Power, Pride and Inclusivity at BlogHer 2012 / by Leslie

My favorite event at the 8th annual BlogHer conference was the Fashion Show. I had never been to a BlogHer event before, and I had a fairly limited experience with the community website, so I had no real expectations and I wanted to just see what would unfold. I knew it was large event, this year there were over five thousand people at the Hilton in NYC, but what I didn't realize was that the huge scope means that this is an incredibly INCLUSIVE community. I don't think there is a cap on how many tickets are sold and the organizers intentionally ensure that speakers are new each year. I heard that if you speak at BlogHer, you cannot speak again for three years. That may seem like a strange rule, but what it does is keep the content and speakers fresh and allow more opportunities for a variety of bloggers to present their knowledge. I really appreciate the inclusiveness, it was refreshing and comforting and some of the strange anxiety I get from exclusive groups and communities was not there at all.

The diversity and inclusiveness was on full display on Saturday night at the fashion show. And what a *show* it was. The runway was taken over by an incredible group of women who embraced and showed off their power and pride in themselves and in their bodies. These ladies owned their beauty and it was exhilarating to watch.

A typical fashion show can be a very homogenous, stylized look at what being a women means, but the BlogHer fashion show was the exact opposite. In appropriating this often exclusive and unrealistic platform, these women took over, showing us what it REALLY means to be beautiful. We are all different and unique, we all deserve to be seen and to show ourselves and when we give ourselves the chance to strut our stuff, we can rise to the occasion and be totally awesome doing it. These women exuded confidence and more than body type, color of skin or style of clothes, CONFIDENCE is what it takes to feel beautiful and BE beautiful. Love yourself and your body, and others will too.

So, what do you think of the ladies of the BlogHer Fashion show? Pretty magnificent, don't you think? Please leave a comment telling me when YOU have felt your most confident and beautiful. To see the full set of pictures from the show and a few other events that I attended, check out my Flickr set! You can read more about a few of the bloggers in the fashion show on Elle.com and also check out Christine Koh's conversation with her daughter on Boston Mamas after being in the fashion show and Erin Kotecki Vest's challenge with embracing her new body.