"After gaining over 80 pounds, it was very hard to look at myself the same. All my old poses didn't work anymore, and when I tried to wear my favorite body-hugging trends, my heart would sink in disappointment," Chardline Chanel-Faiteau told me.
"Then one day I was grabbing clothes off the rack at Fashion to Figure and a white bodycon caught my eye. My friend Nyviana saw me looking and said, 'I know you gained weight girl, but I know you didn't lose your sense of style! I love you for that!'
That's when I realized that the clothes and poses didn't make me — I made the clothes and the poses. Since then, no fucks were given. I've learned to love everything I try on!"
You can follow Chardline here.
"I can't remember the last time I had a bite without feeling guilt," said Katherine Matias, who showed a side of herself she normally hides in this headshot.
"I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can recall, and not only by being overweight; I also suffered from anorexia before I met my husband, who became the support I needed to overcome it. However, my eating disorder never really disappeared — it just mutated into bulimia that led to sudden weight gain.
Weeks ago, I asked a good friend and photographer to take a couple of headshots of me ... She suggested I pick up my hair, exposing my big cheeks and double chin this way, which I rarely do.
When she showed me this photo, I made her swear she would never share it. It was only after someone very close to me saw it and disliked it that I felt the need to embrace my flaws and accept them — and I surprised myself by questioning that person for not liking it. I started pointing out all the parts that I like about the picture.
I actually love it now."
Ratna Monokaran normally hates photos that show her round face.
"This picture was chosen by my photographer ... Staring at it, I can’t see any definition of my face; it looks so round and it lacks any kind of definition. My big chin is so visible. I am not tilting or crossing my legs over to make my thighs look leaner. And I’m bending at an awkward angle, fully displaying my fatness.
But the more I looked, I understood what the photographer saw. I am a work of art and a work in progress. I spent so many years hating my body and myself, and now I am progressing and learning how to accept who I am and what I look like."
You can read Ratna's blog here.
Alysse D'Alessandro loves this full-body photo — but it was a journey.
"Showing my double chin, my short legs, and my belly are all things that I had to learn to do without feeling self-conscious. Now I look at parts of my body that I used to deem as flaws and all I can see is beauty. We have to train ourselves to think differently.
We have to learn to be kind to ourselves, and sharing photos of traditionally 'unflattering' angles is one way to disrupt an otherwise unkind beauty standard."
You can follow Alysse here.
And finally, I have NEVER shown my back fat like this before.
"I pride myself on being body positive.
I love to think of myself as an example for many women to feel comfortable in their own skin.
But I hated this photo — taken for a story about strapless bras — when I saw it. And I hated it up until I read the responses from the wonderful women you see above. Their confidence gives me confidence."