Content Warning: sexual trauma, harassment
My relationship with lingerie is complicated to say the least. I don't have any issues seeing myself in lingerie provided that I am the only one seeing it. When it's just me, lingerie is just another fashion outlet for personal expression. I see it like wearing a bikini or a crop top. If it's cute and I like it, I wear it. But while I view lingerie from a fashion perspective, I can't control the way that others may view it and I can't avoid that there's a clear sexual nature to lingerie; one that still makes me uncomfortable.
I am a person who enjoys sex but because of my past sexual trauma, I have had to work really hard to see myself as more than a sexual object and as someone who was worthy of love, both from myself and others. I used to look at lingerie and love for that matter as something that was everyone else but me. I've written about this in more detail for Bustle so I am going to include something that I wrote there that still rings true.
"I no longer look at lingerie (or love, for that matter) as something that's for 'everyone but me.' I had to learn that I can be sexy and still keep my humanity. I had to learn that I am not defined by my experiences. It's been an emotional journey to self love, but it's something that I make sure I work at every day because I realize that the most important relationship I'll ever have is with myself."
I wrote that in June of last year and I can report it's still something that I'm still processing. I still get triggered in ways I don't expect. A stranger messaging me if it's "okay to talk to me" can send me into a tailspin. I feel like no matter how many accounts I block on Instagram or posts I make stating "your comments are not compliments; they are harassment," my boundaries will still not be respected. Harassment, much like fat shaming, is something that comes along with my visibility and as long as both continue to happen, I will continue to speak on them. But real talk, the entitlement that people feel to my body scares the shit out of me.
As a writer, sometimes I struggle with wanting to feel like I have the perfect ending, but as a person, I know well enough to know that when my life is the topic, it doesn't work that way. I want to be able to post lingerie pics and not be like 'THIS IS HARD FOR ME.' One day, maybe I'll be there, but maybe not. Lingerie is still complicated for me and that's okay.
When I saw this lingerie set from FullBeauty, I was inspired to face my fears. I wanted the bra initially to wear as a top. I've been wanting to wear a caged bra for the longest and once I got my hands on this one, I really wondered where it had been my whole life.
I liked the fit of the bra itself because all of the straps were adjustable. Since it comes as a set, I had to get the same size for the bra and the bottoms (3X/4X) which meant that the bottoms just fit and the bra was a little big.
The bra was super comfortable for me to wear all day which was a pleasant surprise. I paired it with high-waisted pleather leggings (much like these), boots, a faux fur coat and of course, some Ready to Stare shades.
Though I could've been completely content to just wear the bra as a top, I also really liked the matching panties and I wanted to wear it as a set. They are actually completely sheer mesh with a cut-out in the back. I wore another solid pair of black panties underneath because that was more comfortable for me. I think that they are cute either way.
I had originally planned on shooting this on a bed but when it came down to it, that isn't something I'm ready to do and again, that's okay. This bookshelf situation created an unexpected backdrop that I personally dig.
The panties came with garters that I couldn't figure out how to attach to my thigh highs but lucky for me they were detachable so I skipped them for the sake of this shoot. My thigh highs are from Curvy Girl Lingerie and I'm wearing the size D.
I also got this lace robe from FullBeauty. I associate robes with glamour and Blanche Devereaux and sadly, I don't own enough of them. This one is super witchy and I love it. Also peep that panty cut out!
The last piece that I tried out was a marabou trim chemise. It reminded me of something that Cher might wear in Clueless or I could wear as a fat Spice Girl.
I don't have an ending. This part of my journey definitely isn't over. I look at these pictures and I see happiness and personal progress. I see someone who is both sexy and worthy of love and respect and that's a great place to start.
Longline Bra Set, c/o Full Beauty
Polka Dot Thigh Highs, c/o Curvy Girl Lingerie
Short Lace Robe, c/o Full Beauty
Marabou Trim Chemise, c/o Full Beauty