Together we are body confident

“We are body confident, we love our bodies, we want to empower others!”

I had a great response to my request for pictures where you feel “body confident”.

I am hoping that together we can help to encourage others to feel more body confident, promote body positivity and help to stop the body shaming and bullying. From your comments, you feel the same way.

Body positivity is not about shaming another persons body to validate your own, it is about accepting your own body and encouraging others to love theirs. Body confidence covers size, shape, being tattooed, being pierced, having scars or a disability and being comfortable to be yourself, wear what you want and being able to “love your body” for what it is.

Here are the picture submissions I received from people all over the world who show that they are comfortable and love their body! Every single picture shows a person who is happy, confident, and that they love their body for how it is. These pictures and comments are inspiring and I hope that they help to empower others. I have been inspired by everyone who submitted a picture and it has been wonderful to “meet” all of them.

*disclaimer – The photos below have been submitted by the individual participants for the sole purpose of being used for this blog feature. All rights are reserved to the original owner* 

Lisa, 48 – “The dress fitted my curves perfectly and really made me feel sexy…added bonus was the compliments I received while wearing it…one liking me to Jessica Rabbit…that comment rocked! And it was from a girl half my age…life is too short not to wear what you feel good in.”

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Lindsay, 30 – “Ok I’ve debated posting a photo like this for a long time…realistically this is bikini equivalent and photos of me in lingerie (showing more) already exist from my glamour modelling days. So given these two facts why am I holding back? Because of slut shaming primarily, so can I ask that it just stop! When you slut shame a woman, you reinforce rape culture and victim blaming. Women are allowed to make whatever choices suit them, that’s what pro-choice means.”

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Raphaela, 40 – “This picture of me below is the first time in a long time I have been able to look at myself and think yes I don’t look so bad , I’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year due to health issues and have never felt comfortable in my own skin  but last night in the Lindy bop vivi I felt beautiful for the first time ever”

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Hanna, 29 – “So, I am Hanna, 29 years old from Finland. Let me tell this shortly: I was heavily school bullied for 9 years, got depressed about myself in age 16, and 10 years later I started to believe, that if I am happy with my body and curves, then there is nobody who should say a bad word about me in a swimsuit! (3 years ago I didn’t even imagine sending a swimsuit pic anywhere 😀 )”

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Harriet, 17 – “I love this picture because it makes me feel like a land girl and I am paying homage to them, I don’t often like getting my legs out, but in this picture I just feel that I am doing the land girls proud and I couldn’t care less what other people think.”

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Gina, 23 – “My name is Georgina. I’m 23 years old. I love this photo because I can see how happy and how confident I feel. I use to be very insecure and constantly worrying about what I looked like. I finally feel free to be myself and this photo reminds me of that. I also like it because of the effect and how it makes me stand out from the rest of the photo. Even through darkness I must shine bright and power through! :)”

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Michelle, 44 – “This is my favourite dress, from Vivien Holloway, I joined the gym a year ago to help lose some weight, my decision, no pressure from anyone else and I’m overjoyed with the results. I’ve got a bit of a waistline back and I love how I look in this dress now. Hair and makeup all my own work, and I’m smiling. Posing for the camera this way fills me with confidence.”

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Josie, 35 – “I weigh 100 pounds and sexy I’m a size 11 and I’m okay with it. I love my curves in this swimsuit. I say “if you don’t like what you see in the mirror you have the power to change it”.

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Alexandra, 41 -“I’m def a lot more confident than I was in my 20s and 30s lol. I still have the bits I hate and would never show but as the old song goes accentuate the positives lol”

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Jamie (Risu), 20 – “I’m from The Netherlands. I am very much into Fashion and adore the rockabilly scene! In the past I used to get bullied a ton, because I am a thicker girl. I had boobs at a young age, girls always told me I was fat, ugly. I was always a confident person, even when people bullied me. Nowadays? I am still that same girl, and I can tell you one thing! There is no reason to be ashamed of the body you are in. When you carry yourself with a smile, people will fall in love with you.”

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Kelsey, 17 – “I like these photos because they show that yes I am slim but yes I also do have curves. I hate seeing posts saying that smaller girls have no boobs or no hips when of course we do! All women have curves and any healthy body is a beautiful one”

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Cassie, 23,- “I finally feel confident in my body because I do exactly what I want with it, regardless of what anyone else thinks. I love my body because I have finally made it mine.”

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Angela – “I did a vintage shot just before my 50th birthday. Love this photo. I had breast cancer 3 years ago. Was worried people would notice I have no cleavage on my left side of my chest. This photo made me realise no one would know. The shot was such fun to do and the photos I got were lovely. Was the start of feeling more confident after breast cancer. It is about the whole person not just your body”.

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Lindsay, 17 –“I have always been of a larger size! Although I used to have a very negative view of my body! I used to wear clothes that would cover and more importantly make me blend in with society. What makes me body confident now, is I really don’t give a damn, peoples negative comments don’t impact on me at all! I still would change things about myself but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my body! And more importantly I don’t cover up at all, dress for your happiness not for society’s approval, confidence is attractive”

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Kirstie, 23 – “Body confidence has been an ongoing issue for me since puberty. I’ve always had wide hips and legs and I didn’t see anyone else my age who was built similarly to me. I felt like such an outsider and wanted to be tall and thin like everyone else in my small town. When high school rolled around we had uniforms and I felt that I looked so much fatter in mine than all the other girls. The uniforms weren’t flattering on  my body type and they hid my body shape completely. I never felt beautful and finding jeans was always a pain, especially with the big difference between my waist and hips. When I started my first year of university I was excited to buy more clothes, since I didn’t have to wear a uniform any longer. I had fun with it, but it was hard to find things that I felt comfortable in that suited my shape and personality. I confided to one of my residence roommates, a very, very skinny girl, that I felt insecure about my hips, and she responded that I had very good reason to, since in her opinion I was fat. I was shocked that she had been so blunt with me, but all she did was mirror what I had already thought. The next year I was at a costume party and I tied by blouse up in a knot. A friend of mine gasped that she couldn’t believe how tiny my waist was and that she wished hers was as well. I looked at her like she was crazy since she had such a beautiful body and I couldn’t believe she would have anything to feel insecure about. But that made me realise that we all have such different shapes and sizes and all of them are so beautiful. 2 years ago I finally fully embraced dressing vintage inspired, and have begun to truly love and appreciate every aspect of my body. Seeing more girls with similar shapes to mine has really helped me realise that I have a beautiful body. One of the best things about the pinup community is that it is so body positive, sharing the message that every shape and size is just perfect the way it is!”

