The Art of Feeling Sexy

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Taylor has been part of my life since she was a Resident Advisor (RA) at California State University at Monterey Bay in my first year as a Community Director back in 2013. I love the fun, creativity, and her ability to make anything a fashion statement that Taylor brings to this world. Read for what she has to say about feelin' yourself!

Taylor was born in a small Bay Area city in 1994, and moved to Monterey in 2012 to pursue a degree in Business Administration from CSU Monterey Bay. She graduated in the fall of 2016 and lived in Monterey until January 2018, where she then moved back to the Bay Area. In her free time she enjoys tackling DIY projects, blogging (sometimes), and reading corny romance novels.
From a very young age, I realized my body was different. As girls grew vertically, I was growing horizontally. My body was taken over by stretch marks, and cellulite dimples; I became overweight, unable to eat junk food without feeling judged, and overall I was unhappy. I was so obsessed with looking like a model in a magazine, an actress, or even just looking like a normal girl in my high school that it was a chore everyday to get dressed in the morning. When we would change in the locker rooms before and after gym class, I wanted to hide and be invisible. When we had to do swimming for school, I wanted to curl into a ball and disappear. It was bad enough that boys had to see me in a hideous bathing suit with a shirt on top to cover any rolls, but then I had to get butt naked in the locker room. I tried dieting, exercising, Weight Watchers, calorie counting, and a million other things that just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t until part way through college when I realized I was stuck with the body I had until I got up enough drive to change it. I started experimenting with my clothing choices in the past year or so and haven’t felt this good about my body in a long time.


That’s not to say I overcame my body image issues. To be quite honest, I don’t believe that will ever be the case. And it’s not that I think I’m ugly, but I have never considered myself to be anything more than cute or pretty. The words hot and sexy just don’t come to mind when I see myself, but I wanted that to change. Back in December I asked a close, talented, friend of mine how comfortable he would be taking boudoir inspired photos of me and he agreed. For those of you who don’t know, in photographyboudoir refers to a style in which women pose for photographs partially clothed or in lingerie (see here for a BuzzFeed video). This was probably the most nerve-wracking thing I had ever done. As the days got closer to the shoot, I became more and more nervous and insecure, but I wasn’t going to back out. I bought actual lingerie like a grown ass woman and fortunately enough there was a no return policy. But I knew this was something I needed to do for myself, so I did, and the results are pretty epic if I do say so myself.   

Photographer friend Daniel Duddy (Instagram: @dan_duddy_)

But, my reaction to these photos weren’t as I expected at first. I was appreciative of my friend but I felt slightly embarrassed to look at them. All I could see were my flaws: the stretch marks I hate, the rolls I try to hide, and the dimples in my fat. It wasn’t until I showed some of the photos to a few close friends that they started to grow on me. I started to see parts of myself I always thought were ugly, as beautiful. My stretch marks have been with me for as long as I can remember, they’re a part of me. When I see my body I can’t picture it without them, or without the rolls of fat I have. They are what make me who I am and who I’ve become. I’m sexy because of them, and because of my growing confidence. To anyone who struggles with seeing their body as sexy, or feeling confident about it, you should do something that makes you stare at your body in a different light. That’s not to say you should go get naked in front of a camera, but do something that makes you feel good. Get dressed up in your favorite outfit, go out, and be around people who love you for you. You can feel confident without changing your appearance. Accept it and embrace it for all its differences because you’re worth it. 

Role Modeling & Self-Care

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Role modeling and Self-Care…

Both are almost an over-used, watered down sentiment that we use every chance we get.

And so many years later, so people have really shaped my idea on self-care and role modeling that I could write a separate post per person each day for the rest of the year - grateful for people who let me know some hard truths when I need to hear it.

Today's post was written mostly from my lens as a woman. Because we have different struggles. Different expectations. Different truths. Different narratives when it comes to role modeling and self-care.

I’m still learning and it’s really hard to role model and practice self-care, especially in the type of career I'm in - essentially a 24.7 camp counselor…it's hard to practice until students start to tell me they’re worried about me. Or that I don’t take enough time for myself. Or that they are genuinely concerned about my well-being.

And then I realize the awful habits I am teaching them. The habits that have ultimately made me miss weddings, baby showers, birthdays, funerals, impromptu dinners, dates, phone calls and the like.

And that is not something I want to teach my students. That is not something I want to teach my clients, friends, coworkers, or family.

It’s something I want to UN-learn myself.

And in the last 1-2 years, I have taken better measure to make sure I am there. That I am celebrating a precious baby. That I am making an effort to celebrate someone’s new promotion at work. That I take the time to plan a surprise birthday party for a friend.

And finally, I have been thinking so much on how as a woman I show up to my self-care. How I show up in role modeling to people. And how to stop apologizing for being.

As a woman, the world tells us to be confident and go without make up and exude our natural beauty! Then, part of the world is telling us to LOOK PUT TOGETHER! As anyone comfortable in their own narrative, we know whichever you choose, both are great. If either make you feel confident, show up in that.

These days, I show up however the $(%^ I want to show up. It’s my self-care and I will show up in whatever attire and energy I choose to. I will show up in my womanhood in however I feel like that day.

And I will let the words flow from my mouth in whatever sequence, vulgarity, or grace that it may.

This is NOT an excuse to be disrespectful, to bring bad energy to a room, or to be irresponsible. It is permission to myself to create authentic space and be in that space with others who allow me to be.

It’s also permission to some times work late because in some regards that is my self-care/role modeling. By taking care of something I’ve worked so hard to maintain. And other days, it means re-scheduling meetings or allowing others to run my ish' so I can celebrate a friend’s birthday on a MONDAY.

Whatever the type of self-care, it’s not always on the weekends or in the evenings. It’s any time I choose it to be if I listen to my body/soul and what they actually need.

And whatever role modeling I am exuding - I want it to be transparent. I can still have a lot figured out and it is ok to admit I have even more to figure out than I thought. AND THEN SHARING THAT with others. And being real.

And not always answering “I’m good” when someone asks how I am doing. But also not over sharing with people who aren’t interested in how I am doing – Because they’re only interested in the information I can share so they can share with others.

I’ve been evolving in both of these practices.

And today, I showed up in all of my beloved womanhood, as is, with no apologies to follow.

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