When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Women are most influenced by social media when it comes to how they feel about their bodies and 88 percent of women compare themselves to images in the media – half of which are unfavorable. Arizona-based fashion blogger Sarah Tripp hopes to change that statistic.

Tripp wants you to realize that the beautiful and confident woman in the reflection is you. 

Try not to let insecurities overshadow your beauty and acknowledge what you like about your body – maybe it’s your hair, your figure or your height – however, all of this culminates into one thing: feeling good in your own skin. This is more easily said than done, as body acceptance and positive self-esteem can be challenging for women to realize, and that actualization stems from a long journey of discovery, optimism, and support from friends and family to learn to love the woman in the mirror.

The media and social media have created an extremely narrow view of the “ideal” body. However, the body positive movement has adjusted that conversation to talk about inclusivity and celebrating different body shapes and sizes. Fashion brands have taken notice as well and diversified their campaigns and models to be more representative of women of all shapes and sizes such as the #AerieREAL Campaign by American Eagle; Swimsuits for All; ModCloth and Universal Standard.

If you search #fashionblogger on Instagram, 98.8 million posts come up; #bodypositive – over 10.1 million posts; #loveyourbody – more than 4.2 million; and #curvyblogger – nearly 248,000. The numbers behind these posts demonstrate how people are using the platform to leverage their reach and raise awareness about topics that matter to them, but it also speaks to the highly-competitive landscape that exists for bloggers and influencers today on social media. However, Sarah Tripp has carved out a unique niche for herself and describes herself as curvy, confident and body positive: which is part of what makes her stand out from other influencers on the platform.

If you glance at Sarah Tripp’s blog, you’ll see stunning photos of a curvy woman with killer style and a twinkle in her eye. If you look deeper, you’ll see a meaningful message behind each colorful photo. Her bright outfits and cohesive posts will keep you scrolling and liking her content, but her never-wavering optimism and sharing her experiences to encourage and inspire women will keep you engaged and make you a lifelong supporter. She’s built her community and platform to become a positive place for women to feel encouraged and boost their self-esteem and confidence through affinity and connection.

Tripp started blogging in 2011 and started Sassy Red Lipstick in 2013. Tripp says she’s always loved fashion, and that passion led her to begin working for Nordstrom in high school and many years off and on; she also began reading blogs in 2010 as a college freshman.

Her junior year of college was a turning point for the Las Vegas native – while she was working at internships in New York City she realized she wanted to start her own fashion blog.

“I was so inspired by all the different, unique styles in New York. When I returned from New York, my then boyfriend, now husband Robbie Tripp helped me create my first website,” Tripp recalls. “He took the photos and we started Sassy Red Lipstick. The hardest part is what everyone always says: just starting. It’s taking that leap of faith doing something you’ve always wanted to do and just going for it.”

You might wonder about Tripp’s inspiration for the blog name – according to the blog’s website, Tripp says her mom always called her “Sassafras” growing up as a spin on her name. “Also, being sassy has been a prominent trait of mine since I was a little girl. My love for bold red lipstick began my freshman year of college; I loved how confident it made me feel and I realized I could really pull off the look. I had to start a blog for a class that year and the name just came to me, two things that make me who I am: being sassy and rocking red lipstick!”

When she started Sassy Red Lipstick in 2013, Tripp says she modeled the blog off of others she read, which included outfit posts a few times a week, however when she had been doing that for a year and a half, she felt something needed to change.

“I wasn’t really growing and I didn’t really have a purpose to posting other than sharing outfits. It was at that point I just knew I wanted to share something and create a platform that was really meaningful to me but also that would mean a lot to other women,” Tripp says.

“Then I started finally posting about my own self-love journey, which really was the very beginning of this entire body-positive platform that I have now. My platform definitely looks a lot different now than it did before and I think establishes the journey that I had to go on to figure out what I was most passionate about, and what I wanted to share with the world, and it was from there that things started to increasingly grow,” Tripp says.

Since establishing Sassy Red Lipstick, Tripp has garnered a community of over 488,000 followers on Instagram and over 22,000 on Facebook who resonate with her content and purpose of the blog.

“Being able to share something that was a passion of mine and that a lot of women and young women could relate to and also find inspiration from was the beginning of this platform that it is now,” Tripp says. “I have a global platform that reaches a lot of women and helps them find their self-confidence and work through their self-love journey and learn to love themselves. It’s been really meaningful and it’s something that I’m so passionate about and I’m so happy with where it’s at today.”

If you visit her blog or follow Tripp on Instagram, you’ll see her posts about topics such as summer style on a budget, size-inclusive vacation style and body positivity and self-acceptance; in particular a blog post where she passionately speaks about why body shaming is not ok – all with unretouched, genuine images. She also covers beauty, lifestyle and travel and has completed successful partnerships with brands including Aerie, ASOS, Walmart, ModCloth, LOFT, Nike, Covergirl, Disney and more.

Tripp says her blog and brand has evolved over the years due to changes in the fashion industry and social media, such as her purpose and impact of her platform. “I think now the entire point of what I do is not to just to show outfits but to really help women and help them gain confidence and work through the ups and downs of learning to love yourself,” Tripp says.

