#SmallSquad Stories: Outgrowing Society's Body Standards with Erica McCreadie

October 02, 2018

#SmallSquad Stories: Outgrowing Society's Body Standards with Erica McCreadie

#SmallSquad Stories is a series to feature you, and the stories of our community. Let's redefine beauty standards together and start a movement to love ourselves as we are.

Introducing Small Squad member: Erica McCreadie

We're excited to share Erica's story because her experience with puberty and perspective on living consciously is so relatable. Keep reading to learn more about that fateful day in 7th grade when everything changed, and why she stopped watching TV.

Erica, tell us about yourself!

Well, my parents named me Erica. I don't know how old my soul is but my body is 29 and I feel grateful that so far, it's healthy and has worked well for me. I grew up at the beach on the west coast of Florida and feel most at peace near water. After grade school I attended college for 6 years but never finished a bachelor's degree as I changed my major four times.

Currently, I spend about 70 hours a week running a coffee shop that my friend and I opened 3 months ago. While I'm there I enjoy making customers smile and making sure each person finds their drink delicious. Outside of Tellers (the coffee shop) I manage a blog at TheNakedFlora.com where my goal is to share with others, ways to live consciously.

Growing up, I found that many humans share a similar moral philosophy but that most of us are actually living against it through our daily actions. When I realized that for myself, I began to change my lifestyle little by little and now I just want to share how, with others, so that they too may find joy in living more in alignment with their core values.

Lastly, a few fun facts about me. . .

  1. I've never ridden a rollercoaster as I hate adrenaline rushes but am some how obsessed with motorcycles and plan to own one some day
  2. I've been vegan for two and a half years
  3. I do not own a television and have not watched T.V. since 2006

What's your journey to feeling good in your own skin?

When I was little, my body type was long and lean.

It wasn't until the first day of 7th grade when I noticed all the girls had, "blossomed" over summer vacation that I began paying attention to my outward appearance and picking it a part. I felt like a walking string bean for years as I watched my friends and all the girls at school develop into what society called a "real women's body."

The three things that ate away at me most were my "mosquito bite boobs," "fat thighs," and "crazy love handle - aka - muffin top."  By sophomore year I realized that most girls just wanted what they didn't have. I looked around and forced myself to count other girls that had similar features to the ones I hated about my body and to my amazement, there were plenty of them.

For so long I felt like I was the only girl with these "ugly and unlikable" features but then it clicked. I was only comparing myself to this one body type I saw over and over in magazines and on television. That was when I decided to stop watching T.V. and reading magazines.

Literally a month later I felt like a different person. I just stopped obsessing about my exterior and all the time that was then freed up, went to thinking about things that were more important like art or music . . . things that really made me who I was. I would still have very natural self bullying moments in the mirror here and there but they were short lived and I would recognize them right away.

Finally, two and a half years ago when I went vegan and began my journey towards a more conscious lifestyle, I started to fall in love with myself for the first time. It happened through knowing I was doing my best with what I had and just filling my mind with topics that are very important to me and that impact the welfare of others, animals and the planet.

Even as a child I remember always seeing the good in others. I'd find beauty in their "flaws" and thought very artistically about face shapes and skin tones and just appreciated diversity to a grand degree. For most of my life I did not apply that same outlook to the way I saw myself, but in the last year I notice that I've begun to and it feels REALLY good.


Do you have a ritual for looking and feeling your best?

Well I love how I feel when I've been taking good care of myself through eating healthy and taking care of my skin and I can always tell there's an extra boost of confidence in me when I'm on top of those things.

For short term, I feel my best in something simple when I get to spend time making my hair and make-up look "natural" even if I spend 45 minutes on them. :D



Have your own #smallsquad story to share? Let us know!

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