Body Positive Photoshoot with Lumos Photography

A while back, I did a photoshoot with the very talented Cleveland area photographer, Jessica Orzechowski of Lumos Photography. I have admired her work for a while, so I was super excited to create art with her. However, I did not realize how therapeutic it would be.
I have been modeling for five years, and in that time, I did a bathtub shoot, but I did not really show my stretch marks or anything much. It was a beautitful shoot, and it gave me confidence. This one I did with Lumos took those priniciples and went further.
Prissy Missy Plus Size Model in Torrid and Lane Bryant
The shot above was not something I planned to do. The Nightmare Before Christmas Cardigan is by Torrid, and the bra and panty set is by Lane Bryant. However, on the spur of the moment, I grabbed the sweater, and we just tried it. I did something that I do not usually do, I put my tummy (stretch marks and all) on display. The image was fabulous. I felt truly gorgeous. I think seeing myself like this was one of those moments to remind myself that every part of me is beautiful.
Prissy Missy Plus Size Model in heels and red tulle
This body has carried 5 babies, three to term. This body went through being hit by a car. This body went through an eating disorder. This body has put up with all the fad diets I tried. This body does not give a fuck anymore to what anyone else thinks. This body is beautiful.
Prissy Missy Plus Size Model on purple sofa
The next time you see self-doubt lurking, stop. Look in the mirror. Really look. Ask yourself what all your body has done for you. Then love it. Just as it is. Right now. No matter what you do, gain or lose, you have one body and it needs your love and support.

Self Care is the best care

I am going to be honest…I love doing pin up, and I love blogging. I have been blogging for another blog for many years and have contributed to other blogs over the years. I know I should be writing more. However, if you have been following me the last year, you know that I had some issues starting last summer stemming from a TBI (traumatic brain injury) I got 14 years ago. It has been a huge blow for me in many ways.
I had a lot of high expectations when I started this blog, and I had to put a lot of them on hold. In some ways I felt I had to put my whole life on hold again, and I have spent a lot of the past year dealing with not only the physical aspects to all of this, but the emotional as well. I was angry, and then I felt depressed. My social anxiety came back full force, and for a while, I probably wasn’t giving myself the best care I could.
self care
I have been working at changing that. The past 6 weeks have been insane in my house due to activities and such. Most of my family has a birthday in June. I wanted to blog here and in my other blog. I wanted to start doing more affiliate posts because I would like to make a bit of a profit from this, if only to pay for things so that I can showcase fashion and makeup to show people how to feel pretty on any budget. That is the goal. However, before I can do all of that, I have to keep in mind that self care is the best care. It is something I think many of us forget as many of us live busy lifestyles.
If there is anything that life with a TBI has taught me, it is that taking care of myself makes me a better person in the long run. It makes me a better wife, mother, and friend. I want to be around for a long time, and if I don’t take care of myself and treat myself right, that might not happen. Self care doesn’t mean running to a spa necessarily, but it means doing little things, like taking a bath in epsom salts now and then. For me, it means putting on makeup. I may only spend five minutes on hair and makeup most days, but it makes me feel like a million bucks. It means loving yourself and not beating yourself up all the time. Most of all, it means being gentle to yourself. Make realistic goals and expectations. If you want to lose weight, that is great. Just don’t beat yourself up if you cannot lose 10 lbs in a month, but someone else you know can. For me, I want to write. I want to empower women through my pin up to feel better about themselves. However, I know I have limitations. When I cannot keep to the schedule I want for myself, I need to just get up, dust myself off, and keep trying.
Taking care of yourself mentally and physically should always be a priority…whether it is 5 minutes to meditate or an extra few minutes relaxing in the shower. Granted, if you have a chance to take a spa day…ALWAYS take the spa day!
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That time I got Fat-Shamed at my favorite place to buy produce

