Real Moms Redefine Supermodel

Let’s be real. If you were asked to come try on swimsuits and participate in a photo shoot that would be shared with 2.4 million viewers, what would your answer be? If you said yes right away, we bow down to your uber confidence. If the thought makes you squirm in your compression leggings, then you're probably like most of us.

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When Brooke Griffin and the team set out to find everyday women to participate in our ModCloth photo shoot, we knew it wouldn’t be an easy task…at first. We wanted real moms to agree to let us show them that feeling confident, flirty, and fun is all about finding the swimsuit that works best for your unique body type. This also meant showing off their body unfiltered and exposed to a huge audience. As you can imagine, the offer to participate was accepted with some apprehension. However, Brooke knows firsthand how intimidating this exposure can be, so she made sure the women were comfortable and confident in front of the camera in order to enjoy this new experience. The end result taught the entire Skinny Mom crew and team of real mom models just how beautiful finding comfort in your unique self can be.

Our real mom models included Cara, (mother of a toddler), Memie (mother of two adult children), Shalonda (mother of two young children), and Courtney (mother of three…all under ten, we might add).

women wearing modcloth bathing suitsThe group showed up at headquarters and the resistance from a few of the mommy models was evident from the start.  Their quiet and nervous demeanor was met with hesitation when we rolled out the colorful rack of ModCloth swimsuits in every shape, style, pattern, and cut you can imagine. Luckily, mom model Shalonda was a perfect ice breaker diving into the ModCloth suit selection confident and ready to show off her recent 78 pound weight loss. Shalonda quickly found her perfect soul mate in a suit that offered a non-traditional, modern style that still made her feel sexy while covering the areas she felt more modest.  Shalonda’s perfect score helped set off an unfiltered energy that encouraged our other more reluctant real mom models to choose their perfect picks.

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Cara approached the fittings with a little hesitation being that her son is only 15 months old and modeling a swimsuit for millions was as high on her priority list as having a root canal. However, when she found the ModCloth vintage-inspired polka dot suit that offered full bust support and a tummy taming, figure flattering fit, we soon saw her uncomfortable poise in front of the camera blossom into fun-loving giggles and silly faces as if she was as relaxed in front of the professional photographer as she would be playfully entertaining her toddler son on a normal day at home.

new mom wearing modcloth bathing suitMother of three, Courtney, followed a similar transformation as Cara. Coming in, Courtney admitted she was uncomfortable with her body but agreed to participate in the shoot in an effort to help other mothers feel less ashamed about their post-baby bodies. The end result: Courtney found herself more confident, feeling what she described as “an overwhelming feeling of acceptance” from the other models, Skinny Mom staff, and photo team.  And rightfully so! The beautiful ModCloth emerald suit Courtney chose was a perfect match to her skin tone and provided support in all the areas she was most concerned with.  A serious ooohlala moment!

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Memie entered our shoot most notably nervous of our models. At age 57, she was the oldest of the mom models and mother to two grown children.  Reluctant about the experience and staying in her comfort zone, Memie first chose a suit that was loose-fitting and truly too big for her. However, with some compassionate encouragement, she agreed to slip into a more flattering chevron one-piece that was a stretch from a normal print she may have chose on her own. And with that simple change, her slim physique was highlighted and Memie began to ooze confidence as she transformed in front of the camera - even eventually directing the photographer on how to shoot her and playfully posing lying on the ground showing off her sassy self and newfound assurance in her ModCloth suit.

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The end result of the photo shoot was a true testimony to the power of support and encouragement from the sisterhood of motherhood in believing we each possess a unique beauty that shouldn’t be hidden, but celebrated. The fact that each of these women in different shapes, sizes, and ages were able to find comfort, confidence, and an ability to show off their individual assets simply from choosing the swimsuit that made them feel proud changed this experience from a simple photo shoot, to a resounding reminder of individual beauty and celebration of the capabilities of a mother’s body.  What could more appropriately define “supermodel” than that?

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Kudos to ModCloth for enabling this enlightening transformational experience for all involved. Without their selection of unique and distinct designs offered in styles for all shapes, sizes, and ages, this real mom celebration of beauty wouldn’t have been possible.

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Still not sure you can put your swimsuit shame aside and find the confidence you need this summer? Let blogger Brittany Gibbons of Brittany, Herself help you find the will to get up from your lounge chair, step out of your cover up, and enjoy the summertime in your flattering swimsuit from her #InspiredByYou story on ModCloth.