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Meet Arielle Estoria: Poet, Author, and Speaker

10.07.2020 — The Frenshe Editors

It’s not every day that you log on to social media and feel like someone’s speaking to you. Like really speaking to you. Yet, that’s the case when coming across the profile of our next Frenshe feature, Arielle Estoria. Describing her as a breath of fresh air would be an understatement, we’d say she makes us feel like she’s our friend or even our big sister. The multi-hyphenate exudes confidence, body positivity, and those boosts of motivation and inspiration that we all need from time to time. We caught up with Arielle to touch on everything from sharing your vulnerabilities to what it’s like being a Black woman in 2020. Frenshes, it’s time for your morning cup of positivity with Arielle Estoria.

Frenshe: Arielle, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Arielle Estoria: I am a Spoken Word Poet, Author, Speaker, and Social Media Storyteller (“influencer” of sorts if you must use that word!) but first and foremost a lover of words and professional feeler! I have a background in Psychology and theater and love creating safe spaces for people to feel and feel deeply. I love breakfast for dinner and Adele, and my current favorite form of self-care is taking care of my house plants!

F: Can you tell us how you got started as a speaker, writer, and poet?

AE: I’ve always been all of these things. It just took some time to harness and step into them. My background is in Theater, I started in that space learning and embracing the stories of other people, and then as I was writing, I began to embrace my own story and vulnerability and put that into my poetry. In school, I studied Psychology and dabbled in speaking at events on campus, and during leadership opportunities and the closer I got to graduation, the more I realized that the “plans” I had so intentionally held onto at the point didn’t feel right. When I graduated in 2015, I said “okay…I’ll spend the next year as a creative” and now almost 6 years later and a lot of weird jobs and experiences in between, here we are!

F: Your work stands out because it’s so self-positive–can you tell us more about what inspires your work and your journey to self-love?

AE: My work is partially my own processing my own journey of self-love and healing and then also speaking directly to others who are on their own. I am a feeler by nature so I am very easily inspired almost….I have written countless poems about my houseplants, I write a poem every time I’m at the beach and even mid-conversation something will spark and I will need to write it down.

The self-love part of what I talk about I think is just part of the human journey that we’re all continuously learning how to do and how to do so not necessarily well but enough that pushes us towards the whole human beings that we are meant to be.

F: What does body positivity mean to you? 

AE: I don’t actually love that term…because I think the self-love journey and the process of becoming whole and embracing our homes (our bodies) is not always a positive process. In fact, a lot of times it’s really painful and confusing and disorienting so I think that calling it body “positivity” is really limiting to the fullness of the experience of self-love. I think it’s mostly about that, about self-love and the fullness of it. You can still love yourself and feel like a potato and another day, you can still love yourself and feel like Beyonce. I think it’s more about radical self-love as Sonya Renee Taylor says and about pursuing the fullness of embracing all of who we are physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

[Photo: Instagram/@arielleestoria]

F: What would you say to anyone who’s struggling with their own image and isn’t sure where to find their confidence?

AE: I would say, love, you are magic. Your existence is unlike anyone else on the planet, your moles, freckles, dimples, thighs, and curves are all carefully and intentionally shaped. Please remember that. I think a tangible exercise I love to do is to focus on one part of myself and my image that I can find gratitude for and thank that part of you.

For example,

Dear feet, thank you for taking me places I didn’t imagine I’d go to. Thank you for holding me up every day.

Dear thighs, thanks for catching my food or my phone before it falls (ha!)

And so on and so forth. Find reasons to celebrate and gratitude for the home that holds you.

F: There’s no question that Black creatives move the needle for a lot of the trends we see today–what is it like being a Black woman in this space in 2020?

AE: Ooof. How much time do we have and can we grab a drink after?

In short… being a Black Woman in 2020 is exhausting even more so than usual. It is a constant test of your patience and it weighs heavily on the spirit of Black Women and Black people. Black women constantly have to do more, be more, and yet are still always seen as less than, it’s infuriating and depleting, to say the least.

I am only hopeful because if nothing else, Black Women are learning how to protect yourselves and each other more with each passing day. I cannot speak for every Black Woman, but I personally as a Black woman am determined to make waves regardless of the pressure against us, I am set out to make a change despite the way the past keeps creeping up on us, I am determined to love myself and others deeply despite the lack of it that comes back to me.

F: If you could share three pieces of advice or positive affirmations for young women growing up today, what would they be?

AE:

  1. You are enough.
  2. Let no one convince you that you are small. You are expansive, you are magnificent and you are a force to be reckoned with.
  3. There is magic in your bones, what you touch becomes glitter (sprinkle that shit everywhere)

F: Why is it important for women to share their stories and their vulnerabilities?

AE: Because we’re not perfect. And for far too long we’ve been trying to keep up the lie that we are. We are messy and divine, we are imperfect and still magical, we are wild and stunning and so complex. We cry we hurt, we grieve, we have been broken and we have gotten back up. And you know what? There is beauty in ALL of that, and we need to embrace that more.

It is a beautiful moment when you hear from another woman and you realize you aren’t as alone as you thought, you aren’t crazy unlike you’ve been told, and you can exhale a bit. We all need space for an exhale.

F: Is there anything exciting that you’re working on that you could share with us?

AE: Ohhhhh so much! I am writing a book, released some new music on Itunes and Spotify, and just launched my first shop of merchandise! Much more to come that I can’t share yet 😉

F: Who are some of the women who inspire you?

AE: GOODNESS! SO, so many. Sonya Renee Taylor, Maya Angelou (rest in peace), Cleo Wade, Elaine Welteroth, Glennon Doyle, Issa Rae, The queeeeen Brene Brown, Alicia Keys, so many more!

THE FRENSHE FIVE:

What’s something toxic you’re trying to get rid of in your life? The mentality that I have to make decisions to please others in order to live my best life. People who don’t make me feel seen or grounded.

How do you keep yourself balanced? Movement! I try to work out at least 3 times a week and make sure I’m eating foods that fuel me and not just fill me! (that is until I just really need a cookie) 

One health or beauty trend you’ll never do again?  I’m honestly so bad at even knowing what these are or when they’re relevant…..Oooooo I have one, skirts over jeans….anyone? Anyone?

Top 3 favorite skin products? Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer, face masks from whoever does good, clean face masks (I just love them!), and Odacite Eye Contour.

Quote you live by? “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”-Marianne Williamson

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[Lead images: Instagram/@arielleestoria]

The Frenshe Editors