Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bonding Over Curves

     There are moments in life when we are given the opportunity to shake hands, hug, and exchange smiles with someone who has touched our lives in ways they may not know.  My opportunity came on Saturday. Tucked away in a small strip mall in Las Vegas I stood face to face with the woman who has contributed to my growing belief in my own sexiness.  Tess Munster has forever changed not only the way I see my body but also how I treat it.

     I'm not sure how I came across this beautiful, inspiring woman; the universe has a way of providing what we need when we need it. I follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and her blog. She is a plus size model, blogger, mom, and positive body activist.  Her pictures are stunning, her blog is honest, and her #effyourbeautystandards is empowering women of all sizes around the globe.  She has changed the lives of women, helping them to embrace their bodies and love themselves.  Tess is not perfect and has had her own struggles with body image issues and is always openly honest about how her life is not perfect. Confidence does not mean that an occasional self doubt thought does not sneak in. The modeling world is not easy, but the plus size modeling world is even more of a war zone.

     There is a misconception about weight loss - that once the weight is gone the life always dreamt about can now unfold.  Confidence will just ooze from the pores and everything life was missing will now magically appear. My experience was not like that at all.  I was, at times, more uncomfortable in my healthy body than I was in my heavy body.  I did not know how to feel comfortable in my skin. I was happy to have lost weight, improve my health, and eliminate obstacles I faced when I was heavier, but I struggled with self-confidence.  I mentioned in another blog post how my past experiences had made me a shy, anti-social person struggling for my mind and body to catch up with each other. Looking at the world through fat girl eyes didn't change when my waistline shrunk.

     I struggled to look at my body; the extra skin, the stretch marks, and the imperfections the body takes with it when it changes size. My insecurity in my body affected how I felt as a woman. Yes, I was smaller. Yes, I could wear all kinds of new clothes. Yes, I have a man that loves me. Yet, I was still waiting to feel sexy, to feel empowered in my new body, to rock what my mama gave me.  That was when the universe introduced me to Tess Munster.  She radiates confidence, sexy, and a love for her curves. I envied her confidence. I envied her sexiness.  I started to follow her on social media and I am happy I did! She has forever changed how I feel about myself.

Matching shoes! <3

 Tess has taught me to take pride in my body. Not be ashamed of my body. To feel sexy in my skin. Since following her I have taken more time in my appearance, slowing down to take pride in myself.  I have stopped evil eyeing my hips - now I embrace them and purchase skinny jeans without fear.  Tess has done for me what I hope to do for others; inspire confidence and self esteem. All bodies are beautiful and we can learn to stop being our own worst enemy and embrace our figures.  We deserve to showcase our love for ourselves.  It is OK to love yourself. It is even OK to rock a strut when we walk.

To Tess,
           Thank you for teaching me that sexy does not have a size requirement. When I look in the mirror, I hold my head higher because I am beautiful.  You are the reason why my oversized tee shirt stays folded in the drawer much more now. Modeling is not easy and it is appreciated by many women that you continue to break down walls and showcase how truly beautiful curves are! The conversation we had will have a special place in my memory bank. Thank you for your insights and optimistic outlook on life. You are a beautiful woman! 

My autographed photo is extra special too me. This is one of a series of photos with Tess in lingerie that helped me retire a few oversized, shapeless night wear. Not only do I thank you for helping me discover my own sexy, my husband does too.

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