Interview: Williston Northampton Magazine – Body Guru

Midsize body-positive blogger Merideth Morgan ’03 creates content through fashion and fitness to reach women who are “in between”—neither small nor plus size 

January 13, 2021 Williston Northampton School Bulletin

Written by: Catherine Newman

Ask Merideth Morgan for a one-liner about what she does, and she’ll laugh. “I feel like if you don’t have three or four things going on, you’re not a real New Yorker!” And, despite having grown up in Amherst, Massachusetts, Morgan is a real New Yorker now: a fashion stylist, midsize and curvy fashion blogger, model, actor, content creator, Instagram influencer, and self-love and body-positivity advocate. She is also, as her website will tell you, “Obsessed with: God, fashion, basketball, photography, and creating art.” We got a chance to catch up.

Tell us more about what you do.

I have a platform—a fashion and fitness blog—where I inspire and encourage women to love their bodies, to love the skin that they’re in. It’s a place for women who don’t necessarily fit into a category—not the little sizes or the plus sizes, but this in-between area, where there’s no category and women don’t see themselves represented. I’m trying to break down the barrier. Plus,I want to get more modeling work!

What was your style like at Williston?

We had a dress code, so I had to get used to planning outfits, probably more so than the average high school student! That’s when I really fell in love with fashion. Once, I showed up at my cousin’s house wearing a white denim skirt with a beige button-down shirt tucked in and a matching beige wedge cork heel, and she asked me why I was so dressed up! 

And I remember this other outfit: bright orange terry-cloth Baby Phat pants with a drawstring—I had paired them with this white off-the-shoulder T-shirt and white Air Force sneakers with a matching orange bottom and a set of beaded orange bracelets. I guess everything back then needed to be matching. And one girl was like, “I hate you so much!” but at the time I didn’t understand what she meant. I think both of these scenarios confused me at the time. But fast forward, it made me realize that a) I really love to put together outfits and b) I had a keen eye and intense love for fashion.

What influenced you back then?

I subscribed to Vibe magazine and I would tear out sheets and fill my walls. I didn’t realize that fashion or modeling was ever something I could do one day! It was just something I used to be in awe of. I didn’t even know what a fashion stylist was. Didn’t even know it existed. And my body didn’t look like any of the models, so it wasn’t even a thought. But it was something I was so passionate about without even knowing it. Even though we were just, you know, shopping at the Holyoke Mall.

Favorite teacher at Williston?

Mr. Bindig! We read The Old Man and the Sea in his class and remember vividly how he helped us break down all the hidden religious messages. I remember how smart he was. Marcia Reed and Mr. Hing were my other favorites. I owe a lot to the both of them for inspiring and igniting my creative/artistic side. Can’t forget my basketball coaches. Coach Brown—“Brownie.” And Amy Seymour—she was my all-time favorite person at Williston. Hands down. She used to call me JLo (laughs).

You still play basketball!

Yes! I play in a league or sometimes. I just shoot in the park by myself. Moving my body is super important, even though I’m not actively competing anymore. I like to encourage people to move their bodies as much as possible, and that’s an important part of my messaging for my online community. It’s so good for our mental health, our heart health, and so many other things that have nothing to do with our outward appearance. But you have to find the joy in movement or you’ll be less motivated to move! Don’t go to the gym if you hate going to the gym. Don’t run if you hate running. Find something you enjoy doing, and do that.

What was your New Year’s resolution?

Always to be a better person—it’s that every year. To pray daily. And to become more financially savvy. I was never taught about investments or savings. We were never taught, specifically as women, and not knowing has been a detriment. It’s on me to learn and educate myself. How can we invest? How can we grow our money? I want to buy a house! But with an additional space separate from the house that I can rent out and alleviate a mortgage payment. That’s the way I want to be thinking…to be more financially free.

Hardest lesson learned?

I had a 9-to-5 job for quite a few years, and I worked for a woman who literally was the devil! She’s essentially why I decided to become a freelancer. I never want to work for someone for the rest of my life. I thought, “Why am I putting myself in a situation where I’m working for someone else’s dreams, when I have my own dreams?” This actually wasn’t the hardest lesson I learned…it was the best decision I made, but leaving a steady paycheck with benefits and trying to survive working for myself was hard.

Best books you’ve read this year?

It’s definitely been a COVID silver lining—having a chance to read so much. I read more books in 2020 than I ever have before! Let’s see. Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It’s so inspiring! When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole, a thriller about a woman defending her gentrifying neighborhood in Brooklyn. And The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. One of my all-time favorite books.

Favorite take-out order?

I hate cooking. I would rather spend my time creating content. So, yeah. I’m a pescatarian, on the verge of vegan. I love Thai food— especially pad thai and massaman curry—and Indian food, vegetable masala.

Favorite thing about New York?

The energy. The uniqueness and the diversity of the people here! I love going back to Amherst to see the stars—but then I’m ready to come back here.


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