The word “sexy” is one that had me cringing into oblivion at some point, I didn’t feel it nor did I want to have that word thrown at me. To me, it was a word designed specifically for the tall, skinny types who could post ~sexy~ bikini photos and wear any lingerie because they simply could, it was the perfect body as advertised on TV. I’m petite, and I’m also curvy – this is something that society tells you isn’t a good thing because I should be a size 8 and I should be waistless with tiny thighs, because of my tiny height – but I’m not.
I don’t know if I’ve been affected by the music I’ve been listening to, the clothes I’ve been opting to wear just lately or those around me talking about feeling good, but I do. I’d argue that right now I’m at my most confident, yes I have those days where I’m moaning about this and that, much to my boyfriends annoyance because, “You’re perfect!” but don’t we all?
Social Media is definitely up there as the main instigator of, “Is this how I should look?” – being a curvy woman with a few rolls here and there, whenever I see beautiful women on the gram with their bikinis on as they lounge on the beach looking absolutely flawless, does it get me down? Absolutely. Most people would say to that: Just unfollow them then? But to me that isn’t solving the problem, it’s avoiding it. It’s avoiding the fact that instead of accepting that this woman I’m looking at is absolutely gorgeous in a different way to I am, it’s just hiding her beauty away in exchange for “If I can’t have it I don’t want to see it.”
So naturally when it comes to feeling sexy and putting on some lingerie, I want to feel good. I want to feel empowered and I want to feel exactly as I said: sexy. Yes, I’m not over the average height of 5’5, yes I’m no size 8 and yes I do have stretch marks, cellulite and bumpy bits, but does that make me, by any means, unsexy? Of course it doesn’t. Does it mean that I shouldn’t and can’t feel sexy? Absolutely not.
My Biggest Insecurity…
My biggest insecurity of all is my back. Which is why the majority of the photographs in this post are actually, of my back.
I started to dislike it when I took a photo of it one day and I saw multiple flaws. Bacne, which I’ve struggled with since forever, the shape of it just didn’t look good and my little rolls made me feel pretty badly about myself.
I’d watch movies and if a sex scene came on or if a woman happened to be naked, my eyes would be fixated on how beautiful her back was, it became my biggest insecurity.
Despite being insecure though, I think that it’s time to own it. Time to say whatever, it is what it is and that I should love it because it’s still a part of me, it may be a part of me that I’ve got to learn to love, but I’d rather learn to embrace it and accept it, than hate it and have it worrying me.
The Media & Curvy Women
I think that over the past few years, the sudden urge to include curvy and plus sized women into campaigns and branding has been a step forward, although I also think that it’s a bit late as well (better late than never?) When I was growing up I always felt like I had to be skinny, and that my body rolls and bits of fat here and there had got to go. The “sexy” woman was always played by the Megan Fox’s of Hollywood and when did you ever see a woman who was a size 14 playing the love interest?
Nowadays it seems to be improving, I love those ad campaigns that Lush did a few years ago that were deemed pornographic (lol what), they included women who were tattooed, women who were plus sized, had all skin types and colours. I remember seeing it and feeling good about myself.
The women I’ve looked up to throughout my childhood, teenage years and even my adulthood have always been incredibly vocal women, those who haven’t been afraid to be themselves. Grimes is a perfect example of one of those women, thinking back to when she posted a picture on her Instagram page where she was showing off her hairy legs and spoke a little bit about how she didn’t care what other people would say, that she just liked being that way. Another example of women I look up to more recently is Krystyna Hutchinson and Corrine Fisher, two comedians who run their own podcast about anti slut-shaming, being unapologetically sexual women and having no shame in their game – everything they have to say speaks to me on so many levels.
So, I think to myself: Why not be someone who I want to look up to? Why not be unapologetically myself, show the nay sayers that I’m happy the way that I am, body rolls, bacne and a little bit of a pudgy belly and all. I love my body, I love the stretch marks in between my thighs and I love all of my moles and fine lines. Being a woman does not mean I have to tick items in a box to be the ideal woman, being a woman means that I’m only human, I’m only on this planet one time – so why not love every second of it, and every inch of myself?
My lingerie of choice is by Neon Moon, an ethical lingerie brand based in the UK – the brand was started up by Hayat Rachi back in 2014, and in four years they’ve come a very long way. This brand is the perfect choice for those of us wanting to feel sexy, beauty and empowered regardless of our shape and size: because that’s what they promote. In my set I feel sexy, confident and comfortable. You don’t need to fit in a box to be able to wear Neon Moon lingerie and feel good, you don’t need to tick boxes to feel like you deserve to treat yourself to a set, it’s all about feeling like a million dollars (or pounds since…we’re English).
What drew me to Neon Moon though other than their ethics, was the women they were including in their campaigns. Women of all colours, women with body hair, different sizes, shapes and I love that. I love the fact that they encourage all of these beautiful women to be a part of their brand, that it’s obvious that this is a brand for all women. It’s incredible to see, and I’m so happy to feel like I can wear this lingerie, that anyone can.
*This article was written in a gifted collaboration with Neon Moon
PS: How’d you like this post? I’m starting it off as the first in a little series about female empowerment and learning to love myself.