Grace

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Tiny hands and a long torso.

That’s what I would normally say if someone asked what I thought my main features were.

My best friend, Maya, and this shoot have shown me otherwise.

Not that I was raised to be self-conscious, but I was not raised to be particularly confident of how I look or who I am. In my family we didn’t talk about sex. We didn’t talk about being body positive. We didn’t talk about experimenting with how you look outside of “normal.”  

Growing up I was a chubby kid with long greasy hair who always wore hand me down clothing from their brothers. I was always told I looked like a tomboy and I was proud of it. I didn’t like wearing dresses, or skirts, or doing my hair, or wearing make up. I didn’t even get my ears pierced till I was 19 because I always thought it was too girly. All growing up I saw being feminine as being weak. Lesser. Prissy. Being feminine or sexy was something I looked down on.   

As I got older I developed from chubby lump into a human with fairly aesthetically pleasing curves. It took me about 2 years to realize this change was happening and when I first noticed I tried to hide it. I still wore oversized baggy cargo shorts, and t-shirts two sizes too big. Tried anything to not be seen as attractive by any means.  

Then I did a thing.   

I cut off all my hair.   

Seeing me now it doesn’t look like I have much to cut, but when I was about 17/18 I cut off over 2 feet of hair.   

That changed everything.   

After I cut off my hair I felt like no change beyond that would require explanation. After I cut off my hair I started to dress more like how I wanted to. It wasn’t overnight by any means, but it didn’t take long for me to finally start feeling confident in myself. I figured if someone was going to judge me for short hair they would judge me about anything so I might as well give them more to judge me for.   

Looking back that was dumb and wonderful. Finally getting to feel like I have control of my body I got to actually look at myself and start to love what I saw. I got to see my curves and actually appreciate them. I got to fall in love with my squishy tummy and jiggly thighs.   

It took a long time to see myself as sexy though. Being sexy still felt like I was being viewed as an object, because I had a thought that to be sexy I had to be sexy to someone else. My best friends and my partner have shown me that I only need to be sexy for me, and if someone else agrees then I guess that’s just a perk.   

I’m a 21 year old tattooed and pierced pansexual who is in a wonderful healthy sexy committed relationship and I fucking love it.