Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Body Positive Babes with Mymilla


I spent Saturday being photographed in underwear. That is a sentence I never thought I would say! But thanks to body positive brand Mymilla, and a bevvy of other body positive beauties, I did it! I DID IT! And I can't believe how scary it was (hello! this is just a body) and how empowering it was. And how beautiful our bodies are, when we realise that there is no right or wrong way to have a body!  



Curve model Tinaresse, me, Rosie of A Rose Like This and Lottie L'amour, and Denise (being held, brave girl!) who I now have a super duper girl crush on!

I quite often get myself into things without really thinking about them. I kinda leap at something, and then afterwards I think "Um, WTF have you gotten yourself into this time?!" That's kinda what happened with this MyMilla shoot. I put my name forward for a body positive lingerie shoot (because what's not to love about that!). But then I was accepted, and asked to come along. And take part. In a lingerie shoot. What?! I started to feel really nervous. Like properly nervous. In many ways my body confidence is still a fledgling. Still finding it's way. And while it's certainly had some tests, this was going to be the biggest (ahem) to date. 

I certainly felt quite a lot calmer once I had read a bit more about MyMilla, and the brand's mission. MyMilla is owned by 23 year old Nicole. Tired of trawling the high street for bras in more than a D cup, Nicole set up MyMilla as a one stop online shop for D to K cup bras, from a range of brands and in a variety of styles. What really sold me, though, was the brand's clearly body positive ethos:

"Leaving the narrow beauty standards behind, Mymilla has a no airbrushing policy meaning we show elements such as stretch marks, cellulite, scars or acne and just simply embrace each individual for who they are. The platform is designed to make you feel comfortable and inspired to love the skin you are in. We want to change the perceptions of the lingerie industry, to ensure advertising everywhere showcases a variety of beautiful shapes and sizes without negative labels and we do this just by simply being body positive."

I loved that instead of bemoaning the fact that the models brands choose are frequently not representative of the people they are selling to, Nicole had taken it upon herself to make a positive change. And pick a range of different women for her campaigns.


Can't have this many bloggers together without a selfie!



Me buggering around for the camera




Selfies with my Southern African sister Tinaresse x


I loved seeing all these different bodies lined up! Yay diversity! 


I arrived to a room of rather nervous looking women, but was instantly cheered by the friendly and familiar faces of Lottie L'Amour and Rosie from A Rose Like This. Once we'd all done our makeup and been handed the pieces we were to wear, it became clear that someone was going to have to bite the bullet and strip down into their underwear. Suddenly a group of rather out going girls became rather reticent. We took it in turns to pop to the bathroom to change into our pieces and people had all manner of ways of covering themselves up. A rather hesitant group of 6 women (of wonderfully different shapes and sizes, and all in a D cup and above) assembled in front of our photographer, Charlotte. To say that we were stiff in the beginning is an understatement. But Charlotte was patient and persistent. She had us learning how to fake laugh for the camera, which inevitably had us all real laughing in no time. As we laughed and joked with one another, and bopped along to a collection of cheesy tunes, you could visibly see any body anxiety leaving us. It made me want to break into a Frozen solo, "Here I stand in the light of day...LET IT GO!" Throughout the day we became incredibly comfortable with one another. And I could feel my own relationship with my body changing. I was surrounded by beautiful, vital, strong, different bodies. And none of them looked like what I am force fed. And yet there they were. Beautiful. Perfect. These bodies housed funny, intelligent, silly, wonderful women. Who were so much more than their physical presence.










All the gorgeous girls, with Nicole (owner of Mymilla) in the middle 


The shoot was very much a celebration of these bodies. And it was a shoot that was done through a feminine lens. These were pictures of bodies as women would see them, rather than a sexualised male gaze. And as we are the ones buying lingerie, that does make a lot of sense to me. Charlotte captured life, and fun, and laughter in her pictures. She captured sisterhood and friendship, and sometimes I think we don't get to see enough of that.

To be honest, when I first received these pictures I went to my pre-programmed default. I looked at them like I always looked at pictures - I go straight to look at myself, and I hunt for the flaws (perceived or otherwise) that I believe will be there. Everyone else in the picture is a blur, and I zoom in on double chins and tummy rolls and flabby thighs, Because that's what I was taught to look for, and taught to hate. This is what the heartless editors at Heat magazine put circles around. This is what we zoom in on on celebs. And that did happen first. I zoomed in. And I freaked out.

Charlotte had found my double chin. Her camera had captured my big tummy, recorded my fat thighs. But then I took a moment to look at the each picture as a whole. The joy on mine and the other girls faces is not fake - we spent a lot of Saturday laughing. And look at that range of bodies. Every one of those women is beautiful, and every one is brave. It's seems crazy that it takes bravery to embrace your body, and bare it to the world. But it does. As every women knows.

 I never thought I would EVER pose in my lingerie. Like, not in a million years. I know I bang on about body positivity being a journey, but this just reaffirms that for me. A year ago I would never have put my name forward. Six months ago, I might have put my name forward, but I think there's a good chance I would have pulled out at the last minute. Or bottled doing a lot of the shots. And so I stand by what I said before - body positivity takes you on a journey, through acceptance to love. This doesn't mean I never have moments of doubt, or am deeply in love with every bit of me at all times. But it means that I am in a place where I can be kind to my body. That I don't hate things because I have been pre-programmed to. And without sounding too naff I think you get strength from knowing that other women will be thankful that you did this. That it will empower others. That there is a lot of strength is such vulnerability.



Um... #SquadGoals #GirlGang


What's left to say? Well, a huge, massive thank you to Nicole from Mymilla for this opportunity. For not just talking about wanting to see more body diversity but acting on it and making it happen. For turning ME into a lingerie model (hahahahahaha *hysterical laughter). And to Charlotte, our wonderful photographer who created such a safe, fun space for us to reconnect with our bodies. And to my fellow models, for being brave and for doing this with me. Just thinking about it makes me a little tearful. Girl power! Waaaaah!

If you are a 28-42 D-K, and are looking for a variety of styles and prints and great brands then visit Mymilla. If you like your fashion and lingerie with a conscience. If you're body positive. and want to see companies who embrace this ethos doing well and doing more stuff like this, support Mymilla. Get your next bra there. Hell get your next ten bras there. I wanna see Mymilla go from strength to strength, and teach other brads that this is what customers want - body diversity, less (or no in this case) photoshopping, women of size wearing products.

Alright, I'm done. Let me know what you think... I love to hear from you x

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11 comments

  1. You all look so happy and beautiful!! xx

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    1. Thank you lovely. It was a very happy day :)

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  2. Stunning ladies, what a beautiful & empowering post!

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    1. Thanks honey. Such an empowering day!

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  3. You all look absolutely amazing and these photos just give me life! So happy you had a good experience, talk about a brand doing it right! xx

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    1. Awww Kitty! Thank you so much lovely lady. It was such a positive experience, and such a wonderful vibe. Woo hoo Mymilla!

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  4. What a bunch of babes! Isn't it so liberating too? Just gorgeous

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    1. Of course, you're a pro now! I still remember how gorgeous you looked for Ewa. Thanks sweetie x

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  5. What a bunch of babes! Isn't it so liberating too? Just gorgeous

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  6. These photos are so beautiful - it's refreshing to see a truly diverse bunch of models! I love it!

    C xx
    CurvyGirlthin.com

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