"Someday when I'm skinnier..."

 I don’t think of myself as a model. I think of myself as a writer. And my day-to-day work falls neither here nor there, working two jobs; in social media and in video production as an on-camera host. So, when The Lido Bikini designer Brooke Ulrich, reached out and asked me to represent this summer’s line, The New B Collection, as a model, all of my resistance fired off.

 The mental reflexes went like this: “Me? Are you sure? I could use some more time to get in shape. I’m not a model. I’m not young enough anymore..” and the list goes on.

 So I asked her, worried this would be an embarrassing mistake. But she assured me that this campaign was a celebration of womanhood, of natural beauty.. of the everywoman. She was not looking for the typical runway type to display an impossible ideal. She was looking for someone just like me.

So I got into it, and the shoot made me feel, true-to-brand, like a total goddess. Long, wet hair, arching my curves, sipping a glass of cold wine.. The whole experience reminded me how fun, and how empowering, it is to be a woman who owns her sexuality and her unique beauty. I felt gorgeous.

 And then I saw the raw photos. And you know who stepped right up to review them with me? That cruel inner critic who told me I never should be modeling in the first place. “Yikes, my skin looks dry. I should have sucked in more. I look so tired. That photo is unusable.”

Fear is the voice of my inner critic, and it feels like shit. Truth is the voice of my inner goddess, and it feels like I can do anything.

Thankfully, another voice chimed in too. It wasn’t Brooke, doing what all friends do and telling me that I looked great- it was the voice of my higher self. She had some great advice.

She, the divine, inner goddess that we each have, reminded me that having a photo taken is not about looking like everyone else who has ever had a photo taken. It is about capturing the unique beauty of who we are: curves, freckles, dimples (of all kinds), sun-weathered skin from years of experiences, smile lines for all the laughs we have had. What a gift to have my existence captured this way!

 Recognizing this welcomed in the warm feeling of truth. Fear (that we are not good enough) never feels good. It makes us shrink inside, and keeps us from living our best lives. Fear is the voice of my inner critic, and it feels like shit. Truth is the voice of my inner goddess, and it feels like I can do anything.

 This summer, that is my #1 goal, and I hope you all will share it with me: strengthen the voice of the inner goddess and silence the voice of fear. Start with a smile at your unique beauty in the mirror each morning.. Step out of your comfort zone with a swimwear photo shoot! Get your hair wet, have a glass of wine, knowing that the “someday when I am skinnier” may never come, and live your best life now.

In love, 

Caitlyn Howe
The Lido Journalist