The skin you’re in

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Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size. But when I start to tell them. They think I’m telling lies. I say. It’s in the reach of my arms. The span of my hips.The stride of my step. The curl of my lips. I’m a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman. That’s me.

Maya Angelou

The above poem is definitely one of my favorites and it sums up the change in myself perfectly. Even before this campaign, I grew tired of hiding and feeling ashamed. I wanted my confidence back. I wanted to look into the mirror and compliment myself on one thing every day that I was grateful for.  Photos are so impactful, but words, intentions and the heart are much more so. That was my fear when I agreed to do this campaign with Nicole from Hearts and Hiccups and Bongi from Baby wearing and Parenting  . I was afraid that I would be judged by my photos; I was afraid that I would be told, I have failed, I was afraid that I would be placed in a box. My intention of this post is not to go back and tell you my life long struggles of trying to fit in, because in my head I had to be a certain size to hang out with the cool kids.

My intention with this post, is to give you the confidence that you have. The confidence that you thought was lost, is deep within in you, and you have the power to take it back. Society has conformed us into thinking that a mombod is supposed to look a certain way after two minutes of giving birth. We are pressured to bounce back like this or that celebrity, or even worse the friend you made in prenatal classes. Remember that photos are snapshots and never the whole story. It’s pretty easy for society to paint success or health in magazines and especially on social media. That is why it is so imperative to be supportive and loving in each part of ones journey. Be kind to yourself as you find your balance. Do not strive to find a balance that is prescribed by society. And most importantly remember that your happiness will never be defined by a number.Doing a bikini shoot was indeed a daunting thought, but the experience was so empowering. These are but some of the comments on one of my posts:

@neelofah.h : When I saw the pic, I was like… confidence, beauty, brains all in one pic. It doesn’t get much better than that! Get ’em girl!

@mindthecurvesza : Oh darling you look spectacular! Yay you for embracing your gorgeousness! Sending so much love.

@leerisha : Absolutely beautiful inside and out! So proud of you! You have the courage that many don’t and there will be many more women coming out their shells because of you!

@beautifullystoic : Can’t agree more!Been hiding in sarongs and towels on the beach all my life. Until May this year. I realised that the people who judge me on the beach or the pool side, forgot about me just minutes later. And I’m still stuck craving being free to wear what I want. No, more ! I’ve seen seniors on the beach and they don’t care what they look like or what people say. It’s because they realized that golden secret – enjoy life! and don’t worry about judgement.

The main message that I want to advocate is the following: This is me. This is my life now. This is my body now. My life with my family is what I am celebrating now. The next time you look into the mirror and have that “ugly talk” with yourself, remember this, you might not look like everyone on social media, and that’s your power and that is what makes you unique to this world. If you feel that you are alone and that no one carries your scars or your fears… I am here. I know your pain, and I can carry you through, because I’ve been there and you are not alone…

Always surround yourself, with a tribe of women whom you look up to and who are always supportive in your quest to be the best Mother, wife and person. The love and admiration I have for the following two women can not be measured in numbers. I am very blessed to call Nix, Bongi and Angela my friends, my sisters and supermodel partners and photographer in crime. I am so proud of us, Nix and Bongi for being bold and brave and encouraging so many Moms out there to #showoffthatmombod ! Angie, thank you for making the three of us, laugh and just be ourselves. In every snap that Angie took, there’s not one where we looked staged or felt uncomfortable and that is what I LOVEd so much about this photoshoot.

With Summer on our doorsteps, let’s celebrate our bodies and come out of hiding. Use the hashtag #showoffthatmombod and share a photo of yourself in a swimsuit on Instagram. You can also tag all three of us; @its_a_momslife; @heartsandhiccups; @ndibambe . You could win a R500 voucher from Storm in A-G cup, a leather clutch purse and a lingerie laundry bag. A lucky winner will be randomly selected from the hashtag at the end of January 2019. This competition is only open to South African residents.

This campaign was made possible by the following amazing brands
Swimsuits: Storm in A- G cup
Make-up artist: Opgedollie
Flower crowns: Anli Wahl Floral Design
Photographer: Angela from Our Sunshine Journey 
Venue: The Last Word Hotel

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