Star in a Bra is a competition that I’ve followed since the beginning – I remember back when Lauren Colfer and Laura Butler stormed their year’s competitions and showed us all how it was done. I’ve been everything from a spectating fellow Curvy Kate fan, to a rejected entrant, to a top 30 finalist to a judge. So I think it’s safe to say I’ve seen the competition from every possible angle.
It seems crazy that it’s been three years now since I entered and didn’t get through, two since I made the top 30, and a year since I was helping whittle down the favourites into just 30 girls from a list of hundreds of beauties.
Let me just tell you, that each of these Star in the freedom bra were difficult in their own ways. When I applied in 2009 and didn’t get through to the top 30 I felt a strange feeling of disappointment – I was sad that I’d not gotten through, even though I’d never really expected to – but on the other side of the coin, I was so proud of myself for trying. It was the first step towards feeling happy about my body; something I’d never even comprehended before.
Even though I was ‘rejected’, I gained the courage to try again the following year, and to my amazement, I was actually picked for the top 30. This was difficult for me for two reasons, firstly because of having five whole pictures of me in my bra and knickers on the internet for all to see (oh the irony of this now!!), secondly because of how daunting it is to have people emailing me and messaging me, to have strangers try to add me relentlessly on Facebook*, to potentially be in magazines, newspapers, jetted around the world for trade shows and photo shoots, sprawled across every bra retailer going in my smalls… I don’t think you ever really think beyond the competition itself when you click that ‘enter’ button.
I was so shocked and so pleased to have made it, but when another opportunity came along which was more at the heart of what I wanted to do, I removed myself from the competition. I felt like this was the best thing to do for me and I never REALLY wanted to be a model, but I felt so strongly for what the competition really means that I just wanted to be involved somehow. Plus yes, I wanted to gain some body confidence, and I have to say that’s a huge part of why I’m able to do what I do now on IIYC.
Thirdly, as a judge (I worked at Curvy Kate as their PR & Marketing Assistant for 10 months in 2012) we genuinely spent hours sifting through entries, reading entry essays (yes, they are as important as your pictures!) and trying to represent lots of different types of Curvy Kates. I might even go as far as to say that this year was the most difficult for me, as it was so heartbreaking to turn down so many girls when I knew from first hand just how hard it can be.
I’m also a living, breathing example of how getting ‘rejected’ one year doesn’t mean that you can’t make it the following year. So my advice is, go for it! You’ll be in for a chance of joining some of the most inspiring, beautiful and courageous models the world has to offer if you do, and if you don’t, you might just feel better just for stepping well and truly out of your comfort zone.