Julia Fernandez (pictured above)

I look at these pictures and, honestly, I can’t even believe what I see. If you’d asked me a year ago if I could ever do something like this, I would have wholeheartedly laughed in your face. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined feeling so good about myself that I’d actually be able to not only do this, but to also be excited to share myself so enthusiastically. Being in front of that camera, gradually stripping down to just my bra & underwear, was the most empowering thing I’ve ever done. Empowering because, for the first time in my life, I was actually more than happy to take ownership of this wonderful body that I was given and show it off for the world to see. I’m not brave for loving myself, nor inspiring — my body isn’t something I should be “brave” for having or sharing. This here is just me, and I am deeply and madly in love with me because I’ve worked tirelessly to get to this incredible place that I’m in right now. I’ve finally given myself full permission to love myself unconditionally, and to live my life wholly and unapologetically.

Amanda Hoffman (pictured above)

My body has a story. One of hate, of brokenness, of pain, of scars. It’s a beautiful story, of love, of acceptance, of stretch marks, and pride. Loving my body isn’t easy. Even looking through these photos I started to pick out what I wish I had done differently, how I stood, what I asked to be edited (which was nothing except redness around a new tattoo). But that wasn’t the point of why I did this. The amount of growth I have had within the last year is astonishing. In my leadership, friendships and relationships, mental health, and how I think of myself. It’s a growth that is now exponential. Looking at myself and my confidence a year ago, when I bought my FIRST crop top to now. Doing a body positive photoshoot with it all out there is an astounding change. And one that I couldn’t have done without the support system around me. I’m so proud of me, of my rolls, and scars, and acne, stretch marks and all. She is me. And honestly? I look fine as hell.

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