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[SGC-24] How The Body Positive Fairy Godmother Found Her Peeps on TikTok With Guest Tishia Lee
Episode 2431st May 2023 • She's Got Content • Melissa Brown, MD
00:00:00 00:35:47

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On this episode of the She's Got Content podcast, Dr. Melissa Brown sits down with Tishia Lee, also known as the Body Positive Fairy Godmother. Tishia shares her journey of self-love and body acceptance, and how she's using social media, specifically TikTok, to spread her message. Tishia shares how she experimented on multiple social media channels before finding a supportive community and success on TikTok.

The discussion also covers the challenges of promoting oneself and dealing with trolls and hate comments* on social media. Tune in for an insightful conversation on content creation and body positivity.

*Trigger Warning: This episode contains some themes that might be disturbing for some people. My guest talks about enduring comments from internet trolls who espouse self-harm for people of a certain body size. There is mention of an eating disorder and the word 'fat' is used in a non-pejorative way by my guest to describe herself. This warning is provided for those of you who find these themes and topics triggering,

Don’t Miss Inside This Episode:

  • How all that's needed for a meaningful movement to ignite can be one sentence for those who hear it. In other words, one person can make a huge difference in the lives of many. Don't give up.
  • How quickly and easily Tishia was able to create content that resonated with her audience on TikTok.
  • The one big surprise she's discovered from the TikTok platform.
  • The heart-breaking reason that Tishia sometimes needs to take a break from social media (and the response she receives when she returns to posting.)
  • What one thing you need to keep top of mind when you are on the receiving end of negative comments and hate messages.

Links and products mentioned in today's episode:

The app that Tishia uses to remove the Watermark from TikTok videos to repurpose on other platforms : SnapTik

The Body Positive Journal--download a free copy from Tishia's website.

Tishia Lee, The Body Positive Fairy Godmother

The Body Positive Fairy Godmother, Tishia Lee, encourages women of all sizes to take up space confidently and comfortably with no apology. She knows if you don't take your space in the world, no one else can. And that would be a damn shame.

Tishia's Website

Check out Tishia's website at Shining Self

Connect With Tishia on Social

Connect with Tishia on TikTok

Connect on Instagram

Connect on Facebook

About Your Host

Melissa Brown, MD - Coach, Author, Speaker, Teacher, and Podcast Host.

After leaving medical practice in 2009, Melissa discovered the online world and never looked back! After coach certification, she began a healthy lifestyle coaching practice online and quickly fell in love with blogging, writing, and content marketing.

Melissa believes that coaches have the power to change the world. Unfortunately, too many coaches get discouraged by the amount of content they need to create for marketing their business and this can lead to overwhelm and giving up on their dreams. There's such a ripple effect when a dream dies, so Melissa is on a mission to help coaches and solopreneurs overcome the overwhelm when it comes to content creation so they keep those dreams alive.

Your content can impact massive amounts of people and positively change the world. You've got content in there inside you; let's get it out into the world.

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Thanks so much for listening to this podcast. It means the world to me to have you here on this journey! If you got value from this episode, please share it on social media, and recommend it to your business besties.

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Tishia Lee [00:00:00]:

For the longest time, I was always constantly saying, I just want to let my hair down and have fun. I don't want to have to worry about doing my hair and doing my makeup, because if you meet me in person, I know, listeners, you can't see what I look like, but I have my hair in this messy bun. I don't have makeup on. That's just who I am. If I try to do YouTube videos, I feel like I have to do my hair, I have to do my makeup. So I was constantly just saying, I just want to have fun with creating my content. That's what TikTok lets me do. My peeps, they just want me to show up authentically. They don't want me to show up perfectly. Thank gosh, because I'm an imperfectly, perfect person.

Melissa Brown [00:00:48]:

Hello there, content creators. You're listening to the She's Got Content Podcast, where it's all about creating content for your coaching business. I'm your host, Dr. Melissa Brown, and I'm here every week to help you get your content out of your head, out of your heart, and out there into the world where that information and your services can impact the most people. Get ready to take notes today and then take action. Content creators, let's dive in with today's episode because you've got content to get out there. Hello and welcome back to the show, all of you content creators. Today I've got a guest here who's making an impact on TikTok with her movement, and I wanted to chat with her all about how she's using that platform to build her community and connect with her audience. Tishia Lee is the Body Positive Fairy Godmother. She encourages women of all sizes to take up space confidently and comfortably with no apology. She knows if you don't take your space in the world, no one else can, and that would be a damn shame. Welcome, Tish.

Tishia Lee [00:02:01]:

Hi Melissa. Hey, listeners. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Melissa Brown [00:02:06]:

Oh, I am excited to have you. And we've got a lot of things to talk about because TikTok is one of those platforms that I keep looking and lurking on, and I really want to know some more about this. And you were an early adopter.

