Sexy at any size? How about HOT!

by Chrystal Bougon on May 15, 2011

sexy at any size

Confidence is SO sexy. Look at these beautiful, confident women! These women are the winners of our first ever Sexy at Any Size photo contest and were all photographed by the fabulous Jeanine Brown, boudoir photographer extraordinairre.

Like most women, I have been brainwashed by the media to think that you have to be a size 6 to be beautiful, sexy and valued in our society. (A good friend of mine has been telling me NOT TO BUY what the media is selling for years! He is so right!)  I work every day to accept myself, my curves, my rolls and ignore the negative messages. It shouldn’t be SO MUCH WORK, though.

Personally, I have been overweight since the 3rd grade so I am pretty use to all of the messages and all of the negative self talk it can create. I could cry when I see girls who are 7 or 8 years old worrying about their weight and talking about diets. It breaks my heart that these young women do not understand how PERFECT they are. I wish 7 or 8 year old girls could just be oblivious to all of those messages and just BE. Just be little girls and feel totally LOVED unconditionally. (It’s hard, too, when every other word out of their Mom’s mouths is about their own weight. Or every magazine their Mom reads has a story about diets. It’s just everywhere. They can’t escape the messages.)

I was lucky, when I was young and impressionable, I only received love and acceptance from my immediate family. (I had some a-hole cousins and second cousins that tried to make me feel bad about my weight – but I tried hard to ignore them.) My Mom raised me to believe I was beautiful exactly the way I was and that NOTHING could hold me back.

Honestly, sometimes I forget I am overweight until someone reminds me. But, I am 43 now and I have learned to SIEZE THE DAY and ignore the haters. The only opinions I care about are the opinions of the people I love. Everyone else can BITE ME. Yes, I need to exercise more. ALOT MORE. Yes, I need to improve the food I use to nourish my body. Yes, I need to be healthier. But, you might be surprised to know how healthy I am. And, yes I am what doctors call obese. But, my blood pressure is good. My cholesterol is low. My blood sugar levels are fine and my bones are off the chart dense! (Remember the term “big boned”?  That, apparantly, is true! I just had my bone density tested and it made me laugh when the person administered the test asked me what my diet consisted of. I told him cheerios, milk, cheese and spinach. Unfortunately, in that order.)

About 8 years ago and I had one of the MOST eye opening experiences. I got invited to an event called Big Boogie Nights and it was what I affectionally called a “phat dance.”  All of the people at this bar were there because they were FLUFFY / PLUSH / FAT / PHAT / CURVY or because they ADMIRED fluffy, plush, fat, phat, curvy women. YES! An entire nightclub filled with men who ONLY dated big, plus sized women. It was amazing!

From first hand experience, I knew there were a lot of men who really loved curvy women but I had NO IDEA how many there were. This club was filled with all kinds of men. Some were tall, some were short, some were super skinny, some where big guys, and they were every ethnicity under the sun. CRAZY beautiful. All of the women (including me) were THE EYE CANDY at this club. Talk about a surreal life changing experience. I had no idea so many men were attracted to curvy women.

This sexy at any size photo shoot gave us the opportunity to make these three women see what EYE CANDY they are. They are not size 2, but look at how beautiful they all are. Perfection! It was so much fun watching these gorgeous women get transformed in the make up and hair chair. And the real GIFT was watching Jeanine working with the women. IT was so fun to watch Jeanine make all of our gorgeous models feel comfortable  in front of her lens – half NAKED! Jeanine put them at ease right away and taught them each poses that would highlight their best assets. (And you really have to read Jeanine’s blog so you can learn all about her journey with her own self image.)

If you would like to read each of our model’s stories and see why we chose their stories, you can go my Bliss blog and read them. We asked the question “what makes you feel sexy at any size” and they responded with their own stories about their self esteem and their own weight. They are SEXY AT ANY SIZE! You all are. You are perfection!

BIG THANKS TO Lisa at www.GetHairExtensions.net for the super sexy hair and for donating her time to help us make our models smoking hot!

Another big shout out to Jeanine Brown, founder of www.JBrownPhotography.com and www.JBrownBoudoir.com for the beautiful pics!

If you’d like to keep in touch with any of us, you can find us all on Facebook, too. My bliss fan page on Facebook is www.Facebook.com/BlissConnection

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  • Cathy Giblin

    These pictures are so beautiful and so inspiring!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much, Cathy!
     

