WHOA. You guys are amazing. The outpouring of love and support of the women who laid bare some of their deepest insecurities quite literally gave me HOPE FOR THE HUMAN RACE. In a time of the internet enabling everyone’s inner mean girl, of books being written stating that through analyzing data attained through a dating site that for men, the cutoff for ideal beauty is 22 (no matter how old the man, of course – sorryboutcha, 23+ year olds!!!), of plenty of shittiness and negativity all around, YOU all fostered a humongous wave of positivity and self love that I’ve been swimming in it all week. So let’s keep it going, shall we? Another week of fearless, flawless, fabulous women GO!
Emily Krieger Cabana – Fitness Instructor, Singer, Dancer, & Actress, Jacksonville, NC
It’s not a secret that I have next to no boobs. I have endured tons of “flat chest” jokes throughout my life: “Is your boyfriend’s name Chester? Cause then it would be Chester and Chestless!”
I went to 2 different doctors to get quotes on a boob job. Turns out that part of my boobs are medically underdeveloped, and one doctor said he couldn’t give me less than a B while one said he couldn’t give me more than a B. They had perfectly legitimate reasons on why, but they were so opposite on their views, I decided to wait on the knife, and thank goodness I did. I have an awesome husband who doesn’t want anything more than what God blessed me with, and if he is happy with that I certainly am happy he’s happy! I also have no issues with my new hobby of running – no needing 6 sports bras to reign in the ladies! I can get away with not even wearing a bra with certain things. They were bigger when I was breast feeding my lil one, but I would take small boobs over leaky big ones any day. And with padding and the lessons I learned in makeup class, I can always fake some cleavage if the issue arises! 36 A’s for life!
I remember being at a dance call in college for a particularly sexy role (I can’t remember which) with Em in college, and in a line of girls wearing jewel toned leotards with plunging necklines and plenty of cleavage, in her ever-showstopping style she’d showed up in a leo with a bright yellow, skintight t-shirt over it that said ‘Itty Bitty Titty Committee’. I have always admired Emily for her guts and her star quality, and in a world of cookie cutter chorus girls her uniqueness was what made her HER – not to mention I think we’d both take our sets of killer pipes over a killer set of tits (or legs in my case) anyday! P.S. SO JEALOUS of her ability to go braless – oh, the backless dresses I’d wear!
Jessica Fox – Disney Destination Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel, Timberlake, OH
Rachel Horowitz – Founder of Forma de Ser, NYC
I was born with red mottled skin on my right leg from the top of my tush to the tip of my toe. The doctors told my parents not to worry, that it would disappear within two weeks… It didn’t. As I grew, my birthmark grew with me, and my entire right leg is still covered with red mottled skin and some rather pronounced veins. People sometimes gasp and ask, with a horrified look, “What happened?!” When I was little people worried I had poison ivy, and as an adult some have worried that I was being abused by a boyfriend. I’ve gone through phases of not wearing shorts or short skirts and I’ve tried heavy duty makeup created for burn victims, and after a fit of teenage agony my mother let me go to a dermatologist to see what could be done. The answer was not much for the discoloration, but that the doctor could inject my prominent veins with fluid so that they would collapse and eventually disappear. She did one sample vein and I almost fainted!
At this point, I’ve pretty much decided it’s not worth it to worry about my birthmark. I admit I do still fantasize that sometime in the future there will be some super easy, super effective, super affordable plastic surgery technique that could get rid of it. But in the meantime, I think about how in the grand scheme of things having this birthmark is really not that big a deal, and while I’ve bemoaned how unfair it is that I ended up with it, I realize that I am so lucky how I turned out in so many other ways. So I figure it’s not worth it to waste time applying make-up every day or worry that people will think there’s something wrong with me, and I put on my short shorts with pride.
When I first read what Rachel had written, I was honestly shocked – I had seen her in a bikini while hanging out and enjoying the Hamptons sunshine (yeah, be jealous), and I did NOT even notice her birthmark. I later asked Tom if he’d seen it that day, and he, too, hadn’t noticed a thing. Crazy how something that affects her so much can be all but invisible to others – a true lesson in that we really do need to be a little kinder to ourselves and our not-so-perfect features, and like Rachel said, to be thankful for the billion beauties we possess instead. Can we get a witness?!?
Sasha Shultz Reid – Merchandiser & Brand Manager, Cleveland, OH
I have never wanted the public to see my arms… until recently. It has always been a given in my head while shopping to steer clear of articles of clothing that are sleeveless and have the potential to show off my “fatty arms” as I have always called them. I honestly think I have all of the long sleeve dresses the Lord and Taylor dress buyer purchased from 2009 – 2013. But a few months ago, I had a chat with myself about my insecurities I have/had with the size of my arms, about growing up and owning this body that I currently have. I think it was a cocktail of real maturity and getting sick of being hot from wearing my jean jacket over sleeveless tops. Since I had that little grow the F up chat with my self, I now have the right to bare arms!
Just call me Seargent of Arms!
Enough with the puns and corny jokes?!
Sasha and I planned our weddings (i.e. lost our minds) at the same time, shopped for wedding dresses together, and had the same #1 bride body issue, our ARMS. Those dresses do amazing things for your body and then leave your arms just HANGING out there! I must say that we both looked pretty toned and gorgeous on our wedding days, though, so I guess we’re both kind of crazy – but we already knew that, huh, Sa?!
Sarah Alexander – Recruiter, Ohio Christian University, Columbus, OH
What used to be a flat, slim stomach adorned with the ever popular belly button ring (Freshman self, what were you thinking?!) thanks to sit ups and ab workouts has morphed into something I didn’t expect or really even recognize. After struggling to have a baby, I marveled at the way my belly grew while I was pregnant, amazed that God was forming a human inside me! After my son was born, I couldn’t wait to lose the baby weight and get that pre-baby body back. Yes, I bought the hip shrinking band, miracle oils and all. As I trained for my first marathon, I came to realize things were not going back to the way they were. I would see moms at the pool with their multiple children, rocking bikinis and constantly compare myself. This year, though, I’ve finally come to truly love my new post-baby body, stretch marks, jiggle and all! I had the opportunity to experience growing a life inside my body, something many of us so desperately yearn for. I don’t care if I’m not as skinny or muscular as the “hot moms”. I will proudly wear my bikini, showing my badges of pregnancy, and I’m reminded every time I look at my sweet son – it’s so worth it!!!
I CAN’T with this woman. Talk about guts – which one of us would take an ab pic for the world to see, let alone when it’s the part of her body that she’s most self conscious about?! SNAPS AND STANDING O’S FOR SARAH! Not to mention that her tummy looks better than mine and I don’t have a baby to show for it *ahem* Oh, and now that she mentioned it, SARAH’S BELLYBUTTON PIERCING. ZOMG. I remember when she got it, I was all ‘oh snap, she’s so cool and edgy and awesome and I had to beg to even get my ears pierced and my parents are soooooooooooo lame…’ Ah, youth! Sarah’s still awesome, though. Obvi.
Well kids, that’s it for Vol. 2 of this absolute fiercefest, but we’ve got one more coming your way, so until next time, give your thighs/long earlobes/weird thumbs/belly rolls a little love!