Meet ThatGirl Sharon DuMas, Founder of Full and Fabulous Global
Meet #ThatGirl, Sharon DuMas, author, speaker, philanthropist, CEO, and Founder of Full and Fabulous Global, established in 1982. Sharon’s lifelong mission is to provide a positive impact on the lives of young, plus-size young women. Through her unique method of promoting health, self-esteem, and beauty, Sharon has seen spectacular results and reports having zero results of teenage pregnancies in the program’s 40-year span.
Sharon’s personal experience of growing up plus-sized encouraged her to start Full and Fabulous Global. She knew how body shaming from loved ones and bullies could be emotionally painful and found many ways to overcome trauma and no longer suffer in silence.
As she discovered a few advocates, Sharon decided to form a new, positive body image. Acceptance of insults transformed into positive acceptance of affirmations. The first step to improving her mental hygiene was erasing decades of negative memories of being ridiculed for her size.
Next, Sharon performed “mirror therapy” on herself, meaning when she looked in the mirror, she allowed herself to feel pretty and like how she looked.
As an adult, Sharon uses her high self-esteem and positive body image to help boost the confidences of young black girls. Using her own personal experience allows Sharon to coach vulnerable young girls on how to transform feelings of pain, guilt, and frustration into feelings of pure joy. She has helped many mothers and daughters learn to stand in solidarity in a world of thrive and intolerance.
Sharon DuMas has appeared on a variety of television broadcasts throughout the nation, won Michigan’s Hometown Health Hero of the Year award, and received the honor of being named W.K. Kellogg Foundation Expert-In-Residence, given a Key to the City of Detroit. She also had a partnership with the NFL for Super Bowl XL community outreach and also inspired the honor of naming a street after musical genius, Stevie Wonder.
Please describe the success of Full and Fabulous Global.
Sharon: I started Full & Fabulous with a borrowed 200 dollars and a dream of wanting to help others through the same thing and to assist plus-size women and girls cope with peer pressure of being overweight, and it wasn’t easy. I believe there are other women who suffer.
Why do you feel it is so important for young girls to have a positive self-image of themselves?
Sharon: It’s important for girls to have a positive self-image because it determines their success in life. Most low self-esteem people don’t have the confidence to push themselves to success.
Do you think social media has a powerful influence on how a young girl may perceive herself?
Sharon: Social media plays an important part in how young girls feel about themselves. When they look in a magazine and see all the smaller-sized women and girls, they look in the mirror and see the opposite.
Please tell us about your upcoming event honoring Kim Coles.
Sharon: This event honors girls who have come through the program. Our guest is Kim Coles from Living Single and the new sitcom on the Bounce network called Finding Happy. She will receive the Full & Fabulous Comedy Icon Award, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary.
What advice would you offer to a young girl struggling with a lack of self-esteem regarding how you perceived yourself at that age?
Sharon: I would tell her not to be so hard on herself, to get a mirror and start repeating positive affirmations to herself, and to build a stronger self-image. At first, she may not believe what she is saying, but with consistency, she will, just as I did, along with many other plus-size women and girls.
What has been the best advice someone has offered you?
Sharon: The best advice someone gave me was to stay focused and consistent in everything you do.
Keep up to date: @fullnfabulousintl