Vulnerability. The key to deep relationships, loving yourself and fulfillment. So why is it so intimidating? Why do we have this urge to hide our tears and suck it up? Vulnerability means being exposed, it can often leave us feeling unsafe, and it’s downright risky. If I were to ask you to define vulnerability, what would you say? Share your definition in the comments below.
What I find most interesting about vulnerability is I truly admire it in others but have such a hard time with it myself. In others I view it as authenticity, in myself it looks more like weakness.
Let's be real, even Wonder Woman has a weakness.
The day we shot our first ever product photography session I was inspired by the models and their level of body confidence. The freedom they each had in the way they moved their body, their level of comfort in front of a camera and how much fun they were having was admirable. THIS was a beautiful way to define vulnerability. It made me think, “Do models have insecurities?” Of course, they do, they’re human after all. So after our shoot, I reached out to Ashley to share with us what her experience was really like:
My Interview with Ashley:
In 100 words or less, tell us about yourself:
Hello! My name is Ashley and I am a 23-year-old ice cream lover and sweatpants enthusiast. As a child, I was surrounded by the beautiful mountains and lakes of BC and after graduating high school, I moved to Toronto to pursue a career as a professional contemporary dancer. For as long as I can remember I defined myself as a dancer and nothing else. After four years in the big city, I have returned to my roots and see myself as so much more. I’m an artist, student, mover, teacher, explorer and, most importantly, am open to any direction life takes me.
Close your eyes and picture a confident woman. What do you see?
I picture a woman that is completely content and comfortable in her skin. Her chin is up, her eyes are open, and her shoulders are back.
Did you have doubts or have insecurities about doing a lingerie shoot? Why?
YES ABSOLUTELY. I have spent most of my life in a dance studio having my body analyzed by myself and others. Doing a lingerie shoot, at first, made me feel like I was putting myself in a very vulnerable position. It turned out to be extremely empowering and I am so glad I did it.
What do you love the most about your body?
Most of all, I love its strength. My body takes me through life and has supported me and been there for me even when I’ve put it through trauma.
What makes you the happiest?
Laying in the sun on the dock at my cabin on Summit Lake.
Do you have a funny or embarrassing moment that involves lingerie you’d be willing to share?
Nothing too crazy BUT… The very first time I wore lingerie, and please picture me already feeling fairly nervous and uncomfortable, I did not understand how in the heck to get it on. So, my friend had to come over and help my completely naked and confused self get all zipped up in what seemed like a sheer, lace puzzle.
If you could share a message, center stage of a room full of women, what would you tell them?
This question initially really stressed me out but the consensus of what I am thinking is: “BE WEIRD, BE YOURSELF AND EAT THE DAMN DONUT” and hopefully by the time I find myself center stage in a room full of women I will find a more eloquent way of getting that message across.
What would you tell young women struggling with their body image?
To the best of your ability, do less looking at your body and do more listening to your body. Be kind to yourself and treat your body the way you would want your best friend to treat hers.
If you had all the courage in the world, what would you be doing?
Unfortunately for my parents (just kidding, but yes, I did stress them out), I have done my best to fulfill all my curiosities and follow my heart through life thus far. However, if I was truly courageous at this moment, I would face my fear of jumping off of the platform at the pool. I am completely content standing on my current life path but definitely wouldn't mind flipping homes one day.
If you could speak to your younger self, what would you tell her?
I would probably tell her that no one is looking at the one pimple on her forehead and to please not get bangs and braces in the same month.
What I love the most about being 23 years old is:
THE UNKNOWN. I find it crazy that I am saying this because for the past few years I have explained to anyone who asked that I was having a “transition” year out of fear of other's judgement of my lack of concrete life plan. Two years ago, I was a working professional dancer, last summer I was travelling through Kenya, Egypt and Israel and pretty soon I will be continuing school at the university online since we are living amongst a pandemic. Life is crazy and I love it.
Connect with Ashley on IG here!
-Shauna Allan is the founder of Modern Match Lingerie Inc. and The Bra Bra Sisterhood – armed with a cup of java and her favorite pieces of lingerie, she hosts a safe space where women can simply just be women! Join our community here