Thursday 29 September 2016

Size 16 woman shares nude photos to help other women overcome insecurities (NSFW)

Published 02/10/2015 | 12:45

Emily Nolan's weight has fluctuated over the course of her life, but she is finally learning to accept and love her body.

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The 29-year-old shared images of herself posing nude on MindBodyGreen.com, a health and lifestyle website based in the US.

Working as a model for most of her life, Emily says that she has been 16 different sizes in recent years.

Having struggled with body dysmorphia and eating disorders, Emily has struggled with self acceptance and body confidence.

"What I’ve learned is that a smaller size never enhanced how I felt about my body," she told the website. "A lot of times, I felt like I was too big to be thin, or too thin to be plus size. I questioned where I fit in, never seeing women my size being celebrated for being healthy in the media."
Emily made the "deeply personal" and difficult decision to share the photos in hope of changing that.

"It's the most vulnerable I can be, but in a way, I'm glad you can see me for exactly who I am: strong, confident, worthy, loved," she writes.

For Emily, self-love only came when she decided to accept herself the way she was.

"It's exhausting trying to fit into someone else’s idea of what the perfect body looks like."

Despite modelling for most of her life, she had never accepted an offer to pose nude.

When photographer Victoria Janashvili approached her about a yoga-inspired shoot for her new book, 'Curve', she bit the bullet and stripped down.

"I was more comfortable knowing the shoot was focused around my relationship with yoga, which has taught me a lot about what loving myself actually means. Yoga is patient, it’s kind and the yoga studio has been an exceedingly supportive environment in which to continue my healing process. (I started practicing when I was 18 in outpatient therapy for my eating disorder, and at 29, I still practice regularly.)"

Now a size 14-16, Emily says she has "finally accepted" her body.

"When I look at the photos, I’m overcome with emotion. Not because I’m ashamed, but because I can finally accept my body exactly the way it is, love it and not feel the need to Photoshop it before it gets published."

"Media can be a pressure cooker, publishing dishonest stories on bikini-ready bodies and doctoring images that trick us into believing we need to look a certain way to be loved, to feel worthy, to be a "yogi.""

"If I can be one more inspirational photo that contributes to the body-positive zeitgeist, I’m happy to share these photos. I’m honored to be a catalyst for positive change, to be one more voice that stands up for the millions of men and women who suffer in silence from disordered eating and body shame."

"Healthy comes in so many different shapes and sizes. And we can move our bodies in any way we choose. Our workouts don't have to be the same as everyone else, and we don’t have to be a size zero or fit into name-brand yoga pants just to love ourselves enough to respect and challenge our bodies."

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