My post-baby body left me feeling like damaged goods- now Im a lingerie model
Becoming a mother changes your life forever. While it's wonderful to have a little person to take care of and love, there are so many other factors to motherhood that are challenging.
One of the areas that some mums struggle with is body confidence, as going through pregnancy and birth changes your figure completely.
It's something that mum-of-three Holly Ramejikis, 36, from Portsmouth, knows only too well, as although she was blessed with her children, she struggled with her new look after birth.
She'd gained five stone when she had her first baby at 21 and had lots of stretch marks- she no longer felt like herself. In a bid to regain her confidence, she started her Instagram page @thebodypositivemum when she turned 30.
After posting snaps of her unfiltered body including her saggy tummy skin and stretch marks, she's empowered other women and garnered 45,000 followers.
She explains: "After pregnancy, I thought I was damaged goods and nobody would want my new body.
“I battled with yo-yo dieting. Then when I hit 30, something shifted. I embarked on a self-love journey, and I found myself again.
“I decided to embrace everything about me and put myself out there. It was scary, but it was worth it. Now I run courses to help other women gain self confidence and love and appreciate their bodies.”
The success of her account and her journey to body acceptance has led her to new opportunities and now she's become a model for new lingerie brand Boa Boa, founded by Nick Knowles's fiancé Katie Dadzie, 33.
Holly says: “We are so conditioned by society and social media that our bodies shouldn’t look a certain way but let’s be honest more people probably have a body like mine over a size 8-10.
“It’s very rare to see a mid size body represented in sexy lingerie but I know from my followers that I am inspiring them. I’ve made women look at themselves in a new light and I’m so proud of that.
"Because my body is normal, anyone who has lost weight or has kids and has a jelly belly now should still feel comfortable and sexy.
"I make it my mission to be honest and show all my lumps and bumps and loose skin – it’s empowering to be liked for who I really am.
“Life has been quite a rollercoaster, but I've learned that every twist and turn has shaped me into who I am today.”
The mum, who also runs a female empowerment photography company called Liberty Photography says that she's had lots of thanks and praise for sharing her real body online.
Although she's had some trolling, she uses the negative feedback to fuel herself to carry on doing what she is doing and love her body.
She's also worked with brands including Joe Browns, River Island and Studio due to her success online and honest content about family life and embracing your body after having children.
Recently, Holly flew out to do a shoot with Katie and other mums for Boa Boa. Katie says: “All of us modelling were mums in our 30s, and I thought that was a really lovely refreshing angle to have at a lingerie shoot.”
Holly adds “I remember seeing an ad pop up on instagram asking for models to apply of all shapes and sizes. I applied saying I felt that my body wasn’t represented enough in brands.
"You see beautiful slim models and stunning plus size but how often do you see midsize saggy mum bodies?
“The day I got the message that I was selected I froze. I was in complete and utter shock. Then I cried. Nothing like this has ever happened to me.
“Katie and the whole Boa Boa team were incredible. I feel like they have really got it right using everyday bodies and catering to curves and wobbly bits with comfortable stretchy fabrics. I felt amazing.
“And because I was so comfortable I felt like I belonged in front of the camera. They made me feel like a complete goddess. I’m so grateful to Katie for believing in me and giving me the chance to help inspire women of my shape that anything is possible.”
You can now shop the Boa Boa collection online here: boaboawear.com
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