I Am Enough
INTERVIEW WITH BRADLEY EVETTE
Bradley, you are passionate about body love and acceptance to the point you have created a whole brand to support that message. If you could give a message to all women who feel insecure and defeated in their bodies, what would you tell them?
The message that I would give to all the women who feel insecure and defeated when it comes to their bodies is simply don't. I know we live in a world where certain body types are praised more than others and at times as women we feel like we don't fit that mold or that we're not worthy. That's all BS! Embrace the body you have, look in the mirror and say, 'I AM ENOUGH!' Embrace your flaws, because we all have them. Your body is unique to you and that right there is GOLD!!!
You spoke about being "bullied for being the dark skin kid, the chubby kid, the kid with acne," and that the beauty standard in LA was something you felt you couldn't fit into. How did you begin to change the beauty standard in your own mind? What was the process of learning to love yourself for who you are and who you would become?
This is a loaded question for me, haha. It took me YEARS to change the beauty standard in my mind. After getting bullied in middle school I decided I had enough of people telling me what they didn't like about me and what I needed to change. I was simply fed up. It clicked in my head at 13 years old that I was me and if people have a problem with that, I didn't care anymore.
I began pointing out what I did like about myself, which was (and still is) my smile, how I laugh, my dark beautiful skin, my thick hair, my full lips, and so on. Over the years I kept this mentality up with the support of amazing friends that surrounded me with positive love and energy.
Tell us a story about a time in your life when you felt like you didn't have a voice, a time where your voice felt diminished and small.
When I was in elementary school, I was so shy and quiet. I would just sit there and let people talk and tease me. Thinking about it now I hated that I did that. Sometimes I would go somewhere secluded at school just so I cry it out and try to get myself together, or I would be crying when I got home. That was the worst.
What makes you roar now?
What makes me roar now is my confidence. I don't care anymore about what others think of me and my body. Also, my brand Iman Evette and so many others are not here just to sell clothes, but showcase real women, real bodies, and feature how dope we all are in our amazing shapes and sizes. Lastly, seeing young girls of today standing up for themselves and taking advantage of all the amazing platforms like For Women Who Roar.
You have a chance to go back in time and encourage your ten year old self, what would you say to her?
I would give my 10 year old self a hug and say you will be fine. I would tell her to love herself more and speak up, even if you feel like it's not enough. A small start is still a start.
What woman has most impacted your life and why?
My mom has impacted my life in so many ways, not only is she responsible for birthing this fabulous kid (haha, I know she would eye roll at that comment), but she has always reminded me and my sisters how beautiful we are inside and out. She is so smart and has enlightened me on so many things from life lessons to my business. My mom is one of my biggest supportive rocks and she's made me a better person.
Bradley Mitchell is the founder of Iman Evette, an inclusive fashion clothing brand supporting women of all shapes and sizes. Bradley was born and raised in Los Angeles, felt the impact of the beauty standard as a plus size woman, and launched her own business to create a safe space for everyone to enjoy fashion, creativity, and love.