It’s been pretty exciting around the Fusion offices lately. Now that our segment has aired on the TODAY Show, we wanted to delve a little deeper on the subject. The following personal experience was provided by one of our lovely candidates, Beth Ridgeway.

Beth and form

Who: Beth Ridgeway
From: Longmont, CO
Work: Entrepreneur, homemaker, web designer, Skoop distributor at thicknthin.healthyskoop.com, blogger at ajourneythroughthicknthin.com
About: I was born and raised in Colorado. I have been married for 14 years and we have three beautiful daughters who are 15, 9 and 3 years old. I love spending time with friends and family, laughing, camping, summer barbecues, weekend getaways, reading and photography.

What was your initial thought when asked to be a part of a segment for the TODAY show?
I was terrified, intrigued and excited. I wasn’t sure if I could get myself to be a part of it. After watching the video that inspired the story I knew I had to be a part of it. The story was beautiful and needed.

What were you most excited about?
I was excited to be a part of something that could potentially inspire so many people. I was excited to step outside of my comfort zone for once and have fun.

What were you most nervous about?
I was very nervous about the whole process. Being overweight has caused me to feel afraid most of my life.  Afraid of what others thought of me, afraid to try new things, afraid to meet new people. The thought of being filmed, photographed and on live TV was very unnerving.

Looking back, how would you describe the overall experience?
This experience has been absolutely amazing. I am so proud of myself for finally living on the other side of fear. Negative body image plagues the minds of so many people today and it’s very upsetting. Beauty isn’t a specific shape or size. Beauty is your personality, caring nature, attitude, knowledge, and experiences. You create your own beauty. When we look around we see people of all shapes, sizes and color. I have always believed that mannequins should be made with more diversity to show realism, so to be a part of this story has been truly amazing and has impacted me greatly.

What was your favorite moment?
I loved every bit of this experience: meeting all the wonderful people at Fusion, seeing NY for the first time, Diane Keaton complementing my hair rollers, meeting the Today Show team, seeing my custom-made mannequin for the first time and watching the complete story. This whole journey has been unforgettable.

How has this experience changed the way you see yourself?
I have a newfound confidence. I now know that I can conquer anything. I would love to be able to see my mannequin again. The reveal was very short and I didn’t have time to be able to really see it. From what I did see, it was beautiful. All of the mannequins were perfect. Thank you Dave Richardson for your incredible sculpt and thank you Fusion for this fantastic experience!