I’ve been steadily gaining weight since my boyfriend and I moved in together. Whenever I’ve managed to diet, I’ve put it back on, and then some.
In the final year of my nursing degree I comfort ate to survive it and gained another dress size. In the first three months of my first job as a qualified nurse, a skin condition I have which is associated with my weight worsened, and in addition to being painful, caused significant scarring. And I gained another dress size.
I have found it hard to look at myself and see beauty recently.
But I’ve kept trying.
Articles and twitter accounts* talking about accepting your current body, living for now not some magical thin bodied future and accepting that sometimes you can feel nothing at all about your body and that’s ok, have helped BUT I’m getting married in a few weeks and despite repeating to myself constantly that it doesn’t matter, I have to admit that feeling beautiful right now is important to me. (* Written by heroes like @ArchedEyebrowBR, @Kathroooon, @virgietovar, @yrfatfriend and @kiddotrue)
In an effort to mark this time in my life and to try and feel good when I look in the mirror I paid to have my photo taken by Velvet D’Amour of @VOLUP2 fame. I picked clothing I would honestly never wear outside. I was very nervous. I was expecting it to be a disaster BUT I HAD SO MUCH FUN.
Firstly, Velvet is a warm and friendly New Yorker who is very easy to be half naked in front of. Normally I would feel self conscious getting changed or taking my bra off in front of someone I just met but I was just like BOOM NO BRA. THERE YOU GO.
Secondly, she kept stopping to show me the photos as she was taking them, to be like – that’s hot.
Thirdly, modelling is much harder than I thought! Holding poses, whilst sweating and trying not to make your face contort into an anguished potato is definitely a workout.
The best of the shots are below but in some ways the final result is irrelevant. The experience alone was worth it. I fully admit that these images have been retouched and I was wearing a tonne of make up but I also don’t remember the last time I let someone else photograph me in a swimsuit without insisting they immediately burn the evidence. There were still photographs in the set, unpublished here that I cringed at. It’s hard to silence so many years of ingrained fat hate.
But I think I might be winning.