I’ve been wanting to write this post for a very long time. It’s something that Robbie and I discuss a lot and has become quite an unexpected (and increasingly relevant) topic of conversation on my platform over the years. I figured there would be no better way to talk about this important topic than to get real and post my first boudoir shoot here on the blog. It was so empowering to get in front of the camera with my loving partner behind the lens, and embrace myself as a powerful, sensual woman. And that’s what I want to talk about today.
I have been blogging here at Sassy Red Lipstick for over five years now, which means I have been talking about body positivity long before it became a trending hashtag and popular buzz word in advertising campaigns. I have openly shared my self-love journey, talked about ups and downs in weight, BMI, thick thighs & chaffing, stretch marks, big boobs and booty, soft tummies, you name it. If it relates to us curvy girls, I’ve likely talked about it. However, there’s one topic I haven’t really addressed head on yet:
As my platform has grown, I’ve gained the opportunity to work with incredible brands that strive to help women feel empowered, sexy, and comfortable. I only work with brands that I truly believe want women to feel their best. Because that’s what Sassy Red Lipstick is all about: helping you feel your most confident and stylish, no matter your shape or size. Over the years, I’ve grown so confident and empowered posting in just about every style of swimsuit, lingerie, bra, and panty you can think of. When I started my blog five years ago, I never would have felt comfortable doing that. But now I love it. Why??
Because I want to be the role model for curvy women that I never had.
I want to show you that you are sexy with those thick thighs and stretch marks. I want to show you that a size 12 can rock lingerie and make it look damn good. I want you to see that no matter your shape or size, you are attractive, desirable, and sexy. You deserve to feel that way about yourself. Because I spent years thinking my body was something to be hidden or ashamed of.
When I was in college and had to swim in the very confusing and exhausting dating pool as we all do, it was difficult to say the least. All my blonde, size 2 friends seemingly got asked out every weekend, while I was left feeling like the chubby girl that nobody wanted. I did fad diets, I tried to hide my body with cover-ups or swim skirts whenever I went to the pool/beach, and I fell into thinking that I needed to be thin in order to be sexy.
When I met Robbie, he immediately began changing that perception I had. Suddenly, this new guy in my life was telling me how sexy my thick thighs were. I still remember back when we first started dating, he looked at me like I was crazy when I complained about not having a thigh gap. “Babe, your big thighs are one of the sexiest things about you!!” he said. Little by little, he was helping me along in my own self-love journey by providing the support and encouragement I’d never felt. After we got married and sexual intimacy became a part of our relationship, I felt even more empowered by my curvy body. Imagine that, feeling confident and empowered because of your curves, not despite them. As I became open and unapologetic about my sexuality as a curvy woman and shared myself with a man who praised and desired my body, my soft rolls and jiggly parts became attributes I was proud of rather than ashamed of.
It’s important to note here that there’s also a cultural component to where my mindset was back when I was uncomfortable with my body. And I’ve received so many messages from girls and women who still feel the same pressure I do. I grew up in a very conservative home, raised in a conservative Christian faith, and attended a very conservative private religious college. My whole life, I was reminded of one word: modesty. I was taught that I needed to cover my body and that it was the right thing to do.
I’m grateful for how I was raised and I am still a proud member of my faith that teaches standards of modesty; as I’m sure a lot of you have noticed, my day to day clothing and regular street style is almost always what would be considered modest. I believe in being classy in how I dress, and I still hold true to the standards I was raised with. That’s my personal decision, and I have absolutely zero judgements of anyone else: be modest, be immodest, rock a mini skirt, wear a hijab, wear a strapless gown, or wear long sleeves 365 days a year, I don’t care haha! It’s all personal preference and all that matters to me is that women are making their own decisions and feeling confident in what they wear.
