When I first discovered the world of plus size fashion blogging, Sound Bites was one of the first blogs that had me hooked. It's creator, Amelia Pontes, is a gorgeous young woman living in Boston who shares not only her personal style, but also gives readers a peek into the world of an incredibly thoughtful, passionate, creative and giving person. Whether it's an entry about her weight loss journey, photos from yummy Sunday brunches with her family, or dating advice for every woman, Sound Bites readers quickly learn that there is so much more to style than the clothes you put on your body--it's about the beauty and attitude that comes from within.
I was fortunate enough to meet the mastermind behind Sound Bites this winter in NYC, and I have to say, Amelia is as wonderful and lovely in real life as she is in her digital world. After just a few days of wandering the streets of Manhattan, I am forever grateful that I can now call this woman a friend. Amelia was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions about Sound Bites to share with Silhouettes readers, so please, enjoy!
Silhouettes: Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Amelia and why do we love her so much?
Amelia: According to my official bio, I'm just a 20 something year old blogging about life, fashion, and body image, but really I'm just trying to my navigate my way through the world and writing about it each step of the way. My perception is that most readers like the blog because it's honest and relatable. Why do people love me? You'll have to ask them because it's still a bit unreal when people write such sweet things about me or when they stop me in the street. I'm a regular girl who doesn't mind sharing my story on the internet.
S: What made you want to start blogging? Did you do much writing before Sound Bites?
A: I blogged my way through college after a close friend of mine exposed me to the world of Xanga. I didn't get very involved in the community aspect of it, but I loved being able to write, click publish, and see my words come to life. There's something empowering about being able to type in your URL and see the work you've done displayed on the screen. I never considered myself a writer, but I loved putting words together to ignite feelings and emotions.
I started Sound Bites after I had already started losing weight and was browsing through different weight loss blogs. I ended up hating each and every one of them. They were all filled with body hate and shaming, so I hoped that my space could be an alternate to the craziness associated with dieting. I just wanted to show people that you can love yourself through any sort of change. Whether it be a physical or an emotional transformation, you don't have to destroy the person you are.
S: Sound Bites is very different from most plus size fashion blogs in that it focuses on so much more than personal style. Can you talk about your decision to share so many aspects of your personal life, including your wonderful style?
A: I write about what I know. I don't know the technical stuff about fashion, but I know what I like and I know what looks good on me. I use personal narrative as a tool to discuss larger umbrella topics affecting most women today. Fashion isn't just about the cut of the dress or the color of the shoes. I think when you've never been smaller than a size 14 and have worn up to a size 28, you have a different outlook on styling choices. Your options are limited, but when you find or create magical pieces, it's a special moment. It's like you've conquered a system that has been trying to hold you back from looking and feeling good. The truth is, I never thought I was a "fashionable" anything. I posted some pictures, people asked me where I bought things and it sort of morphed into something bigger.
S: In one of your recent posts, On Body Image: Get Out of the Mirror, you talk about body image and how insecurities affect every one of us. Have you had to tackle these issues yourself? Has blogging changed the way you see yourself and the world around you?
A: What woman hasn't had to tackle insecurities? I have always been pretty accepting of my body, whether the scale read 325 or now around 200. I was fortunate to have a very supportive family, who taught me how to love my body from a young age. However, my biggest insecurity has always been centered on my intellect and a fear of failure. When something good was about to come my way, I'd destroy it.
Blogging has forced me to just get over that fear of imperfection. By being honest and reflecting my truth in the work is good enough. It’s carried over to my work with youth, where I’m able to teach them to trust their instincts and abilities. Without “Sound Bites” I don’t think I would be where I am now in my personal and professional life. I have found that I'm much more successful when I just do what I love, instead of worrying about what other people will think.
S: Can anyone start a blog? What do you think the point of blogging is?
A: Blogging is for everyone! I often get asked by readers how to start one. I'm not sure if they're looking for technological advice or they are wondering "where" to start. Blogging is a powerful medium that bring together so many people and has the ability to transform lives. I just think that if you come into blogging to get free clothes or to become internet-famous, you won't succeed. Those sorts of blogs that look like one big commercial for companies don't tend to do very well.
S: What's the greatest adventure blogging has presented to you?
A: The YFF Conference was absolutely amazing last year, where I laid up in NYC for a weekend meeting the top plus size fashion companies and giggling through the streets with some of the most fashionable women in the world. And not to be too corny, but the emotional adventure presented with blogging has transformed my life. Each day, I push myself to dig deeper and to ask the tough questions about how I am living. The greatest adventure anyone of us can take is to live your life according to your truth. And I promise that once you do that, the places we can travel and the people we can meet are limitless.
Amalia Nicholson is a plus-size blogger, fashion enthusiast and advocate of beauty at every size. She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota where runs her personal style blog, Double Vision.