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Georgia, 19 – “Because who better to love than me. Why try to please everyone when I’m happy the way I am. And besides, I’m adorable!”

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Julie, 42 – “My body confidence took a battering after the birth of my twins 5 years ago, I peeked size wise a 22 & I was hopelessly depressed about being big & not having my old body anymore. Then one I just woke up & said “f*** this s***, let’s see what I can do to love this body”…so I joined a gym & started to watch what I ate. I realise I will never be a size 10 again & that breast feeding twins for 3 years has left me with my beautiful big n bouncy 38h boobies (which my partner loves ;-)). I’m about a 14-16 now & happy with my womanly figure.”

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Nicki, 27 – “This picture makes me feel confident because after years of feeling like a frumpy mum of 3 I finally feel at peace with how I look and who I am I don’t think I could ever say that until now”

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Jade, 18 -“I always was bullied at school for being the ‘fat one’. I am body confident because I cherish my stretch marks and my little chubby belly it makes me who I am any other way I wouldn’t be who I am today. Everyone is beautiful”.

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Missmozzydee, 32 – “Hello, my name is @missmozzydee, I’m 32 years old, and I’m in love with my body! I am a plus-size Chicana pinup from El Paso, Texas, and I am a body-confident woman! I believe every curve on my body should be embraced, not scrutinised, and that goes for every woman with voluptuous bodies! Every woman should be comfortable in their own skin, no matter what the size or shape. I love my body because it makes me unique and gives me character. I’m proud of what my Momma gave me, and I hope that my confidence instills bravery in all women who need a little boost in their own self-esteem.”

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Amy (Burlesque name Brazen Bijoux), 31 – “The reason I am body confident is simple, I’ve never been bullied, made to feel ashamed or embarrassed of how I look or felt like I have been held back in anyway. I have never been ‘skinny’ I have never been ‘fat’. I’ve just been me. I believe body confidence is a vibe you give off and the way you carry yourself and think about yourself. If you walk with your head held high and feel proud of how you look then who the hell cares what other people think. It’s you and your body from day one and how YOU feel is what counts. I started burlesque a couple of years ago and never have I seen so much empowerment from women who carry such diverse body shapes and each and every one is celebrated equally. It would be great if that message could be spread to woman all over the world.”

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Briony, 21 – “My name is Briony and I’m 21 years old. I hated my petite, skinny frame until I realised only how I felt mattered. This body carries me miles on foot a week and has helped make a community building, playing netball and learning BSL (British Sign Language).”

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Alix, 28 – “I have spent the last 20 years hating my body. Hated every bit…my height, the colour of my skin, my hair…I never saw myself as anything but fat. My mum would make me diet all the time so I fit in…and use to sing ‘there once was an ugly duckling’. This all lead to low self esteem, self harm, relying on alcohol and finally ending up in an emotionally abusive relationship that in the end finally broke me. It’s taken 5 years since the birth of my daughter to see that there is nothing wrong with me and my body…it’s beautiful…I don’t need to look like everyone else….I don’t have to conform to what magazines say I should look like…for the first time in a long time I can look in the mirror and see that I am an amazing, powerful and beautiful woman…I might not conform to modern beauty standards but I am fine with that…”

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Lotti,  26 – “I have had a love/hate relationship with my body over the past few years. I had 3 children very close in age and found it hard to adjust to the way my figure had changed.  My eldest daughter has recently turned 5 and I’m finally beginning to accept how I look and dressing how I want has really helped in that journey instead of trying to fit in to how I felt I should look as mother in society.”

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Beth, 31 -” I have 4 children under the age of 3. I’m happy with my body because it has worked so hard in the last few years to carry my babies. I have curves, wobbles and stretchmarks, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I can’t still look good and make the most of what I’ve got. I aren’t going to hide away in a corner because I aren’t slim. I have also had a confidence boost through my blog – https://lipstickandpetticoats.wordpress.com”

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Esther – “Well I want to send you my 2 favorite pictures! This is special for me because never in my life (well just one time when I was 5 years) used a dress…I am very short and thin that I wasn’t brave for use it…the people in my country all the time asked me if I was sick or something because I am very thin (45 kg), I am from Venezuela. So for me use the Lindy B op dress was one of the best time that in feel happy with my body.”

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Aysha, 17 – “In this picture I feel pretty confident because I’m happy with the way my body looks besides the fact I’ve been called slim so many times. I believe every girl should love their flaws and imperfections because that’s what makes them beautiful, love your body and embrace it each and every way”

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Lydia, 30 – “I was experimenting with different looks, when I started dressing more 50’s style which suited my body shape, this gave me that little boost of confidence to try something new and exciting which was burlesque,  I did burlesque for a about a year and loved it, I got a lot of good feedback which kept me going, so glad I did it because it helped me in so many ways.”

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Lexy, 36 – “Having spent the majority of my adult life as an overweight tomboy, not only have I finally learnt to embrace my femininity at the age of 36, but I look (and feel) better now than I did at 26! I feel confident in this picture because as recently as 2 years ago I’d never owned, let alone worn, a bikini in my life – now I parade around on stage in front of hundreds of people in one!”

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Elissa – “I’ve always struggled with the way my stomach looked after I had my children. I’ve always been insecure about not having make up on when I leave the house. But now I own it.”

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Lissie, 33 – “This photo despite all of my flaws is me finally starting to accept what I’ve been given and learning to work it. Nobody was disgusted, people both men and women were actually very complimentary and this is obviously a much needed confidence boost.”

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Nav, 27 – “This is the only picture to date where I feel great. I love my outfit and feel amazingly feminine.”

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Miss Angel Inez – “I like this picture, because 7 months ago I didn’t even know that I could do a back bend/wheel. Since then I have improved it tremendously. When I first tried it, I couldn’t even hold the posture for more than 10 seconds. I believe flexibility is the fountain of youth. I believe in loving yourself and embracing who you are and you will be unstoppable.”

