I love a good coincidence. I love the synergies between things and finding unexpected connections.
You who know me and know my story will understand the particular significance of the word ‘euphoria’ for me. Euphoria was my most significant side effect from the immune modulating steroids that put me into remission. I wrote about that here. Ah, such a buzz that was, and so nice to have a positive side effect from medications! It’s rare, you know, for the meds to produce something lovely! I like the synergy, that the med that made me happy also made me well.
So, euphoria and I were an established pair. And that bubbly happiness spread out across the joy of my remission, across the beginnings of becoming a plus size model. And then one day, I found myself in the uber cool flat of a brilliant photographer, Carolyn Haslett, who was going to do a shoot for me. She was so lovely. I felt really embarassed by my lack of knowledge about the high end plus size fashion scene. I mean, I’ve never really had budget for high end fashion, so my knowledge extended to bagging bargains and making style out of what you’ve got. And of course, when I was sick, there was very little call for fancy things. It was all comfort and practicality, perched up in my bed looking out at the world.
Carolyn is vastly experienced in the world of fashion, here and overseas. She was a patient educator. She chatted about Georgia Pratt, a plus size model she had photographed previously. Georgia is a forerunner for plus size modelling in New Zealand and is now wildly successful in the UK. Carolyn also told me about Euphoria Design. She told me how much I would love their pieces. We went upstairs to her rooftop and she took some photos. I love all the pictures she took, but the one above feels particularly breezy and confident, it’s one of my favourites from that day. I was wearing my beloved dress from TCD (another oustanding NZ fashion label for plus girls) and enjoying the whole experience. It was a day for stepping into confidence and learning to move my body for the camera. I learned so much, not just from shooting with Carolyn, but from analysing the photos with her later.
I looked up Euphoria Design when I got home, and joined their facebook page. I am always keen to support local fashion houses, and I wanted to know more about them. Their clothes made me swoon. Luxurious, flowing layers and unique signature prints, I loved them all. I was thrilled when they announced an end of season sale, such a great opportunity to pick up designer delights at a fraction of the new season prices. And then, one day, Euphoria announced they were running a competition. They were looking for ten ladies who exhibited the ideal that ‘Confidence is Beautiful’.
I was beyond excited! I rifled through my photos and found the one Carolyn had taken all those months before, up on her roof. James Taylor‘s song started floating through my mind… I uploaded my pic and wrote about that experience, strutting across the rooftop terrace, totally new to modelling, a novice at confident posing. I wrote about how confidence is a choice you make, to back yourself. And then, even though I will never be comfortable asking for votes, I shared and shared and hoped and hoped.
Last night, I got an email saying I was in! What a win for women like me, over forty, a little frumpy, a little frazzly, a little frightened about being thought ridiculous. We’re not ridiculous. We are beautiful, for all that we are, all that we do, all that we have experienced.
It made me dance up and down my hallway. I love this competition because it is all about the very thing I believe. We shine when we stand up with confidence and believe in ourselves. We are beautiful when we know ourselves and treat ourselves with kindness; we radiate positivity when we accept ourselves for all that we are and have been through. Beauty and confidence go hand in hand. It’s a feeling. It’s quite a lot like euphoria!
I sat down this morning to write this post because I knew you’d want to know how that competition went. And as usual, I went to my online graphic program, Canva, to make the blog graphic for the beginning of the post. I kid you not, look at the font name!
So thank you: Carolyn, for the image that helped me place among the winners, to anyone who voted, to Monique at Euphoria & Jane at Identify Marketing for choosing me…
…and thank you ‘synergy’, for making it all feel like a kind of cosmic kismet. I like that.