It seems almost fate that I am able to post this blog at such a special time. One of the reasons I started this blog was to help spread awareness of what an Ostomy actually was. What having a bag actually means. This post, the pictures and the Vanilla Blush film definitely do that!
Most of the blog below started off as a status update in a closed Ostomy group. As often happens the words flowed and before I knew it I had almost written this entire blog in an FB status update! After the responses I received it seemed only right to use these words for a base for this blog post.
As some of you may know a few months ago I was lucky enough to be asked to 'model' for Vanilla Blush.
Vanilla Blush are a company specializing in making underwear for Ostomists (people with bags similar to mine) However, they are not just functional pieces of underwear they are also designed (in my opinion) with the Ostomist in mind.
By this I mean yes they are functional. but they are also comfortable and fashionable. When you look at the pics below they are also most importantly still sexy. Their products offer support and confidence when undertaking every day activities to sport and even intimacy.
I think the reason this shows is all of their garments are not only made for Ostomists, they are actually design by an Ostomist. Nicola Dames CEO of Vanilla Blush is an Ostomist herself. I think this shows in the products they produce.
Well, I was asked if Id like to be part of a photography shoot for some of the new Vanilla Blush range.
Initially let me explain that despite my perhaps 'perceived' confidence like many of us (Ostomist and non Ostomist alike) I still battle with body confidence issues. Not just my bag, but normal everyday ones like hair loss or weight. Well I believe it or not this photo shoot did put me outside of my comfort zone. Potentially exposing all of my personal body confidence issues for all to see.
But after seeing these pics and showing a few close friends the feedback made me look at myself in the mirror and give myself a good hard SLAP. A reminder of something I'd forgotten.
We all have body confidence 'challenges' the thing I'd forgotten is they are mine, I give them control and power. However, I also have the ability to overcome them.
I guess what I am saying is it has taken me a long time to get here, blood, sweat and tears, mentally and physically. We all have body confidence issues. We shouldn't hide from them. We should embrace them it's what makes us all such unique and special people :)
Whilst these images will hopefully help challenge some stoma stigmas I'm also grateful for this opportunity to take a look at myself as I'm seen by others. Not how I perhaps see myself :)
Check out the awesome teaser video released
by Vanilla Blush
I’d also like to officially put in this blog my thanks. My thanks to Vanilla Blush for allowing me to be part of this, but also for helping me to progress with my own body confidence issues.
I don’t think these demons ever really fully go away but with their garments and the additional confidence this photo shoot gave me, they definitely make it harder for me to hear them.