The Curvy & Fabulous Life
The Importance Of Knowing Your Self- Worth
Kala Riggins is a lipstick loving, twenty something, taking life one outfit at a time. The fashion Queen is known for her stylish looks, personality and self- confidence. I’ve always wanted to know, when and where Kala got her beauty & fashion swag and confidence that demands respect wherever she goes.
- You stated on your blog, Kala Riggins: Beauty-Life-Style that one of you goals is to change the way people see plus-sized women in fashion and society. Why is that important to you?
Kala– That statement has been the inspiration of why I started blogging. Because I never saw women who looked like me in mainstream media, whether it was in a magazine, TV show hosting or whether it was on a website that was supposed to be selling plus size. They never look like me and that is in terms of complexion, hair and most importantly body type.
I feel like there is this stigma with plus size women that we are unhappy, that we don’t have men, that we don’t like to go out and have a good time and that we don’t know how to look nice. It is almost like if you are past a certain size or weight you are expected to walk outside with a sheet on and that’s just that. The clothing options are not as cute or readily available for plus size women but again this has changed tremendously over the past 5-10 years for sure but historically, these things were just not available.
I was living a life that was the exact opposite of what people thought we do. You know from working with me I stay at somebody’s party, I stayed being a socialite and going to H&M and into beauty, fashion and makeup. The average woman wants to look good. They want to get their nails done and take pride in their appearance. Also, with dating guys are there. We have options but that’s another interview. LOL
- Who are some pivotal people in the media that has impacted you and been good examples for you?
Kala– Celebrity wise I am obsessed with and love Queen Latifah. I feel like she is everything. She embodies what being a curvy girl and being in the entertainment industry means. She has been on the curvy side since her breakthrough in mainstream media. She has learned to conquer every market of the entertainment industry. She has been in the music industry, in the television industry, she is producing films, she writes, she has had her own show and she is a cover girl. Literally everything you can think of she has definitely dabbled with. That is inspirational to me. I love Queen Latifah she can do no wrong to me.
In terms of taking it out of the celebrity world, I really think that the work that has been done by a lot of OG plus size bloggers like your Gabi Fresh and Chante from Everything Curvy and Chic. These women have been blogging for years before the industry became so saturated. I really think they are some of the pioneers who have helped others see how we want to be accepted and looked at.
- When did you begin the journey of self-confidence & self- love? When did you begin to love your curves?
Kala- This sounds really cliché but the journey really begins at birth. You don’t realize it until you actually grow to be in this body. I want to be clear that confidence and self-love applies to everyone and every body type. So that’s what I mean when I say the journey begins at birth.
I wasn’t always plus size. I mean at 5 years-old I was a normal 5-year-old. I was a little tall but at 5 I was what the world would consider regular. I didn’t start really standing out until about 10 or 12. And that was when I had breast and nobody else in my class had breast. I was taller, I got my period a little bit earlier. I hit puberty and started growing into a woman. That’s when I started being bigger and started gaining weight and that’s when I was considered plus size. I always felt good about myself. I never felt as if I was different until someone pointed out or until the world pointed it out. For example, as soon as you get into an argument they would say, “your fat self”. That’s when you feel different. That’s what I mean by the world pointing it out or other people pointing it out. But I never felt like irregular and I still don’t. I always felt regular. I always felt as if I was pretty and I always felt good about myself. I always wanted to look nice.
I will say that high school was a turning point for me in terms of my confidence because I was always active. My weight or my size never deterred me from doing things. I was very active in high school. I was on the flag team. I am from New Orleans so I marched in the Mardi Gras parades. I was in the choir. I was always outgoing. I was never really a shy person. After high school into college which is when my blog was born, in college, is where I was becoming a woman for real and that is when you frankly start not giving a fuck. And you really start to live the life you want to live on your terms. And that is when I started taking time to encourage my lifestyle upon others. I started to meet other people who looked like me who didn’t feel pretty, or confident, who felt really sucky about themselves and looked at me as if I were a unicorn because I didn’t. And so that is when I realized there was a larger issue within the plus-size community. I realized that everyone wasn’t as confident and felt as liberated as me when it came to how I dressed and how I felt about myself.
