body positivity

Q&A with Toronto Creator and Body Positive Ambassador Franceta Johnson

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Tell us a little bit about who you are?

I’m Franceta! I’m a creative here in Toronto, Canada. Full time graphic design student at GBC, graduating in spring of 2018. Part time freelancer of many things (design, web, identity, illustration, writing, content creation, etc) and a self proclaimed closeted artist. 

Your Instagram bio describes you as a creative and as body positive. If you had to choose, which one would you say is more important to you and why?

I think I was only able to become publicly creative once I became body positive… So I would say they sort of go hand in hand with one another, but if I had to choose; Body Positivity, 100%. Changing the way I viewed my body gave me the confidence to pursue passions beyond my appearance. It also made creating realistic representation important and personal for me.

One of your most liked image (over 3200 likes and 400+ saves) is over you being 100% transparent and sharing personal information regarding your relationship with your body, can you elaborate on that post and what inspired you to post it?

At the moment I posted it, I was feeling a bit proud of myself to be honest! I’d taken the picture at the beginning of the week, when I was at the peak of my mania, feeling the absolute worst about myself and really struggling to get outside of my own head. By the end of the week I was looking through the pics thinking “you’re actually crazy, you look hot for a girl who can’t look at herself, what the hell is wrong with you?” So… I *personally* found the contrast hilarious and felt the need to share. 

I’m trying to make a more conscious effort to acknowledge and document not only my highs but my lows as well. As a personal (and public… I forget that part sometimes…) reminder that there isn’t any shame in feeling confused or lost in my body positive journey… its part of it. 

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How would you describe your relationship with social media, specifically Instagram and do you feel it has impacted the way women see themselves? 

*sigh* I have a love/hate relationship with social media… It can be a cesspool of toxic energy, negative attitudes, wrong opinions, self comparison and ego… But, it can also be a wonderful platform for unheard marginalized communities and causes that normally wouldn’t be featured in traditional forms of media. Do I feel like Instagram has impacted how women view themselves? Most defiantly.

There is pressure to keep up with a false “hype” or “lifestyle” and what ends up happening 9 times out of 10 is people live outside of their means to keep up with it and/or end up changing themselves and their own morals to continue receiving positive validation in the form of likes and followers. 

There have been times where I’ve had to step away from social media and ask myself “Why do you feel the need to participate in this?” and “Is what I contribute to these spaces, necessary and/or progressive in society?” and when the answer was no, I had to think long and about how the impacts of social media were affecting me and my relationship with social media as a whole, was this something that was helping or hindering my wellbeing? 

Even as a creative… there is pressure to put your work online and share every aspect of your process. I don’t have any of my work online and I question if I want to put it there! Realistically, once you put it online (facebook or instagram) you no longer own your work, nor can you control where it ends up or who makes money off of it… but I’m working on how I can use social media to benefit me as an artist in the future.

I’m also a godmother and “auntie” to some very beautiful young women. Watching how they navigate smartphones, social media and search engines is truly, terrifying. Seeing them feel the need to pose or primp themselves before snapping selfies, or watching how they react to the lyrics of music or wording in advertisement… Trying to explain that makeup is fun but not needed to be beautiful, that they do not need to strive to reach a level of unrealistic perfection, or constantly reminding them that they are enough as is… is a struggle for me. So, I often create with them in mind. 

What advice would you give to any females starting out in the blogging world?

Oh god… Be honest & kind to your readers and yourself! 

Um… Self-timer will save you a whole lot of time and money when you are first starting out! Experiment with what you want your content to look like before investing in photography for your brand. 

Oh and community! Reach out in your blogging community! Once you find your niche, find locals in that niche and reach out! The best part of blogging has been the connections I have made over the years. Every brand collaboration, sponsorship or opportunity I have ever received has been because of someone I have met through blogging, and I am constantly recommending other bloggers for opportunities that I am unable to take or that aren’t a fit for me. Cherish your communityyy!

What is one thing you would like the readers to know about you that they may not already know?

I feel like everyone *should* know by now, that I’m six foot four… but people are often shocked that I’m *this* tall when they meet me in person, so… I’m an amazon people! No I don’t play basketball, no I don’t have a tall brother I can set you up with, and yes, I wear heels, often. Not because I need the height, but because I love shoes like any other fashion girl!

Where can people connect with you?

Instagram . @francetajohnson

Facebook .

Email .