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Ivy, 23 – “I feel body confident because I’ve learned to love and accept my body for how it is. Growing up I always wanted to change certain features, but now I know that those features are what makes me unique. My body is healthy and the only one I have, so I realised I had to let my insecurities go and just be myself. I found pinup style a few years ago and instantly loved it. I could be comfortable and classy and sexy all at the same time. Its brought me out of my shell. I work with what I have and try to not let anything get me down, and I am very proud of myself for how far I’ve come from being so insecure and shy. Body confidence is so important, all women are beautiful and shaped differently, and that’s what makes us all so special.”

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Jennie, 30 – “I think what makes me feel most body confident is when I inspire the same kind of confidence in others. I wish that when I was younger there had been someone there telling me it was ok to be me and to dress however I wanted. But as a general rule I gave up trying to conform to convention a long time ago. Sometimes, my outfit choices can make me a little nervous. Be it a bright pink polka dot skirt with a Barbie shirt or an electric blue skirt and orange polka dot sleeveless top…but when someone comes up to me and tells me how I’ve made their day just by me being me…nothing feels better than that, it just reaffirms what I know. No one is more beautiful than when they’re being true to themselves.”

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Amber, 20 – “I am nearly 16 weeks pregnant and I feel body confident because my body is doing some pretty amazing stuff right now. IT’S MAKING A HUMAN?! And I love love love my body for it. Aside from the obvious not-having-to-suck-in or not feeling judged for finishing off a sharing meal that was meant for at least two adults – there’s something so amazing about being pregnant. Once you get over the sickness and the ‘I just look like I’ve eaten too many chips’ stage (something I’ve only just gotten through!), you really become a different person. You can’t be selfish anymore and the fact you have no real control or power over what’s going to happen to your body over the next few months is strangely liberating. I have my own personal blog http://www.atomicamber.com where I’ll be giving lots of style advice for all the expectant mothers and babes in general so head on over and say aloha! All my love, Amber Rose xx”

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Treasure – “I’m confident now because I only have one life to live & I’m not going to waste it worrying about what negative people think about me. This is my body, every one has their own & everyone is unique and different in their own beautiful way and I think it’s time we all flaunt it, accept it, and enjoy it!”

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Liana – “I’m 4″11 and 230lbs. I was blessed to have a family and a mother that always told me how beautiful I was, without their love and support I don’t think I would have as much confidence as I do today.”

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Anita, 48 – “First time for years that I have felt totally confident in shorts and a cropped top…I have lost 2st in weight this year :)”

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Roxie, 27 – “My body confidence was at it’s peak in this picture. I had managed to lose 3 stone and had reached my target by this weekend. I felt so confident I wore my first ever crop top, showing my stomach was a huge no no for me in the past. It’s amazing what a healthier lifestyle can do for you, not just for your body but also for your mind. I beat my demons and became a healthier and happier person. I’ve never looked back. I may not be the skinniest but I’m happy and that’s what’s important! I love my curves and I love what I have achieved! My confidence shows in my smile, the most beautiful thing a woman can wear.”

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Hannah – “I am body confident because I have recovered from an eating disorder and am learning to love my body again. I feel body confident as the picture highlights one of my favourite things about me…my green eyes.”

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Julia, 16 – “I love this picture because after years of being called fat, I finally got curves, and I am proud to show them off now.”

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Kelly, 34 – “I’m body confident because I learned how to love my body and give it what it needs. I transferred my obsessive personality to fitness. I work out 5/6 times a week lifting heavy weights. I like to debunk the myth that weightlifting will make you look like a man. Over the last year I have started to sculpt my body into the shape I want. Check out my page @misskellybakewell on Instagram and http://theswagguide.com/

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Maggie, 48 -“I’m not exactly sure why I feel body confident, other than to say that this is the only body I’ll ever have, and I intend to live life to the fullest, regardless of any perceived flaws.”

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Estée, 29 – “Since I was in 7th grade I had body issues. I was thin back then but was made fun of for being thin & having a big bottom. I started gaining weight which lead to bulimia & then wanting to commit suicide from the bullying of my body type. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I started really loving myself & my body. I walk around with my head held high knowing that I maybe plus size but I’m an amazing person inside & out. Loving my body & myself has given me so much confidence that I know I can pull off outfits without thinking what is everyone going to say when they see me wearing this.”

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Lacy, 22 -“I rarely wear tight fitting clothing because for the longest time I felt my curves and in perfections just didn’t look good. But I have grown to truly love my body. I feel so happy and beautiful in the picture because I can say I have complete love and confidence in myself and my body.”

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Kimberly, 24 – “Before 140lbs and now 160lbsish. I was 180 before I dropped to 140 but my reasons for losing weight were all wrong, it for a guy, because he wanted me a certain way and I wanted him. He gave me an ultimatum to lose the weight or he would leave or cheat. So I did I lost 40lbs in just a couple months. I starved myself and worked out for hours at home and I lost weight, but I was so miserable and looking a certain way for someone isn’t worth it. I’ve picked up extremely bad eating habits from this and I’m still struggling to break them. I’m happier being big though and I want everyone to learn to love themselves no matter what size you are or any other imperfection you can possibly think of it doesn’t matter, you are still beautiful.”

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Amy, 29 – “I’m body confident because I have no reason not to be–the fact that my stomach isn’t flat and my thighs aren’t toned doesn’t mean I’m not sexy and active and beautiful and unique. I’m pale and chubby, I have stretch marks but no piercings or tattoos. I’m an English Rose but when I look at old Roman statues of women with softly rounded stomachs and wide behinds I relate, I feel I am one of them, a timeless work of art. Every woman, every person, is a work of art, carved out by the journey of their life’s path. We need to all start loving and appreciating that, rather than judging ourselves against others.”

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Cheyanne Lanae (a.k.a.The Pennywise Pinup), 25 – “I find myself feeling most body confident when I wear something I have made. These 1940s style pants in particular. They have been a trusted friend for a number of years now and I think they hug me in all the right places. I love feeling covered but sexy at the same time.”

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Anastasia (www.instagram.com/anastasiaamour) – “Today I broke down and cried, because I looked in the mirror and hit me – and I mean REALLY hit me – just how far I’ve come. How far past the demons and the darkness and the intense self-hatred, how far past the starvation and the bullying and the self-harm and the endless stream of awful, awful thoughts spurring me on to make illogical, life changing decisions for myself. I did it. I’m still doing it. I’m still learning every day and striving to be better for myself. I did what I never thought I could – I survived. If I’d looked at myself in the mirror 6 years ago, I would’ve cried, but for very different reasons. We fear change, we build it up to be this huge scary thing and sometimes change sucks. But it’s also vital, and inevitable. And it’s days like today I’m so incredibly thankful for change – what a beautiful thing it is.”

