“For a year, I told myself I couldn’t do it”

“From a very young age, I had been told my body was imperfect. The feminine role model I had in my life- my mother- is someone who is perpetually unhappy with her body, always trying fad diets, weight watchers, and anything she can to lose weight. I inherited those feelings from her and still carry some of them today. 

I remember being a teenager, laying on my back, sucking in my stomach, and trying to button a pair of jeans that no longer fit. I remember being told I was “solid” when my dad would pick me up when we and my siblings would roughhouse. I remember kicking my feet and hitting him with closed fists so he would put me down. Since that moment, I never let anyone pick me up for fear they would comment on how heavy I was. 

I remember being about ten years old when my mother told me I was too chubby to be wearing a belly shirt to run around the yard and made me change. I still carry that shame for my belly. I remember my mother scolding me as a teenager saying, “Do you want to weigh 200 pounds by the time you turn 16?” And I remember the shame I felt when I finally did weigh more than 200 pounds. I wouldn’t step on a scale for years. 

Undoing those traumas has been an ongoing journey for me. I am now 28 years old, and I am at my all time highest weight. The differences in my life now verses back then are immeasurable. I have the advantage of social media- other fat girls taking control of their body image. I have super models like Tess Holliday making it okay for a fat girl to be on the front page of a magazine. I have Instagram models like London Andrews flaunting their imperfections and making the world believe they are beautiful because of them. 

I surround myself with fat women who wear crop tops and tuck their shirts in and aren’t afraid to rub their bellies at the beach. I have found a supportive community online, in Facebook groups like Erica’s and in local body positive groups like Yinz Bopo. I see women my size as they are: just as attractive as someone half their size. I didn’t have those role models growing up, but I sure am glad they exist now. 

I have been following Erica for about a year. I’ve seen her photograph women of every shape, and even some of my close friends. I knew she could take someone who wasn’t all that confident, and turn them into a total sex kitten. For a year, I had the desire to do a shoot in the back of my mind. For a year, I told myself I couldn’t do it. Friends of mine encouraged me to do a shoot, especially because I had recently gotten my nipples pierced and had therefore gotten a surge of self confidence I hadn’t had before. 

Then, Erica had a cancellation. She made a post in her Facebook group and offered a mini session to fill the space. Without telling anyone, I scooped it up. I figured I’d do it, and if I hated it, I’d keep it a secret. No one had to know if I didn’t want them to know, right? 

Before my session, I was very nervous. I feel like anyone would be… About to strip down to my underthings in front of a camera was a very nerve-wracking feeling. That being said, I had every confidence in Erica and her skills. I’ve seen what she can do and I placed my trust in her. Having read several of her Revolution Reveals, I knew that she would pose me in the most flattering way and adjust even the smallest stray hair. I trusted Erica and I was right to do so.

My mini session flew by. I was surprised by how comfortable I was with Erica. She coached me through every pose and even untwisted my bra straps and adjusted my necklace, which turned out to be a little bit of a challenge at times. Erica was great: determined to get the perfect angle, she was on the floor with me, climbing a ladder, and circling around me to make sure she got every possible shot. I literally had to do no work. 

I was told I would have a sneak peek by the end of the week (my session took place on a Wednesday) but instead, I got my entire gallery! I was speechless when I saw the pictures. I’d never seen myself like that. I’d never seen a photo of my butt that took the air out of my lungs and made me stop and stare. Erica did that for me. I remember when she was taking that shot, I felt just a twinge of embarrassment… I could feel those old shameful feelings coming back up, but I made myself relax and told myself Erica wouldn’t allow me to look bad. I am so glad I put my trust in her. 

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been riding a wave of self confidence I haven’t had in my life before. These images have only added to those feelings. I’ve been working very hard on self love and body positivity, taking daily full body selfies, and putting care and thought into my outfits. I’ve been spending time with people who lift me up instead of tearing me down. It’s working. I can feel myself getting better and being more kind to myself. 

I want to show everyone these pictures of me. I want other girls who have suffered from poor body ideals to see these pictures of me and know they can be beautiful too. We can feel sexy too. We can find sexy lingerie (I got mine from Torrid!!) and put it on and flaunt our curves and show off our butts too. 

I can’t thank Erica enough for giving me this confidence boost. I can’t put into words what it’s like to see myself in this way- so beautiful, sexy, and even desirable. Everyone I have shared these pictures with has been completely blown away. I expected to love two or three of the final products, but the truth is, I love them all. 

For anyone who may be struggling with their self confidence, I have two pieces of advice: get your nipples pierced, and book a session with Erica.”

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