I was lucky enough to come across PrettyAndPerched via instagram and I’m so happy that I did! What an amazing journey this young lady is on. She aspires to inspire women to live the best life they can, NOW. Not tomorrow, or next year. I knew I had to interview the lovely Tennielle. Read our Q&A session below.
So many plus sized women suffer with body image and insecurities. How did you overcome this?
I decided to figure out what it is like to be me. We suffer becausnbm e we look at and read magazines, watch tv shows and feed into instagram images that promote an unhealthy body image, if you let it. I made a decision to wash my brain with the good things. I purged my instagram and Facebook (these are the main platforms I use) of any images that would make me say “aww, I love her hair. My hair isn’t as curly as hers. My butt isn’t as big as hers…” Once I deleted those images and replaced them with more empowering images, I began to find myself.
How did PrettyandPerched.com come about, how did you come up with the name, and what is your vision behind the platform?
Pretty and Perched was created out of my mind. I used to climb up on my perch and observe the world without feeling like I was a part of it. I never felt seen and even though I was vastly overweight, I never felt like people understood who I really was. I went around in circles with my losing and gaining weight; I never got anywhere with it. I realized that it’s not the fact that I am unable to lose weight…It is the fact that I never knew what the other side looked like. I never knew how to get started and have tools to empower me to keep going when muscle memory is triggered. Once I worked on these tools, I felt more settled in myself and I was able to feel seen, heard, acknowledged and valued. The name Pretty and Perched means that I am pretty. I am pretty, not because I want you to agree but because I just am. I am who I say I am. Perched comes from two things: 1) sitting in your head , on a perch. I want to climb up there with you and just help you navigate your way in the world, a bit better. The second meaning is to help women feel centered and settled in who I am.
“My vision is to create a movement where people will learn how to forgive their bodies and create the life they were promised.”
Women are going to learn to acknowledge pain and process their feelings. After that, they are going to live. My vision is to create a tribe of women, worldwide, that have built a community of healed women.
At one point you lost a lot of weight, which would cause the average woman to celebrate this victory. Instead, this made you feel as though you lost yourself in the process. What do you think triggered this?
The first time I lost 92 pounds, I hated the entire process. I was too busy and focused on losing more weight. I was focused on the fact that I didn’t look like other folks that have had similar surgeries. I did not acknowledge the fact that lost weight and that I did an amazing thing. To add, I was used to being vastly overweight. I was used to people not paying any attention to me (unless I was needed for something). When I started to lose the weight, people started to pay attention to me. Since I wasn’t used to it, I was very uncomfortable. I stopped losing weight, not for me, but to match other people. When you are able to go 30 plus years of not working on yourself and then your life changes……you are at square one. It can be scary, and that is why people go back to their old ways. I certainly did. The day I decided to change my life again and lose the 50 lbs I gained, I had the right tools and decided to look at myself. I cried. I laughed and felt sexy. I took all of me in and it was great.
You’re quite the fashion diva! What inspires your choice of clothing?
Thank you!!!! My fashion is a combination of how I dressed all along. I was determined not to be that sloppy fat person. If I was going to be fat, I was going to be fat in heels. I have always loved clothes and personal style. My style is a huge part of my brand. I love wearing headwraps. Heels are a must and I cannot live without a pencil skirt in my closet. I believe that I can be sexy at any size.
Through your fashion sense, what do you aim to show women who look up to you?
I plan to show women that 1) Your black is beautiful. 2) It is ok to have lumps and bumps but feel sexy while looking at yourself in the mirror without crying.
On your blog, you get real personal. You allow your readers inside of your struggles and triumphs. Many people are opposed to being so transparent. Why do you feel being transparent and authentic is so important to your readers?
Thank you for noticing. I prayed about my transparency. I prayed over it and made a promise to myself. I promised, if I don’t make the wrong reader cringe and the right reader feel freed, I didn’t go deep enough. My mission is not for everyone. My reader is the woman that has similar or worse feelings than I did. If people feel like I am just writing a post for entertainment, they won’t heal. I will then just be another entertainment blogger. I am not an entertainment blogger. I am an Emotional Journey Strategist. It’s time we get into it. On a spiritual level, Jesus went to where the lost and the least were and he healed them. He didn’t wait until they had their lives together, cleaned up their acts and built a sizeable 401K. He got dirty with them. This is my “christ-like” journey.
What advice would you give to women who are starting the journey to healthy living and weight loss?
My advice is to stop. My advice is to start your journey, figuring out where your hurts started, where you started to gain weight or repeat the same behaviors. Make a promise to yourself that you are going to praise yourself, whether you get up or fall down. Weight loss is something that will be a thing to work on.
“How about you lose the burden of carrying the avatars to please others and figure out who YOU are.”
In reference to weight loss…allow yourself to sweat. Don’t get embarrassed if your body makes weird sounds while you are working out. If you eat something you shouldn’t, listen to your body. If your mood changes, after you eat it and you can’t stop yourself, do not bring that item back into your home. Slowly ween yourself off of it.
What is one quote that you live by and why?
You are not going to leave this world alive, so why not live? This is important to me because I have seen too many people lose their lives who were buried with dreams that were never fulfilled. When I witnessed two children being buried, that was the day I stopped fearing death. When my aunts died of cancer, that was the moment I had to take more chances. When my friend died, suddenly…I decided that I am going to live the life that GOD created for me. I am going to live because there are so many people that aren’t afforded that opportunity. I am not here to take up space but to make room for others.
How can readers get in touch with you?
I offer one on one and group sessions that help women learn how to find the start button. They are welcome to sign up for my newsletter and follow-up with me by having a free, quick, phone consultation. That information is available on my website: prettyandperchedcom. To view more of my journey and have closer, social engagement, your readers are welcome to follow me on instagram. I am going to start a feature Friday post; it is going to showcase women that are current clients or women that have achieved their goals and deserve to be praised.
Any last comments?
You rock the house! Thank you for this opportunity and I hope that we maintain this connection.
It was such an honor speaking with Tennielle! As always…
Live Happy and Inspired!