The first time I considered myself “fat” was at 7 years old. I no longer fit in the clothes my mom had bought me just a couple months prior, particularly a pair of jeans which now couldn’t button over my plump stomach. This coincided with the most emotional state of life I had known up to that point. My family was living in a condo awaiting our new house to be finished after having moved to an entirely different state. I had started at a new school, and had no luck making friends and was sure that this newfound fatness would just make things even worse. I have distinct memories of being made fun of at times throughout elementary school for being chubby, or fat, or plain ole not skinny. I also have distinct memories of extreme anxiety about my weight holding me back from saying certain things, or wearing certain things, or going certain places or being noticed too much throughout most of my teenage life. I, at times, was entirely convinced that if I did not reach that ultimate goal of being skinny, I would not find love, I would never advance in any career or passion that I found, and I would not ever find true joy. But at 22, I learned something. I learned that was all bullshit.
I started KOKO because I wanted to offer a place where other girls and women and people generally can learn to let go of the bull too. I am a size 14, XL, XXL, sometimes fluctuating to a 12, 16, 18, XXXL, but I am so much more than that. I want KOKO to offer a space for people to breathe, to not waste so much energy and room in their minds on the utterly false idea that skinny=bliss/joy/success and anything-other-than-skinny=lazy/sad/worthless. I’ve got BIG dreams of what KOKO can offer and be for so many. Right now, we are starting small and building up. We are offering limited collections and handmade creations with eventual hopes of finding a wide range the best options for as many people as possible.
Body positivity changed my life. It changed how I see myself, how I care for myself, and allowed me to find so much love and true joy. If KOKO can help body positivity reach and empower others, I’m all in.