As a teenager and even before that, she always felt like she was the bigger girl. The taller one, awkward and clumsy. As a 'lean mean fighting machine' in the Airforce, at a size 12, she still felt huge.
As a Mum at 35 years of age and a size 12, she began to model and was a popular choice as a Plus Size 'option' and Mother of The Bride. "I was bigger but not too big. I was older, but not too old" is why she thought she was often chosen for shoots and parades.
Evie's Body Confidence Story
Hard to believe but it was true. As a model, cast in these roles, with these 'looks,' Evie learned to put on a face, to get on with the job and perform. Underneath it all, how she felt about her body, was anything but confident. To shatter any morsel of self-confidence she may have had, she was often put down the back of the open change area when modelling in fashion parades, down the back near the boys. How humiliating.
Behind the Scenes.
On the catwalk and in front of the lens, Evie looked confident and happy. Behind the scenes, it was very different.
She would avoid going to the beach with her girls even though they lived very close to it. If she did, she was covered up and wouldn't dare head into the water. Preferring to wear her husband's clothes because they hid everything.
How Cossie Confidence Changed Her
Being absorbed in day to day life and always putting her family first, Evie got on with life as so many of us do. It was whilst in America working on a fashion magazine for larger sizes that things started to change. Our paths crossed and we just clicked. You know how that happens with some people you meet - a serendipitous moment in time.
Upon returning home to South Australia Evie and I reconnected and to cut a long story short, the Cossie Confidence campaigns were born. That was in 2017. Raw and real, every day women coming together, putting themselves out there, to inspire other women to get into a swimsuit and see the possible.
As most of the Cossie Confidence Crew will tell you, as a non-professional swimsuit model, putting cossies on, knowing those images would be used online and in social media for all to see, is quite confronting and daunting. But with the support of each other, a little pampering and a dash of humour and fun, these shoots become very sacred and precious indeed.
But for Evie as the creative talent pulling it all together AND as the ex-model it wasn't that easy transition she thought it was going to be.
It was confronting. The night before the shoot apprehension and doubt came knocking. Not so much about being a bigger girl in togs. Being a bigger girl didn't worry her so much. It was the veins, the wrinkled decolletage that had her body confidence waning.
What did she do to push through? She went back to her old modelling mindset and got on with the show.
By the end of the day, she was tired but smiling widely. The shoot was a success and she felt proud.
That day was a big turning point for Evie. And every Cossie Confidence shoot since, she's absolutely shone, strong in her cossies, in her body confidence.
2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Evie has been in our Cossie Confidence shoots. Last year and the year before, Covid interfered. But her passion and drive for the cause is as strong today as it was in 2017. And we all get to benefit from that.
What I Do Now That I Didn't Do Then<b>
From that first shoot how Evie lived her summers, her life changed too. She went straight to the beach, in her cossies, no over-sized clothes covering her up and played with the grand kids.
Her regret. That she didn't do this with her own children when she had the chance. She didn't create those memories with them not to mention the negative body image message she was teaching them.
Summers are now spent at the beach, having fun, not giving too hoots what strangers along side her think.
It's often the way. The negatives we see in ourselves, others don't. Our minds play a very powerful role in how we feel about our bodies.
<b>Evie's Tips to help your Body Confidence, your Cossie Confidence.
1. Focus on making memories that matter with those you love and who love you back. Don't waste time and hold back. Do it. Make those precious memories. Life's too short.
2. Care less about what strangers think about you in your bathers. Catch yourself when you start thinking about what you think others are saying about you. Refocus on those you're with and the precious moments you're having together. Others are not thinking about you and how you look. And even if they are, so what. It doesn't matter.
3. Embrace Body Positive messaging - seek out campaigns like #CossieConfidence on social media. Be a part of positive groups like Women 40+, Self Love, Body Love, Summer Confidence. The support of other women will lift you up and help you feel more positive about yourself.
Please Seek help.
If you are really struggling to feel good about your body and it's having a negative impact on your life, then please reach out to a qualified mental health professional. Start with your trusted GP who can help refer you. Organisations like Butterfly (1800 33 4673) and Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) are a great place to start too.
If you'd like to feel supported in your summer confidence journey, then I invite you to join our community of like-minded women seeking to do the same. We hang out on social media in our private Facebook group Women 40+, Self Love, Body Love, Summer Confidence.
We also have a paid membership community, The Summer Confidence Society where the transformation from unsure to confident in a swimsuit is possible. Covering Mindset, Style and Wellness it is a wonderful place to learn, connect and grow.
Shop for your Swimsuits and Resortwear over on www.SequinsandSand.com.au where you'll find the popular Shape & Size Calculator to get you on your way.
We can't wait to welcome you where ever you'd like to connect.
To your summer confidence.
Founder, Sequins and Sand.