I’ve spent decades feeling like I was defective in some way. A dud, of sorts. I just didn’t fit in. With my hips, my curves, my ample behind. After 30 years, I’ve only just realised that there was – and is – nothing wrong with me. I just needed to find the right community.
Brought on by the shoot I did with Spree and Evans, the past few weeks have been filled with quite a lot of self-reflection for me: culminating in this blog post. While my journey of body positivity and self-acceptance has been slowly trudging along for the past year or so, this shoot was the catalyst I needed.
Surrounded by women of all shapes and sizes, we laughed our way through five hours of hair, make-up and professional photography. There was no talk of “do my thighs look big in this” or shame over what size label was on the item we were wearing. I’ll admit that having hair and make up professionally done did make a difference – and while the hairspray did wash out, the confidence remains.
For the first time, I felt – and still feel – like my body is something worthy of celebrating – and not hiding. While the body positivity movement is growing and gaining momentum internationally, I feel there’s not enough talk about life as a plus-size women locally – which is ridiculous, given that the average woman in South Africa is a size 16. So, I’m keen to start changing that. You can expect more body-talk on the blog, more outfit posts and more overall fabulousness. I’m not going to hide any more.
Instead of filling my social media timelines with images of bikini body guides, ab-tastic before-and-afters and thoughts of never-quite-good-enough, I’ve found a new tribe. A tribe filled with tulle skirts and heels. Statement tees and biker jackets. Crop tops and ripped jeans. Sequins and lace. Hell, a tribe filled with whatever makes the wearer feel good. Confidence, acceptance, support and real beauty. Now, that’s a crowd I want to be part of.
All studio images courtesy Ricardo Simal. All behind the scenes images are my own.