Hollywood to Skid Row

...currently writing from: Los Angeles, CA

My name is Emma Calvillo, and I’m so excited to contribute to my beautiful sister, Angelique Calvillo’s blog!

First off, I LOVE FOOD! I always have and always will. Having a healthy relationship with food can be a challenge for pretty much anybody. We need to eat healthy, but if we eat too healthy then our relationship with food is unbalanced. Likewise, if we eat too unhealthy then our relationship with food is unbalanced.

The same goes for exercise, and pretty much life in general. Finding balance is hard for me!

Having a positive image of my body and myself has been a struggle for me for a long time, and continues to be an everyday challenge. Growing up in the music industry, you are expected to look a certain way and to maintain a certain image. From a young age I was taught to always have my nails, hair, makeup, and outfit “on point.”

It also didn’t help that I felt I was expected to live up to the beautiful, almost unattainable women in our media that influenced my perception of what a “superstar” should look like. 

Another piece of my story is that I come from a family of exceptionally small women that love food, and do not necessarily have to work to be “thin.” My mom was 95 lbs. during my entire childhood, (for no reason other than her being naturally tiny.) My sisters follow suit in my mom’s gene pool, and are also naturally very small. Although I am also thought of as a "petite woman", I often feel much bigger than my sisters and mother, and feel that I need to work harder to “maintain my body.” My perception of what a normal weight for me should be is often times skewed because of this, and really at no one’s fault except my own distorted mind.

I started to fall into a negative mindset toward my body when I was about 16. I was dating a boy a few years older than me, and shortly after our romance ended, he started dating a very fit girl that was closer to his age. As many young women do, I started to compare myself and believed that I needed to live a certain lifestyle or look a certain way in order to be desirable. Although it’s very cliché, and hard for me to admit, I became very insecure and jealous. I started working out hardcore six days a week.

I was overly cautious of my diet, avoiding carbs, sugar, etc., (which was obviously out of the norm for me because of my love for food!) I never got to the point where I would have considered myself having an eating disorder, but I definitely did not have freedom with diet and exercise. When I looked in the mirror I was unhappy, definitely not loving what I saw, and that also started to carry over into not loving myself on the inside as well.

I was completely self-absorbed, not thinking about much besides how much I disliked myself.

There are a few factors that have really helped me develop a healthier perception of myself. One huge influence has been conversations with women who have shared my same struggle, and supported me through becoming healthier in my thinking.

Another factor was moving out of LA. I do not think I was aware of how much weight our culture in L.A. puts on appearance, and it became very apparent to me when I moved to Nashville a year and a half ago. We set these insanely high standards that are not necessarily healthy, and expect everyone to fit the mold, when the truth of the matter is: we are all different.

Our differences should be celebrated, but instead we punish ourselves for them. Being out of the Hollywood culture really helped me gain perspective on what being a “beautiful woman” really means. And that is: being confident in your skin and wearing that skin gracefully without judging it.

But the number one reason I have been able to love and accept myself more fully, has been realizing that I was created for so much more than just my body. God put time and thought into each one of our designs, and when we hate on or bash ourselves we are insulting his work. There is so much more to life than how we look, and I had to get out of my selfish mindset to realize what my mission was.

Last day in Skid Row before moving to Nashville.

Last day in Skid Row before moving to Nashville.

I cannot say that my journey with body positivity is over. In fact, I believe I still have a long way to go. Still, I have found a lot more freedom when it comes to diet and exercise, now listening to my body when it needs rest, (or even a cookie!) Exercise has turned into one of my passions, and something that I love to do for myself, NOT OTHERS.

Photo credit: Ronel Weiser

Photo credit: Ronel Weiser

I believe we all do need to take care of our bodies because they are our only vessel on this earth. I love helping people improve themselves and achieve their goals. Some days, I wake up feeling super confident and happy with the way I look and feel. Other days, I wake up wishing I was more beautiful, skinnier, more fit, or whatever else.

The point is: we are all on a journey.

One day I hope that I wake up truly confident and in love with every bit of the woman that Emma Calvillo is. Until that day, I hope to encourage other men and women to love themselves and their bodies, find what they were truly created for, and help them live out their mission.

Remember that you were created to love God, love people, and love yourself inside and out!

And I love all of you! Thank you for letting me spill my guts to you.


- Emma Calvillo