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3 Women You Should Be Channeling This Year

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When you are plus size and have self esteem issues, it's not uncommon to hate January 1st.

Once I eventually got past the dread of imminent resolution failure and looming hyper-inadequacy, I tabled New Years as nothing more than the passing of a calendar year. No more resolutions. No more unreachable standards. No more change. Just a different date on a check. Assuming I knew how to fill out checks, which I do not. (Is "memo" the place where I write inspirational Bon Jovi lyrics?)

So really, business as usual, aside from adding an additional year in my head to how long I've literally been doing something.

I've literally been been saying "bruschetta" wrong my whole life.

I literally cannot live in a world where "Law & Order" doesn't exist.

I would literally sell an organ for legit Jell-o pudding pops.

Part of me really began to miss New Year's Eve. I still did the whole champagne, kiss at midnight, bawl my face off at "Auld Lang Syne" (the "Danny Boy" of holiday anthems) thing, but after a few celebrations like this, waking up the next morning of a new year began to get anticlimactic.

The morning shows all had segment after f*cking segment about all the ways I should change absolutely everything about me, but I actually didn't want to do that. I didn't want to be different, I just wanted to be more.

Stronger, sexier, funnier, happier... more. I thought about what I loved; strong women and my curves. And cat YouTube videos, I'm not a robot.

But the first two things, women and my body, those are things I would love to pay homage to in 2014, as they're the reason I am where I am today, all half a million a month and 210 lbs., respectively.

To honor the women who came before me and stand beside me, I've decided to do my own personal Muse Project.

Each year I am going to select three iconic women to influence, inspire and mainline into my veins like creative heroin(e). Women who stood out as innovators and life changers. Women who weren't afraid to be bold and make people uncomfortable. Women whose voice I hear echo through my head as I stand over the sink and stare into the mirror each morning. Women who physically have nothing in common with me besides our shared desire to live epically, own our sexuality and make people laugh.

To kick off the project, I gathered three talented and strong women from my own life (photographer Chelsea McGowan, make-up artist/stylist Meagan Bechtel and humorist/best friend Shauna Glenn), and ventured out into the early morning hours (it was 4 a.m.) on a crisp Texas morning (it was 30 degrees) with some fun fashion, non-stop laughter and bacon maple donuts.

Gilda, Lucille and Marilyn, this one's for you.

Lucille BallMuse: Lucille Ball. She created a groundbreaking television show, ran a major television studio, was a wife, a mom and physical comedy perfection. Lucy was the original "Bitches get stuff done." Instead of waiting for the industry to embrace her, she rebuilt the damn industry. From talent to timing, it was a poster of Lucy that hung on the ceiling above my bed. What would Lucy do in 2014? Live a life full of unapologetic mischief.
Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
Gilda Radner
 Muse: Gilda Radner. "I'd much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they're the first to be rescued off sinking ships." There was something deeply tragic about Googling pictures of Gilda, there just simply weren't enough. There were not enough photos to in any way convey the magnitude of  impact she has had women in this industry. You didn't notice she was small and you didn't notice she was beautiful, because everything she created around you was so addictively giant. What would Gilda do in 2014? She would set out every day to amuse herself to the fullest, and let others come along for the ride.
Gilda Radner
Gilda Radner
Gilda Radner
Gilda Radner
Gilda Radner
Marilyn MonroeMuse: Marilyn Monroe. You can't throw a rock at the curvy blogosphere without hitting a Marilyn Monroe picture, but the very real fact is... Marilyn Monroe wasn't plus-size, no matter how badly we wish it to be so. For years, I have clung to her image, whipping it out like a cop badge at the first instance of fat shaming, because at the time, I needed it. I needed her to be a sexy plus-size woman, because if she was a sexy plus-size woman, maybe -- through some sort of weird Common Core math -- I could be a sexy plus-size woman, too. The truth is, we don't need to hold Marilyn to a false standard to feel sexy, we're already sexy because we're f*cking women and our bodies are glorious. So, instead of idolizing her for pretend reasons, I chose to idolize her for what she invokes in me, regardless of size... uninhibited, flawed beauty. What would Marilyn do in 2014? She would be bold in her successes, even bolder in her weaknesses, and look sexy as hell doing it.
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Fashion:

 Lucille... vintage glamour. Green Dress, size 2X, Pinup Girl Clothing (Pssst. Remember when I showed you a picture of myself in Spanx... or two. It was for this dress.) Leopard Heels, Target

Gilda... hippie chic. Women's White Button-Up Shirt, size 1, Target High Rise Artist Jean, size 16 Long, American Eagle Floral Platform Wedges, Target

Marilyn... minimalist sexuality. Long Wool Sweater, size 2X, Old Navy Black Lace Plunge Bra, Cacique Nude Vintage Cut Panties, Cacique Brown Braided Belt, Gap

All photos courtesy McGowan Images.