Today we’d like to introduce you to Yesenia Guadalupe Berrios.
Yesenia Guadalupe, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
MyXXFLY (my-double-x-fly) is a body positive platform created by my partner Francisco and I three years ago as a space championing creative expression through writing, photography, personal style, and intentional living.
The MY in MyXXFLY is a reference to self-reflection and identity building. In a world where we are always being sold an external remedy for happiness, where we are taught to chase status symbols and value THINGS, knowing thyself is powerful!
The XX (double-x) in MyXXFLY is about body positivity. Body positivity is the art of loving our bodies and selves regardless of ability, shape, color, gender presentation, or size, not in spite of it. Body politics are a vital component of MyXXFLY because as a fat woman of color, navigating the world in a marginalized body effects my day to day life. There is a systemic dehumanization of people of color (POC) and fat bodies in our society, and the body positive community has helped me realize that my life has WORTH.
Finally, there is the FLY in MyXXFLY. Celebrating our bodies at any size and using personal style as a means of expression and empowerment is how we are FLY, but we do not encourage consumerism as a crutch for self-love! EVERY item featured on MyXXFLY is thrifted, second-hand, supports small POC-owned businesses, or is sustainably made. The idea that everything we do has an impact on our communities and our planet is an ideology we uplift in this space. That is how we collectively prosper and FLY!
Over the last three years, Francisco and I have created thousands of images and texts uplifting the messages of self-love, body positivity, sustainable living, and community. Our work has been featured in digital and print magazines, we have brought our message to panel discussions and body positive groups in Miami, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C., and have done so by creating content from a place of vulnerability, truth, and following our intuition.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Because MyXXFLY is a brand built on sustainability and body positivity, I have had to turn down many opportunities because they simply did not align with these values. This has been a struggle because as an artist it is difficult to say “no” to good work, but holding out for suitable projects has meant that I am immensely proud of my collaborations and body of work, and that is invaluable to me. In my journey, however, the BIGGEST obstacle has been my own fear and self-doubt. At first, I would undersell myself, or worse, I would completely talk myself out of approaching a brand or submitting an image or written piece for publication. Breaking this habit has been difficult, but with time I’ve learned to be bolder, ESPECIALLY when I’m afraid. My biggest pieces of advice are to ask questions, take every shot (and aim high!), and get comfortable with rejection. It takes a lot of work to get one “yes”, but you WILL get a “yes”. Also, know your worth and demand it!
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a creative writer, photographer, model, and body positive activist. My most notable works are short-stories and non-fiction narratives exploring themes of environmentalism, spirituality, and body justice. I am also known for championing eco-friendly fashion and creating body positive images as both a model and photographer. As a brand, I am most proud of MyXXFLY for being a community building platform, and for offering representation to people in marginalized groups. This foundation of diversity, size-inclusivity, and eco-consciousness is what sets our work apart.
Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
The most important piece of advice I can offer a young woman starting her career is to embrace what makes her unique and develop her skills constantly! Not knowing something is great because it’ll help you ask the right question. Learn and create constantly, and do it for fun! When you pay attention to the things you are good at and turn these gifts into skills, you are sending the universe a clear message that this is where you want to GROW and the universe always responds in kind.
- Event Coverage – Writing (custom pricing + $1 a word)
- Event Coverage – Photography (custom pricing)
- “Body Positive” Photo-shoots (starting at $200)
- “Sustainable Styling” Services – Personal Styling ($100/hour)
- “Intentional Living” Services – Home Decluttering ($150/hour)
- Website: www.myxxfly.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/myxxfly
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myxxfly
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/myxxfly
Francisco Ojeda, Sandra Villarroel, Yesenia Berrios