BBI Board of Directors
We’re not like a regular Board of Directors… we’re a COOL Board of Directors.
I am a dancer for Grand Rapids Ballet, food justice advocate with Slow Food West Michigan, connector, writer, and passionate community member. (Also a dedicated cat lady, Harry Potter fanatic, musical theater lover and air plant collector.)
Being a part of the board means that I can help to curate the type of community I want to be a part of. Being so closely involved with Better Body Image Grand Rapids has made me feel less alone in my own struggles, helps to lessen the shame around parts of my relationship with my body, and has created a non-judgmental space for me to exist. I am honored to run an organization that strives to offer these benefits to others.
Bri is a motivational speaker in the realm of both self-compassion and body image. Her mission is to give a voice to those who suffer from chronic medical conditions. She believes the one of the keys to relieving suffering in life is self-compassion and has made it her mission to educate and teach others how to use that skill in their daily life.
Being a part of the board gives me the opportunity to create events alongside some of the most amazing people to educated about body acceptance. It also serves to help my own self in my own body image journey, by connecting with others.
My name is Emily Martin and I am a body-positive yoga teacher with Any Body Yoga. I create yoga spaces that are body-positive, free from body-shaming, and inclusive for people in any type of body.
I am part of the Better Body Image Conference board because I want all people to develop a relationship with their body beyond what it looks like. Our bodies are the instruments through which we experience this life and when we focus solely on their appearance we miss out on so much. I believe in this work because I need it. I have struggled with body image, feeling like a stranger to my own body for most of my life. As a community we can build a world where we all know that we are worthy of love, kindness, and respect no matter what type of body we are in.
A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I spent much of my 20’s in a frantic search for adventure as a Chicago location scout and producer for advertising, catalog and film shoots. I've ridden a camel across the Sahara, swam in a cage surrounded by sharks, and scouted for the perfect hot tub to fill with hot chocolate and marshmallows. In a society that puts a camera in every hand but is quick to shame the selfie, my mission is to create a safe and supportive environment for female self expression. Empowering ALL women through photography is why what I do is so unique and special. It’s about so much more than a simple portrait, it’s about self awareness and self love. Join me in a movement to #existinphotos.
Mod Bettie Portrait boutique offers women and girls the opportunity to feel stunning, timeless, and truly the most important person in the room. Contemporary Glamour, Boudoir, & Retro photos, styled with in-house hair & makeup, finished with a twist of BOLD.
It’s not just a photo shoot. Or putting on some cute outfits and getting your hair done (although those are pretty awesome things on their own). The confidence you will gain will last a life time. The memories of how you felt will never fade. And the look on the face of your special someone when you share the photos is one you’ll remember forever. This is about finding the beauty deep inside you and bringing it to the surface.
Being part of the BBI board means taking our mission from the studio to a broader audience. Spreading the positivity, support and love. Creating these spaces for women to just exist as they are is incredibly important and something special happens when you do that alongside other women. Feeling supported and cheered on by others is such a powerful feeling. Any opportunity to build women up and to show them they are everything they need to be is something I want to be a part of.
By day, Lydia VanHoven-Cook is a copywriter and graphic designer. By night, she is the founder of the Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival and The Bandit Zine, as well as a board member for the Better Body Image Conference. Lydia has worked for over ten years in Grand Rapids advocating for women's rights, reproductive justice, and LGBTQ inclusion.