The spotlights are a series of interviews with different girls in high school and college with different backgrounds about their experiences being plus-sized.
I met MJ on her first day of high school as I was one of the seniors tasked with helping her transition to high school life. Immediately she seemed to ooze confidence and spunk. I knew that she was going to be a force to reckon with and someone I would want to get to know. I will never forget her drawer of clout goggles (I believe it was 23 different pairs) and how much I wanted to be part of the elite group of kids who were gifted a pair.
Going to a small high school can amplify differences ten fold so when I asked MJ about her experience of being plus-sized in a space that small, her reaction was the opposite of how I had felt in her age. She told me that despite being a little apprehensive at first to the fact that there wasn't much representation, she knows that she is
"a beautiful boss a$$ bitch no matter what size I am."
Anyone who has crossed paths with this girl knows that she brings style to every look she serves and I know from experience how hard that style can be to cultivate when it's so hard to find the clothes you want in your size. Her advice was
Hand me downs are the goat. I'm also so into retro stuff so it's so much fun to do some diy-ing and making things my own! It's also great to go thrifting for fun stuff for cheap and then alter it yourself or with some help so that it fits like a million bucks.
The last question I asked MJ is one I ask myself a lot and her answer is one I think everyone should hear. I asked her if she could magically snap her fingers and become thin, would she?
"I'll have to pass. The number of dreams 12-year-old me used to have thinking that a genie would grant that wish is staggering, but I've grown and realized that I am wonderful the way I am."
I couldn't have said it better myself.