Loving Detroit, Regardless

When I’m not working my 9 to 5 job, I’m the Editor-In-Chief of DailyVenusDiva.com, a lifestyle website dedicated to plus size women. As the editor, I’ve been given the opportunity to attend and participate in a number of fashion shows, conferences and panel discussions throughout the country.

Stephanie Penn, a plus-size woman who is big on Detroit

The women who I spend my days with while out of state are an amazing group of individuals with so much insight and enthusiasm. By being the voices of the plus size community, we’re like a family because we have one goal in mind: to inspire our readers and supporters into loving themselves regardless of what society tells them.

I love visiting other states but I’m a Detroiter, born and raised. I may live in Southfield, Michigan but everything I do has Detroit written all over it. This brings with it another opportunity in dismissing what society tries to tell us.

I grew up on the westside of Detroit.

Financially speaking, my family would be considered middle to low class depending on the year and what we were dealing with at the time.

We had our ups (when my father’s sporting good business was thriving) and we’ve had our downs (before my father passed the only person working was my mom and she was part-time).

I’ve seen the good and bad things my city has to offer. Thanks to my upbringing I’ve made a conscious effort to do my part to uplift the citizens of the city that I once called home.

I’m involved with a number of projects that help our youth and I co-produce a woman’s expo responsible for bringing awareness to businesses and fashion designers in the city.

I’ve had friends who were a part of gangs. I known people who have been killed and I have family members who have served prison time. I’ve experienced everything that Detroit has to offer so there really isn’t much you can’t tell me that I don’t already know.

Like any proud Detroiter, I’m quick to tell everyone I meet that I’m from Detroit, Michigan.

Normally my announcement is met with a look of pity or empathy but I just ignore it and keep on pushing.

During one of my recent visits out of town, my announcement of hometown pride was met with words of sorrow as if Detroit had suffered a tragic death. One woman replied, “It’s sad what’s going on in Detroit.” She continued to remind me of how the city use to be and how it was once a thriving community.

Just like the well-off sibling of a drug addict, I was very quick to defend my city and let her know that we were in fact doing just fine.

One thing people on the outside looking in fail to realize is that the media will inform you of all of the terrible things happening in the city. News outlets have no problem telling the world about our out of control crime rate, poor school system, the enormous amount of people unemployed, our abandoned houses or our corrupt mayor.

No one ever talks about the Detroit International Academy for Young Women and their all-girls competitive high school robotics team. The media fails to mention the Celebrate Detroit Youth Festival which will take place at the NFL/YET – Boys & Girls Club in Detroit this August.

When reporting about abandoned houses, no one highlights the number of investors who are buying properties in Detroit in an effort to re-energize our city.

People living outside of Detroit fail to realize that we don’t want nor do we need your pity. Detroiters are fighters and we’re doing just fine.

Detroit is a city filled with people who are on the front line of revitalization, breathing new life into a city that a nation has given up on. Perseverance is in our blood and there is nothing or no one who will stop us from reaching our maximum potential.


About Stephanie

Everything that Stephanie Penn does is done with purpose. Uplifting and encouraging those around her is what keeps her motivated. Her personal mission is simple, “I’m blessed, now it’s time to bless others.” As the Editor-In-Chief of DailyVenusDiva.com, a website dedicated to empowering plus size women, Stephanie's responsible for articulating the vision for the daily online magazine and its content, tools and online community. Her blogging contributions include The Huffington Post, Shetroit.com, Jukeboxdiva.com and Bizbrainstorming.com.

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