"Relatable" - Using Media to Promote Body Positivity

By Molly Fitzpatrick
Molly - Photo by Dylan Silver
I am a stylist, a writer, and graduate student. My name is Molly Fitzpatrick, and I am on a mission to start thoughtful and important conversations about body image issues, in order to redefine labels and prove beauty is limitless, brave and about being body-shameless.

As a woman who has an appreciation for fashion and the value of inner beauty, body image issues are close to my heart.

My story is not inspirational. Instead, I am the one who has been inspired.

I have been given the amazing and rewarding opportunity to showcase stories about incredible and beautiful women who are on a collective mission to promote body positivity, advocate for media inclusion, and who are speaking out against body-shaming.

These women are bravely sharing their experience with eating disorders, breaking the boundaries of their disabilities, and voicing their frustration with the different forms of body-shaming in media.

Their powerful stories and unique perspectives are featured in my professional project to complete my Master of Arts degree in Journalism from University of Nevada.

The project that I have created is RelatableMagazine. In conjunction with my podcast, titled The Body-Shameless Series, my project is a campaign for body acceptance and positivity.

Reasons Why We are Thankful for Our Disability

By Wendy Crawford & The mobileWOMEN.org Team

Over 32 years ago, I lay in a hospital bed with a metal halo screwed into my skull, immobilizing my neck. I had a C5/C6 injury due to a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver. I was paralyzed from the collarbones down, parts of my arms and my hands and needed a tracheotomy to breathe. I was scared, depressed and angry. How could this happen to me? I was independent, adventurous and athletic. This does not happen to people like myself. I didn't know where I was going to live nor how I was going to manage physically and financially. If someone told me then that someday I would actually be grateful in some ways for my disability, I would've screamed at them that they were out of their mind!

But the years passed and I began to realize that this massive hurdle that was thrown at me as a young adult, came with unexpected gifts that slowly rose to the surface, often difficult to identify through my tunneled negative vision.

The older that I get, the more in touch I am with myself and the more that I have learned to embrace the positives. We all have obstacles, relatively speaking, that are overwhelming at times but if we force ourselves to look introspectively, we will see that those challenges are actually the tools that have sculpted us into the person that we have become.

Nicole Diaz: From Powerless to Powerful

My name is Nicole Diaz, song creator and "love-bringer!" I’m 47, disabled, and passionate! 

My story is about going from powerless to powerful. As a girl, I wanted to live my life with profound purpose. I was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a degenerative condition affecting muscle strength and movement. I’ve been in a wheelchair my entire life.

I'm second generation in my family to be born in America with grandparents that come from Mexico. Both my parents were working class and promoted higher education. Coming from a disadvantaged home, I gained a survivor’s strength. I learned how to be proactive while vulnerable. My parents constantly reminded me that my disability was not an excuse. At 19, my family roots scattered and I was left to discover just how strong I really was. I learned that I despised defeat and solutions were all around me. Whether that meant finding help out of bed or traveling in my chair for miles to get to a gig, I began to believe I was bigger than just surviving!