I had the pleasure of meeting Lora Grady when we were fresh into our undergraduate degree at Ryerson. I count myself lucky to have her as my friend; she makes me laugh like crazy, she’s fierce in her career and reliable as your friend.
Today, I asked Lora about her new(ish) venture and how she’s changing the way women see each other, and themselves.
1. What’s your name, job?
2. What is PSYB and why did you start it?
PSYB is a community for women of all shapes, sizes and colour to come together to discuss body positivity and how it influences our lives. I’ve published everything from recipes and Q&As with strong women in cool jobs, to pop culture movements and new fashions for women with different body types. I started it after I published this article on wearing a bikini for the first time. The article continues to receive positive and supportive comments even two years later. I had a bit of a revelation from that. I realized that women are yearning to talk about body positivity and acceptance and what it means to truly embrace those ideas. I’ve learned so much from everyone who’s been involved with the website so far. I’m so excited for whatever comes next.
3. Why is the self-acceptance movement so important?
It’s no secret that women are bombarded with messages about how we’re supposed to look and act. It starts with Disney: From the time we’re toddlers, we’re conditioned by society and the mass media to believe that a) there is such thing as an “ideal” woman and b) that “ideal” woman is as close to perfect as it gets.
When I was 12, I remember reading an article in Seventeen magazine about a former MTV VJ who’d struggled with her weight her whole life. What separated this article from the typical weight story was that this woman had learned to accept and love herself at any size. I remember feeling like I had just taken a breath of fresh air for the first time. This woman was big and full of life, and she LOVED herself. What a concept! Since then, I’ve wanted to contribute to spreading that message. I want to keep body positivity in mind through everything I do.
4. If you could tell 13-year-old Lora anything, what would it be?
I would tell 13-year-old Lora that her worth will never be determined by what other people—men or women—think of her. That she is bright and shiny and full of life, and the thing that made her most beautiful was her big smile. And I would tell her that not only does she need to love herself more, she needs to love her fellow girls more. Preteens can be so nasty and competitive with each other. Honestly, I wish I could go back to my grade 8 classroom and hug every girl in there and tell her she is worth so much more than her bra size.
5. And one more: What gives you the Warm& Fuzzies?
I can’t remember what I said yesterday, but the thing that gives me the MOST warm&fuzzies is seeing my four-year-old niece, Juno, be her full, unabashed self. The other day she sang Katy Perry’s “Roar” on the streetcar as loud as she pleased. I could tell she was a bit self-conscious with strangers around, but she did the whole song. And when she finished, a few other passengers clapped. Seeing little kids do what they want to do without fear of being judged is INCREDIBLE! We could learn a thing or two from four-year-olds.