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Hi.

My name is Madelyne Riley, welcome to my blog. Anorexic turned foodie, I'm here to champion eating disorder recovery and body positivity.  I'm having my cake, eating it too, then going back for seconds.  

Dockside

Dockside

I was thrilled when Morgan Potter, one of the most talented stylists in Minneapolis, asked Priyanka Primo and I to model for a photo shoot. She had a vision of a vintage style nautical theme at lake Bde Makka Ska, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it. The date was set, I did a face mask and got my beauty sleep the night before, I was ready. Then it happened.

As I entered Morgan’s apartment to change into the look she had pulled for the shoot, I saw them. They were spread out on the couch, casually laying there next to a striped blouse and sailboat earrings, mocking me, taunting me from their nonchalant repose. There they were; shorts.

I don’t wear shorts. It’s a fact. They can be so cute and expertly styled by other people, but they aren't for me. I spend all day tugging and pulling on them, and after many summers of trying my best to pull them off, I did just that, pull them off. Here’s the thing about being a model for someone else’s vision though, you wear what they tell you, goddammit. I took the shorts to the bathroom and changed, completely ready to tell Morgan that I hope she had a plan B because I couldn’t get these tiny things over my thighs. To my surprise, I did get them on without tearing them, and they looked pretty darn cuteif I do say so myself.

Once we were dressed, we set off to Lake Bde Makka Ska to meet photographer extrordinaire Amanda Laing and make some cool art together. I was tugging and pulling at my shorts a little at first, but I soon got used to the feeling, becoming more comfortable with every stride. It was then that Morgan said, “Okay, now why don’t you two sit on the edge of the dock.” Excuse me, you want me to not only wear shorts, but sit in shorts?! Did she want her photos to look disgusting? Did she want big fate thighs, cellulite and stretch marks all over her beautiful work?! I was a good model and did as I was told, the Earth did not stop, the lake did not boil, the birds didn’t fall dead from the sky, I was sitting in shorts and getting my picture taken and everything was fine. Priya doesn’t really do shorts either and was also styled in them, so I felt support from the goddess to my right. We were in this “sitting in shorts” thing together.

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You know what? I adore these photos. It turns out that Morgan and Amanda are genius and I needed to trust them more than my body dysmorphia. This just may be one of my favorite shoots ever (granted I’m new to the game but they’re starting to add up). You know what else? You can see my fat thighs and stretch marks in the photos and, hold on to your butts, I LOVE IT! I love that you can see my “flaws” because I also look radiant and beautiful and peaceful and happy and chic and classy and vintage and, dare I say it, hot! My cellulite doesn’t take away from any of those things, it’s just a part of the complete package that is “me,” and I’m pretty damn great! Thinner thighs would be fine, but they wouldn’t add to my glow, and I’m here for the glow.

If the paragraph above strikes you as vain or conceited, I challenge you to say those things about yourself. You are radiant, you are beautiful, you are worthy. If you say it often enough, you may even start to believe it, and you’ll see that once you love yourself, your ability to love others deepens exponentially. If saying all of these wonderful things about yourself enables you to love others more fully, how can that be a bad thing?

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Once I got over myself and let go of the whole, “I don’t wear shorts,” thing, I enabled myself to really enjoy this experience, and it will go down as one of my favorite days of summer this year. I probably still won’t wear shorts unless I’m styled in them by someone else, but it’s nice to remember that they aren’t something that I can’t do, they’re just something I don’t prefer. They have no power over me, I wear the pants (erm, shorts) in this relationship. Thank you Morgan and Amanda for giving me that gift.

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The Passport Program - Bon Voyage!

The Passport Program - Bon Voyage!