After Losing Weight, This Woman Gained Back Her 'Thunder Thighs' to Become a Plus-Size Model


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In a world where fat-shaming is very much alive and well, one United Kingdom-based mother of two is reclaiming and embracing the very terms that were once used to hurt her. In fact, you could say they're propelling her right into a career of plus-size modeling. Cue Chamillionaire's Ridin'

  • Ashley O'Brien is a 31-year-old blogger and hypnotherapist who was fat-shamed throughout her life for being curvy.

    When she was just 13 years old, her body began quickly changing, and she quickly went from wearing children's clothes to an adult's size 14. Since she developed larger breasts at a young age, she often felt objectified from boys, and which "was really damaging to my sense of self-worth."

    People, including random strangers in clubs, would call her "fat cow" or "thunder thighs." These taunts made her feel "worthless," and eventually, depressed. 

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  • Her mental health took a turn for the worse when the birth of her second child in 2012 gave her postnatal anxiety.

    "I suffered from postnatal anxiety and [it] got so bad I couldn't face leaving the house," she told the Daily Mail. "If it hadn't been for my kids and my responsibility to them I don't know if I'd be here. I did think about suicide."

    So her doctor put her on anti-anxiety medication that stopped the panic attacks but also made her feel dazed and sleepy all the time. She also began shedding weight. In just six months on the new meds, O'Brien lost over 50 pounds, and went from a size 20 to size 10. 

  • One night, she was getting ready to go out when she looked in the mirror and realized just how much she missed the curves of her old body.

    "I should have been happy, but I wasn't," she said.

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    "There were no curves, no thick thighs -- it wasn't me, it was just this shape of a person I didn't know," she continued. "It sounds silly because I don't think all slim women look unfeminine, but I really felt like I looked like a boy without my curves and I realized for the first time how much I loved them."

    So she stopped taking her medication, and fell in love with hypnotherapy, which uses hypnosis as psychotherapy treatment.

  • She's gained back her weight and curves, and was so empowered, she auditioned for a plus-size modeling competition, Ms Curvaceous.

    "I've got my curves back and I am happier than ever," she said. "I feel so confident and I want to celebrate my body to show other girls and women that if I can be happy then they can be too."

    "And they should go out there too and flaunt their amazing figures," she continued. "Celebrating yourself is what life's all about."

    Can I get an amen up in here?

body positivity body image plus size models