Why I Refuse To Allow Negative Body Image To Alter My Relationship With Fashion

As a personal stylist, I strongly believe no one gets to decide how you feel but you.

Trisha Will's Personal Essay About Style And Self-Love
Photo by Ann Blake Photography

As a personal stylist, my job is to help women look and feel their absolute best. Through my work, I’ve been able to successfully help countless women who struggle with body image find what they love about their bodies. 

This may sound like an oxymoron, but I too struggle with body image. I’ve had a few people ask me why I’m trying to lose weight. The main reason is to ease the pain. 

My Experience, Not My Reality

Over the past 2 years, I’ve been living with chronic pain and unexplained weight gain. As someone who has a plant-based diet, rarely consumes processed foods, and works out regularly, this has been a shock to my mind and body. 

Trisha Will's Personal Essay About Style And Self-Love
Photo by Ann Blake Photography

I was at a loss. There have been no major changes in my lifestyle. In fact, I’ve actually been more diligent in my diet and workout regimen.

For the last 9 months, I’ve woken up every day with pain in both my hips and lower back. I’ve spoken with doctors, nutritionists, therapists, personal trainers, and other experts. As of now, no one has an answer. (Side note: I refuse to let NO answer about my health be THE answer. This is why I will continue to advocate for my health until I feel better again.)

This pain and the hardship it has caused me didn’t exist 40lbs ago, so why should I just accept it? Again, I refuse. I refuse to accept this as my reality going forward. I know I can have a better quality of life, and I’m going to fight for it.

Pivoting My Mindset

Despite all of this, I still wake up every day grateful for another sunrise. I open my eyes and thank God for allowing me another day to live my purpose. I meditate, say my morning affirmations, and do a few sun salutations to wake up my body. 

Then, I put on an outfit that makes me feel powerful before starting my day. I won’t let this pain, nor this size, stop me from looking my absolute best. Good style is my birthright and I claim it every day! My size doesn’t define my style and neither does yours.

I choose to feel confident in the skin I am in and honor my body because I deserve to. Who made me so worthy? I did. I decided that I was worth it, and that decision has been the key to my confidence. 

A Celebration Of My Body

No one gets to decide how you feel but you. That’s why I decided I’m going to feel good emotionally no matter how I feel physically. This doesn’t leave me exempt from bad days and dark moments, but I don’t drown in those times like I have during previous seasons in my life. I now choose to focus on all the good, instead of all the things I’d like to change. 

This body has birthed 4 children and has carried me through every challenge and every joy. The fact that I’ve lived to see the age of 42 is enough to celebrate this body in all its glory. 

I refuse to allow my present to overshadow all the gratitude I feel for my body and all we’ve overcome together. I know we will overcome this too. 

Trisha Will's Personal Essay About Style And Self-Love
Photo by Ann Blake Photography

My Advice For Other Women Who Want To Fully Embrace Their Bodies

I strive to inspire others to reclaim their confidence and embrace their uniqueness. I encourage women to find empowerment in their journey, to speak of their struggles from a place of triumph, and to recognize their worthiness of love and acceptance.

In the end, it is not about the size of our bodies or the challenges we face, but about the strength of our spirit and our ability to rise above adversity. 

I am determined to continue my mission of empowering women to feel confident and fierce, reminding them that they are worthy of love, respect, and celebration, just as they are. Together, we will overcome any obstacle and emerge stronger, more resilient, and more empowered than ever before.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Trisha Williams is a Philadelphia-based personal stylist, fashion designer, mentor, mental health advocate, corporate baddie, wife and mother of 4. Using her 20+ years of experience in the corporate retail and fashion industries, the style expert helps women and men to become the person they’ve always envisioned through style.