My biggest breakthrough during my body positive journey has been discovering my beach body. I know this really isn’t a surprise for most of you! I motivate, empower and inspire many of you to also reach out and discover your own beach bodies. This is why when I hit my year mark blogging I decided I need to do something to celebrate this. Something amazing, to show that all bodies belong on the beach, swimsuits are for every damn body!
I know that any photographer can gather a group of women or models who just want I be in a photo series. This isn’t what I wanted. I wanted something with meaning, empowerment, and inspiration. I wanted people who could for sure relate to my journey, people who have watched and encouraged me. Women that I know also have their own journeys. This is exactly what I did, I gathered my amazing babe friends, invited a couple blogger babes. I live in Vermont, so the blogger babe appearance was sparse! I did have two amazing girls come to join, one who was already in VT making it so much easier for her to join. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the turnout.
There was an unmeasurable amount of chemistry between all 7 of us. We worked well together, we fed off each other’s confidence making it extremely easy to let go and have fun. What else contributed to that? I had an amazing photographer who is so into this movement that I’ve embedded myself into. She’s supportive, an amazing cheerleader and just fantastic. I’ve heard from most of the ladies that participated, they’re all saying how empowering and moving it was. It makes my heart happy, so happy it’s melting some. This is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to pair 20 different life styles and people who may not have really known about body positivity and what it really is. That can at times be damaging for some who have just discovered their own confidence. It’s easy to accidentally pair judgmental personalities with people who are just barely discovering themselves. When organizing these sorts of things it’s 100% important to keep these thing in mind. While some people may be full force into their journey others may not, which is personality comes into play. People who really accept all body types, body positivity is what I’m talking about. The group I gathered reflected this ten fold, and I can’t wait to organize another event! I’m writing this, thinking about what I just said. Wondering why it was so easy for me to organize and gather such amazing people. That’s when I realized it’s who and what you surround yourself with. I surround myself with amazing empowering people, which makes it so much easier for me.
Not only were we able to fuel each others confidence and have a fun af time. The people on the beach loved it, loved the idea of this. This is amazing, body positivity isn’t a huge thing in Vermont. We had a mascot, a gentleman who had noticed me doing my own bikini photos before the group shoot. Shortly after I called my lovely ladies down to join me, he became our beach body mascot. Holding our beach ball on the side, until he asked to join! He joined us for a few photos then went back to beach bumming. He come up and talk to some of us after. Everything he had to say was 100% refreshing to hear from a man. He genuinely liked the beach body movement, and said something along the lines of him believing everyone really does have a beach body! Honestly, it’s hard to remember what he had said, I was just still surprised that he came over to talk to a fat babe in a bikini, let alone 100% supporting the event.
Not only did I asked these ladies to come join me for a beach body photo shoot, but I also asked them to write a short statement ( two sentences, I know the human nature of wanting to write a book lol) as to what this shoot meant to them and why they wanted to join. I wanted to make this shoot all about beach bodies and body positivity. That meant do more than be cute in swimsuits, but why! Check out each babes statement below!
The Babes of Leah’s Beach Body Get Down
Shayna – @adultingaccurately
I wanted to do this shoot because it took me out of my comfort zone. I’m lucky that I have always had confidence regardless of my weight or look, but after I said yes, I was suddenly struck with fear (and maybe embarrassment), that my no longer size 8 body would be showcased to the world. But then I thought “Fuck it!” What do I have to be embarrassed about? I’m beautiful, confident, smart, successful and not afraid to show it…who cares what size I am, I’m Happy!
And thanks to Leah for being proactive and helping take me to this level, and all she did was ask 🙂
Nikki – @nikki_stylee
I haven’t bought or worn a bathing suit in almost 15 years, and I’m so young! This shoot gave me a confidence I clearly never thought I had, and I hope it helps to encourage others to be brave and beautiful, and to not let ridiculous beauty standards hold them back from enjoying the lives they deserve to live!!
Autumn – @autumn_santor
I decided to do this shoot not only to help my great friend Leah, but because I wanted to help show all ladies of all sizes that we can rock literally any suit! This bathing suit was out of my comfort zone in a few ways, but I didn’t even notice once I was at the beach. We all rocked our suits and had a fabulous time, what could be better?
Colleen – @northeastmntg1rl
I’ve always been lean and athletic so thanks to a relatively healthy diet and a strict exercise routine pregnancy didn’t really change that. I did, however, discover with pregnancy comes a slew of skin problems including face, back and shoulder acne, skin tags and moles in embarrassing places and spider veins on my legs and belly. I wanted to be part of this photoshoot because although it’s easy to scrutinize over every pimple and vein in the mirror when I see pictures of myself all I can think about is that little baby I’m growing who I can’t wait to meet. Steph –
I wanted to be apart of this amazing shoot, because it’s so important to remind yourself that you’re gorgeous no matter what size you are. And it’s important to show confidence in yourself, because it teaches everyone around you who could be having self esteem issues that you can be secure no matter what the media tells us. It’s so empowering, especially if you experienced bullying in the past. Body positivity allows you to let go of all that, even bullying from middle school.
Lauren – @makingthemostest
Participating in this photo shoot was a huge step in helping me to overcome my insecurities. Not only was the experience incredibly liberating, but it also gave me the change to try something new and meet some amazing women.