Growing up I had a very troubled relationship with my body. I was forever trying to be smaller, covering up my perceived lumps and bumps and wishing I looked like somebody else---mainly those super glossy girls in all of the magazines. This sense of inadequacy carried through to adulthood. And my body confidence only began to flourish after my second baby. I was well into my 30s before I even liked my reflection.
Working as a bra fitter helped me overcome my insecurities. I was dealing with women all day, every day of all different ages, shapes, sizes, and body hang-ups.
There was the 25-year-old mum who was looking for swimwear for a first family holiday but was worried about her newly soft tummy being too exposed. Or the 63-year-old who was off for a weekend away with a new boyfriend and desperately wanted to “wow” him. But she was concerned she would look silly. And the 40-year-old who needed bridal lingerie but had recently had a mastectomy and felt very insecure about it looking obvious. I reassured every one of these ladies that they looked amazing as they choose gorgeous pieces that fit and showed off their bodies in a way that made them comfortable. And I genuinely thought every one of them was beautiful. But I still couldn’t quite tell myself the same.
After my third baby, I had to leave my bra fitting role, but I couldn’t face stepping away from this world entirely. I decided to blog about bra fitting and lingerie to get my underwear fix. My son was about six months old when I posted my first lingerie picture online. I didn’t feel nervous about posting because, in all honesty. Because I didn’t think anybody would see it. As I started to post regularly, my following grew. I received messages from women telling me I was inspiring them, telling me how refreshing it was to see lingerie on bodies like theirs. Women were reaching out to say they could buy bras because they could see what would work on their shape.
My first Instagram lingerie post
For a while, it felt great. But I am a plus size woman posting in her knickers so unfortunately, it wasn't going to stay that way. The negativity crept in. Trolls leaving the odd fat shaming comment, DMs filled with hate and disgust at my body, men feeling entitled to message me about my body. It was tough. I had only just started to feel confident and now had to face this. The more followers I gained, the more insecure I became. I would search my pictures for imperfections and add filters to try to smooth out my stretch marks and lumps. But it wasn’t why I started my blog. I wanted a space to talk about my passion, not invite hate.
I quickly realized that it didn’t matter what I posted; somebody somewhere had to share their negative energy. The positive voices won out, and I continued to strip off and show my curves. The more I blogged and posted, the more body confidence I gained. Just seeing myself from different angles, or my chubby tummy in the most beautiful lingerie. Having the privilege to wear bras in my size made me realize it was helping other women feel good about themselves. Those were the reasons I was blogging and posting. They are the reasons I continue to post. Now when I share my images, I may add a filter or two sometimes. But it’s because I enjoy playing with the aesthetics and I like to have fun with my pictures. It’s no longer because I’m trying to cover up or hide anything.
Maybe you're thinking of sharing holiday snaps in your bikini. Or you have a lush new lingerie set that you want to show off. Perhaps you’re thinking of dipping your boobs into the lingerie blogging world. If so, I urge you to do it. Don’t over think or focus on your “flaws." Most of my pictures I take myself using a tripod and my phone. They don’t need to be perfect. Take a deep breath and post that picture because honestly, I bet you look incredible.
All photos @fairyboobmother Instagram.