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Ashley, 25 – “I’ve always been really thin where my ribs show and have been told that it looks ‘gross’ or ‘nasty’ and ‘sickly’. I also have smaller breasts, which some people like to comment on. All of the women in my family are thin, and I’m happy with the body God gave me. This body allowed me to give birth to a son one month before these pictures were taken and I feel beautiful. I may not have all the right ‘curves’ some people like, but I have exactly what I need and like.”

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Jessica, 24 – “I’ve always struggled with low self esteem…& for a while, I never thought I was pretty enough or skinny enough. But over time, I have come to the realization that beauty is not defined by the size of your waist or any other physical attributes. It is defined by the soul within you.”

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Jesenia, 17 – “This photo makes me body confident because it shows that even tho I’m thick/chubby I’m still curvy, and it’s the day that I first figured out that no matter what shape or size I am, I will always be beautiful in my own way.”

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Alex, 16 – “I will make this short and sweet, all my life I have been bullied for my weight. The words of what people have said still lingers in mind but I am on the road to recovery. I even have started to wear two pieces! I love it so much, I feel absolutely beautiful while wearing a two piece or just casual clothing. I have learnt to accept and love my body as it is despite all the scars, stretch marks, freckles, sun patches, and acne.”

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Sam, 36 – “I’ve often had a battle with my image. I can love it one day and hate it the next. It’s made me realise it’s not the physical characteristics it’s how I feel inside. I love how with vintage style clothes I can get clothes to fit without being too small on the bum yet 3″ too big in the waist. I have 2 children and I want them to grow up to be confident with their bodies and respect everyone’s individuality. Which means I have to lead by example. I’m slowly learning I need to love me for being me.”

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Sammi, 18 – “I feel body confident because I don’t see the point in hating my body for no reason when it does everything for me! The human body is amazing and everybody should love them.”

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Fran, 23 – “I’m body positive because, for so many years, I was told to hate my body. Society and the media constantly plague us with ideas of what is ‘beautiful’ and I believed it, more fool me! But I soon realised that actually, nobody but me could decide if my body was attractive, or desirable, but most of all nobody but me could decide if my body deserved love or not. And I choose to love my body, because why the hell wouldn’t I?! Everyone should realise how astounding they are, because there is so much freedom to be had when you learn to love yourself.”

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Jodie, 31 – “I am a finalist for this year’s Miss Plus size United Kingdom pageant 2015. You can also find me on Facebook Jodie Foley finalist Miss Plus Size International 2015. I am body confident because my body is my home and if I don’t feel comfortable in my own home where will I ever feel comfortable. I am a plus size woman but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel or look beautiful. We only get one body and one life, so I’m going to live it, like it, and love it.”

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Rabekah, 35 – “I haven’t worn a bikini since I was 22. I am body confident and love the woman that I am and all that entails. Every line, curve, and bump outlines the road map of inner and outer beauty that is distinctly mine.”

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Summer, 16 – “I feel body positive in this photo not only because I have makeup on but because the dress I was wearing made me look good for once. That doesn’t normally happen for me so I was quite shocked. I felt so happy that I almost cried. It was also the day of my sweet 16 and my friends and I had a photoshoot on the beach. Overall, it was a great day. This photo on the beach I was with my best friend with a bathing suit that actually fit and was cute.”

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Sara, 22 – “Why I feel body confident: I’ve struggled with my weight and medical issues my whole life. As a thyroid cancer survivor, I’ve learned to appreciate all that my body has done for me and gotten me through, rather than feel shame for it existing.”

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Angula, 26 – “For a very long time, I refused to take a full body picture of myself. I was fairly thin for most of my life, always a bit curvy, but thin. After high-school, I gained a significant amount of weight and spent most of my time wishing my body still looked like it did 10 years ago. A few years ago, while working in retail, I made a sale to someone I had gone to highschool with right before my lunch break. As I walked to the breakroom, I overheard her on the phone with a fellow alumnus saying “Man! Remember Angula? She really blew up since high school!” I spent my lunch, and the rest of the day in tears, but then I got angry. Women should be supporting and uplifting each other, not shaming each other. I would not let this one girl shake my confidence and shame my body. I’m still beautiful. This body has character and strength. Finally, I took a look in the mirror and realized my curves are sexy! I found confidence by being brave enough to love myself. And years later, here I am. I put on this bathing suit and thought, “Damn! This is cute!” And it is cute and I am cute, curves, dimples and all!”

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Myra, 33 – “Everybody has his or her insecurities – about anything, but it’s all about how you deal with those. Yes, I am considered overweight by many, but i’m also healthy. And with a few more pounds people can definitely be healthy and surely they can look beautiful! I’ve chosen not to care too much about other peoples opinions, you only live once – and shouldn’t let life get ruined by others judging you. Start making sure you become better yourself, before judging other peoples looks and behaviours. Picture from my vacation in California…My personal quote: Let nobody ever tell you, your not capable of doing anything.”

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Christine – “I’m sending you a picture of me in one of my biggest completions to date. I compete in NPC Figure. This is a division of body building. I work very hard on not only my physique but my mental health as well. I think that body shaming is horrible and I see it done on a regular basis via social media. I hope to inspire women to not only train for their goals, but also to love the body and mind they create. It takes power and strength to have confidence, especially when you build it from scratch. When people try to tear someone else down its shameful and it’s a projection of their own negativity. We should support each other in the journey, no matter what stage we are at. This picture I feel most confident because I built every muscle fiber and work so hard at achieving my goal. I’m far from done, I’ve only just started.”

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Ivory (@pureivorydotca), 30 – “I am a singer/model/actor/dancer based out of Toronto, ON and a staunch body positive activist. I spent years being taught to hate my body by coaches, teachers, classmates, colleagues, boyfriends, girlfriends and the like. Learning that I was “different” – that my body was “fat” or “ugly” or “sloppy” or that I was less of a person because of this. That I didn’t deserve to feel beautiful – to feel sexy – to feel comfortable in my own skin. I spent years carefully learning how to point out all of my flaws – all of the points where I was not enough. And it’s taken YEARS to crawl back – to slowly but surely get to a place where I love myself – and love my body – like the wonderful, fluid, unique and special human that I am. It’s time we question the idea of one “right” body shape. It’s time we stop letting our bodies be up for debate. Lets stop the war on our bodies. Every BODY is beautiful.”

