Brittney of Xbrittney89, an advocate of body positivity and vlogger, has an enthusiasm for her work that is absolutely infectious. You can scroll through her blog at empoweringimperfections.com and check out our interview with her below.
How did you get into making YouTube videos?
I had been wanting to get into the YouTube community because I saw what an amazing support system it could be for people – myself included at the time. After I moved to California and didn’t know many people, I knew it was the perfect time to start my channel. At first my channel didn’t have any specific purpose other than to provide a plus-size perspective on things considering YouTube was full of thinner bloggers and there wasn’t as much diverse representation. I wanted to lessen the gap with my fat perspective.
The more I made YouTube videos the more I grew into my channel. It evolved with me. I knew I loved lifting others up. It was like a personal tribute to my insecure teenage self that dreamed of having the attitude and outlook on life that I currently do. I just was caught up in the idea that I had to be thin to live that type of life.
When did your journey into body positivity begin?
I was introduced to the “fat community” around 2008. I then began to open my eyes to the idea of diverse beauty and how bodies do not need to be the unrealistic “perfection” that society enforces us all to attempt to achieve to be considered attractive. When I began doing adult modeling I realized that all of the flaws and imperfections I saw on myself were admirable, beautiful traits to some. And that is when I started to realize that there are always two sides to the equation. No matter who I am or what I look like – some people will like me and some people will not like me. That realization helped me gain steam on my body positivity journey.
Your videos on YouTube remind me of a talk show personality, would you ever consider moving to television if the opportunity came up?
The thing I have with television is that so much of it is fake and scripted. I keep my YouTube channel as genuine and honest to my life as possible, and I will do that through any projects I pursue here forward. So to answer your question bluntly – yes, I would do television if the right opportunity came up. If I could have my own talk show like Ellen, and inspire and uplift others on a daily basis, I would be happy for the rest of my life. Career aspirations for sure haha.
You are now a well known video blogger and advocate for body positivity, do you ever find yourself being recognized on the street?
Not really. I have been recognized at a couple of stores (Target and Sephora), and also a handful of times when I go to different music events (raves). I absolutely love running into people that support my YouTube channel, though. It is so rewarding to have that face-to-face contact and be able to personally thank them for their support.
I love your personality that came through in the blog post titled Fuck flattery, what was your inspiration for writing the article?
I often read comments where people are constantly using the word flattering to limit certain body types into what we should or shouldn’t be wearing. Society has pressured us to live by the idea that we have to dress to appease those around us. But instead, I dress for my own self-validation. Some people have problems with that because I refuse to limit my wardrobe to pieces that only “flatter” me or, in other words, hide my fat/rolls/imperfections. But if I want to cause any type of change then I need to lead by example.
Have you always been so cutting edge when it comes to discussing the minority in society as well as the oppressed?
Not always, simply because I wasn’t as educated about intersectionality as I currently am. I still have a lot to learn because it is such a complex topic, but it is so important to take into consideration and apply in different situations. I am a white girl. I was born with the privilege of white skin. I understand that I can’t represent for people of color or those who are further oppressed than I have been. However, I can use whatever platform I am given to advocate for those who do not have a voice. Equality amongst all is what feminism is defined by. I stand by that 100%.
I like how your vlogger status is a small but important part of who you are, did you ever see yourself becoming a humanitarian?
To be honest, I never thought of the idea of referring to myself as a humanitarian. But human rights are so important for progress amongst the human race which is why I’m so passionate about them. Especially since I grew up without thin privilege, so I know what the real world can be like when living with tons of society-influenced body shame.
What was your intention for starting the weekly segments to your videos?
I started updating on specified days weekly to give myself more stability.
If I promised videos on certain days then I would be held accountable to create and upload new content weekly. This was the positive peer pressure that I needed to kick my YouTube up a notch. I felt like I could cover more topics because I had due dates on content. And I felt like I could further my YouTube presence if I was updating weekly. It gave everybody that subscribes, and myself, something to look forward to each week.
I love the look-book videos on your site, that show off your own sense of style do you have any tips for any aspiring plus size models? You always seem very confident in front of the camera and your shoot for Skorch magazine looked amazing.
Again, it all relates back to accepting that our body’s flaws and imperfections do not define us. Our weight does not determine our worth. That makes it easier to look in the mirror or a camera lens and feel comfortable. To be honest, I have been working in front of the camera for over seven years, with my body as a main focus. So it has gotten pretty easy just from sheer repetition. Plus, I think it is so admirable of a person to unapologetically own their body, their flaws, their imperfections, whoever they are. I carry that mentality with me whether I’m in front of the camera or not.
You article titled the turning point is very moving, how do you force yourself to be so open and honest and exposed to the whole internet? It is really brave.
Thank you very much. That blog was incredibly emotional for me to write – especially as my first blog post that I have ever really posted on the internet with intention for others to read. Sharing my writing is the nudest and barest I can get. I have no problem showing off my body, but it takes a bit more courage for me to do so with my writing. I have learned that being open and honest with my YouTube channel has earned me trust and respect from my viewers. When I write, I write from my soul, because again, it is the rawest form of me. So it has to be open and honest – because that’s me.
I love how you invite your readers to comment and “discuss” what you have said in your article. Do you edit the comments that appear on your blog?
No, unless of course somebody starts spamming the comment section with hate. I understand that everybody is entitled to their own opinions and will definitely express them on the internet haha. I take the hate with a grain of salt. It helps me construct videos in the future to target these ideas and explain myself even further on a broader spectrum. Plus, if I’m causing an uproar, then that means people are hearing me. They may not be understanding me, but at least they can hear my voice. That’s an advantageous start.
How do you schedule your videos and blog around your work and your social life?
Well, YouTube is my most time-consuming but also most rewarding job. I schedule my life around it, instead of the other way around. I have been trying to get a steady schedule down for my blog posts, like I have with my YouTube channel. Structure. A lot of my friends understand that my work is pretty constant – I barely ever have free time. But we get together and hang out while doing work together. I like to surround myself with people who inspire me and are typically hard-working themselves so they usually have things to work on as well. YouTube is my hustle-filled lifestyle right now. And I’m hungry for that hustle.
I love your outgoing sense of style, would you ever consider putting your name and approval to a fashion line?
Wow, maybe. I would be open to the idea, again though if it was by my own approval. I am not afraid to say no to “glamorous” offers if it isn’t going to be something I can genuinely stand behind. We need more affordable plus-size clothing, so that would be a really cool project to be a part of if the offer ever presents itself.
When you first started making videos for YouTube did you ever imagine having so many subscribers and being viewed internationally?
That was a hope and dream. The fact that it is becoming more and more a reality reassures me that my hard work is paying off, and motivates me to keep it going. I want to grow my audience not for the fame or popularity or money. I want to grow my audience to reach those who may benefit from watching my videos, or relating to people in the comments, or know that they are not alone in whatever struggle they are going through. I wish there had been body positive advocates on the internet when I was a teenager. I can’t imagine what it must be like to find that reassurance, but I’m so glad that I can do my part to contribute. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
Want to keep up with Brittney? Follow her instagram here!
KELLY is both a mother and fiancée, and keeps her own blog at mummybuiz.simplesite.com. She is passionate about the body positive moment, is currently planning her wedding, and spends her free time baking and testing recipes for her family.