|Illustration by Edward Eaton. Photography Alexandra Cameron.|
It doesn't have to be that way though.
Is it unrealistic for me to suggest we stop comparing our bodies with others? Probably. But I don't think it's ridiculous to suggest that we just take a little more time looking at ourselves - as horrifying as that prospect may seem.
What I mean is, we spend so much time fighting against the way we look, would it take as much energy to find the cause of that inner negativity and perhaps channel it in to something positive?
Since taking my kit off and being photographed by a complete stranger just over a year ago, I've found an inner confidence and sense of calm I never thought possible. But what makes me really sad, frustrated and to be honest a little bit angry, is, as women, our seeming lack of motivation to want to make a change.
This isn't me saying 'take your clothes off, be photographed and your life will be changed' - I'm not as narrow-minded as to believe that this is a solution for everyones body issues. We all have our reasons for feeling the way we do. But now that I have found a kind of peace within myself, to be able to look at my body and realise it's not awful like I thought it was - I'd like to talk about some slightly simpler, perhaps more achievable things that make me feel good on a day to day basis - so y'know, maybe you might be able to try it too.
I'm realising life is all about baby steps.
And a huge part of feeling body confident, for me, is allowing myself the luxury to feel good. And I believe, that a good piece of lingerie can really make a difference to how we feel.
Now I know everyone has their own taste - for me, it's usually lacy, no padding and little support. But actually there are times where you just need to feel supported to feel better.
I'm talking about wearing something that I feel physically supported in.
For example, I'll rarely pick out a strapless dress because, HI I HAVE NO BOOBS HOW WOULD IT EVEN STAY UP UNLESS I KEEP MY ARMS DOWN AND PRESSED AGAINST MY SIDES FOREVER. But taking the time to look for something new in my lingerie wardrobe means, actually perhaps I can. We're all guilty of getting stuck in an underwear rut aren't we? Holding on to that one bra because 'OH well it was really good when I got it, it doesn't matter that now it's tinged yellow and sags and that I might as well not wear it at all' - we've all been there.
Perhaps it's time for something new - Now, to be honest I've always looked at Wonderbra as a bra that changes the way you look, almost a facade - and that if I wore won, I'd sort of be lying about what I really had to 'offer' there. But actually, what a load of poppycock (the point here is, don't knock it until you've tried it).
Their bras work with my body to give me the support I need to feel comfortable on a daily basis and yes, there's a slight cleavage boost but actually it's not a ridiculous or particularly sexy one, it's just, nice. With the one I'm wearing above, there's a newly developed silicone dot technology that helps to provide breathability and support across the band - so yes, you can dance and jump and flail your arms without risk of your dress falling down (if you're me) or them popping out (if you're busty) - it actually stays still, hallelujah!! The cups themselves are filled with hand support technology to give your boobies just the right amount of boost and the beautiful lace detailing takes it away from your standard strapless bra and gives you the opportunity to actually feel a little bit sexy wearing it.
We don't need to wear a matching set of undies all the time to feel good either, there's no right way to do this. The point is, it's up to you. And sometimes that's scary as hell.
But have the self-belief that you deserve to feel good. Try your best to let the insecurities that are drummed in to us fall away. I want my boobs to be a bit bigger and you want yours to be a bit smaller. But perhaps it's not about the way we think we look - hell I know it's not. It's about knowing you are more than what the eye can see. You're beautiful inside and out so let your mind escape the chaos and think of the practicalities.
A good bra, could mean a great day.
We all have vulnerability, it's what makes us human. But we've all got wings, too. Wings that enable us to take the chances to soar, fly away from the shittiest of situations and make them in to something better. To realise that a huge part of looking good is feeling good. And that's not easy, but there are things out there that can at least help us try, and I think we're all capable of that.
With that being said, if you like the look of this little beauty, Wonderbra are offering a chance to win a party season kit over on ASOS - just click here to find out more.
Together, we can help celebrate women's bodies.
Break the mould - shake the dust off those wings and let's show the world what we're made of.
Because damn, we've only got one.
This post is in collaboration with Wonderbra, but all views are my own! You know how much I love to talk about boobs these days.
And - if you'd like to shoot with Alex, you can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.