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Micha, 30 – “I chose this picture for the Bodypositive campaign. The reason is quite simple: for the first Time in 10 years i feel okay to wear simwear again. In the past years I had struggles with my weight and health. Due to a weightloss of around 20 kg I now have stretch marks on a lot of my body parts – still i am so proud to feel healthy again. I realised I do not need to fulfill someone else standards but mine – which is the most important thing of all!”

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Raye, 34 – “This photo makes me smile! I’m a vintage inspired stylist for Vintage Victory Rollers so I get to dress how I love all the time! More and more women are finding their confidence to wear fabulous wiggle and swing dresses! POW ! Bright and colourful in your face! I can then complete their new look and go give them an amazing updo and flawless make up. I’m a tattooed busty pin up and love it!”

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Stacey – “Growing up, I was always bullied or terrorized for being overweight and tall. Learning to love and accept myself has been a long journey. It wasn’t until I reached my mid to late 20’s, I started looking in the mirror and liking what I saw. I still have a way to go, but NOW I see that I am beautiful.”

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Kiersten, 27 – “Growing up my weight always fluctuated. I never felt comfortable wearing shorts when I was younger. I thought that my legs needed to be covered because I had cellulite and stretch marks. As I grew older and my appreciation of retro fashion increased so did my body confidence. I grew tired of worrying what everyone else thought of me. I’m glad I did. This picture was taken by Mitzi & Co. Photography (@mitziandco for instagram) at the Syracuse Nationals where I won Miss Old Skool Round Up 2015.”

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Olga, 35 – “Feeling proud of who I am, and would not want to have a different body or be someone else.”

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Jodi, 22 – “The way I feel about my body is simple, it is mine to do what I please with it, mine to love, dress up or undress, bask in the sunlight with, shake a little something something. I was given only one vessel and that doesn’t define the driver, my body shouldn’t be putting a damper on my personality and it doesn’t. I embrace the jelly belly, thick thighs and hey when I want to exercise and eat healthy I do. Being a libra I need to have balance in my life and I’m finally starting to find it, to give it up because some person has an opinion on my life is absolutely absurd. Any day above ground is a good day and for that reason I say ‘Cheers to life and love’. ”

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Brodie, 25 (@brodiebambam) – “I was born in England raised in Canada. I was raised with a mother who was blonde bubbly and curvaceous and always instilled in me that my curvy body as well as my sisters much more slender body were both absolutely beautiful. I feel confident about my body because I allow myself too! Your thoughts are your reality, if your thoughts are loving and positive towards your body, then that will be your reality! :)”

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Jennifer, 30 – “Last year my boyfriend and I started eating healthy (minus the slight chocolate addiction we battle with 😂) and working out. Since then I have lost about 15lbs and gained more muscle than I have EVER had in my life! I am proud to say that I am healthier now at 30 than I ever was in my 20’s!”

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Amber, 25 – “I feel body confident because I’ve recovered from an eating disorder that once controlled my life for 8 years. I never thought I could feel this comfortable in my own skin but I do. Recovery is possible, so is loving yourself. I feel like embracing imperfections and the quirks are important, to be unforgivably yourself.”

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Kaysie – “For years growing up I was told to feel ashamed of being a plus sized girl. I felt less than most often, and worthless at my lowest points. My weight was always talked about, always used to describe me, and always something I was ashamed of. Then, a couple of years ago, I decided that I was beautiful. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought about me or said about me. I wasn’t living for them! I was living for me. And in that moment, that’s when I truly began to live. When I found confidence, I was happier. I stepped out of my comfort zone more often and ended up having a blast most of the time. I will still have a day here and there of self doubt. On those days, I slap on a little bit of red lipstick, put on some heels, and look in the mirror. I realize that I may not be someone else’s version of “beautiful”, but that that is okay. Because I am my own version of beautiful, and I am happy! Never let anyone else determine how you see yourself.”

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Nikki, 31 – “I am a below the knee amputee & heart patient. I’m proud of my mommy body & being an amputee… Yes my health issues & my amputation holds me back on some physical stuff but it doesn’t stop me from loving myself or thinking I’m not beautiful enough because of me missing a limb ! I know I’m worth something & someone’s time 😉 never judge!”

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Kanya (Aka No legz Asian baby #nolegsnolimits) – “I think being confident in our own skin no matter what kind of physical appearance we have whether it’s having no limbs, in a wheelchair or just being a little over weight makes us beautiful. Everyone of us looks beautifuly different in our own ways and that’s lovely. All the people we see in magazines that we all wish we were like them, their not all real, their not perfect. No one is perfect. No one seriously looks like that in person. We all just need to say “who gives a f***! I’m wearing whatever the f*** I want and I’m going to flaunt it!”

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Rachel – “So this is all that is left of my right hand. After surviving a major and traumatic rollover in April of 2014, I have now gone through 4 reconstructive surgeries, and over 50 in-office procedures to fix what was broken beyond repair. At first, I couldn’t bare to look at my arm and hand. I was an accomplished pianist, cellist, artist, and aspiring scientist. For almost a year, this injury was the reason I was depressed and insecure. But, before my last and most recent surgery, I began to look at life in a new light. I began to show off my hand to anyone who asked, instead of hiding it. Studying to be a doctor, I realized that I would have to care for people who were suffering like I had in the past. I began to start using my hand and what I had gone through as encouragement for others. I changed my attitude of the entire event and started realizing it was the best thing that could ever happen to me. I turned my loss into a way to relate to the people who suffer and feel they are alone. I became proof to others that you can overcome pain and push through to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes it has been difficult, yes it has changed who I am, and yes, I still become upset because of my loss, but at the end of the day, I wear my obnoxious pink prosthesis and make sure the whole world knows what I’ve gone through. Why? Because you never know who will need to see someone who had suffered on the other side of the bridge. Someone who fought and survived. If I can help push someone else through whatever they’re going through, then I feel I have found my purpose. That is how and why I am confident with my body.”