  • Thank you for sharing your story, Chrystal. You are beautiful, and so are these three women who won the contest. Very sexy!

    I can absolutely relate to stories of being brainwashed by mothers and the media. Unfortunately, I did not have the supportive mother you did, Chrystal. My mother thought I was fat and put me on a diet when I was in Jr. High. Thirteen-years-old and on Jenny Craig?! Unbelievable. So what if I was ten or fifteen pounds overweight? I was going through puberty for heavens sake!

    From what my mother was saying and the magazines, etc, I began to believe that I WAS fat and became obsessed with dieting. I yo-yo dieted for twelve years. Being in the entertainment industry didn’t help matters. I truly believed I had to be stick thin.  So thin that I didn’t even want that pooch you get when you sit down. I was over-exercising and under eating. The stress of this finally took it’s toll on my body and mind. I was hospitalized because my brain couldn’t function anymore.

    It has been a long battle to recover from the events leading up to the hospitalization and the events that have followed. But, thanks to time, faith and the love I found within myself and eventually in my mother, I am finally at peace. I do not have any body image issues anymore. I do not obsess about what I eat or how much I exercise anymore. I know that I am beautiful. I love who I am. And I am grateful to finally be free.

    I agree with you Chrystal, girls and women alike should love who they are, exactly how they are and LIVE. I was not living when I was at the gym twice a day and eating alone so that I wouldn’t eat anything that I considered “fattening”. I am finally living a full and healthy life and my hope for every female is that they feel as alive and free as I do.

    Thanks again Chrystal, for being Blissfully you 🙂

  •  Thanks Chrystal, what a universal message!  Having the courage to accept ourselves, love ourselves and see ourselves as sexy, despite what our interactions and experiences with others have told us brings FREEDOM and this is desirable – at any size!

    As a practicing homeopath I have had plenty of people, even those who are size 2, tell me that they don’t feel accepted, don’t feel loved, don’t feel beautiful.  And they may or may not have adverse circumstances in their lives where others are putting them down and making them feel badly.  Sexy comes from within, just like health, it is the radiant glow of feeling the juicy aliveness that we are.

  • Jeanine Brown

    Thanks for sharing Chrystal. I am glad your immediate family was so supportive of you, that makes a huge difference. You are one of the most confident and sexual women I know!

    I don’t know why family members, expecially the women in the family think it is OK to criticize the young female family members. It pisses me off. It is so hurtful and damaging, and usually they aren’t models either.

    I am so glad we did this wonderful project!

  • Liz_ainsworth

    Thank you Chrystal for such an inspiring post.  I have always been considered petite and never had the “f”label but as a child of the 70’s was still troubled by other peoples negative opinions and jibes.  In fact I was taunted for being too skinny and flat chested but with a large bottom.  In the UK, where I grew up and several of the main stream newspapers actually feature topless women as part of their daily publication, I always felt the pressure of being under endowed, intimidated and inferior to the girls who developed before me and even post puberty had what I, in my unempowered state, considered to be a better figure than me. 
    Now I know that I am my most sexy, powerful and attractive when I am true to myself and who I am.  It took me many years to find this out about myself and now with maturity I realise that it is my own percetion of me not anyone else’s that really matters.  I am very comfortable to know that as I turn 50 this year I am healthy, happy and confident in who I am and not the physical persona of me that everyone else sees.  I wish every person the gift of learning this about themselves and again thank you, Chrystal for being a powerful, beautiful, and sexy role model for us all.

  • Shawn

     Growing up the chubby one of three sisters. I was always loved, but being very sensitive, I picked up on the little comments and comparisons. Later, I got into a destructive relationship that amplified the feelings of being inadequate, fat, ugly,etc. After a decade of craziness that included excessive exercise and starvation, I did find some healthier ways to maintain my weight. But, the thoughts still kept creeping  in. But, two positive things that are very recent that may have finally put things into perspective are…My 15 year old son, yes son, is dealing with some body issues. Different from girls, but he wants big muscles and a 6 pack,etc. And, I go over and over with him, how amazing his body is, how athletic he is, how great he really looks, etc. And, lately it makes me think that I should share the love. Why not give myself the same love and admiration that I give him? I think maybe I deserve it too. Lastly, I recently joined a new exercise group, boot camp. Sounds severe I know, but I LOVE it. But, recently I noticed that I haven’t been thinking so much about being thin, like I normally would, but more about what I can do. I’m able to do more each week, I’m surprising myself,and I find myself celebrating what this amazing bod can do! Such a positive move for me, I hope that I can stay in this mind frame, cause it’s a good one. And, really lastly, now having a wonderful husband that is always telling me how beautiful I am, doesn’t hurt either.Thanks for your story, you compelled me…

