It is an honor and a privilege to be included alongside 9 other inspirational women including Gigi Hadid, Gal Gadot, Nathalie Emmanuel and Ariana Grande in Reebok’s #BEMOREHUMAN campaign. Each woman featured uniquely transforms the world around them with the goal to empower all to break down barriers standing in the way. Together we shift the dialogue around fitness from a focus on what you might lose (weight) to what you'll gain—confidence, strength, and a new sense of self that's larger than life. Together we are spreading a message that the physical and emotional inner-confidence that we gain from movement, sports, and the communities we build around fitness-related activities, is directly reflected in our everyday life, both personally and professionally.
My story is just one example of this.
As a young girl who lacked hand-eye coordination and a passion for team sports, I found a place of belonging at the age of five when I put on my first pair of ballet slippers. For as long as I can remember music has soothed my soul and physical movement, specifically dance, was an outlet for me to uncover and value my most authentic-self.
While dance started as an after-school hobby, it quickly became a love-affair which brought so much joy to my life and ultimately allowed me to pursue my dream of going to college when I received a talent scholarship from the University of Illinois. Once I graduated with a BFA in Dance, I packed my bags and moved to New York City. Even though I had no experience in business or non-profits, my path led me to start Movemeant Foundation - a 501c3 nonprofit focused on using fitness as a platform for girls and women to build body-positivity, self-worth and confidence.
I didn’t know how to build or scale international body-positive athletic programs for girls, or how to produce large-scale health and wellness events for hundreds of thousands of women. And I definitely didn’t know how to run a successful business. But what I did have was a deep passion for wanting to help women build self-worth that wasn’t seeded in image. Why? I personally battled body image issues and eating disorders from the end of high school into college.
For as long as I could remember my self-worth was dependent on a number on a scale. After watching myself and many of my peers suffer from false beliefs of feeling unworthy or less-than when not meeting societies unrealistic beauty standards, I wanted to show women that we are more than a body by shifting the way we see ourselves. Despite my many moments of self-criticism, the grit and resilience I gained from dance embedded an unwavering self-assurance that I could be one of the pioneers to create change for young girls just by giving them the opportunity to move.
My vision when founding Movemeant Foundation was to partner with like-minded brands who not only elevate our message of celebrating bodies of all sizes through fitness, but who also shine light on all of the brave women who are courageous enough to create systemic change in their local communities. Where girls are more revered for their brains, athleticism and leadership, and not their beauty. So thank you, Reebok.
I’m humbled to be chosen and featured in Reebok’s #BEMOREHUMAN campaign as one of four grassroots women who are changing the script. Reese Scott, Yelda Ali, and Shannon Kim Wagner are all trailblazing women who I admire for their work ethic and fearlessness in creating businesses and organizations that also elevate and empower women to move. I encourage you to read more about their stories and the lives they’ve impacted through boxing, weight-lifting, art and storytelling.
As Reebok uses their global platforms to highlight your everyday, ordinary gal next-door (me) by sharing and highlighting each of our individual stories.. This is the message I hope you walk away with:
We all have a unique story and each and every one of us has the power to create change by sharing it. Even you. We don’t have to know how or where to start. To create change, you have to be willing to make the first move.
I hope this campaign inspires you to share, write, discover, and build communities so together we can create a better world where we all benefit from the successes of those around us. Where women of all shapes and sizes are confident and empowered by their bodies so they can become the leaders they are meant to be.