Real Client: Kimmay
I am so excited to share the Hurray Kimmay mission with the Own Your Sexy community! You got your start as a professional bra fitter. Tell us more about the importance of finding zen with your bra…
Bras are not for everyone, for sure. And. If you’re going to wear one, it’s important to make sure it fits well and feels great, because they support our bodies, and guard a really precious part of us: our hearts. I use a bra fitting as a tool to help people get to know their bodies, care for themselves, explore their identity, and open their heart. Whether it’s the physical aspect of support, or the emotional support, it matters what you put on each and every day. And because no one may see it but you, it’s a special opportunity to show up for yourself in a beautiful way.
How can wearing the right bra change your life?
I have seen a bra fitting and wearing lingerie completely transform people’s lives. It starts with the new perception they have about themselves and their bodies. Often, people would come to me feeling out of sync with their bodies and their breasts (and ultimately, their heart). After a bra fitting with me they feel held, understood, supported, confident, sexy, and even calm. They feel like they’ve really gotten to know themselves, their bra size, their bodies in new ways. Those feelings radiate from the inside out and help that person step out in more authentic and confident ways. And those actions are life changing!
As a boudoir photographer, I see women of all shapes and sizes in my studio, and one of the biggest things I have learned in doing this work is how ALLLL of us have issues with our bodies and battle negativity on a daily basis. As a bra fitter, you see this, too. What are the three biggest things you wish all women would realize about their bodies before they step into the bra fitting room with you?
Love this question! And you’re right. Unfortunately, almost every single person I had helped in the bra fitting room had something negative to say about their bodies. It was shocking! When I started as a fitter I was almost 20 years old and I thought I was the only one who thought those negative things about my body. Turns out, everyone did. And what was more shocking was that I didn’t even see the “flaws” that they were pointing out about themsleves. It showed me that viewing myself in such a negative way was actually a waste of time. So that is number one: it’s a waste of your time and energy to obsess about the “flaws” you are seeing. Not only does no one else see yours, but they are too busy worrying about their own!
Another eye opener for me was just how “normal” most bodies look. I was used to seeing super fit, toned, tanned, and airbrushed to perfection bodies in magazines. So when I saw real beautiful women with real bodies with cellulite, stretch marks, bruises, veins, and more, I realized that my body was normal and beautiful, too! I truly wish every woman could work as a bra fitter for a week. They’d see that all bodies are beautiful. Whether you have asymmetrical breasts, nipples that are innies or outties, stretch marks, loose skin, you name it – it’s all a normal part of having a human body.
And finally I want women to know that the measurements we take as fitters, and the size on the tag are just numbers. Whether you wear a 28 band or a 56 band, and whether an A cup or an N cup fits best today, and whether you measure 24 or 54 inches around, these numbers are information, not a definition. In my #MoreThanMyNumbers campaign (so lovingly captured by Own Your Sexy), I helped women release the stigma of numbers like weight, age, number of pregnancies, even number of breasts. Those numbers do not define you. It doesn’t mean your body is ugly or beautiful or fit or fat or anything at all. Even if they’re important to know, you are so much more than numbers. You are a whole, beautiful, worthy of love person.
“It’s a waste of your time and energy to obsess about the “flaws” you are seeing. Not only does no one else see yours, but they are too busy worrying about their own!”
What made you go from the fitting room to being in front of the camera, all over the world, in your underwear?
It’s an odd jump, I’ll admit it. I think part of it was that I was helping people in the fitting room learn to love their bodies because I was on my own journey at the same time. I started blogging and sharing my advice for people to learn to love their bodies. At some point, I realized I was making a lot of progress, but I wasn’t really fully walking the walk. I was just talking the talk. So when I finally had done a lot of inner work, I decide let that show on the outside. I started sharing images of me in my bathing suit from a trip to Florida and committed to no airbrushing my stretch marks or “flaws” because I wanted people to see what a real body looks like, and inspire them to love their bodies a little more, too.
From there I was in O Magazine in my swimsuit which was a BIG leap. And after that, I just felt like lingerie was the next step. I brought four swim or lingerie brands with me on a trip to Mexico, and called it a #HurrayVacay. I discussed not just the products but how to embrace feeling like you’re on a vacation in everyday life. It felt great to share both the brands and products and heartfelt advice at the same time. All while sharing my real body. Now the #HurrayVacay campaign has helped me partner with and share many brands and travel all over the world: Mexico, Florida, California, Paris, Guatemala, and more!
“I wanted people to see what a real body looks like, and inspire them to love their bodies a little more, too.”
