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StyleCrush: Leah Vernon of Beauty and The Muse.

StyleCrush: Leah Vernon of Beauty and The Muse.

“You know when something is for you, your character. And you can’t stop checking yourself out in the mirror or twirling or snapping selfies.”

Name: Leah Vernon
Hometown and Current Location:
Detroit, Michigan
Freelance Writer/Lifestyle Blogger at Beauty and The Muse
Social Media:
Snapchat Leah through @LeahVDaily. You can also find Leah on YouTubeFacebook and Instagram.

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This–whatever this is–isn't about popularity. This isn't about likes, or how many views, or being famous. This is about impact. It's about hope. ××× Have you ever been hopeless, to the point where you didn't give a fuck about shit? You didn't care about your well-being or others because you were hurting. You can't even see past that wall. You only see failure and trauma. ××× That was me. I lost hope in myself and the people around me for many years. I was angry, aggressive because I'd been abandoned. ××× I started picking up the pieces. It wasn't easy. But He sent me little bits of inspiration through strangers and notions that allowed me to continue. ××× When I blog for free. Make these videos for free. And write these stories. I'm doing it because I want to give hope to that fat girl struggling with self-worth, that LGTBQA boy being picked on, that Muslim or that Indian who feels out of place. That struggling artist who cant sell their work. The woman who isn't strong enough to persue that divorce. The same hope I'd lost. I want to give it back. ××× Because hope is a powerful tool. ××× Relatability. I want to relate to you, as a human. I'm not here to smile in your face and tell you what you want to hear. I'm me. And I'm gonna tell you what you need to hear. ××× This is long! I know. But I felt the need to reflect. Do yall feel me? #LeahVdaily #DetroitBlogger #style #bodypositive #Bgki #blackgirl #blackgirlmagic #volup2isdiversity #parisfashion #paris #uk #psblogger #Plusmodel #plusisequal #muslimgirl #iwearwhatiwant #canada #motd #instabeauty #melaninbeautiesunite #instafashion #ootdshare #wiwt #girlboss #feminism #feminist #pizzasisters4lyfe #fatshion #turbanista #hijabi

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Wear Your Voice: How do you describe your personal style?

Leah Vernon: My personal style has seemingly changed from year to year. I enjoy the reinvention that comes with switching my style up. My most recent style has been minimalist with some vintage mixed in and a touch of high-fashion glam. I don’t follow trends. I wear what I want. Whatever inspires me. For next year, I want to delve into androgynous wear and metallic.

WYV: How long have you been writing? What inspired you to start?

LV: Been writing since I could form words and pretend to read an upside-down book, haha! Words and I have got along ever since I can remember. Stories have saved me from the worst kinds of mental situations. Especially as a child, I needed an escape and the stories were sitting right there. After a certain point, I wanted to help kids also mentally get away from whatever they were going through. I wrote my first novel at 17 and never stopped writing stories since.

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Happy New Year! I'm excited and blessed to have made it another year. Last year was the build, the grind, and the discovery phases of my personal and creative life. Lots of gains we're made. And I had a few setbacks (as y'all already know) that almost took me out the game. ### But I've literally been lifted by my friends, my big sister, my body positive crew, and random individuals who just reached out in person and online. Messaged me and told me that I was making a difference when I thought I wasn't doing shit. Bought two and three books from me. Fed me when I was hungry. Told me I didn't need a man to be validated. Assured me that it's ok to be down. Ok to be sad and emotional. That rejection isn't personal. ### Thank you for the shares. The comments (which I thoroughly enjoy reading 😂). Y'all sliding in my DM, sending affirmations. The votes for my modeling contests and the genuine love and energy y'all give me on the daily. ### I'm ready to receive what's in store for this year. #LeahVdaily #psootd #blackgirlmagic #DetroitBlogger #motd #fatshion #nye2016 #instabeauty #psblogger #wiwt #plusisequal #Plusmodel #style #turbanista #hijabi #streetstyle #modestfashion #bodypositive #instaquote #girlboss #muslimgirl #ootdshare #fashionbombdaily #effyourbeautystandards #wiw #pizzasisters4lyfe #instafashion

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WYV: Who are some of the people close to you that have shaped your style?

LV: My grandmother used to dress super snazzy. She’d have the red lipstick, the feather boa and the satin gloves that went up to her elbow. She wasn’t afraid of showing out and wearing bright colors. My mother was more of a simple dresser with no makeup or frills. I used to love going to grandma’s house and sneak her lipsticks. I love high-fashion and red carpet looks. A lot of my ensembles kind of emulate the essence of her style. Fearless.

WYV: What makes you feel most powerful?