People think that confidence is just this thing that you wake up with and you are just the most confident person. That is not the case. Confidence is a journey. It is a journey and it is something that you have to work on every single day. Like you have to do something to commit to being a more confident every single day. We all have our days. I have my days where I second guess myself, where I am unsure of myself, where I feel less than. I have my days. But I am committed to working on it and understanding that this is a journey. So that is one of the things that keeps me pushing forward as well.
Self-doubt is truly the devil. Social Media is a very powerful thing for the negative and the positive. And it can contribute to you feeling more confident about yourself. It can also have the negative affect and contributing to you feeling less confident about yourself because you are watching what everyone else has going on. I fall victim to that as well. I fall into this phase of comparing myself to other people and what they have going on. A good quote for life is, “everything in moderation and some things not at all.” One of my really good friends told me that a few years ago and I think it is a great thing to live by. Social Media is fun, it’s cool, it’s a good thing to do but when you get to the point where you feel as if something is altering your mood or the way that you feel about yourself that is when you need to take a break and take it into moderation. Don’t feed into what makes you feel bad about yourself. I also think, when it comes to self-love that it is very important to block out things that don’t make your soul glow. Stop letting things interrupt your spirit.
The facade that is social media can cause us to feel badly about ourselves. I always say this is the edited version of my life. This is the highlight reel. There is not a picture of me crying boo hoo crying when I was just doing that last night. Literally I cried myself to sleep just last night, not even 24 hours ago. But my Instagram will never send you that message because that is the highlight reel. I think people should monitor what they are consuming; mentally, spiritually and even physically. If the burger is making you feel bad, girl eat some pineapples. LOL Mentally, Physically, and Spiritually we have to monitor what we are consuming. Trust your own process.
- You stated, “Sometimes we suppress who we are to cater to the insecurities of others.” Have you ever suppressed who you truly were? If so, how did you stop pleasing others?
Kala- I have suppressed who I was a lot in life in social settings and particularly work settings. As a woman, as a black woman, as a plus sized woman, as a black plus sized woman with natural hair I have a lot of strikes against me when I walk through the door. Before I open my mouth there are already judgments being made about me. I always like to say my presence is loud before I even say hello. I am tall, I’m big, I have red hair, my hair is natural, my face is probably beat and I might have on purple lipstick.
So, literally as soon as I walk through the door I have a commanding presence and I haven’t even said good morning, yet. Because I have that commanding presence, early on in my life I got that, “who does she think she is” a lot. People would be intimidated by me or feel some type of way about me because I simply showed up. I haven’t even said hello or good morning yet and you have no idea who I am. I would get this negative energy immediately just because I showed up. So there were times in social settings and work settings where I would hold back a little bit and I wouldn’t give you all of my personality and I would be mindful of what I would say. I would not fully be my outgoing self because of other people’s insecurities. I didn’t realize that’s what it was until much later in my life and I became an adult. I started realizing that a lot of times when people have issues with you, it’s really insecurities that they are dealing with themselves. If you can figure out how to authentically be yourself, you will be okay in life.
You cannot go through your life worrying about what other people have going on. You should be nice and kind. I am not saying to be obnoxious but at the same time you don’t want to cover up who you are for the sake of someone else’s insecurities because that means you are not living your life on your terms.
- When did you get into fashion & beauty?
Kala- I got into fashion and beauty as a teenager. Having one or two of something was never enough for me. I always wanted to style things different ways. I started honing in on that in college. Again, I feel like college is the bridge from childhood to real adulthood. College is pivotal years as far as development. I started figuring out who I was and I also, started my blog. My blog grew into a career opportunity and that is how I got into it professionally. My blog gave me credibility and allowed me to work with brands on a professional level in terms of beauty and fashion.
- What is a quote or piece of advice you believe young girls should know or have?
Kala- This is just for young girls this is for everybody. The sooner you realize how short and precious life is the better your life will be. That ties in with everything I have said to you. We are spending so much time on social media. We are spending so much time caring and listening to what other people have to say about us. We are spending so much time invested into other people and life is very short. The sooner you grasp that you only get one time to do this, as far as we know. I’ve never had someone come back and say this was their second time. LOL As far as we know we get one time to live. The sooner we understand that, the better our life will become because we will begin to live in that way. You will say I have to do this for me and it is short and it’s precious. So I am going to do what I want to do. I am going to wear what I want to wear.