Kathleen Roussel has used her experiences and creativity to bring awareness that women of larger sizes have the right to not only exist but to be seen and thrive in the modern world through her Big Beautiful Goddesses Colouring Book.
She said the idea for the book had been germinating for a while but formed more clearly when she started working with a life coach after a relationship broke up last year.
“Body issues is one of the things we were working on,” said Roussel. “I’ve always been creative (and) in a couple of months, I’ve had four or five people telling me I should do a colouring book.”
The focus of the colouring book still needed to form. At first, she had considered her love of Celtic mythology for the theme.
“I thought that would be where I would run first, but in working on that, I got the idea that I wanted to do a couple of pictures of larger ladies,” she said.
Looking through the internet and watching movies for inspiration, it dawned on Roussel that women of size don’t have that much representation in the media and society.
“I’ve had this discussion with more than one person that you come out being positive about something, and then you get the backlash of ‘oh you are being a bad example,’” she said. “They are shaming you because you even exist. I got a little frustrated, so I tried to turn it into a positive instead of focusing on the negative. That’s how the idea of the colouring book first started is me wanting to have something positive for women of size, including me because I am actively working on those issues as well.”
Although Roussel had hoped she would get photos submitted by women she knew or had contact with to inspire the images, she had to rely on her creativity for some inspiration.
“I didn’t get enough submissions, but I am hoping to do another book in the future,” she said. “It was challenging at times because there are a couple of pictures that are me. Sharing your art period is a very intimate thing, but when it is also you, it took a little bit of digging deep to share that which I appreciate for the ladies who volunteered their pictures as well.”
When asked if it was a cathartic experience for her to use herself as inspiration for some of the pictures in the book, she quickly replied, “Yes, very much so.”
“Not only was it cathartic, instead of falling back into a pattern of being invisible and backing away from situations, but I also followed through,” said Roussel. “I let myself be seen, which is what one of the goals in the back of my head for this was to challenge myself and put myself out there in a positive way that inspires others which is very important to me.”
The colouring book is already available, and soon there will be a colouring journal version.
“The journal is structured where the picture is on the opposite side, and there is still a little quote on the bottom, but it has a full page of lines to write in thoughts,” she said. “For those who like to journal, like me, I love to colour as well but writing down your thoughts sometimes is the only way to get rid of the negative thoughts. At least, that’s how I find myself, and it is very effective for me.”
Roussel created the Big Beautiful Goddesses Colouring Book to create awareness of the lack of representation of larger women than current societal standards. The book is filled with beautiful, larger ladies images, quotes, and affirmations to help them see their beauty and inspire and encourage them to be seen existing and following their dreams with passion and enthusiasm for life.
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