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"I'll admit, I'm a little bit Ne-vis"


This was the opener my husband wanted me to use as I prepared for my talk last week on the West Indies Island of Nevis. I mentioned to him how nervous I was to go to another country and speak to total strangers about my struggle with self-esteem, body image, and the often unbearable burden of 21st Century beauty standards.

“Come on, it’s good, right?,” Said my husband, through this lovably, self-satisfied smile. “I’m a little bit Nevis?? I like it.”

“Funny,” I said. “But no.”

Poor guy. He says being married to me is like being married to a comedy club owner.

“She’s heard it all folks,” he is fond of saying. “She’s a tough crowd. She’s heard it all.”

I’m at my parent’s home in Florida now, reflecting on the magical connections

I made in Nevis over the past week. Speaking to and laughing with 70 Nevisian women, visiting local families, and getting some one-on-one time with a handful of incredible ladies who sat In My Chair.

When I was first invited to visit Nevis for the #InMyChair research tour, commissioned by the generous support of Virginia Repertory Theatre, I immediately thought of the hit Broadway musical HAMILTON. You see, Alexander Hamilton was born on the island of Nevis.

I was very happy to learn the island has experienced a tourism boost since the success of the show, so I would ask the locals if they were familiar with the musical.

They would politely smile, nod and say wearily, “Yes, yes…”

Which is exactly the same way I react when I tell people that ‘I’m from Scranton’:

“Scranton?! They say, “No way! I love the show THE OFFICE!”

And I smile, nod, and say, wearily, “Yes, yes...”

One of the things I am having so much fun with on this research tour is something that I was initially afraid would be seen as too corny or overly simplistic or cheesy.

I have been asking every woman I encounter to pick a note out of the #PositivePostPal Bag.