LV: I have a few things, but for the sake of not writing an entire book, I’d say clothing and fitness. The reason I choose clothing is because I’m able to get into a role with what I choose to wear. If it’s sexy, I can be a vixen. If it’s business, I’m a girlboss. If it’s cute, then I can be flirty. And at that moment, you know when something is for you, your character. And you can’t stop checking yourself out in the mirror or twirling or snapping selfies.

I also feel empowered by fitness because it’s the only time I can clear my head and focus on one task. I just started going to the gym regularly last year and haven’t stopped. I’m not trying to be thin, I’m trying to be strong. And in strength is empowerment.

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This photo was taken on my 28th birthday. About a year ago. I was still married. Struggling with my art career (still is! Lol), threatening to end it; blogging, writing, all of it. Regularly going to my mental therapy appointments (which I'm happy to say, now, I've graduated from). I had like zero dollars to plan this party, but I thought it'd be cool to celebrate. I got the cake. The gold dress made. And the space was free. I started my period that day. So I was pretty emotional. I ended up crying at the end because some crackhead stole some of our items from the closet. Then I started crying again because my friends and family told me that it was ok. And that they had fun regardless of the crackhead stealing. Lol. But all this to say, you never know where you'll be tomorrow, next week, next year. So, expect the unexpected. Know that 'life' will occur. Like the crackhead that stole our shit. 😂😂😂 #LeahVdaily #DetroitBlogger #fashion #turbanista #muslimgirl #instabeauty #ootdshare #plusmodel #psblogger #motd #bgki #fashionbombdaily #Inspiration #effyourbeautystandards #stylefile #psootd #ootd #fashion #fatspo #blackgirlmagic #pizzasisters4lyfe #bodypositive #bopo #blackgirl #streetstyle #teenvogue #seventeen #melanin #Instaquote #Confidence #BeautyBlogger

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WYV: Who are your top 3 celebrity StyleCrushes?

LV: I’m going to be cliché and say Rihanna. I also love Cher and Solange. Riri is style-bae because she clearly gives no fucks when she dresses. And that’s exactly how I feel (or wanna feel most of the time) when I throw something on. She wears whatever and unapologetically. That’s so rare, nowadays. Everyone cares too much about what they have on and how others will like it and falling into trends just because. No! Wear it cuz you like it. The end. Cher always took fashion risks and was way ahead of her time. Solange also takes risks but is comfortable turning her ensembles into art. And she is the queen of rocking those bold and bright colors.

Related: Fat. Black. And Muslim.

WYV: Which designers or brands are some of your fashion faves? What do you like about them?

LV: I don’t wear designer brands and I don’t really follow any mainstream designers. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I can’t afford any of them. I’m the clearance rack queen, the coupon diva, the BOGO babe. But if I were to have some extra cash laying around, I’d buy a Fendi bag. Maybe.

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I'm working on my grant project (yay me!) And one of the questions were: What is your vision for your work? A: My current work reflects just that. Transformation through learning and inspiration. Being yourself through adversity. And doing the shit without fear or malice. Unnapolgetically… My vision–my goal–is creating a fluid understanding amongst people in the way they think about other humans and how they share information. I want them to read a piece that I've constructed and I want it to blow their minds so much that they have no choice but to discuss it. To ponder on it. To wake up the next day, and say wow, that was some heavy shit. 📷 @remy_me MUA: @theeebeautyqueen #LeahVdaily #DetroitBlogger #style #turbanista #effyourbeautystandards #muslimgirl #ootdshare #fatspo #fatshion #bodypositive #stylefile #blackgirlmagic #instaquote #Bgki #fashionbombdaily #psblogger #psfashion #Plusmodel #teenvogue #goldenconfidence #seventeen #melaninbeautiesunite #instabeauty #instastyle #motd #streetstyle #honormycurves #fatfashion #blackgirl

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WYV: What would you say to designers who are questioning whether or not to offer plus sizes?

LV: If they are questioning it, then shame on them. Secondly, I’d ask them why the hell not? Not everyone is a size 10 or below. It’s just not OK to cut out an entire segment of the population. If they want to truly be inclusive and make money doing it, I’d suggest they start expanding sizes and making that shit as fabulous as they can.

WYV: What would you tell a young woman or femme who is struggling with loving themselves?

LV: I’d tell them that if they don’t love themselves that nobody else will. And if they happen to find someone who will love someone who doesn’t love themselves then it’ll be love that doesn’t have substance and lack the quality that they really deserve. Loving yourself is the easiest and hardest thing to do. But man, once you really do it, really understand your worth, and put YOU first by embracing and loving and caring for you, then you’ve truly mastered self-love.

WYV: How do you wear your voice?

LV: I wear my voice by writing. By loving. By twirling when everyone’s looking. By eating good food and visibly enjoying it.


Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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