The Curvy, Curly and Conscious movement was spearheaded by actress and meditation enthusiast Shelah Marie.
Her message is simple: Self-Acceptance.
“What you admire in others, you also admire in yourself. And when you judge in others, you also judge in yourself,” says Shelah Marie in one of her many YouTube videos.
The South Florida native has amassed a following of people attracted to her quirky, candid, raw energy.
She has more than 164,000 followers on Instagram.
Shelah Marie told NBC 6 she teaches other to love themselves.
“I speak mainly to women, and women of color, who typically feel like they have to go through everything on their own. And then when I open up and share my journey, I find that we’re all likely going through very similar experiences.”
She had to first learn how lover herself before embarking on her mission.
“I was struggling with my own insecurities. And I’d always thought, ‘I’m too curvy, my hair is too big.”
So, one day she decided to take a risk.
“It was actually something that scared me to post a picture of myself in a bikini on Instagram, but I did it and I put #CurvynCurly, I just made it up.”
The response was overwhelming.
“So, many women wrote me messages, found my email, emailed me like; ‘Thank you so much, I’m so glad you’re doing this, this helps me accept myself,” says the viral star.
And, that was only the start.
“It grew and grew and grew until now we actually have a movement called “curvy, curly, conscious.”
Last May, Shelah Marie took her message from Instagram to Wynwood, holding an event where people came together for Yoga, meditation, discussion and self-love. She’s even gotten her boyfriend, rap star AceHood, into Yoga.
Soon, she’ll take her show on the road, holding similar events in six cities Summer 2017.
“The main thing I’ve learned is that we’re so much more alike than we are different.”
Shelah Marie stresses that women need a space to figure out how to love themselves more.
“And I’m here to help you; we’re going to figure it out together.”
The Florida State University and New York University alumna says she never imagined one social media post would lay the foundation for a platform that reaches people across the world. But, she knows it’s her calling.
“If I had said to myself; you’re only successful if you are on TV, of if you are on a film right now; I would be really unhappy. But I allowed myself to be like listen; people are called to you, you’re helping people, you’re helping yourself; that’s successful to me.”
Shelah Marie hasn’t given up on action. She sees what she does online one day coming together with what she wants to do in Television. She’s planning to move to Los Angeles to make it happen.