Thankfully, I have a very supportive family that never let society dictate what I could or could not do. Not everyone is that lucky.
Amanda LaCount – Plus-Size Athlete
I was a competitive figure skater and I qualified for two nationals. In addition, I performed in numerous ice shows. I played ice hockey like my six brothers and sisters. In my last game I scored a hat trick, even though I was the only girl on the team and not allowed in the locker room. Also, I was on four national title winning cheerleading squads — as a flyer on all teams.
Amanda LaCount – Plus-Size Model
Next, even though no one thought it was possible due to my size and height, I modeled at Miami Swim Week and for Revel Dancewear. I’ve also modeled for companies such as Nike, Target Swimwear, Swimsuits For All, JCPenney, Dove and American Eagle Outfitters. For American Eagle, I was in EVERY store in the world.
Amanda LaCount – Plus-Size Fashion Icon
People even went so far as to tell me what I could or could not wear. Society says I cannot wear a two piece swimsuit, I cannot wear a crop top and I should never wear shorts. Who are they to tell me what I should or should not wear? Last fall I was honored to be in Rihanna’s “Savage X Fenty” Show at New York Fashion Week wearing lingerie. I never could have pictured myself wearing lingerie in public, much less at New York Fashion Week for Rihanna. This experience was amazing, making me even more confident than I already was.
I’m writing this not to brag, but to let EVERYONE know that you shouldn’t listen to what others say you can’t do and JUST DO IT!! You should create your own destiny. Every day I receive messages from adults telling me that when they were younger, people told them they could not do the thing they loved the most and they wished they had someone like me when they were growing up that would have shown them that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Amanda LaCount – Plus-Size Dancer
I feel this way about dance. I was told by peers, parents, dance teachers, dance studio owners and even strangers that I was too fat and my mom should take me out of dance. She and I ignored them all. I knew in my heart it was what I was meant to do. Dance is my passion, but my goal is to inspire others to follow their dream. I want to be the person I never had growing up.
When I was 11, I had a dance studio owner approach me and ask me to join his competition team. He had watched me compete in Colorado for years. I joined his team, and after a very successful competition season, he asked for a meeting with my mother and me. We thought it was to set goals for the next season. Instead, he said I could no longer be on the team because my size did not fit his “vision” for the team. He went on to say I could not even stay and take classes at the studio. I was heartbroken and I thought about giving up dance forever. However, my mom, being the strong woman she is, said we would find another studio that wanted me.
The next week, I started dancing at another studio that had been trying to get me to train there for a year. They were happy to have me on their competition team and to train there. I am so glad that I didn’t allow one person to destroy my passion and dreams of becoming a professional dancer.
It is never too late to go after your dream or just try something new. Instead of creating a bucket list of things you want to do before you die, create a “now” list for new things you want to try now. It doesn’t matter if you are good or bad, but how it makes you feel.
Life is a bunch of moments put together. It is up to you. Don’t let society decide what kind of life you are going to live. Go out and live your best life. As my mom always says, “Anything is possible to a willing mind.”
About the Author: Curvicality columnist Amanda LaCount is a professional dancer, actress, singer, model and body activist. She’s the youngest of seven, and relocated from Colorado to Los Angeles to pursue her dream. When she’s not auditioning, rehearsing or performing, she loves to ride horses and go to the beach. You can find her on IG @amandalacount