A Big Girl with even Bigger Dreams!!!

Hello Friends and Family
Here is a little background about me for those who do not know me. My name is Imari Ortiz. I am originally from San Diego, CA but reside in Las Vegas. I am 25 years young. I am black, Puerto Rican, and Italian. Growing up, I have not always been the most confident person, and growing up in the community I was in, not many people looked like me. I played sports growing up, so you often saw me in sweats, shorts, baggy sweaters, and shirts to cover up my body. But, after high school, I started to grow a sense of confidence in my body little by little, especially being able to see on social media and even in college that there were more people of my shape and color. It had made me more confident in taking more pictures of myself in everyday clothing but getting into my 20’s, I started to experiment more with taking pictures of myself in lingerie fits, bathing suits, everyday outfits, etc. I would tell myself one day, Rihana would see me in her Savage Fenty and want someone like me to be an ambassador for her lingerie line.
Over time I did not think anything of it to take cute pictures of myself, and they are on my phone for nobody to see. But, with how the world is now with networking and becoming an entertainer, influencer, etc., you can make a full-time business doing stuff you love and step out of the usual 9-5 lifestyle. Since my move to Vegas, I have been even more interested in pursuing being a plus-size model/influencer/entrepreneur
Now I know most say why this field? To me, it's the importance of impacting others that has always been my passion. I went to school for psychology, so I knew for some time that I wanted to do something in my life to impact others in some way or form. I know how it feels to not feel beautiful because of the size you are or not feel comfortable wearing certain outfits in public because of other people's opinions or stares. Sometimes even posting specific pictures because of what society has put into our heads or even our parents, but times have changed, and big is BEAUTIFUL.
I am not the type to ask for help. Usually, I try my best to be as independent as possible, just like how my parents taught me to be, but this is going towards dreams that I thought I could never imagine.
I researched different influencers on social media platforms and found Figur 8ight Empowerment LLC. I had reached out to the CEO and thought she wouldn't answer me. She was probably a busy person, but to my surprise, she did reply. She started this company back in 2018 to create a space for plus-size influencers to come together and network in all things beauty in the plus-size world. The event she has twice a year is a conference where other popular influencers, entrepreneurs, and models come together and connect. As a result, I can expand my knowledge and following on social media and gain new friends and experiences in the plus-size community.
The funds will help the expenses for the three-day event in ATL from August 18-21st, 2022, stay in the same house as some of the influencers I watch every day and never thought I would meet, food, and flight. I have been fighting with myself, like should I do this? Will this benefit me? I don't have the money for this right now; what if I'm not enough. Today, someone told me, "you will never know if you never try; we are not the what-if type of girls." She is right; I will keep stopping the blessing God is trying to give me with that mentality.
I appreciate anybody's contribution; even sharing my post to your story is appreciated because this could also impact someone in your life that you didn't think needed to hear this message. Consistency, dedication, passion, and belief that God will always be right by you will get you to your biggest dreams.
"People fail in life, not because of the lies they get told, but because of the truths they get told that they decide not to believe."
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Imari Ortiz
North Las Vegas, NV

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