“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…

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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.

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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.

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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!

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So what are you waiting for? Get entering Star In A Bra RIGHT NOW!!!

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