By Maggie Freleng
A curvy girl likes a good lace bra and pretty panties as well. In fact, she has no qualms about showing a little skin to the world.
“Ever see a regular woman in lingerie?” asks Chrystal Bougon.
Well, you will now. "Real" women are submitting photos of themselves as part of Bougon's campaign to show the world that women bigger than a size 14 embrace their curves. They are fierce and confident.
Bougon’s Curvy Girl Lingerie in San Jose, Ca., opened a little more than a year ago. And it's joined a pretty exclusive club. There's only one other plus-size lingerie shop and its in Philadelphia. It’s pretty crazy there are only two lingerie shops in the country fit for the curvier "real" women.
One may speculate that is because plus-size women are shamed, and told they can’t feel sexy and comfortable in their bodies.
Well Bougon is having none of that!
“My mission is to make sure all women understand that they deserve to feel sexy and beautiful,” Bougon tells VITAMIN W.
In addition to her lingerie store, booming in popularity with almost 28,000 followers on Facebook, Bougon started the campaign to encourage “real” women to let the world know they exist. Victoria's Secret isn't the only show in town.
“I just want people got get an idea of what real, actual people look like,” she said. “I don't care how fat you are or how skinny you are, your body is amazing. There is no such thing as a bad body.”
The idea started from a close friend and customer asking if she could post a photo of herself in lingerie on the Curvy Girl secret Facebook page.
The secret page has about 1,000 members and Bougon explains that it exists for women to share things “fat people have to deal with every day” but want to do so in a close, private space.
Bougon told her friend she could of course post the photo of herself in lingerie.
The natural photo was a hit (top left).
Bougon is now encouraging others to love their bodies too and post their own Photoshop-fake-tan-free sexy photo on the Facebook page.
Since starting about a week ago Bougon said she has had about 400-500 submissions.
But what about the plus size models for the website, you ask? Don’t they do the trick?
Sure, while the models on the website are plus size, they are usually only a size 14. Bougon said it is rare to see a photo of women size 28 in sexy lingerie. For the submissions she is calling for women size 14 and up to send their photos.
“My mission is to give people confidence to feel sexy no matter their size,” she says.
“The world needs more of that.”
Think you’ve got the curves? Check out her Facebook page and submit your own photo. You never know who it may inspire.
Maggie Freleng is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer focusing on social justice, gender, and sexuality. Follow her on Twitter @dixiy89.