lapse in judgement.
Tip #3 Instant Confidence
We all have days when we just don’t feel as great as we’d like. Melinda suggests having a go to item that always makes you feel more beautiful, such as a bright lipstick or perfume. Know that when you use that item, it will immediately improve your mood and allow you to walk out the door with more confidence.
Melinda Parrish began modeling at the age of 16 in Columbus, OH. After deciding to take a break from modeling to pursue a college education, she attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 2007, and was commissioned as a Naval Officer. Due to a back injury requiring multiple surgeries, she was medically discharged from the US Navy in 2008. For the next 7 years, she pursued a career as a Communications Consultant working with a variety of commercial, nonprofit, and government entities in the Washington, D.C. area.
In 2014, Melinda signed with TRUE Model Management in New York City as a Plus Size Model. In 2015, she signed with Brigitte Models in the EU. In early 2016, she signed with Ford Models Chicago. She has worked with Foxcroft Collection, Hey Gorgeous NY, Lane Bryant, Fleet Street for Kohl’s, RM Richards for JC Penney, Gwynnie Bee, Lisa Aviva, Full Figured Fashionista, Slink Jeans, and Danskin, among other brands. She has appeared on the Wendy Williams show, as well as in Bustle.com, SELF.com, Curva Magazine, and Plus Model Magazine. In addition to modeling, she is a blogger for the Huffington Post and is currently working on a book of essays due out in 2017 entitled Confessions of a Recovering Fat Kid.
Because of her life experience, empowering women and inspiring all women to feel beautiful, happy, and loved in their bodies is central to all of Melinda Parrish’s pursuits. Specifically, Melinda is passionate about helping women to accept their bodies and find a balanced approach to maintaining a healthy lifestyle at any size. Melinda created the #healthyatanysize community as a place for women to connect and receive support in embracing their bodies as they are and showing their bodies love through movement. Melinda is committed to developing content that encourages women to transform their relationships with their bodies in order to become the women that they want to be in all aspects of their lives.
In addition to her work as a Plus Size Model and a Body Positivity Advocate, Melinda also works with United Village Transformation, a nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunity for women and children in the developing world. Melinda is based in Washington, D.C. but works out of New York City, Los Angeles and several cities in the EU.