How does someone go from no body confidence to posting a photo of themselves in different underwear on Instagram every day? You'd have to be brimming with confidence...wouldn't you?
When I first spoke to Vee, and her take on how she's improved her body confidence, I knew I had to find out more!
" My journey into reclaiming my confidence actually started about 9 months before deciding to do 365 days of knickers. I have an incurable chronic health problem and because of this I was retired from my job because of ill health. It meant I lost my identity as a professional person and with it whom I was. I was suddenly retired at 42, no prospect of working again. Plus I was initially so unwell I wasn’t able to get out of bed and function. All I could wear was soft and comfortable clothes.
Once I found a treatment which meant I could function again I looked at my wardrobe and realised that all I had was leggings, soft clothes, no bras, and black cotton knickers and I realised I had absolutely no self esteem. I’d always loved pretty underwear and what I had in my drawers even my Grandma wouldn’t wear.
I went out the next day to New Look and bought some lace knickers.
I opened an Instagram account and started posting pictures of me wearing my new underwear, just as a record for myself initially but then I got followers and realised that people liked what they saw, which gave me a confidence boost and actually improved my body image.
I then read an article from a lady who showed that the before and after pictures in adverts for slimming products could be faked and watched some videos on You Tube on how to pose your body to display it to its best advantage. Now when I say I’m a size 16 quite a few people don’t believe me.
So how did a different pair of knickers every day come about?
On the lead up to Christmas 2016 I did an advent style count down of Christmas themed knickers. I loved thinking up different ways to make the pictures seasonal, using tinsel, lights and other Christmas paraphernalia.
It also got really positive feedback from my IG followers. I realised that I had a managed to collect a lot of knickers in the nine months leading up to Christmas and jokingly wondered if I had enough to do a different pair of knickers a day.
What has doing this achieved for you?
My body confidence is sky high. Yes I’m the wrong side of 45 and I’m a size 16/18 but no one cares and the only person who ever cared was me.
Having confidence in my body has meant my girls are more confident in their own bodies too.
Plus it made me realise that regardless of size everyone has issues with their body. Yes everyone has issues, from wanting a bigger bum, boobs to wanting a slimmer tummy or thighs. if someone criticises you it’s their insecurities that bring that out of them and jealousy in your confidence.
And what do your family make of it all?
My 15 year old calls my knickers dolly pants and laughs when I head straight for the knickers when we go in shops. My other daughter is the same. Both of them think it’s quite funny that I show my bum on the internet every day in different knickers but they also are encouraging and supportive.
My husband thinks it’s fantastic. Having body confidence means I’m more confident as a person too plus he gets to see all those knickers in person so there are some benefits...
What are you hoping to achieve by doing this?
I want to build up confidence in other women, we tear each other down when what we should be doing is building each other up. I’m so much happier as a person since I started building confidence and stopped being so negative. Everyone has positives regardless of size, shape or colour.
Plus when you compliment someone you get a boost too because you made a difference to them.
And how's your body confidence now?
As I said it’s sky high, even on days when I have bad health days and I struggle with wearing normal clothes. I found comfortable, soft and sexy clothes and knickers.
Plus I’m more confident now to go without a bra, nipple covers stop that noticeable nipple poke and are a great sexy boost. Plus there are so many soft and sexy lace, cotton and microfiber knickers out there.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about your project?
It’s not so much about the knickers but about instilling confidence in yourself and others.
As I’ve said I’m the wrong side of 45, a size 16/18 and need to lose a serious amount of weight but the only person who has the right to say that is me.
As women we constantly tear each other down and criticise each other, I can guarantee that even reading this many people will be internally criticising me for what I am doing.
If your thought was ‘wow she has some guts, showing her fat backside on the internet’ think about it in a more positive and helpful light and leave it as ‘wow she has some guts’ because that is more helpful.
Straighten each others crowns instead of knocking them to the floor.
And finally - where do you get your knickers from?
My knickers come from a variety of places. Good old Marks and Spencers have great knickers, New Look, Next and even Tesco do great 3 for 2 offers and have great variety of shapes and sizes.
I love Brazilian cut as they make your bum look good. Something with a back detail is always my favourite though and Victoria Secret/Pink do fantastic knickers (and yes the XL/L fit my size 16 bum absolutely perfectly).
If you've found your body confidence has taken a knock and you've found a novel way to overcome it and get your confidence back, please get in touch - we'd love to share your story.