But even though I was taught this standard of modesty so strongly my whole life, I have also evolved over the years and have settled into who I am as a woman. I’ve found myself, learned about myself, and uncovered what I truly believe. I now know the difference between modesty and body confidence. I know the difference between being modest for the right reasons and feeling shame or guilt for the wrong reasons.
So as I think about these two major components in my life that prevented me from fully loving myself for so many years–being curvy and being “modest”–I can’t help but think there are so many women dealing with at least one or both of these issues as well. Whether you feel like you’re not sexy because you’re curvy, or whether you feel like you can’t be sexy because you have to be modest, or both, I want to share with you the realization I’ve come to:
It’s okay to be sexy.
Your body is not wrong. Your big boobs are not inappropriate because they pull at your blouse and naturally show cleavage. Your booty is not “too much” because it swallows up every swimsuit you buy. Your body is beautiful. Your body is sexy. And feeling like an empowered and desirable woman is nothing you should ever, ever be ashamed of. There have been times where I’ve laid in bed and cried to Robbie because of this personal battle I deal with: being a body positive role model for curvy women while being shamed by conservative people for posting in my bra and panties. Each time, Robbie reminds me: “Your body is good. Your body is not wrong. Your body is good.”
Yes, it’s true, I’ve gotten shamed countless times by other women on the internet for embracing my body. Pretty much any time I post in a bikini or a lingerie set to promote body confidence and encourage other curvy women in their self-love journey, I get at least a couple hateful comments or messages. Of course there’s the usual body shaming comments like “you’re fat” or “you should lose weight before wearing that.” As a proud chubby girl who knows she’s sexy, those ignorant comments don’t bother me much anymore. But then there’s the comments that are even more damaging to what I’m trying to promote. Actual comments I’ve received such as: “She pretends to be a good person but then shows her ass all over Instagram.” or (our personal favorite to date): “Whyyyyy is she always wearing a swimsuit???”
Comments like this are so sad to me because they basically translate to this: curvy girls aren’t sexy so stop trying. They promote the idea that because I have a 36DD chest and a fat booty that my body is “inappropriate” when posting in a bikini or lingerie. They suggest that curvy women, or just women in general, should hide their bodies.
Well you know what I say to that?
It’s okay to be sexy.
I’m proud to be a curvy goddess to my husband who worships my body and adores me. I’m proud to inspire women all over the world who share the same body type as me and don’t have anyone to look to when it comes to fashion. And most of all I’m beyond proud when I get messages like the ones below, from women telling me how they wore a bra and thong in front of their significant other with the lights on in the bedroom for the first time and felt sexy, “just like Sassy Red Lipstick.” Wow. It makes me want to cry just typing that. All I’ve ever wanted is to help other curvy girls feel that they are valuable, beautiful, sexy, and confident.
I will never stop posting my beautiful curvy body for the world to see because of messages like this:
If I ever feel down, all I have to do is remember women like these who have shared their heartfelt stories about how I’ve helped them along in their own self-love journeys. Any amount of hate I get or judgmental gossip my photos generate is worth it if I am helping women around the world feel sexy too. Because I know why I do this.
I don’t do it so the world will see my body, I do it so women will see that I look like them and they look like me. I do it so curvy women can see me unapologetically rocking my curves and feel that they have permission to do it too. Contrary to what society thinks of women who post in lingerie, I’m not doing this so men will think I’m sexy, I’m doing this so other women who look like me will know they’re sexy too.
You deserve to love your body. You deserve to feel beautiful. Your soft, round tummy is sexy. Your thick thighs and stretch marks are sexy. You are a real, natural woman who deserves to be celebrated and worshipped.
So if you’ve been struggling with feelings of insecurity because of your size/shape, or feeling ashamed because of what you’ve been told about “modesty,” just remember: It’s okay to be sexy. You are not a bad person for looking hot or being sexual. You are a beautiful woman, and the world needs you to shine your confident light.
I promise to keep shining mine.
Bra and panty set are from Third Love, a brand that empowers women and wants them to feel confident and comfortable at any size.