It's "fat girl summer" at Juicy Body Goddess, according to a sign hanging at the plus-size boutique store in Charlotte, North Carolina, where "fat" is no longer being treated as a bad word.
Summer Lucille, the owner of the boutique, has a voice that's recognizable to TikTok users around the world, and can usually be heard saying, in a sing-song voice: "Welcome to Juicy Body Goddess, where you've got to be 2-something to do something."
"I want women people to understand that fat does not mean ugly. Fat does not mean lazy. Fat is just a word," Lucille told "Good Morning America." "It has power, and you can embrace it and you can love it."
Her powerful videos have gone viral over and over again, racking up millions of views and likes on TikTok.
"It's OK to have a stomach and it's OK to love yourself," Lucille said.
The body positivity movement has thrived on TikTok, combating decades-old efforts to set unrealistic, often Eurocentric beauty standards -- including being thin or looking a certain way.
Previous research has indicated that body weight dissatisfaction may be associated with depression regardless of a person's body mass index (BMI), sex, or age. And with social media use now commonplace across the globe, other research has found links between a person's proclivity to compare their own physical appearance to followers on social media and their own body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness.
Lucille said her own journey toward loving her body has been a long one.
She knows what it's like to be discriminated against because of her weight. When she is fat, she said, she is treated with disdain. When she was thinner, she was celebrated.
The tipping point was the day she said her personal trainer berated her for her weight.
"I cried like a baby," said Lucille. "I had called my boyfriend at the time … and he said something like, 'You're not fat!' And, I'm just like, ‘You know what? I am fat. And I'm not gonna let anybody use that against me. Never again.'"
Before that, Lucille said she had tried every diet out there -- the cayenne pepper diet, the cabbage diet, the "starving crackers and water diet." She'd try avenue after avenue to try to change her body, but none of those things made her love herself or her body more, she said.
"I wasted so many years dieting in this sick diet, toxic culture, and I wish I could just turn back the hands a time and just enjoy life," Lucille said.
Now, she says positive affirmations in the mirror every day. "Start looking yourself in the mirror and say 'I am beautiful' and focus on what you love about yourself," she said.
She spoils herself and makes sure to surround herself with positive, uplifting energy. "Take yourself shopping," she said. "Take yourself out to eat. Don't wait on nobody to love you."
And she says makes sure she eats what she wants, because life is too short to not enjoy it.
"You have to speak life into your life," Lucille said. "You can't go around beating yourself up. My words have so much power … you want to be able to be this confident, wonderful woman, but you keep beating yourself up?"
This is what Juicy Body Goddess stems from, and what Lucille wants fat women everywhere to learn; Her boutique caters to fat women in a way that not many other stores offer.
Plus size clothing isn't always carried in the brick-and-mortar stores of popular brands. And if they are, Lucille said, they often have outdated styles that may not be flattering. By offering measurements, styling, trendy clothing and encouragement, she tries to heal wounds that plus sized women may have.
The shopping experience can be unkind to fat people otherwise, she said.
"I couldn't find anything," Lucille said. "Going shopping and not finding things that are cute or trendy initiated the diet toxic culture inside of me, because it really wasn't that I wanted to be skinny. I just wanted to fit into smaller clothes like my friends in high school, you know what I mean?"
Now, women from all over the country come to her shop for refuge from that toxic culture, a sanctuary where their curves are embraced and celebrated--– where there are sizes for every full figure and workers there to help people customers feel comfortable with the skin they're in.
Lucille hopes to set an example for the ways fat women should be treated in stores across the U.S. And for those still battling the pressure of unrealistic beauty standards, she said the journey to self-confidence may be hard, but is absolutely worth it.
"You see this big, bubbly, confident, loud, colorful woman, but … I was in depression for years," Lucille said. "When people say 'I wish I had your confidence,' I'd be like, be careful what you wish for! It took a lot to get here. It took a lot of tears and it took a lot of pain."
"But once you go through it, nobody hurts you. Nobody's tearing you down."