  • Anonymous

    Although I have never personally experienced a weight issue, I have ENORMOUS compassion for people who  were made fun of for a weight issue. I was bullied for other reasons, so I can definitely relate. Now, being a doctor, I see a weight issue as a health issue and often it is more than measurements at one point in time that determine health and longevity. Taking care of our bodies is one way to increase self esteem and self confidence too. Not everyone should be a size 2 for SURE, thanks for sharing this message and helping others to see beauty in EVERYONE!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Dr. Jen. You know, I run into as many women who are a size 2 that have been bullied or mocked in some way …. it’s definitely not just women who are overweight that get made fun of. I am with you and Jeanine. The human form is beautiful! 

  • Anonymous

    Wow, so interesting. Shawn, I love your point about “what can i do” with your body. What a great way to THINK when you are working out. Not how skinny can I get. What is my body capable of doing. LOVE that concept.

    And, yes, what a great gift to give you son. And yes, time to be easier on yourself and love yourself. I guarantee you son will pick up on it, too.  

  • Anonymous

     Thanks for sharing, Liz. As I like to say “you are what you think” and I think you are beautiful and strong and such a great example for all o ufs.

  • Anonymous

    Oh wow. That is young to be put on a diet, but I have seen the same thing even in my family. Congratulations on working through your body image issues. I know it’s a lifelong project for most of us.  

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much, Cathy!  

  • Betty Kaufman

    Chrystal, what a fabuloso article. Thank you! I agree with you wholeheartedly that girls need to be loved for who they are. It would be amazing beyond belief if they could be oblivious to all the social pressures around weight and body image and just learn to love themselves. This contest was brilliant, and the pictures are brilliant. Congratulations to you and Jeanine and the wonderful winners.

  • Anonymous

    The messages we receive from the media can be so influential in how women (and men) feel about themselves. You really do have to LOVE yourself. If you don’t love yourself – it’s very hard for others to love you.  

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Betty. I wish that could happen. Self acceptance is such a huge gift you can give to yourself.

    I wish I could do more to let the young women of the world know that they are perfection.  

  • Jessica

     Thank you so much for sharing this incredible article. I’m not going to lie, I was raised in pretty horrendous immediate family when it came to body image.  Following my parent’s divorce, it got so much worse.  A father that would openly notice “beautiful” women on the street who were all supermodel proportions. My mom loved eating donuts and watching tv, my dad signed us up for athletic camps and took us on hikes. My older sister was claimed overweight by our pediatrician and I so dreaded having that embarrassment( because it was made to be a big deal- though she was never guided to making healthy food choices!), I got really good at starving myself as a way of gaining control. I loved exercise and working out and sports and eating healthy and meditating.  Oddly enough this earned me a lot of teasing and grudging from my mother and my sister about my lack of curves, for being skinny, for not wanting to pig out with them… But in my dad’s household (with my size 4 5’10” step mom), I was something to be bragged about in my athletic pursuits and smarts.  My dad told my sister that if she wanted a boyfriend she should lose 35+ pounds. My mother told me I should give up on this fitness stuff because I’d just end up fat like her due to genetics.  This was all before I reached 16 years of age!  
    Suffice it to say: my own self image improved IMMENSELY once I left for college to Ohio. My self image has come and gone as any woman’s, really.  I have been 254 pounds(end of pregnancy!), I have been 138 pounds( and was not happy about it and hate the pics of it- I was sooo stressed!).  I find that I connect my self image with what I can accomplish fitness wise and if I am feeding myself quality foods.  Yes, I am now a size 6 or 8, about 150 pounds,  and have found that for now, that’s great.  Just as it was great when I married at a size 14 and weighed 185. I love telling my kids how I love that they take care of themselves and move their bodies as they like, be it play or bike or yoga or sports, and that they enjoy foods and that junk food is perfectly FINE once in a while! Enjoy it! just don’t make it a routine. I want them to love their bodies and praise their bodies and be happy in their bodies.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Jessica. What a journey you’ve beenon.

    Your kids are lucky to have you as their Mom.  

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