As a big girl, I’ve really always struggled with putting myself out there. I’m always scared to see my reflection when I’m changing clothes, scared to see the number on the scale, and scared to know what people must think of me sometimes. I’ve not always been this size – it’s definitely been a gradual thing. As a child I was the scrawny, tan, barefoot blur running past people in the neighborhood. At least until puberty not so kindly put me in my place. So, for the last ten years I’ve slowly transformed into the woman I am today – the fair skinned, foul mouthed delight most people know and love.
Enter a very passive aggressive “thank you” speech to my Bipolar, Body Dysmorphia, PCOS, Schizophrenia, chronic pain, and all the pizza and donuts I ate. What can I say? I love food. I definitely didn’t get to where I am by accident.
For real though, self-esteem and I may not be on speaking terms very often, but it’s definitely something I’ve been working on and doing better with for the past few months. That’s always something to be proud of. I’ve become more comfortable with myself, and more comfortable with a body that – although it sometimes feels like it’s trying to kill me – has gotten me this far.
I even got to the point that I did something I thought I would never in ten million years do – a shoot with Alaynna! To blow my own mind even further, I did something I REALLY thought I would never do – I posted a picture of myself online the day of my shoot in one of my outfits because I was feeling myself just a little bit.
I’m not mad – I looked good – but damn I still can’t believe I did that! Part of me was so excited to give all these beautiful ladies a sneak peek of what was going on at the studio that day, but the other side of me was like:
“Girl, what are you doing? You need to go take that down ASAP. Did you notice everything you had hanging out?? Hello, stretch marks!”
I rolled with it though, and didn’t let me psych myself out. Most of the feedback that I got was amazing. As someone who really never put themselves out there, the compliments were a gift from God! Not only did I really feel confident after my shoot, but then I had all these ladies telling me how gorgeous I looked in what my brain was telling me was a really bad selfie. I was over the moon and feeling really great about myself. Then I put the brakes on it because I saw something I didn’t quite know how to react to – the “B” word.
“You’re so brave!” Say what?
Now, I firmly believe a compliment is a compliment, and it’s a matter of intent from the person who said it. This comes with a big “however” for me, though. When my brain saw the word brave – even though I knew exactly what these ladies were trying to say – I immediately took it negatively. I really contemplated taking that picture down. I wondered if there was maybe something wrong with me, like a reason they were telling me I was so courageous for sharing myself like I had? Why did I have to be brave to post a picture like that? And what did that even mean?
Was I doing something heroic by posting a half naked picture of myself? I by no means was saving children from burning buildings or any other fearless act – I had simply posted a picture. A picture I was on the fence about, but that I was still feeling confident in. This really threw my brain for a loop though – because I couldn’t see why everyone was calling me brave. How could a harmless five letter word have me questioning myself this much? I’ll admit, this was never something I saw as an issue until I had it directed at me. I guess it’s just not something you consider until it happens? Despite the fact it had been said with what I definitely assumed was love, it was really tanking my self-esteem a bit. Like an unintentional back-handed compliment. Now I was picking apart all of the flaws in that picture. Then I was thinking of other times that word had been used to describe me – when I wore a crop top that showed my larger stomach to the lake with friends as a teenager, when I showed my mom the tight dress I wanted to wear for my wedding, and when I decided to wear a bikini to the beach on a girls weekend. Was this really all centered around weight? Was being big and putting myself on display really that big of a deal? Did anyone say this to skinnier girls when they striped down and took some pictures? I never thought that I would be the type to have to think twice about a simple word, but I was.
I ended up not taking the picture down. One of the nice things about having a supportive group of women to show your mostly nudes to is that you know they’re going to be real with you. So, after some serious over thinking, contemplation, and talking to people, I chose to take a different train of thought. What if I was inspiring these ladies to maybe come out of their own comfort zones a little bit? The way I see it, I’m big and I’m not ashamed of it like I used to be because I love me and I’m a work in progress. If me being confident and showing off my body can help another girl come out of her shell a bit, I’m more than thrilled to get to do that, but I promise you that’s not bravery. It’s me being in the moment. It’s me being genuine. It’s me showing the world that there are people my size out there, and that we are just trying to let our freak flags fly, too. I mean, really, who doesn’t love some lingerie selfies? If more women felt confident in themselves enough to put themselves out there like that, maybe we really could normalize all body types. No woman should ever be ashamed of her body or feel like she needs to cover up. I just feel like confidence can be such a hard thing to come by for anyone, so why should someone putting themselves out there in all their half naked glory be considered some bold act?
All women are beautiful, regardless of our height, weight, age, skin color, etc… a body is a body. The 5’9” 300 lb beauty who wants to show off her body with Alaynna making faces in the background is no different than the 5’4” 100 lb queen who wants to share herself as well.
Next time, instead of brave…
Tell both women they’re GORGEOUS.
Tell them both they’re BEAUTIFUL.
Tell them both they’re SEXY.
Tell them both they’re GLAM AF!
Shout out to Bre for her guest blog today! I loved it! If you’d like to write a guest blog for GlamMarr Studios please email us at email@example.com
You can see more of our St louis based boudoir work here Visit GlamMarr Website