Update

Sorry for the recent lack of updates, folks. Things have been crazy busy, but all great, fantastic stuff.

Since I last blogged I went to Manchester for a jam-packed few days of photoshoots, and lots of firsts! For instance, I had my first bodypainting experience. We had planned to do something outdoors, a sort of reclaimed by nature look, but the weather was extremely inclement, so we had to quickly change tact. The end result was, well this…

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The thing I both love and hate in equal measure about photoshoots is that you never know exactly where things are going to end up. You can start with an original idea, but then during the process you try different things and it can end up going in an entirely different direction. In fact, so far, none of the final photos I’ve ended up with have been how I envisaged them prior to the shoot, and yet I have lots of images that I love and are very proud of.

Another first was doing a nude shoot with a male model! I was nervous, but mainly because I felt pre-shoot communications hadn’t been unified or cohesive, so I was worried about the shoot being messy, which, unfortunately, it was. But I was determined to make the most of it. Probably the most nerve-wracking moment when doing a nude shoot, is those few seconds right before you reveal your whole body. Once the clothes/robe are off, it’s fine and you’re able to just get on with it. Well, I am anyway. It’s actually quite liberating and confidence boosting to stride out there in nothing but your birthday suit. I’ve done a couple of nude/semi-nude shoots before so I was comfortable being in nothing in front of the camera. However, posing with another model, let alone a male model, and a nude male model at that, was completely unchartered territory. The model had limited English which made things even harder as it meant there was little communication during the shoot, which is kinda key when you’re collaborating with someone. Nonetheless, I threw myself into it, ended up bossing the male model around, and came away with a few great shots, and another notch in my modelling bedpost!

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September was busy with my new venture as Body Confidence Spokeswoman for thecurvygurl.com. The Curvy Gurl is a new plus size clothing retailer. They sell online and have also just opened up a store in Northern Ireland too. They put on their Facebook page that they were looking for people to do blogs and videos for them so as I am so fired up about self acceptance and body confidence I thought I would put my name forward. They were very interested in having me, so I went up to the grand opening of their new store to meet with them and chat about the role. I now blog and vlog for them, which is incredible! My blogs focus on my experiences as a plus size person in the fashion world, with a body confident message, and my videos are snippets of empowerment and body positivity.

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You can follow my Curvy Gurl blog here: Curvy Gurl Blog

You can follow my Curvy Gurl vlog here: Curvy Gurl Vlog

I really am so honoured and grateful to have this role as it is so important to me to spread the message of body confidence and help others to feel better about themselves.

What else?

Last night I was lucky enough to be involved in a Diversity Fashion Show. There were about thirty models from all walks of life so it was a unique show and I was really proud to be a part of it. The crowd were amazing so the atmosphere was electric, and I met so many wonderful people. I’m still on a high from it. I am going to write a separate post on this in due course so I can go into more detail and share pictures with you all.

Finally, I went for a casting with lots of other plus size beauties back in August, and I was lucky enough to be selected! I go for a training day with the agency tomorrow and there I will sign the contract to make it all official! I can’t believe it – in a matter of months I’ve gone from dabbling in the modelling world, to being taken seriously as a professional model. It really is a dream come true.

I mean I only set out on this journey to help boost my own body image and to be a positive role model for my daughter. Of course I hoped something might come of it, because it’s been a lifelong dream of mine, but I never truly expected it to. Not only has it really made a difference to my wellbeing and sense of self, but I’m already making a difference to others too. I have received messages from family members, friends, and strangers, thanking me for giving them the confidence to embrace themselves as they are. It really is incredible and motivates me to keep doing what I’m doing.

Even photographers have applauded me for doing modelling to inspire others to be more body confident. Many of the photographers I have worked with have gone in with an unprofessional manner, thinking they don’t have to try because I am fat and second-rate and therefore the shoot doesn’t really count. However, during the shoot (sometimes even during pre-shoot communication) they have changed their tune completely – they have told me I have impressed them, and that I now have their full attention and respect. That just blows my mind.

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Photography credits:

Mask & Feathers – Philip Polinksi, Bodypaint – DaReflex, Art Nude – EyeCandyPhotography, Black & White Portrait – Peter @ Mi Studio

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