Tishia Lee [00:02:22]:

And the first thing I want to say about it, too, is because this is what prevented me from checking it out for the longest time. Everybody knows it as, like, the teenager app, and I was so flipping blown away when I got on there. You will find people in their 40s, their 50s, their 60s, their 70s. It is not the teenager app. I just want to get that out there.

Melissa Brown [00:02:47]:

Okay, I'm glad to hear that because you did mention the age category that I'm in, and that's one of those higher numbers. But anyway, before we start talking, TikTok, Tishia, tell us about your movement, the Body Positivity movement that you're in.

Tishia Lee [00:03:05]:

Yeah. So this all came about from my own struggle. I've always had weight issues my entire life, going back to when I was a little girl. I was put on my very first diet in fifth grade, and it just caused so many issues throughout my entire life. And I was always achieving and striving for this thinness. And I'm not saying being thin is bad. It was just I was constantly trying to make myself thin because that's what society programmed me to believe was acceptable and lovable. And if I was just thin, then I would find love. I would be able to travel the world. I would be successful. All this crazy crap. And I heard it from well-meaning family and friends, if you would only lose weight. I even had a pastor once tell me, if you only lost weight, think of all the men that would be knocking down your door. Yeah, we won't go down that rabbit trail because there's a whole thing there. But I never was comfortable in my skin. There was times I couldn't even look in a full-length mirror because I hated myself that much. And I think back to where I'm at in my journey today. If somebody had just pulled twelve-year-old Tishia aside and said, you are enough just as you are, I wonder how different my journey would have been. But in 2018, long story short, I made this massive change in my life, packed everything I could fit into my VW Beetle, which was not a lot. And I made the move from Michigan all the way out here to the West Coast. I'm now in Vancouver, Washington. And I was immersed all of a sudden into this just fat, positive body acceptance, body positivity community. And in October 2018, I went to this yoga class. And this lady, I'd never been to a yoga class, so I wasn't sure if this was normal. But before class, she had the lights off, candles lit, we're all laying on these mats on this floor, and she called it getting present, getting in the moment. And all of a sudden in the silence, she says, I feel like somebody needs to hear this tonight. And I get so emotional, and it just gives me goosebumps remembering this. She said, you have permission to take up space just as you are, fat and all. And I'm laying on this floor and these tears are just coming down my cheeks. For the first time in my freaking life, somebody is telling me I'm okay just as I am. And I walked out of that class that night and I ditched diet culture. I threw the scale away. And for the first time, I realized my value and my worth had nothing to do with a number on a scale. It had nothing to do with what my body looked like. And I was so obsessed with wanting to make other women realize you're enough, you're okay just as you are. I'm literally on this mission to make women understand and appreciate their bodies for where they're at right now.

Melissa Brown [00:06:18]:

The Body-Positivity Fairy Godmother! You're bringing that message. I love it. I remember following your journey when you moved from Michigan all the way to Washington. And I remember when you went to that first yoga class and how amazing and profound that message was directly to you. We don't know if that instructor was talking directly to you, and maybe she was talking to absolutely, and probably was, everybody in that room. But you received it and now you're amplifying that message. I love it. I love it.

Tishia Lee [00:06:53]:

Thank you. And I don't want to go too far off track what we're going to move into talking about, Melissa. But I also want to say that one of the biggest struggles that I have in my marketing and my messaging is that we all are our own best advocates. We know what is best for our bodies. So if somebody chooses they want to do another diet, they want to lose weight, I support that is their decision. They believe that's what's best for them. For me and where I'm at, and I have an eating disorder, for me and where I'm at, dieting is not mentally healthy for me. I work with my doctor. We monitor my numbers and things like that. So I just want to say I don't knock people that are out there dieting. I'm not trying to spread the message that, oh, my God, you can't lose weight. That's not my messaging at all. So that's been a struggle. Because in the Body Positivity movement, there are two sides to this. There are the people that are 100%. If you are in this movement, you cannot be okay with people wanting to diet and lose weight. They think that perpetuates the problem with society's messaging, that women have to be thin. And then there's the other side of the movement that I fall into, where, again, we're all our own best advocates. If you choose to lose weight, then that's your decision, and I'm okay with that. So it can get ugly sometimes.

Melissa Brown [00:08:16]:

Yes. I support what you're saying because I do believe that your message, your mission is about accepting yourself, loving yourself. Yes. And that doesn't mean that you can't be also striving to be healthier. If there is a diet that you're following, it's not like you can't be a part of Tishia's movement, because that doesn't work in your world. It does.

Tishia Lee [00:08:40]:


Melissa Brown [00:08:41]:

So with this movement that you have, I'm assuming then it was around 2018 that you started with the Shining Self movement.