“The purpose of my entire platform is for women to come and find inspiration and to have a community of other women who support each other. My favorite thing is when I’ll post something and women will comment on the post and comment off of each other and build each other up; it’s so rewarding to see that because that’s all I’ve ever wanted – a group of women that uplift and inspire each other.”

This sentiment is becoming more prevalent on social media and news organizations that dedicate coverage to highlighting women’s accomplishments that include empowerment, leadership, success and breaking long-held stereotypes.

“We obviously have to deal with a lot as women in this day and age and to have this community where’s it’s really a positive place for someone to come and share their opinion and struggles and success, it means so much to me,” Tripp shares. “I hope followers or people who don’t follow me yet will see that and learn it’s a safe place to come and feel like they’re worthy; they can feel good in their own skin and they’re beautiful no matter their shape or size. It has become this platform where I want all women to feel comfortable with who they are.”

Tripp’s message has clearly resonated with many people, including women who follow her on social media, read her blogs and interact with her content through liking, sharing and commenting. SassyRedLipstick.com attracts on average 80,000-100,000-page views per month and Tripp’s Instagram has thousands of likes on average per post. 

Social media has been a way for Tripp to expand the brand’s reach and says social media “carries your voice very far,” and that blogging is important to her since she has ownership of it and has creative control over her content and platform.

“Social media is such a great tool to use, and there’s definitely pros and cons. You get negativity and people not feeling good about themselves, and that’s why I have the platform I do because I want it to be a place where women can come and feel good about themselves. Having and using that voice through social media to reach women all over the world is the best thing ever.”

The influencer’s efforts in building her body-positive community and sharing her experiences were recognized, as Tripp was honored this year as the recipient of the Voices of Influence award for Body Positivity for the 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Awards. LIKEtoKNOW.it is the largest influencer shopping channel and consumer media platform that allows users to access and purchase what influencers are wearing.

“This year they did a new category that honored different types of influencers who use their platform for good essentially, and they gave me the award for body positivity in the U.S., and I’m so honored. I’m so blown away that they would choose me and it just means a lot because the more that my platform is shared, the more women I can reach,” Tripp says.

“It was such an honor to receive that and a lot of the awards were voted on through bloggers and the general social media audience, but these specific awards were given to us because they thought that we had great platforms with a voice and a really cool reason and cause.”

Tripp says receiving the award helped validate she’s creating engaging content and building a strong community online that identifies with her blog and her brand. “It means the world to me to have their support and I’m very lucky that many of my posts get a lot of press, which is really helpful in furthering my cause. At the end of the day, it’s not about how many followers I have, it’s about how many women I’m reaching to help build their self-esteem and their self-confidence and everything that goes along with that.”

The Las Vegas native and her husband Robbie – who partners with Tripp to run the blog – moved to Arizona in December 2018 from San Francisco, and have shared their journey on Instagram — from building their dream home, or as Tripp calls it, #TrippOasis which was completed in May, to revealing their son is due in October. Tripp’s willingness to share parts of her personal life with her audience among purposeful and encouraging fashion and lifestyle content helps her continue to develop an online community and keeps her audience engaged with her platform.

“We are super excited to be here in Arizona,” Tripp says. “Me and my husband moved here because we were looking for a better life balance, more space and not as much expense. I’m from Las Vegas, so I’m a desert girl at heart and being back in the desert and the sunshine all the time has made me so happy! It’s definitely inspired me and it’s a totally different landscape and I love that I can shoot swimsuits all year round and I love that I can do it in the place that I live because before I couldn’t do that because it got so cold and cloudy there.

We have so many fun things going on in Arizona… I’ll have lots of new home decor content that I’ve never really shared before just because we’ve always lived in really small spaces and our first baby is due in October, so Arizona’s this culmination of a new chapter for us and it’s really exciting to share with my audience.”

Sharing her experiences with her audience is part of what has helped Tripp build her successful platform; combined with her attention to detail, stunning photography and thoughtful posts that inspire and encourage women — the blog and platform will continue to thrive in the future.

Tripp says the most rewarding part of her blog will always be connecting with women and helping them find their self-confidence. She says her career has given her amazing opportunities to travel and work with brands, but what matters is having her platform.

“I have a voice where I can share my body positive and self-love journey tips to connect with women and help them feel good about themselves. My entire platform is centered around the fact that I call myself an ‘inbetweenie,’ because I’m curvy, so I’m at the far end for regular sizes but not considered plus size.

“It’s hard being that in the fashion blogger world; there’s not a lot of women who look like me in general, and luckily that’s changing,” Tripp says. “So to be that representation for so many women who have either never followed a fashion blogger who looks like me or never interacted with an influencer who looks like them, it means the world because I never had it growing up, and I’m trying to change that for my peers, the current and future generations.

“And showing (through my platform) that this is a beautiful, healthy woman and all of you are the same and we should be represented and there’s nothing to hide anymore. I can be curvy and I can be fashionable and I can feel sexy and that’s ok and breaking the mold of what society tells us is beautiful — and I want to help others feel that way.”