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Check Out Carmen Rene’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmen Rene.

Hi Carmen, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I always knew I was different. What I didn’t know is that what made me different would eventually be my superpower.

By age three, I was diagnosed with an incurable condition called Lymphedema. This condition causes abnormal swelling and discomfort, most commonly in one of your legs or arms. I would later find out that I have both Lymphedema and Lipedema which combined, account for the swelling and pain that has inflicted my legs and feet since I was a child.

By age ten, I knew that my body was not like any I had seen before. Sure, I wasn’t the only fluffy child in my small town in Oregon but I was certainly the only child (or adult for that matter) with “weird legs and feet”. As much as my Mom tried to make me feel “normal”, it would take me a very long time to understand that being normal was just not the path I was meant for.

It took me years to find the confidence and love I have for my body today. However, once I started on this journey, I knew I wanted to take as many people with me as possible. Enter Eat The Cake Too. The old saying “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” always bugged me. I felt like I had lived most of my life being told what I could and couldn’t because of my own body. Whether it was with fashion, career choices or relationships, there was constantly this voice saying, “YOU ARE TOO FAT FOR THAT.”

The brand and platform I created with @eatthecaketoo is a space where we all make our own rules. Whether you also exist in a fat body under constant scrutiny or are looking to get out from under our societies unrealistic beauty/body standards, I got you!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
A bumpy road but worth every detour! Who knew a big babe with swollen legs in lingerie and bikinis would make so many waves? Ha! The greatest obstacles on my journey have been industry standards that are still very behind the times. While often discouraging, this is also one of my greatest motivators. I hope that one day we can see everybody in every major fashion/beauty campaign so that no one will ever need to feel unseen or underrepresented again.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a body acceptance advocate and influencer who has been lucky enough to make this my full-time career. My own journey with lymphedema and lipedema have played a big role in how people know me. I’m proud of the work I’ve done to help others feel more confident in their beautiful bodies. Hearing from women who have made first steps or monumental steps on their own self-love journey are the moments of real pride for me.

What matters most to you? Why?
Being part of creating a new narrative when it comes to what “normal” bodies look like and retraining our brains to love the body that looks back at us every day.

What matters to me is that despite any trolls online, there are people who are learning to see their worth in a society that continuously profits off of our insecurities.

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