A curvy mum has hit back at ‘body shamers’ by posting a photo of her size 16 figure in a red bikini on Facebook – and been rewarded with a professional photoshoot.
Mum-of-two Stephanie Redmond, 39, uploaded images of herself in the revealing swimwear on Facebook during the recent heatwave.
She wanted to make a stand against “judgmental and shallow” people who had made remarks about her image and was shocked when her scantily-clad images went viral.
Her defiant message was picked up by a clothes shop who were so impressed they offered her a free photoshoot.
Stephanie, an administrator from Plymouth, Devon, said: “I was lying in the bath and scrolling through Facebook.
“I was seeing post after post after post of people saying that they were so uncomfortable in the heatwave because they weren’t able to wear what they wanted, or if they had gone out in shorts and t-shirt they felt uncomfortable and got snide looks.
“I just thought ‘hang on a minute,’ I was at the beach this weekend in a very bold red bikini and I didn’t care who was looking at me because I was there with my son and my family and I am a size 16 – a proud size 16.
“I thought ‘I need to share this on Facebook so other people can see this is okay to wear what they want whatever size.’
“I expected maybe the cursory 30 odd likes and it just blew off. I didn’t realise it would affect so many people.”
Stephanie’s positive message was so well-liked, scores of women got in touch to praise her for taking a stand.
And Frock The High Street, based in Plymouth, invited her to take part in a photoshoot after seeing her pictures.
The brave mother has now been snapped wearing a number of classy outfits and high-end dresses.
She added; “I was really surprised and really embarrassed to be asked, but also really excited.
“I had my youngest two-and-a-half years ago I haven’t been out since I had him and I’ve not lost my baby weight – I’ve not really tried to lose it to be honest.
“So when they offered me the opportunity to come down and do a bit of modelling in my sized clothing I thought yeah, let’s do this. This will be fun.
“When they showed me the clothes that I would be modelling I thought that they would definitely suit my shape.
“I’ve never had any confidence issues showing off my shape and they were really flattering styles so I was really excited to take part.”
After saying that the shoot made her feel “a million dollars,” she has maintained her body-positive approach, urging more women to be confident in their own skin.
“All of the dresses were really complimentary of my figure,” she said.
“I’m thinking about buying one of them for my 40th birthday next month.
“And the jumpsuits – you’ve got to have a bit of a booty to show the curves off in those.
She added: “I’m gonna have these photos now for life.”
Janine Boylin, owner of Frock The High Street, said: “How beautiful did she look?
“I really love the way she was saying ‘frock you’ to anybody that was going to challenge her on that. I loved that.
“It’s very important for every woman to be comfortable in their own skin and to dress right now in what they want to wear rather than to buy the dress and then diet to be in the dress they want to be in.
“It’s really not the right way around and I think the pressures are so great on women today and they really need to support each other.”