There is this cute little Mennonite store I like to buy produce near where we live. I go there because I love to shop local and support local business owners. I can also find dry goods and get good deals on produce, which is great because we go through a lot of fruits and veggies in this house.
Anyways, the other week I decided to go there on a Saturday with my kids in tow to get some apples and a few other things. I have never been there on a weekend and have never seen the place so packed. The only space left to park was partially taken up by another vehicle. I saw the driver was still in the car, so I rolled down my window to ask if he could straighten his vehicle so I could park too.
produceedit
Apparently the guy must have anticipated that I was going to ask him to straighten his car. He was double parked for goodness sake in a full parking lot! As soon as I rolled down the window to ask, he started yelling at me. He was yelling, “You better get your ice cream you fat f*ck! Go get your ice cream, you fat f*ck.” Over and over, he kept yelling that. Mind you, I had two kids in the car. I wasn’t being nasty when I tried asking him to move. I was taken aback and ended up yelling at him back. Maybe he thought I would be humiliated enough to drive away so he could stay double parked. I don’t know. I do know this though…
…He couldn’t possibly know what size I was. I was in an SUV and all he could really tell is that I have big boobs. Whooptie doo. The best he could come up with was calling me fat. All it proved to me and my kids was that he was a big jerk that can’t park. Also, I didn’t even know the place served ice cream until that day, and I have been going there for small groceries for a few years. Of course, now that I knew that, I just had to get ice cream. Man, was it good! I know that my kids thought he sounded ridiculous. I discovered sidewalk chalk in our car the other day, and they said it was so they can make a “special” parking spot for people like him in the future. Also, I know that he doesn’t define how I see me. I define how I see me, and I like me. I don’t remember what he looks like because his looks were so unimportant to me. However, I do remember his ugly attitude. I have dealt with ugly attitudes like that in the past. In the past, I may have hid afterwards and felt shame, but now, I just don’t. I am beautiful for who I am. Random strangers with ugly hearts cannot dictate what I am.
I think what made me sad about the whole thing is that being called fat could possibly be the worst thing he could think of. There are many things worse than being fat. I might be overweight, but I am losing weight. Even if I wasn’t, it’s not the worst thing in the world. However, people like that seldom change. They will almost always carry an ugly heart with them. I would much rather be fat than have an ugly heart.

How Pin-Up Gave Me My Confidence Back

The first time I ever did Pin-Up, I didn’t really want to be there. I thought it would make a nice gift for my husband, but honestly I wasn’t feeling up for it. I brought mostly things that I could use to hide my body. I was ashamed of myself and the heaviest I had ever been. My husband and I had been trying for a baby for a while, and I got pregnant only to miscarry some months later. Something in me kinda snapped, and I had a hard time coping. I spent most days in my pajamas. I really just no longer cared about myself.
When I got to the place, I pretty much admitted that I didn’t want to show anything off. I laid my cards on the table straight off and just wanted to get the whole deal over with. Then Nicole started working her magic with the makeup, and when I saw the girl staring back at me in the mirror, it wasn’t the same girl that came through the door. This girl was HOT! I put on an outfit and let Kristina start shooting. I felt myself relax, and by the end of it, I was still in fish nets, and the pants I brought to hide my legs were still in my bag. I still didn’t think I would look great in photos, but I felt empowered. I felt so sexy that I went home and told my husband that we needed to go out because it would be a shame to waste my beautiful hair and makeup. By the next day, the photographer posted a teaser picture on her Facebook page of my shoot. I could hardly believe that it was me!

My first Pin-Up shoot Photo: Relentlessly Making Faces MUAH: Making Faces Professional Make Up
My first Pin-Up shoot
Photo: Relentlessly Making Faces
MUAH: Making Faces Professional Make Up

Something about these pictures made me see myself in a different light. When I saw myself, I didn’t see the depressed, fat girl that I thought I was. I saw someone who was hot, who totally owned it. I saw a beautiful woman that I wanted to be.
The next few months that followed were stressful. I ended up almost closing my business. I got pregnant again, only to lose that pregnancy too. However, I started caring about myself again. I started eating better. I started exercising. It helped me cope with the bad things that were going on. I changed my wardrobe. I started wearing things because I wanted to wear them, not because I thought it would cover my “flaws.” Not only did I wear shorts in public, I wore short shorts. I got cute rockabilly dresses. I bought form-fitting shirts.  I went on dates with my husband. I did another pin-up shoot. It was a mother-daughter theme. The designer of the dresses I wore for the shoot liked my photos. He used me as his cover model for his Facebook page. It made me feel super-awesome. Plus I got a free dress out of it, which was also cool.
I still have my flaws. Currently, I am still trying to work on my post-baby body as I had a baby at the end of last summer. I may never lose all the weight I have wanted to lose. I eat right. I exercise. I have come to terms with the fact that I may never be skinny. However, I love myself. I have my moments where I am hard on myself, but when I look in the mirror, I can always find something I love. I dress for myself these days and not for what I think society thinks I should dress like because in the end it doesn’t matter what society thinks of me. I am the one who has to live with myself, and I want to like me as I am. If I can’t like me right now, it won’t matter if I ever get to be that “perfect” size. I still won’t be happy.
I think as women we are all hard on ourselves and each other. We need to love ourselves as we are. We need to take care of ourselves, and we need to make peace with ourselves too.
What do you do to make yourself feel good and to give yourself confidence?