What Standing In Front of Niagara Falls in My Underwear Taught Me About Self-Love

On Victoria Day long weekend, seven other women and I traveled to Niagara Falls, Ontario to pose in front of the falls in our lingerie or bathing suits. The event was organized by Kayla Logan, whose positive message about how Every Body is Beautiful struck a chord with me as a woman who struggled with her body image her whole life.

At first I wasn’t going to participate, because it was singlehandedly the most ridiculous thing I could have ever imagined myself doing.  But the more I thought about it, the more it felt like it was something that I had to do for myself. Unable to sleep the night before, I found myself scrolling Instagram and eventually clued in that I was actively seeing hundreds of videos and images of women accomplishing fitness feats that I haven’t gotten to yet, women who looked amazing in bathing suits and women with flawless skin and perfect hair.

I realised that I had to stop comparing myself to other women. Not just physically, but from an overall standpoint. I might not be the thinnest or the fittest, the smartest or the most talented, but I have some skills that are just as damn near impressive.  I’m a small business owner, I’ve overcome illness and disorders, I’m a mother of twins (and I’ll physically fight anyone who says surviving parenting twins isn’t brag-worthy) , and I’m told I’ve got a killer smile and wicked eyes.

So I agreed to do the shoot. I was nervous as hell and as I met the women who were going to pose with me (who were literally just strangers to me) I found myself comparing myself to them in my head before the shoot – “Her heels are so cute! Look at her perfect round bum! I wish my boobs were like hers! Her makeup is beautiful! I wish I had her hair!” and I had to shake myself out of this trance and took a step back and really listened to the women around me share their amazing stories of self love.

And then we stripped down and did our thing…and I braced myself for insults. But you know what we got instead?  Cheers. Compliments. And a whole lot of people, who at first glace looked fit, strong and beautiful to me, saying that they "would never have the confidence to do what we were doing." It hit me in this moment that we are all insecure, we are all vulnerable, and we all need this mindset of self-depreciation to change. 

I did this because my body is strong and beautiful, and yours is too.  Self love isn't for the faint of heart, and it doesn't happen overnight. It's a process of accepting who you are; your body, your heart, your mind and your soul. Self love is loving your whole self, what makes you undeniably and uniquely YOU. This is your everyday fight in a world of people and media telling you to hate who you are. There is no one else out there just like you, so be proud of how unique you are and love yourself.  You are seen. You are worthy. You are beautiful. And you are so enough.