Open Letter to Maui Bigelow

Maui,

I’m sure you’re well aware of the impact you have on people’s lives.  You know your Life Styled Honors event is amazing and all that.  I just want to thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to attend and to bring people along with me.  Nakiba, Arhonda, and I had an awesome time over the weekend filled with so many smiles and an overabundance of laughter.  It was a genuinely happy time.  It was all of our first time attending a fashion show, which was absolutely amazing.  Listening to and observing such amazingly diverse and talented women all in one room was just a great experience.  Listening to someone like Hayet Rida speak about not knowing she was beautiful until the age of 26 (three years ago) and thinking, “As gorgeous as she is!!!”  It just lets you know that we are all everyday people having the same or similar struggles in life.  Not only that but the talks about letting go of toxic people who don’t have your best interests at heart, people who are just naysayers in general, people who don’t support you in your dreams, just really struck a nerve for us.  Be around people who encourage you, especially to do good things, to be great, to be you; That message rang loud and clear.

Nakiba and I were just talking about what it would have been like to have grown up around such positivity with women encouraging one another rather than always competing and putting one another down.  I’ve probably been trying to hide nearly my whole life not feeling like I was good enough, pretty enough, small enough, etc.  Why do people use me for what I have or what I know, I’ve often wondered.  All of the negative thoughts and self doubt and uncertainties…then I see you and this space you’ve helped create and you live life so unapologetically, you and the people around you, and you all give me optimism that I can actually achieve something in this world.  You let me know that it’s okay to look like I do, to act like I do, and to do the things I want to do, whatever they may be.  You let me know that it is nothing wrong with the way I look.  We have some family who have treated us differently just because of the way we look.  They don’t want to be in a picture with us or invite us to their events, but I know that it’s their loss.  If I’m not important to them, then they definitely aren’t important to me.  You have to think about the people who treat you well and treat them the same.

When I found you at the VIP Mixer, you made me feel like I was so beautiful even though I was feeling the complete opposite…Thank you.  I can hardly write this because I’m fighting tears.  I don’t do things with many people, but you make me want to get up and attend your event every year.  I know you’re a light where there’s darkness for many people.  While I’m still fighting the dragon that is me so much so that I can’t force myself to go and meet people that I follow on social media, I thank God for people who are like, “Girl, I got yo back and you gone meet these people.”  My oldest sister, Nakiba, went up to Crystal of Society of Harlow and told her I wanted to meet her, and she was as social as she looks in all of her posts on Instagram.  My brother, Martin, found Sabrina Servance and told her I wanted to meet her, and she was friendly as well and even introduced me to Addison.  By the way, I took pictures with Crystal and Sabrina.  It was pure joy!

Afterwards Nakiba, Arhonda, and I went out to 4 Rivers Smokehouse, and they gave us samples before we ordered.  The food was so good.  Although we were hungry, it was really about hanging out and having some girl time.  It was just nice to sit and chat, and laugh, and make future plans.

You probably already know this, but the gift bags were everything!!!  Thank you for having such an awesome event and helping to create a space for people like us. You are awesome!

Special thanks to my sister-in-law for keeping our kids safe and happy while we enjoyed ourselves because we rarely go out and do anything.

Just a few pictures from the weekend:

We’re looking forward to next year’s event.

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