How I found my inner Pin Up at Lady Luck by Rachel Hensher
Years ago I decided to stop hating myself and let the inner child out. She had taken quite the amount of abuse as I stood in the mirror and regularly berated her fat thighs, drooping breasts, and stretch marked arms. I’d spent years doing this while torturing myself with diets, pills, fads, weigh-ins, and self hate. After apologizing to myself I decided to have fun, be myself, and experience new things. Life is short and I don’t have any more time to give to hating my body or letting someone else dictate who I should be.
I’d never have imagined I’d have blue hair, cupcake dresses, winged liner, an amazing business, and doing a photoshoot in my underwear! Oh MY!
In my travels I’ve been challenging myself to try new things. I started with dying my hair crazy colors (purple being the first). Next I bought the most fun and cutest dresses I could find and wore them everywhere. I began holding my head high, and over time I started feeling better about myself. I could dress however I wanted, and be whatever I wanted. I spoke positively to myself daily and showed kindness to myself on tough days. It truly worked and I wanted to start sharing that feeling with others. I wanted to support and share with others my journey.
This led to my next challenge — to open a plus size body positive online boutique clothing store. Not only could I write about my experiences on my journey, but also I could provide women with fun, unique, and interesting clothing in vintage styles. So I set forth to tackle the challenge, and Kitty Canuck opened in June of this year! So I was onto the next challenge.
Doing a pin up shoot was on that list of things to try, but if I’m honest, was bit scary. When I met Jennifer, the owner of Lady Luck Pin Ups at an industry event, I immediately felt at ease. I shook hands with some of her models and saw how she captured the best aspects of their inherent beauty. I knew that now was the time to knock this challenge off my list. I decided I’d take a trip to Niagara a few months after meeting her and spend some time letting the inner pin up out!
I have always had issues with seeing myself as sexy or attractive. I’ve always seen myself as awkward and undeserving of that feeling because of my weight. Even at the time of the shoot I was nervous and had doubts about my modelling skills (or lack thereof) and wasn’t sure I would be happy with how I looked in the photos. But I was committed to this challenge. I was here to find my inner pinup. And find her we did!!
The day started with my first setup. I felt like Betty Page in my black lingerie and garters. All that ran through my head was “I never thought I’d do this”. But as Deanna (The Revival Salon) finished her magic, I looked in the mirror with my hair and makeup done, and realized I was beautiful. Jennifer stood there telling me I was gorgeous and for the first time, I really believed it. As I wrote the insults I’d had hurled at me throughout life about my body on balloons it was like a release of the last little bit of baggage. We moved onto popping the balloons, with each pop the words vanished into a pile of rubber bits. Somehow that made me feel free of them. This was just the start!
We did a second setup and as it continued I didn’t notice the time flying. I was enjoying being free of the feeling that I was unattractive, awkward, or couldn’t be seen as sexy.
I left the session sore and tired, but exhilarated and excited to see the pictures come in. 2 weeks later I got to see the portfolio of them and it was so hard to pick! I looked at the photos with the biggest smile on my face and saw the beautiful, confident, and strong woman everyone else saw. This was one of the best adventures I’ve done on my journey to self-love. I’ve let the inner pin up out and she can’t be contained!
Rachel Hensher is a body-positive blogger and owner of Kitty Canuck, an online plus size clothing store specializing in retro, rockabilly, pinup, and alternative styles. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.