Those are my measurements. I’m ok with them.
But it’s taken me my entire life to be ok with them, and even then, on a lot of days I’m not ok with them at all.
I just want to vent for one second to just try and describe how utterly difficult it is to be my size and model nude.
On a daily basis I have people calling me fat, heavy, large, a slut, ugly, saying that what I do is porn. It’s taken me a lot of time to just let those things roll off my back without them effecting me too much. But you know what? Sometimes, at the end of the day, mean stuff like that still effects me. I’m sensitive. I always have been since I was a kid. I would cry over the silliest stuff.
I wasn’t popular in school. I was teased all the time in elementary school. I moved schools 3 times through elementary school because my parents got divorced. I was also very shy. Being shy, sensitive and being bullied all the time didn’t exactly lead me into a life of having great self esteem or confidence. And then when I was 13 I was raped by my then step father. Any self confidence or self esteem that I had, was probably lost right then.
I spent most of my highschool life with my small group of friends. I was still made fun of, but not to the extent that I was in elementary school. At least I had some friends in highschool. My only “friends” I had in elementary school made fun of me behind my back all of the time, but I really didn’t have anyone else to hang out with. I chose to stay in my room at night and watch anime instead of going out with my friends. I would make up excuses of why I couldn’t go out with them because I didn’t want to leave my room.
For as long as I can remember I’ve never thought I was pretty, or beautiful or worth a damn. I’ve always thought that I was fat and ugly and that no one would want me or want to be with me. I was rejected on a regular basis and I grew accustomed to knowing that I was not good enough. That I would never be good enough.
And then something happened. I started modeling for the first time in 2008. For the first time in 18 years I looked at a picture of myself and actually thought that that girl looking back at me was beautiful and was worth something. I decided to keep modeling because it became something that I genuinely enjoyed doing and for the first time in my life, suddenly, I was beautiful. Not just to my family, friends or boyfriend at the time. But to total and complete strangers. That was a new feeling for me. Sometimes I still don’t believe the amount of people that like my work or who compliment me. It’s hard to imagine all of these thousands of people thinking that you are beautiful when you never have.
But that feeling of being pretty or beautiful or even accepted as part of a larger community was still hard. I still wasn’t slim and I was still very insecure with my body and myself as a person. I would always look at thin models and imagine how much better their life must be. All the photographers want to work with them because they’re thin and I’m not. I have curves and people don’t like curves. I stopped modeling for almost 2 years because I had gained some weight and didn’t think that my body was suitable for being photographed. I thought that I was fat and ugly. It was then that I decided to start seeing a personal trainer and going to the gym 3x a week. After a couple of months of doing that I decided to start shooting again - feeling better about myself and the way my body looked.
However it wasn’t until I started modeling nude in December of 2012 that I actually learned to accept my body the way it was. It took me 23 years to finally fully accept myself for the way that I was/am. The entire time that I was modeling non-nude I was extremely self conscious of how I looked. Particularly because of my size and that it seemed all of the other models where tiny compared to me.
But with nude modeling I didn’t have to worry about if there was a bra or underwear or lingerie digging into my skin and causing an extra roll somewhere. I didn’t have to worry about anything not fitting right or if something matched another something.
i was left alone with my skin and over the year of 2013 I began to fall in love and accept my body. I was finally able to see what everyone else saw. Something beautiful. It was beautiful even though I’m not a size 0 or a size 2 or even a size 6. I became comfortable with people calling me ‘plus-sized’, ‘fully figured’ or ‘curvy’ because I was ok with how my body looked. When before I started modeling nude if something described my body with those words I would loth myself. ‘I’m not plus-sized’, ‘I’m not full figured’. Those are just the nice terms for calling someone fat.
But now I’m ok with the fact that I’m larger than a lot of the models that work in Toronto and the surrounding area. But you know what? Being curvy made me push myself that much more. If I’m never going to be a size 0, I need to find something that will make me unique. I need to stand out.
So I owned my curves. I celebrate them every time I walk into a shoot.
Sure, there are some days that I still wish that I could be tiny - but those days are becoming fewer and further between as I continue to work on loving and accepting myself. It’s a daily process.
Every body is beautiful in its own unique way. You just have to learn to look for it and to accept people for the way they are.
I’m a 40-31-43 and god damnit I’m proud of it and I love my curves. All of them. Even if I don’t some days.
Those are my measurements. I’m ok with them.