Honestly, I’m nervous about wearing a swimsuit in pictures. Fighting the voices in my head is more than half the battle. Forget nutrition and fitness – it all goes to waste the moment I give in to my internal critic.
“Everyone is going to compare you to how you on the runway looked in you 20’s”. “You’re too heavy” or “Too old”. You know what, I’m wasting my life if I give into the pressure to be “perfect”. I’m eating my life if I give into what I’m imagining the haters have to say: BECAUSE IT’S ALL BEGINS AND ENDS IN MY OWN HEAD.
Why hold yourself back from innocent and simple pleasures like going swimming or starting a new hobby or career because you find a million reasons why you’re not “perfect” or you don’t qualify?
Giving fear of criticism the power to stop you from doing the little things adds up to cutting you off from the big things that really important to you in life. No one loses out but you. Self-doubt robs people who could be inspired by your courage to strike out on the same path.
Think about these examples of inspiring women who silenced their internal critic so they could live life out loud:
What if Ashley Graham had listened when people told her she was too curvy or weighed too much to be a swimsuit model?
What if Maye Musk had listened when people said she was too old to be a model? She’s now the most senior model ever to be signed to an exclusive cosmetics contract for Cover Girl?
What if Kate Moss listened to the agents who said she was too short to make it as model?
What if Valentina Sampaio had listened to naysayers who said she’d never make it as model, let alone on to the pages of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue because she’s Transgender?
Do you think Beverly Johnson listened when the fashion industry said black women would never be on the cover of Vogue back in 1971? Or that she might beyond the age to do a cosmetics campaign for Gucci last year?
It’s taken me, and everyone else I mentioned, a long time to get to where they are. I can tell you “here” is never prefect- but it’s all you’ve got.
All of these women told their critics “Hell No!” And answered their dreams “ Hell YES!”
So, whatever you want to do – DO IT.
Own Your Age. Own Your Beauty. Own Your Power.
Special thanks to my 17 year old daughter for taking these pictures and reminding me to live by what I teach my kids. “We hold ourselves back more than anyone else ever could."
Story x Veronica Webb
Photos x Leila Robb
Bikini x Morgan Lane x Frances Grey
Styling x Alison Hernon