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Mélie, 39 – “I’ve had a lot of complex when I was young and also problems with my “body confidence”. Since a couple of years, I have found my “pin up style” and every day I receive compliments, even if my body isn’t perfect. I think that when you are confident, every body can see you are beautiful BUT only if YOU think you are beautiful. It’s why every day when I’m dressing in front of me mirror, I repeat for myself : You are a beautiful and stunning girl ! You know it !” and I feel well all long day. :-)”

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Rebekah, 17 – “I love this picture, it makes me feel like myself, I had to learn to love myself over the years due to harsh and nasty comments of others, it makes me feel good about myself.”

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Molly 33, – “This picture is taken at my 33-year birthday.I remember 10 years ago when I was a much bigger girl and I wasn´t so happy with myself, I bought myself a bunch of books of pinups and I thought that someday I wanna look like that. Have the hourglass body, tiny waist and curves. Of course those pictures were mostly paintings 😉 But now when I looked at myself in the mirror on my birthday 10 years later I saw that I`ve actually made it. The journey has been long but oh, so worth it! I´m happy with my body, with my curves. I truly believe we should all embrace our bodies! We are beautiful <3!”

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Lilli, 27 – “My Body confidence took a few years. During 13-17 I was anorexic, too skinny, but never felt good in my own body. But I don’t get more friends, more love or something. And never felt really happy. With 20 I became depressed, increased very much (from 45kg to over 80kg), and had a wrong boyfriend. Felt no love, felt ugly. I thought nobody loves me or wanted me.
I left him and started new life. with new boyfriend -now fiance. Everything changed. Now I feel good in my body, feel good how I am. I learned a lot about myself and my body and I except myself now how I am 🙂 Don’t know why everything changed, or what has changed in me but now everything is good with me and my body now 🙂 This pictures shows me today, I like it because i look happy on it, and i like my body as it is. -Its me. I’m not skinny anyore and hey – it’s OK! I am good how i am, I got curves and look like a women now :)”

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Ashlea, 27 – “I feel confidence in these pictures because on the left I have a maxi dress that actually fits my “too tall” body and on the left a swim dress (also the first swimming costume I have owned in years) that fits my “too fat” body. For many years I was slated with those words in a negative manner…But damn I am here and I am basking in my “too tall” “too fat” description knowing that I am infact just right. I know my body does plenty of amazing things…It takes me where I need to be, helps me see all the amazing things around me, feel all those amazing things and so much more…My shape or size doesn’t define me nor does it define my character so why not own what you’ve got rather than make yourself miserable with it. I’d rather spend my life doing what I want rather than being too scared incase someone may past judgement on how I look doing it because I for one don’t want to miss a damn thing.”

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EclecticNista (@iamEclecticNista) – “I’m a mother of two daughters 21 & 14, married for 21 years to my soldier and I’m confident in my own skin! I’m 40 and loving me, not allowing society to dictate what sexy is!”

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Marisha, 29 – “Body confidence starts from within. The light and confidence you have on the inside can’t help but shine through on the outside. I have been many sizes in my life thinner and thicker. I feel body confident because I have succeeded in life by being confident in what God has given me no matter what. I know that if I don’t love me…no one else will. You don’t have to be skinny to be you. You can be beautiful and healthy at any size…trust me.”

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Amy (aka Miss Hero Holliday), 24 – “I am a big believer in changing the things you can, but also accepting the things you cannot change; as I can’t change my body, I’ve changed how I feel about it instead. I have always been slim, but when I was younger I longed to be skinnier. Then I started thrift and vintage shopping, but was worried I didn’t have the curves to pull off some of the styles. It was when I dyed my hair red about 5 years ago, after wanting to for so long, that I started dressing in brighter colours and bolder styles. Recently I have started dressing in a more pin-up style, and now is when I feel I can finally say that my outside matches my inside. I have taken note over the years of colours and styles that suit me and my body so I can walk out the door each morning with my head held high knowing that I look and feel bright, colourful, elegant, happy, and, most importantly, confident!”

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Sarah, 25 – “If you were to have to have asked that girl on the left there if she was body confident she would have said “what’s that?”. Because at the age of 20 loving my body was not something I put much thought into, as long as it was thin I liked my body. 5 years on and a crazy weight gain later I never thought I would have looked at the photo on the right and just absolutely unashamedly loved what I saw.To me being body confident is no longer about am I thin enough, is my stomach flat enough. Now to me being body confident is so much more, it means am I strong enough, am I kind enough, am I brave enough to not be embarrassed to say “yeah I look good”. We fear others will see us as just being vain but the truth is they probably haven’t learned how to love themselves yet so that’s why they misunderstand. Once you can be strong enough to say “I am not like the models in magazines, I am me and I am good enough so why should I not love what I see?” Loving yourself is the easiest thing in the world to do but often the hardest journey to make.
I still look at this photo and smile because, ya know what I look damn good!”

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Ana (@anina_pinup), 32 – “I decided to send you these photos that I feel very proud, and it is not photo itself. I got out in a national magazine of Spain as I am, my hair, my makeup, my style !!!! dige change and I wanted them not! I am well and this is my style and I’m proud to be so …. and I got it. if one is comfortable with yourself always going to achieve your goals but if you’re not always be someone who gets undirte. Each person has to be as it is and defend their own style and be proud of your body, no matter if you are thin or plump, high or low…”

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Shirley, 30 – “Curvy is personality, it’s confident and sexy!”

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Tawny Kay Loveday – “This is my body confidence picture you can see all my wobbly bits including my kangaroo pouch tummy and I don’t care I think this picture expresses so much more than ‘fat’ this was at a competition I had worked so hard for and I think the intensity and passion for the performance over rides any body imperfections. This is my body I live with it and I do what I want with it!”

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Lee – “This is the first summer I have worn a bathing suit since I was 12 or 13. My thighs touch, I’m a bigger girl and that’s ok! I love myself for me! it’s been so freeing to wear what I want, and to enjoy my summer to the fullest!!! To everyone out there please love yourself for who you are, life is too short to do other wise.”

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Lucie, 25 – “I have always dipped in and out of different styles, always tried to fit in because i have always been that bigger girl out of all my friends & people always said are you wearing fancy dress etc or is that actually how you dress?!, but now i embrace my curves & look & think sod it its nice to be different! First time in my life im happy with the way i look even if i still wake up some mornings and say do i look fat!”