I’ll be honest and tell you that I started out pretty modest with one piece swimsuits or high waisted bikinis, and it took gobs of courage to let more and more of my skin and my real self show. But doing the inside soul work alongside the outside and underneath work at the same time empowered me to see my body in a whole new way. I don’t think everyone needs to or should show their body for others to see. For a long time for me it was not what I wanted nor would it have been the best choice. But for me, now, in the current state of how I share inspiration and brands and products and advice, it’s a public act of self love.
The beautiful images in this post were taken in Paris recently. What was your favorite moment of our photo shoot and why?
These images are AMAZING. I mean. C’mon! Remember I’ve traveled all over the world and had photos taken in my underwear and these keep getting comments like, “these are my favorite photos of you!” or “GORGEOUS”. And while that outside validation is nice, it’s also just affirming what I already know 😉 Because not only are the photos beautiful, but I know I am beautiful on the inside, outside, and underneath, too.
My favorite part of this shoot? There were so many! I think the two biggest may have been the first and the last look. (Well, actually the first look was a day ahead of time, and was with the effing Eiffel Tower in a sequin gown at dawn. I mean. What?! It was a pinch me moment, for sure.) On the big shoot day, the first look I was wearing a black stick on with rhinestones from NuBra. I was wearing just that, a gorgeous pair of Simone Perele boyshorts and heels, with my hair up in rolls. I had never felt more comfortable with the crew and confident in my body than in that moment. The younger version of myself would NEVER have guessed that I would not only feel great, but powerful and gorgeous in such a get up!
The second favorite moment was the last look of the day. It almost didn’t happen because of rain (and my nerves). I was wearing those same heels and Simone Perele boyshorts with the matching bra. Over it I had a trench coat and a hat. This was THE look I envisioned for my Uncover Your Confidence blog post. I wanted a photo of me walking down the streets of Paris with the trench coat open and looking fierce. And though I pose in my underwear all the time, this was a big stretch for me! We decided to really go for it and instead of a hidden alleyway to have me walk in front of *gulp* Notre Dame! After feeling like I wanted to retreat or we were over our time or let’s just forget it… the whole awesome crew supported me to make it happen. Those photos are DREAMY. And a real testament that confidence takes practice and there are always more ways to grow!
Tell us a bit about the lovely lingerie you are wearing in these photos.
I’m wearing one of my favorite French brands ever: Simone Perele. When I was a fitter, I would sell Simone Perele to people every. single. day. They were a great go-to for clients and offered such a beautiful blend of pretty and practical. The French really know how to do lingerie, and Simone Perele makes it’s also wearable. Never in a million years when I was a young bra fitter would I think that I’d be partnering with them in this way. Especially in a wearing-their-lingerie-in-Paris-in-front-of-Notre-Dame kind of way. They truly understand and support my values around confidence and where it comes from, which is why we partnered on the How to Uncover Your Confidence blog post. What a dream!
The adhesive bras are from NuBra. This bra saved my wedding dress! I found the perfect dress and it was (predictably) difficult to wear with almost any bra.
I trusted this stick on bra to keep me supported, smooth, and lifted on one of the most important days of my life and it did the trick – in 95% humidity and 95 degree weather. I’m forever grateful. I wanted to show people the freedom they can have when wearing an adhesive bra, and also the do’s and don’ts of wearing them. Even as a 32DD, I like wearing this bra! That’s why I partnered with them on the How to Wear Adhesive Bras Underneath Backless Outfits.
“I have loved on my body and accept it in such big ways, that seeing things like cellulite or rolls doesn’t make me cringe anymore. I see my body as my best friend, and have come to respect, support, and adore it more than ever before.”
What lessons has posing in your undies taught you about yourself? How has it changed you?
When I first went through images of me in my bathing suit and underwear, I was super picky about which photos I shared. I realized I wanted to only share images that were ultra flattering. Now, as I scan through images and are choosing which to share, I think “this is what love looks like.” I have loved on my body and accept it in such big ways, that seeing things like cellulite or rolls doesn’t make me cringe anymore. I see my body as my best friend, and have come to respect, support, and adore it more than ever before. I don’t know if I would have gotten to this point without posing in my underwear. Well, it certainly wouldn’t have been as fast or as fun!
What does owning your sexy mean to you?
It means learning to love myself – all of myself- and being unapologetically me. Without judgement, without fear. It’s confidence. It’s being courageous. It’s being soft. It’s standing in my power.
It’s just being me.
Learn more about Kimmay’s beautiful mission and how you can work with her on her website, www.hurraykimmay.com.
Editor’s note: None of Kimmay’s photos have been photoshopped at all – her body is 100% un-retouched.
Want to create beautiful images of your own?