We had the good fortune of connecting with Tenley Patterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tenley, what do you attribute your success to?
I think the most important factor behind my success so far is remaining persistent in the face of obstacle. I chose to build a brand on social media with a niche in fashion and styling. These are both incredibly competitive and rigid structures in society built on antiquated views on beauty and social norms. Entering this industry as a size 14 fashion influencer has not been easy, but I am a voice and representation for other girls, similar to me, who need to hear they are worthy and beautiful no matter their size. The obstacles presented by different platforms, shadow bans, taking down content, negative comments etc. will not stop me from pursuing what I am most passionate about and growing in my success to ultimately lead to positive change.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My creative platform is centered on body positivity and furthering the representation of mid and plus size creators in the industry. I am most proud of my work and content when I get messages from other women explaining how a video of mine or a post of mine empowered them to be confident, to defy beauty standards and norms, and to love how their body is made. That is what I do this for, to be a voice and a person girls can relate to and reach out too. I know first hand how intrusive, negative, and harmful body image thoughts can be on mental health and physical well being, which has made this journey to success difficult. It took time and healing to reach the mindset and drive I possess today. I have learned my worth and have found my voice through the healing process. I want people to know my platform is more than buying clothes and putting outfits together, that is simply a singular coping mechanism I have found that helps me and hopefully others with confidence. My platform is a safe space to find healing and self love, to question standards and norms, and to make a positive change so that future generations entering the world of social media are not clouded by negative and harmful influences based on something as shallow as body type. There is a lot more to a person than what they look like, we all deserve a chance to share that with the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in Los Angeles there is so much happening at all times but I like to keep it simple, take my friend to local shops and places. We would have to hit up my favorite coffee shops, Priscillas and Coffee Commissary. I would also take them to my favorite brunch/lunch spots, Aeirloom Cafe, Sweet Salt, and Aroma. One more touristy place I would take them would be Melrose Ave to experience the liveliness and eccentricity. There are so many thrift stores and shops, a record store I love, and my favorite Ramen place, Tatsu Ramen. Also the street art on Melrose adds to the walk and makes for fun photo-ops. One advantage of living in this city is that the beaches are less than an hour away. I would take my friend to El Matador Beach for a day and end it with a sunset drive down PCH. Remaining active, I would also take my friends hiking. My favorite hikes being the Wisdom Tree hike and the most famous Runyon Canyon hike. The views of the city are spectacular while also hitting some LA hot spots, you can hike to the Hollywood Sign from the Wisdom Tree. For night time activities we would probably hang out at spots in North Hollywood like 513 or Brickyard. One or two nights we could go down to the Hollywood area and hit my favorite spot Good Times at Davey Waynes or LONO. Those are some loose ideas of what we would do in a week but the most fun part about this city is leaning into spontaneity because you never know what opportunities will arise or where the day will take you.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to dedicate my shoutout to all the other strong women creators with a similar mission to me, those that follow and support me now and those I have yet to meet but hope too soon. And of course my supportive parents, who without, I would not have the time and resources necessary to pursue content creation.
Other: tik tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@tenleyjoelle?lang=en