Warning! Confident woman. Read at your own risk.

I like to be comfortable. Not only when it comes to comfy clothes, but also just in general. I like to stay in my comfort zone…a lot. So when my friend Sheenah asked if I would be interested in a doing a boudoir photoshoot I panicked on the inside. I freaked out mostly because I am not at all comfortable enough with myself to take pictures like that. I also freaked out because somehow boudoir pictures had a negative connotation in my mind. I think Sheenah could pick up on my hesitation when she asked, so she offered me some encouragement. She first explained that boudoir pictures are meant to be beautiful, not skanky or anything wild. She wanted to do the photos one weekend and photograph a bunch of different women she was friends with as a way to encourage body positivity. Somehow, she talked me into it. I then proceeded to ask her what in the world I was supposed to wear. She informed me that Torrid (a phenomenal plus size store) was having a huge sale on lingerie. So after looking all of them over and finding the ones I felt most comfortable with (I told ya, I’m all about comfort), I picked the pieces I would wear. I also ordered a couple of dresses that I loved and asked Sheenah if she would also be okay with photographing me in a dress as well, and of course she didn’t mind at all. At first I was really excited about it, but then I grew more nervous as the months went by leading up to the shoot. Finally the week before the shoot was here and I was so nervous I could hardly stand it. When I got to Cincinnati I was so excited about seeing Sheenah and her wife Shelby that I had almost forgotten about my nerves. That night we had dinner, told lots of remember when stories from Undergrad days, and then went back to their house where I helped her make a flower crown for the shoot the next day. That morning I woke up and was so nervous I could hardly stand it. Luckily I am surrounded by wonderful friends who showered me with nothing but encouragement and love that entire weekend. The location that Sheenah booked for the pictures was absolutely beautiful!! When I got there I was just in awe of how pretty it was! Finally the time had come. I got changed and it was my time. And guess what? I had an absolute blast!! I loved every second of it. I have never felt more confident in myself in my life. Sheenah made it so much fun and offered me encouragement every step of the way. While I learned a lot that weekend about loving myself and being confident in who I am, both inside and out, I  also learned how important it is to take risks. Get uncomfortable. Because it is in those moments of taking risks and being uncomfortable that we learn SO much about ourselves. That weekend I found a confidence in myself that I have never experience before. And y’all, that girl was so confident she was dangerous! (Insert sassy snap.) I’m not saying that you have to take boudoir pictures to learn more about yourself. Do something that is out of your comfort zone. Go a week without makeup. Go a day without makeup. Wear a dress. Wear shorts. Cut your hair. They don’t even have to be fashion related. Make eye contact when your neighbor says hello to you. Smile more. Talk to that cute boy you see every time you go to Starbucks. Sing in front of a crowd. And do it for yourself. That is who I did my pictures for. Most of the time when women have boudoir pictures taken, they are gifts for their spouses or significant others. I am a single pringle, so you know who my pictures were for? For me! (And now I’m sharing two if them with you, but you get my point.) I did it for me. I did it because I needed to let myself see the beauty that the camera captured. I needed to show some love to myself. And I am so so glad that I did it!

So whatever it is, just do it. Because in the end, it is going to be worth it. You are going to learn more about yourself, and you are going to embrace a part of yourself you have never even met before. A part of yourself you never even knew existed! So let her out. Let that inner queen, diva, and confident woman out. You might just surprise yourself.

 

Sheenah shoot 46Sheenah shoot 1

Never settle for men or swimsuits.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with going to the beach. I love going because I love being in the sun, I love laying out on the beach, I love the smell of the salt water, and I love the amount of relaxation that comes with going. But what I always hated about going to the beach was swimsuits. Every year I absolutely dreaded when the time would come for me to begin my search for a new swimsuit. I had to sacrifice buying a style for comfort. I always had to go with a swimsuit that I was comfortable in because my options were limited. I always found that plus size swimsuits looked like old lady swimsuits. [Which is a rant I have for a totally different blog. Who decided plus size meant old lady style? Anyway…] That was until this year. The time came this year for me to start my search for a swimsuit because I had a couple of trips this summer that I would need a swimsuit for. I struck gold at Lane Bryant. I bought one bottom and two tankini tops. Yep, that is right, TWO! That has never been my experience. I actually had options. And get this y’all, I almost bought a bikini. Who am I?! If the store had high-waisted bottoms I was totally going to leave that store with a bikini, which I have never purchased in my life. But when I tried the top on in the dressing room I felt so confident in myself that I was dangerous! I had the best experience shopping for swimwear at Lane Bryant! This past weekend I got to wear my swimsuit for the first time. One of my best friends from home is getting married at the end of the month and this past weekend we had her bachelorette trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. I was so excited about breaking out my new swimsuit. So here it is! Like I said, my tankini top and bottoms came from Lane Bryant, my shawl I have had for quite some time and I think I got it from Target. I was super comfortable, super confident, and left Myrtle Beach having a love/love relationship with the beach.

So to all my plus size queens out there, don’t give up on finding a swimsuit that you absolutely love. Just like men, DON’T SETTLE! Don’t settle for a swimsuit just because it is comfortable and it covers all of your insecurities. Buy a swimsuit you love so much you would wear it literally anywhere! I am so thankful that I was determined to find a super cute swimsuit and did. Lane Bryant has a great selection of swimsuits if you are in the market for a new one. Definitely check them out!!

Blog post 2 picture

Here Goes Nothing…

Ah! I’ve finally done it! I’ve finally started my own blog! This is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time, but I just kept thinking to myself that I didn’t have anything I wanted to write about. Then recently I realized that I have a lot I want to write about! One of the biggest things I want to write about (no pun intended) is plus size clothing. I absolutely LOVE clothes! My whole life I struggled with being comfortable being myself and embracing who God created me to be. I have always loved clothes, but my LOVE of clothes didn’t really come along in full force until college. I loved them in high school, but I was a high school girl. I was just trying to keep up with what was popular at the time while filling the role of everybody’s chubby best friend. During my undergraduate career is when I learned to just wear whatever the heck I want. During this time is when I really started to immerse myself into the body positivity community. I remember the first plus size model seeing that looked like me: Tess Holliday. I remember seeing pictures of her and first of all being blown away by her beauty, but secondly seeing her and knowing that she models for a living and I look like her! I mean, not exactly like her, but you get my point. We are about the same size, and I had never seen a model that is anywhere near my size. Suddenly I felt like I had a connection to the fashion world. Prior to this, despite my love of clothes and all things fashion, I never could really connect because I didn’t look like anybody in the fashion industry. I wasn’t super skinny with sleek, straight hair. (And don’t get me wrong, those models are beautiful as well!) But because I didn’t look like that, I couldn’t really feel a connection. I felt like I just needed to wear what was offered in my size and make the best of it. Not anymore! Tess Holliday and the rest of the body positivity community taught me I can look good because of my curves and not despite my curves. I have followed many different plus size models, plus size shops, and plus size celebrities to seek constant affirmation and inspiration. So here I am. Just a 25 year-old from Southeastern Kentucky who loves God, her family, her friends, driving with the windows down, good music, and f.a.s.h.i.o.n! I hope that this blogs brings you what it brought me:

  1. affirmation to know that who you are is enough. You are never too much or not enough.
  2. inspiration to learn to love yourself. Regardless if you are tall, short, chubby, skinny, whatever you may look like, I hope that I am able to inspire you to embrace yourself and love who you are.

So buckle up your seat belt and hang tight, because it is bound to be a wild ride full of moments of growth in my faith, moments of frustration with men, moments of victory in fashion, and everything in between.

So hold on y’all, here goes nothing…