Hey there beauties. We hope you're feeling super confident and empowered today! Before we introduce you to our awesome new ambassador we have the honor of adding to our Slick Chicks family, we would like you to take a minute, maybe even stop what you’re doing and think about one simple word, an action word; something we all should be doing more of daily, no matter our situation. A smile is a common facial expression used to exude happiness or brighten someone’s day. Let’s face it, smiling is easy for the majority of us, most of the time. In fact, we challenge you to do it right now. Go on, show off those pearly whites. Everyone smiles when they are happy, excited, or when they’ve achieved a goal they’ve worked ever so hard for; but here’s a question, could you do it in the face of adversity? Could you do it living in constant pain as a result of chronic illness? Despite how tough some days might be for this BOLD and SASSY babe, that’s just what our newest Slick Chicks ambassador Carly Lloyd does... she smiles. This amazing young lady definitely puts her “one of a kind” spin on the face of chronic illness.

Carly dances to the beat of her own drum. She’s a fabulous advocate for those with disabilities because of the medical adversity she faces daily. This beautiful young lady is diverse in both her passions and talents; from her love of soccer, to her overwhelming determination to climb a tree just so she could get a better view during last year’s Women’s March in D.C. Carly’s tenacity and creativity radiates and it's clear she is one of a kind. Her thirst for learning and evolving with the world around her seems unquenchable; and here at Slick Chicks, that’s the type of attitude we call RAD!

Carly is a Tiffany blue lipstick wearing, Jeopardy loving, super fierce female and her sense of self is astounding. She knows true beauty lies within, but rocks her own outward beauty like no other! She is a woman grounded in her beliefs and is on a mission to share the message of feminine empowerment with everyone she meets! These are just a few of the many reasons all of us at Slick Chicks invite you to check out our full interview with the lovable Carly Lloyd.

Can you give us an example of when you had to use your own personal advocacy skills?

I started playing soccer in the First Grade and transitioned to competitive travel soccer in the Third Grade. Soccer was my entire life, and the injuries that came with it every season were just a bump in the road for me. My sophomore year of High School I finally saw a Neurologist for the horrible migraines I’d been having. She started me on a new medicine and I went about my life hopeful it would help. Within three days of starting the medication my mother noticed that I was extremely out of it, depressed, and apathetic. I’d also started complaining of a racing heartbeat, but she didn’t really believe me. She took me off the medication because it was severely affecting my personality, but the tachycardia didn’t stop. I was getting winded walking up the stairs, which isn’t normal for a year round competitive athlete, especially not one who is two weeks out of basketball season and just about to start Varsity soccer. We went to the ER the first time when my mother took my pulse while I was standing in the kitchen and it was 189. The ER found nothing wrong with me, so we went to a highly recommended Cardiologist. He spent about 5 minutes in the room with me where he told me I was just a girl who was “skinny and a Type-A personality”. Those exact words can be found in my charts, and I’m still upset about that. I could barely walk up the stairs without having to stop and yet just weeks ago I’d played an entire basketball game without having a substitute. After being on a heart monitor for nearly a month and having the cardiologist tell us that my heart rhythm was normal, even though the rate obviously wasn’t. We finally sought out a second opinion after I told my mother that I felt there was something seriously wrong with me. The next Cardiologist I saw spent 45 minutes examining me, asking about my medical history, and just listening to me. I left that appointment with a treatment plan and an idea of what I was suffering from, all because I refused to be diagnosed as just another anxious woman when there was obviously something wrong with me.

What advice would you give a friend who is struggling with self-confidence?

I’m the kind of girl who will wear Tiffany blue lipstick while grocery shopping and smile in response to the weird looks I get. As long as it makes you feel good, keep doing it. If wearing velvet rompers makes you feel like you’re bulletproof, do it! If wearing metallic green eyeshadow makes you feel like you just won a million bucks, do it! If cutting all your hair off makes you feel like you’ve just emerged from your chrysalis, DO IT! The only person stopping you from wearing and doing what you want is you! When other people see how confident you are in your own skin, they won’t think twice about the way you look. The main key to having self-confidence is finding what truly makes you feel good, and just doing it!

Describe yourself in 3 words and tell us why you chose those words?

Oh gosh. I would have to say the three words that describe me are curious, creative, and humorous.
I’m curious because I love learning. I watch random documentaries because I find our world extremely interesting and want to know as much as I can about as many things as possible. I’m the kind of friend who will spout random trivia facts and can kick everyone’s butt when it comes to Jeopardy.
I’m creative because I can’t stand the mundane and boring. Whether it be music, acting, or the visual arts I’m constantly doing something to brighten the world around me. I dabble in painting, just started knitting, learned how to play the ukulele, and love photography. I feel like I have this need to make my life more colorful and unique in any way possible.
I’m humorous because I’m the girl who tries to make light of any situation. At the hospital I’ll joke with the nurses and doctors because I know their jobs can be stressful. I tease waiters and waitresses and try to connect with them because I know they often have a lot on their plate *badum tss*. I make jokes about my own health because I know a lot of people are scared of illness and don’t understand how I can deal with chronic illness. I think the world would be better if everyone laughed a little more.

What does the word empowerment mean to you?

Empowerment is taking the cards you’re handed in life and laying them down in a way that breaks the rules of the game. For me it’s looking at the circumstances you’re currently in and finding a way to make things better, not only for yourself but for others. In instances of oppression, it’s finding a way to break through the societal norms and paint a new picture in people’s minds. Empowerment is being told how something is going to turn out and refusing to let it happen without at least trying to change the outcome.

Can you give us an example of a time when you felt most empowered?

I had the amazing opportunity to take part in the Women’s March last year in DC with my aunt and cousin. At one point I climbed up in a tree because I’m short and I wanted a better view, and looking out across the sea of pink and posters I felt like I was a part of something. I talked to random women, listened to their stories, and knew that despite all of our differences we were there together, united in a cause, to start a conversation and change the way society thinks. Even though I was but a grain of sand on a large beach, I felt like I had the power to cause change. Maybe I couldn’t change the world on my own, but with thousands of other women feeling the same way, there was no way we could be stopped.

What is your personal definition of beauty and when do you feel most beautiful?

Beauty. I think society has too many opinions on beauty and what should be considered beautiful. When Van Gogh began painting, no one considered his works to be beautiful, and yet now they sit in famous museums around the world. I think my personal definition of beauty is that moment when your confidence outweighs the rest of the world’s doubts. I feel most beautiful when I accept that I will never fit our society’s idea of beauty. I know that I will never be beautiful in the sense that Angelina Jolie or a Victoria’s Secret Angel is beautiful, but I will always be beautiful in the eyes of myself. The day I stopped comparing myself to others and instead viewed myself as a unique individual my confidence shot through the roof. The first time I used my cane in public I imagined people were staring at the smoky eye look I’d spent 45 minutes on. I feel the most beautiful when I don’t hold myself to an unattainable standard and say instead, “Today I only have the energy to wear sweatpants, and damn if I don’t look comfortable wearing them.”

Amy Tenney once said, "The world needs strong women, women who will lift and build others; who will love and be loved. Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will."

You can follow Carly via Instagram @chronically.carly

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See ya in your skivvies!
Shannon and the Slick Chicks Team

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