“Robbie; what do you think of this underwear set? Does it make my boobs look good? Should I wear heels?”
It’s crazy to think that this time 5 years ago I was standing in my living room in my underwear taking photos of myself on camera timer. And it’s bonkers to think that in the 5 years since then that’s become a regular occurrence…
I can’t quite remember how I came across Curvy Kate’s 2011 Star In A Bra contest, but I am so glad that I did. In 2011 I had a real love/hate relationship with my body. I was a pro at un tagging Facebook photos, but had just discovered how awesome my bum looked in wiggle dresses. I was a few years into a relationship and had gained several happy stone and was head over heels in love with my boyfriend who loved my body, and I had recently been fitted at Bravissimo and so was discovering how amazing life could be when your bras and bikinis fit well and supported your chest – but I would still cover my arms and legs up during the summer and on nights out. I felt like it was a good time to bare all and show the world what a larger, wobblier body looked like in beautiful lingerie, and so having chatted to my boyfriend and a few friends about it I took the plunge and entered.
The elation of getting selected as one of the Top 30 and then getting through to the Top 10 did absolute wonders for my confidence! I did have a slight wobble when I told my parents about the competition and their reaction was less than happy, but I was doing this to help myself, to inspire others, to be someone that fatter women could relate to – and I had to remember that.
Having my photos taken at the Top 10 shoot was a real wake up call. Gone were the flattering downward angles from my living room, gone was the control. The photos were representative of how I looked, but I was in shock at my appearance, and I guess I realised that I maybe wasn’t ready to be a model. I still tried quite hard win the contest and I was absolutely devastated when I placed third, but in hindsight I am almost glad that I didn’t win as I wasn’t at a point where modelling would have been good for me, and everything that has happened since would not have happened otherwise.
After scooping bronze I realised two things: I still liked the idea of showing women how lingerie could look and fit on a bigger body, and losing control of the photos and poses had been a little scary. I had heard of blogs, and it seemed like starting a blog would be a perfect way of keeping control whilst reviewing and showing off underwear. And so I started it – just thinking that if a few people read the blog I would happy, and if it even helped some women then: amazing! I didn’t expect the reaction that I ended up getting – countless comments enjoying my content, companies contacting me and inviting me to events, shoots, focus groups! This all happened over the course of a few years and after a lot of hard graft at my end, and I really had to pinch myself at some of the opportunities I got given. I’ve been flown to Milan twice, modelled for big brands like Simply Be, I get lots of lovely freebies (in exchange for reviews and shout outs) and I have the best and most supportive readers ever. I regularly model for pin up companies, I work with amazing photographers on a variety of creative shoots and I have met some incredible fellow bloggers and models. I pride myself on my honesty, my integrity, my modesty…(!) and my dedication to helping women look and feel great – in amazing well fitted bras! And it’s all come full circle as I have since been papped in my undies and swimwear a few times for Curvy Kate – and I felt so much better and so much more at ease than I did the first time around.
The contest was a slight wake up call, but it definitely was the right thing for me to do. As much as I wasn’t a fan of all of my photos, I really enjoyed meeting the Curvy Kate team and the girls who were involved, and above all I love how it pushed me to do something that changed my life! You never know where your ventures will take you, but mine took me somewhere really fantastic!
So what are you waiting for? Get entering Star In A Bra RIGHT NOW!!!