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Nancy, 41 – “It’s been a long journey to get to this body: Teenage eating disorders, operations on my breasts throughout my twenties, babies at thirty and thirty five. I used to dress to cover but since having my kids and having the support of my amazing husband I feel like at the age of forty one I can finally flaunt the things I like and to hell with the rest! I prefer the fifties fashions as it enhances things people forgot about: Boobs, bums, waists and thighs! It also gives me the confidence to try new things with my hair and make-up. I don’t want to look younger or thinner, I just want to look nice. I don’t want to shock or freak people out, I just want to look a little different. We all have our bad days, no one’s perfect, but I’d like to think I’m 95% happy and working on the rest, myself, in my own way.”

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Aureen, 26 – “Body Positivity has always been and will always be my mantra. It simply means accepting and loving yourself/other people just for the person you/they are. Body positivity doesn’t necessarily have to be related to weight; it can be colour, body scars, skin problems, hair problems etc. In no way, do I promote or discourage people from trying to lead a healthy life or for the ones who want to make a change, but I believe in still loving yourself during the process and just for who you are. With time I’ve learned that it all boils down to having a positive mind. Once you train your mind to be confident in your own skin, unknowingly you will feel & look amazing. There are haters everywhere in this world, I’ve just realized that it’s beyond my control to change the way they think or feel, so I just ignore them and choose to stay positive.”

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Miss Laura Bill, 21 – “I am a size 6-8 (UK) and I am extremely comfortable in my own skin and happy with the body I have, despite the connotations surrounding the term ‘skinny’. From a young child, I have been asked ‘Why are you so thin?’, and ‘You’re only a little thing aren’t you!’. I have always been very small. These niggling remarks could be extremely damaging to ladies who suffer with anxiety and depression, who have issues with their body weight, therefore I wish that there was a bit more understanding surrounding the topic, and especially those who are very slim naturally. There is very little recognition of those who suffer with being underweight or are very slim, and I wish to speak up for those ladies as I can understand the way in which this particular issue is ignored. I am luckily able to brush the silly comments aside, as I was born with a petite bone structure and accept that there is no way I can change that. I eat what I like…healthy food and often, not so healthy food and I never ever watch my weight, therefore I cannot bear it when others question me on my diet. I eat just about the normal things! The constant social media posts surrounding the ‘weight’ debate is a very frustrating daily occurrence that often pops up on my instagram and Facebook sites. Every woman is a REAL woman and no woman should ever feel any less attractive than another. I wish that one day this will be accepted, and all women can feel beautiful for who they are!”

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Amanda, 20 – “I love this picture because I’m thin and I have thin legs to the standards of beauty here in Brazil, but the pin up style made me feel confident, sexy and not ashamed of my body anymore! I can try to improve my body with exercise and healthier food, but I love my body already as it is :)”

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Kahula Lui, 38 – “All my life I have been “the big girl”. As a child my mother did not always understand why I was bigger since she taught me from a very early age about eating right and exercising. Eventually, she came into terms with my size and taught me that no matter what people will always be unsatisfied with the way people look. She told me the countless times people assumed she was not eating much because of her petite, 5’2″, and size 0 stature therefore, she instilled in me that I should continue to take care of myself and continue on with my life regardless of what people assumptions. Due to countless bullying during my youth, it was not until my early twenties that I really became in good terms with my body. When I started college, I started taking dance classes such as ballet, jazz, hip hop, and oriental on top of going to the gym, taking workout classes at my college,and doing yoga. Soon enough I became hooked to oriental or in other words belly dancing. Over the years my skills became better where I was able to learn other belly dance genres, compete, and dance professionally. It then lead to some modeling work. Thankfully, throughout my dance training I have worked with instructors that accepted me for who I am rather than what the dance standard body looks like. This photo that was taken in Central Park, NYC last summer by M76 Photo. This photo is a constant reminder that no matter what my body look like, I can do whatever I want, with no one’s approval.”

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Lizbeth, 22 – “I spent the first 17 years of my life being told I needed to lose weight and despite actually losing quite a bit before I got pregnant with my son I always believed I wasn’t skinny enough and thus not pretty. After my child was born all that didn’t seem to matter anymore. I looked at things in a new light and I’ve realized that I can still look damn sexy without being a size 2 like I always thought. Not that I don’t have my off days but I quick search of Tess Munster usually takes all those thoughts away ;p I adore this photo of myself, including every rolling curve and patch of cellulite!”

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Adella – “I am body confident because I am a mother, I have created beauty and I am beautiful. A woman’s body is always changing and I’m going to love my body at every phase she goes through.”

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Larra, 23 – “For most of my life my weight has fluctuated wildly: from “healthy” kid to “chubby” middle schooler to underweight and then thin high schooler and back to a fat 20-something. Yet, now at the heaviest I’ve ever been, I feel the best about my body and I’m never more confident than I am at the pool in a bikini! My body is strong, capable, and beautiful!”

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Terryn, 25 – “I’m body confident because I love my long legs, my height, my smile, the way clothes fit on my tall and size 12 curvy frame. But most of all, I love myself period.”

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Flippa, 40 – “I feel body positive because at 40 years old I’ve learned to love all that my body has done for me. It attracted my husband and bore our children. It moves me from point A to point B. It’s able and strong. There is an entire universe underneath this skin: muscles, organs, cells, atoms… all working optimally to house my unique spirit. So hell yes I feel beautiful in my body! Even in spite of having a little more flesh than some. It just means there’s more of me to love.”

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Elsa, 35 – “So here is a photo that makes me feel awesome. There is no photoshop. My husband with @11.b_photography took this photo and I just felt totally sexy and invincible lol”

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Shelley, 35 – “When I was younger I was very self conscious of my pear shape. For the last five years I’ve been dressing in styles inspired from the 40s to 60s and my confidence has increased dramatically! I love to wear swing skirt styles so wearing this wiggle tight fitting Vodoo Vixen dress from Pin Up Girl Clothing was a bit out of my comfort zone but I feel great in it!! I think women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and I think it’s time we stop being so hard on ourselves!”

