We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelby Marie and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kelby, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I remember growing and while being generally happy, I hated how I looked. There was no one that I looked up to that looked like me. No one to go to for fashion advise or or even trending clothes that fit me. For an impressionable young girl, that has a tremendous effect on your self worth, your self confidence and your self love.

I thought there was something wrong with me. I’d diet and exercise, ok more like starve myself and over exercise. Even that didn’t “fix me” like diet culture promised it would. I was still the heaviest of my friends and family.

I read this post on Instagram a while ago and it was this women saying that no one could hurt her feelings as an adult because she wore women’s business casual to 7th grade. Been there! Had to wear that! It was our only option for much of the 90’s and early 2000’s. I’m willing to bet that it still hurts her, she’s just numb to the pain now.

Fat girls, like me, had to grow up faster than most. We had to learn to dodge the hateful words, the groups laughing at us as we walked by, the stereotypes that were were lazy or never satiated, the acceptance that we couldn’t have cute clothes like our smaller fiends, that we weren’t as attractive as our smaller friends and that we had to bring something else to the table,, other than looks because we obviously lacked those. We were always the friend but never the girlfriend, we worried about seat belts fitting us on roller coasters and taking up all the space when we piled into the back of our friend’s mom’s van at the drive in theater.

We never got to sit on our boyfriends lap (if we had one at all), be on someone’s shoulders while playing chicken in the pool, be a flyer in cheerleading, get asked to school dances or even win beauty pageants. We were expected to be smart or funny and stay out of the spotlight, because that was for the skinny girls.

All this being said, I wouldn’t have changed my experiences for the world. I know it sounds like I am complaining, technically I guess I am. But not about the fact that I went through these experiences. No, these experiences made me who I am. I’m the fat, smart, funny girl.

As I’ve grown, matured, traveled, studied and gone to therapy I realize I’m also the pretty girl AND quite the fashionista. But these realizations came far too late in my life and I missed so much that I can never get back. I wish I had someone or even better, a LOT of someone’s that I could look up to. That I could turn to for fashion advice. That I could see in a healthy romantic relationship. That I could see enjoying life they way I imagined, at the weight that I am.

That is why I do this. That is why I post pictures of my half naked body online. That is why I test the limits and push boundaries on what is societally “acceptable” for fat girls to do. That is why I am trying to normalize cellulite, eating in public, being bigger than your partner and wearing what you love! Because if I had some one that looked like me when I was young, maybe I wouldn’t have been so afraid to live the life that I wanted. If I can help just one girl who looks in the mirror and hates what she’s sees or feels like she doesn’t belong, then it is all very much worth it.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a blogger on Instagram, the biggest challenges I face are hateful comments. The amount of strangers that are pissed off about me wearing a swim suit, minding my own business is mind blowing.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My fav thing to do when friends and family come to visit is full service English tea at Babe’s tea room! It’s a tea party for grown ups! I also love relaxing, Denver style, at the Beer Spa or doing yoga at Bend and Blaze.

My favorite scenic drive is Trail ridge rd which is complimented nicely by and afternoon hike up to St. Mary’s Glacier.

Then back to the city for dinner in Larimer square and obviously stopping at Voodoo on our way home for some quirky doughnuts.

Other favs include: D bar for their espresso martini, The Herbal cure (our fav dispensary), Snooze for a pre hike breakfast, Angelo’s tavern for happy hour and Urban Putt or 1up for the rare occasions the weather is bad.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The body positivity and mental health warriors on Instagram that came before me. Thank you for finding me at 25 and saving my life!

Instagram: Omg.kelby

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