Artist Spotlight: Rosa Barney, the plus size (role) model
Rosa Barney has worked with Macys, JC Penney, Universal Standard, and several lingerie companies as a plus size model.
Life is full of surprises. Just six years ago on the streets of London, Rosa was stopped by an agent. Skeptical of the recruiter, she accepted a business card and continued on her merry way. Her career took an unexpected turn when she took the offer into serious consideration because, “why not?”
Living in a culture that is defined by social comparison, we often focus on what others have or do better than us. This is why Rosa goes the extra mile to embrace herself as a whole. Rosa told me:
“Comparison is a thief of joy and social media is a highlight reel of peoples lives. Everyone only posts their “best” side for the world to see.”
Knowing this, she never dwells on Instagram for too long. Instead, she practices gratitude. When it’s on her own, she reminisces on five great things about either herself or what happened that day. It can be as simple as, “I am grateful that I got a seat on a busy subway today,” for example. When she practices gratitude with a partner, they exchange positive attributes about each other. This process coincides with her mantra, “Me first.”
More than a mantra, in fact, Me First is a movement. It is one that asserts the significance of self-love and self care. Self esteem effects everything. Everybody has their down days but not everyone knows how to pick themselves back up. This is why Rosa made Me First. Think of it this way: passengers of an airplane are instructed to put their own oxygen mask on before helping others. You can’t breathe if you focus on others. Thus, put yourself first because “It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.”
As a person who used to put herself last, modeling was the much needed wake up call to begin the path to self love. She has begun to appreciate all she is from the inside out. Part of her job as a model is uncertainty—never really knowing when she’ll land her next shoot. During those in between periods, the uncertainty has led to insecurity. At that point, Rosa has herself a “me-moment,” which is a time to take a step back a survey her needs. “It is so important to listen to our bodies,” she advises, “everyone should take the time for a daily me moment to stay in check.”
Rosa aspires to grow Me First and to share that self love is for all. She recommends that you do what is right for you. So get out of your comfort zone or stay in it, you decide! Rosa counts progress over perfection. By taking one day at a time, she loves herself through vulnerability. You should too!