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Daria, 28 – “Ahoy, my name is Daria and I am 28 years old girl from Croatia. I decided to go with this photo for two reasons. The first reason is my love for dancing. Lindy hop and rockabilly jive have been my obsession for 3 years now and going 😀 I am happy as long as I can dance and go to the vintage venues with my friends. But it wasn’t always like that. Some parts of my life were very dark and depressing. I was a shy and naive little girl, never stating my own opinions and being constantly unhappy with myself…my body weight, the way I was build, the shape of my face, my height…That leads me to the second reason I chose this photo. You can clearly see that I am short, heavy in the front but light on the back kind of a gal:D I take a lot of pride in my bust but not in my bottom 😀 It was taken 2 years ago when I gathered a lot of courage to wear pencil skirt for the first time. How did I gain the confidence I have now? I really don’t know. Maybe it is question of time so as you grow older you grow more confident and you don’t care what others think of you. Maybe you realize, at some point of your life, that the way you look is not the most important thing in the world. As long as you have your health and your family to support and love you, you have everything you need :)”

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Katy, 30 – “A few days ago I spent about an hour trawling through photos of myself and lamenting the fact that I was so much smaller than I am now. Then I looked at recent photos. I am a lot bigger than I was, there’s no denying that. But I am doing so much better mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually etc. I’ve never been skinny. As soon as I hit puberty I got boobs and all that goes with ’em and a spiral of bad self esteem and bullying came with it. In 2012, I was the smallest I’ve been which is a size 12 Australian size. I was dealing with separating from my husband and ending up having a pretty big mental breakdown. It was/is frustrating to think about because during that timeframe, the first thing several people would say to me was, oh you’re so skinny! You look so good! What’s your secret, you’ve lost so much weight etc. Therefore confirming in my brain that I was only attractive or looked good if I was not “a big girl”. I am almost 31 and I still have a loooot of anti-my-body moments but sometimes I am lucky enough to look in the mirror and think, “dang, I look really good.”
Not “dang, I look really good, despite how big or small I am” but I look good. That’s it. Full stop. A friend told me this week that I “looked happy” and “like me” and she was right.  I am happy. I still have a loooot of issues and a lot of days it is hard to be positive about the way I look. But on the days that I am positive, I feel invincible and like magic!”

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Nanuli “Morndulin”, 26 –  “I have actually two pictures, from the opposite sides of my life. In the first one I hated myself the most, tried to fit the “norms”. I worked out like a maniac, ate nothing and partied almost every night. And hated myself and my body. In the second one I’m happy with myself, my life and my body…and it shows. Took me years to learn body confidence doesn’t come from the size you wear or from the number in the scale…it comes from looking in the mirror and saying ‘I’m enough like this, I’m beautiful'”

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Tanya, 41 – “I love these for two pictures for different reasons. Black and Gold – I love this dress because even though it clings to every part of my plus size frame, I feel amazing in it. The gown is beautiful in its own right, but I feel so elegant and sophisticated in it, that my size and shape doesn’t matter. I cannot stop smiling every time I put it on. Purple and Green – this outfit has more of a vintage vibe, but makes me feel modern and classy. The cut of the dress accentuates, yet the jacket hides some of those common “problem” areas. I have worn this shopping, dancing, out to dinner and at a photo-shoot. It gives me the up-most confidence as soon as I put it on.”

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And finally, me…

Jo, 32 – “I was always stick thin when I was growing up. My hips stuck out, I had no boobs, I felt shy and had no confidence. I had a waitressing job at 16 and remember overhearing some ladies discussing how thin I was and commenting that I must never eat! As I got older and developed my curves I still felt like I lacked confidence. A few years ago I gave up smoking and had my gallbladder removed. I put on about 2 stone and went from a size 10/12 to a size 14. I felt miserable and still lacked confidence. One day I woke up and just thought ‘I have had enough misery, stress and sadness throughout my life, life is too short to be worrying about what people might think of me if I wear this dress or those jeans etc’. Besides I have people in my life who love me for who I am and that’s all that matters! I started wearing more vintage inspired clothing and found that particular style flattered my figure. The thing is with vintage clothing, the sizes are not the same as the high street. My Vivien of Holloway dress is a size 18. Previously, I might have been depressed that I had to get a bigger size than I actually wear. But I couldn’t care less! The dress is gorgeous and looks great and makes me feel a million dollars! I now embrace my curves and enjoy experimenting with clothes and makeup. I am finally living life and loving it! I am inspired by others who promote body confidence and body positivity. We have all been guilty in the past of body shaming and sometimes we don’t actually realise we still do it! The world would be a much nicer place if we all treated each other with kindness and respect and stopped judging people based on how they look. Life is too short to worry what others think about you. So long as you are happy, that’s all that matters. I love this picture on the beach below because my husband took the photo when we were having fun on holiday in Cornwall. I look happy, healthy and I am enjoying life! I recently had a health scare and that brought home to me even more how short life can be and how my body has been through a lot and from now on I am going to enjoy the ice-cream on the beach, the pizza in Little Italy, wearing a bikini in Portugal and I am going to be twirled on the dance floor in a pretty dress no matter who is watching or what they may think of me or wonder what I am wearing because life is too short for regrets about a missed opportunity!”

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14 thoughts on “Together we are body confident”

  1. What a wonderful, wonderful blog! I am amazed and humbled by the stories of these amazing women, and pleased to have contributed in a small way 🙂 enjoy those new experiences you have planned, and I’m envious of the bikini lol cause I still don’t have the confidence for that 😉 well done x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well organized blog and all the ladies look great! It’s amazing what one can accomplish by just not caring what the world thinks. In my own “old age” of 45 with multiple scars n a few more lbs to lose(Ive lost 30 in 6 weeks) you wont catch me putting up pics. Kudos n thumbs up to all that share tho!

    Like

  3. Wow!!!!! I’m utterly flabbergasted by all these amazing & beautiful women. The many stories I’ve read are so inspiring 😀 it makes me wanna get into my “feel beautiful ” clothes and walker around proud. Thank you for this miss Evelyn Jo and to all the beauties on this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an amazing and a must needed post! It’s so wonderful reading about women owning their body just the way it is. It’s interesting that women of all different sizes admit to the same body image problems. I have to admit that I struggle with my own – usually I feel the most confident when I’ve just stepped on the scale and the numbers are down. After reading these women’s stories, I know that it’s time for me to work on loving my own body and being confident in me. Thanks for this wonderful share 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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British lifestyle blogger. Living a positive life of love and laughter.

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