Tishia Lee [00:08:49]:

Yes and no.

Melissa Brown [00:08:50]:

Okay. Tell me.

Tishia Lee [00:08:52]:

2018 is when I definitely jumped headfirst into the, 'I'm done with diet culture.' I made it my personal mission that the diet industry would never, ever get another cent from me. They would not profit off of me ever again. I'd done so much inner work and personal work over the years, but still that piece of accepting myself and loving myself was missing. So 2018 into 2019 was all about just learning more about loving myself. And then in 2019, I went to this open casting call for plus-size modeling, and I was selected as one of the models. And the night that I stepped out onto the runway, I call that my coming out moment. That was literally my moment when I was like, f-you world. If you do not like me because of my body, that's your problem, not mine. So 2019 is really when I was I don't even know how to put it into words. I was just so passionate from that moment on that every woman deserves to just feel comfortable and confident in their body. I have to tell every single woman that I can tell.

Melissa Brown [00:10:06]:

The passion is so obvious. It's great. So you're out there with your banner message and that is - it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, just love yourself from the inside.

Tishia Lee [00:10:19]:


Melissa Brown [00:10:20]:

Okay. All right, so you've taken us through that journey, and I would imagine you're shouting from the rooftops. You've tried several different platforms and ways to raise awareness for your mission for this movement. So tell us about some of the things that you've tried because here we are, this is She's Got Content. So what kind of content, what kind of platforms have you experimented with before you landed over here on TikTok land? That's where we're going. But I want to know how you got there.

Tishia Lee [00:10:49]:

Oh my gosh. Where didn't I dabble? I'm notorious for being one of those people that I like to say, I will just throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. So that means I was on Pinterest, I was on Facebook, I was on Instagram, just everywhere. And I was building a community a little bit, but nothing was really sticking. I wasn't getting the results that I wanted. And all of a sudden I found myself one night scrolling. I finally decided, okay, I'm going to download this TikTok app. I'm going to check it out. I downloaded it and I'm scrolling through it. I'm 48 at this time, so I was in my forties at the time that I downloaded this. Okay, I'm going to do a search for over 40 and see anybody that pops up on TikTok. On TikTok, they have this Discover feature and I put it in there and I was just blown away by all the results that popped up. Okay, so there are people my age on here. Then I want to know about like fifty's and sixty's and seventy's. So that kind of gave me permission. Okay. It's okay to be here on TikTok. And then even when I first downloaded it, I don't want to say stalker in like, I was stalking somebody, but I was literally just consuming content, not creating content. And it took me a while and I started following a bunch of other Body Positivity influencers to see what they were doing. A lot of them were doing the dancing trends. Okay, I love being silly, I love being goofy. But I also knew I don't constantly want to have to be dancing because this girl has no rhythm. So I dance really badly. So I finally decided one night, I'm just going to make this quick. You have 60 seconds. And actually you can do up to three-minute videos now, but at that time, you only had 60 seconds. I'm going to introduce myself and I'm just going to put it out there. What I really want you people to know about me is that I'm fat and I am comfortable and confident in my skin. And I grew by 200 followers and it was like all older women. And comments that I got on that one video about how are you so confident? Because again, we live in this society that says if you take up space in a bigger body, you should not be comfortable in your skin, you shouldn't be confident. Okay, I'm just going to start posting some more messages about just showing up authentically as this fat woman. I posted this one video about the way that I used to dress. I would do anything and everything to cover my body. I would wear big baggy sweatshirts and then because I was always told fat girls can't show their body, you can't wear tank tops. You can't do this. And I did this video where I don't dress like that anymore. And it was a transitional type thing where I'm dressed in all this big baggy stuff and then I go into I have shorts on in this tank top and I'm jiggling my bat wing arms because I'm comfortable in my skin and I love myself. And all of a sudden that video blew up and oh my gosh, I grew by 2000 followers and just more and more women are coming to me. Oh my gosh. And I knew in that moment, this is where my peeps are. This is oh, my gosh, I feel like I'm getting so off track.

Melissa Brown [00:14:10]:

No, this is great. This is great because what I'm hearing you say is you played around. You looked first to find out if there were people like you age-wise. Then you looked for other people who were in the body-positive movement and what were they doing. So you looked at the content they were creating and then you jumped in and said, all right, let me see. I'll make a video. That one was pretty well accepted. You made another one and that blew up. It sounds like what you're saying is you were able to actually connect with way more people with two videos than you probably had with any of the other methods that you had reached out with. Am I correct?

Tishia Lee [00:14:49]:

Oh, my gosh. You hit the nail on the head. When I say that spaghetti finally stuck to the wall and I found my thing. TikTok was my thing. TikTok is my thing.

Melissa Brown...