Tonina Baratta is all about body positivity. Her Instagram Diary of a Curvy Girl has gained quite the following count. Filled with tips and inspirational posts on how to enjoy life no matter your body type, Tonina is spreading joy wherever she goes. Full believe that “size doesn’t matter”, she’s not letting things like how much she weights stop her from living life to the fullest. #BodyPositivity
BWR: What was the inspiration behind your blog?
Tonina: The inspiration behind my blog came from someone telling me that I should start one because of my positivity and confidence. I’ve always been very active on social media, so it was an easy transition! I love fashion and I love life. The goal? Showing women that it’s possible to love your body and dress it with love and respect at any size! I want to spread the message that EVERYBODY is worthy of self love.
BWR: What are you hoping to accomplish through your blog?
Tonina: To encourage just one woman to appreciate and embrace who she is. I’ve always been a curvy girl and I want to show women that even if we live in a world where skinny is beautiful, curvy is just as beautiful!
We live in a superficial, materialistic world with unrealistic ideas of what a woman should look like. My blog is honest, raw and relatable. Many women can’t identify with what they see on social media. I want to be that one person who shows them that it’s possible to love yourself even if we don’t fit society’s unrealistic mold. I’ve accomplished so much with the platform I have. Women are reaching out to me daily with stories of courage and how they’re embarking on their journey of self love. I’m forever proud to have been the little push. But the rest is ALL THEM!! I have the best, most loyal followers!
BWR: How important do you believe body positivity is in a women’s life?
Tonina: Body positivity is crucial in the well being of a woman’s life. It’s about embracing, accepting and appreciating all that you are before embarking on a journey to make changes. Your worth is not defined by your weight. It’s perfectly fine to be YOU. No matter how much you weigh, the color of your skin or your age. It’s about health: mental, physical and emotional.
We are expected to look, act and feel a certain way. But the reality is that nobody gets to define WHO YOU ARE. Nor your worth or beauty. We need to promote size inclusivity so that ALL women are recognized. It’s about accepting who you are today for a happier healthier tomorrow.
BWR: What are some of the strategies you use that helps you keep a positive attitude about life and body image?
Tonina: I’ve always been a happy go lucky girl with a positive outlook on life. I’m a big kid in a 33 year old’s body and I refuse to live life any other way. I count my lucky stars for the good and healthy days and for the amazing people who love me daily. They inspire me to be happy. I love to love and I love being loved. Gratitude is practiced daily. That’s what helps me stay positive. I’ve embarked on a life changing journey and as challenging as it’s been, I’m proud of myself. I found strength I never knew existed!
“Life is too short to spend another day at war with yourself.”
My body might not be what society thinks is beautiful, but it’s mine. I’ll love it just as it is today and however it may be 10 years from now.
My Body, My Shape, My Rules.
BWR: How do you believe today’s society affects the way body image is represented?
Tonina: Society’s idea of beauty is toxic and dangerous. It shapes young girls minds into believing that there’s always something wrong with them. We need to bring confidence and self love into the women around us. Perfection doesn’t exist. However, everybody is aiming for it. We have a long way to go before we shatter the beauty standards that are shoved in front of us. However, with the body positivity movement and powerful activists who are giving ALL women a voice, we are headed in the right direction.
BWR: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Tonina: My inspiration comes from my husband, my parents, my grandparents, my friends and everybody who has always believed in me. Having been overweight my entire life, it wasn’t easy. There were dark times where I hated myself. But I never let it show. I’ve always loved life, but not my body. I was unhappy and had to do something. So, I did. I found self love.
I’ve been on a forever weight loss journey. But I’m proud of who I am and where I’m going. My inspiration comes from the amazing women that my platform has connected me with. They inspire me to continue spreading positivity! I’m a voice for the curvy girls out there who have struggled their entire lives and I’m here to tell them that our weight does not define us. We are all worthy!
BWR: You have a SERIOUS sense of fashion. How do you manage to find clothes that fit your body type perfectly?
Tonina: I’m a proud curvy fashionista. But that wasn’t always the case. I wore size 18 as a teenager and back in 2002, there weren’t many options for curvier girls. I hated my body and the fashion industry for not including women my size!
Fast forward to 2019. I own who I am, I love my style and embrace the body I have. Style is not size specific. It’s an attitude! I’m loyal to brands that fit my body right and styles that work for my body. I like trying different things and surprise myself with the outfits I create. Everybody can look good and dress well. All you need is CONFIDENCE. If you’re confident, you can pull off any style! We mustn’t let our insecurities or wait to reach our “goal” weight to stop us from wearing the things we love!
I’m a sucker for anything fun, colorful and bold. But I also love simplicity. I don’t hide behind my clothes and I’m proud of my curves. Giving fashion tips to women who are doubting themselves is my passion. I want to make shopping fun again. I’m thinking of offering a personal shopping services… Stay tuned!
BWR: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date? What are you most proud of?
Tonina: Finding my true happiness. I’m in a great place: mentally, emotionally, physically. I’m married to the most amazing man and have the most amazing parents, family and friends. I have a fulfilling career. I’m healthy and surrounded by love. I’m an opinionated human who stands up for what I believe in. I’ve been faced with life altering challenges that have shaped me into what I am today. I know how strong I am because of that. My accomplishments, mistakes and failures have shaped me. I have so much more growing and learning to do and many more mistakes to make. That’s what life is all about.
BWR: If you could give an advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Tonina: I’d tell her to ALWAYS listen to her mom, about everything. Because she was (and still is) right. I’d tell her to BELIEVE her dad when he tells her that she’s beautiful and smart EVERYDAY. Be patient with love. Her worth isn’t defined by what men think of her. That the most AMAZING man will make his way just when the time is right. Be gentle with yourself and don’t compare to anybody. The most beautiful experiences are waiting. Not to change a thing about her personality, kindness and opinionated ways. I’d tell her to rock her inner curvy little girl because she is worth it.
BWR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What is your main goal?
Tonina: 10 years from now I want to be the 43 year old version of the happy, positive, kind, bold, confident woman I am today. Surrounded by the people I love the most. I’d love to be a mother. I can see myself thriving in my career as a General Manager of a hotel and giving “Diary of a Curvy Girl” seminars to young girls and women, instilling confidence and self love into others! A Diary of a Curvy Girl empire. I want to be the best version of me and continue putting smiles on people’s faces. I want to be as happy as I am today.