Photography by Jamie Mann
Occupation: Was a Customer Relations Manager for a company called GDI. Now I am a full time mommy to 3.5 week old Charlotte Kay Press.
Describe yourself in under 100 words:
A loyal friend, a caring daughter, sister, wife and mother. Someone who loves to have fun, drink good wine and eat yummy food! A girl who will have your back to the end as long as I know you have mine.
If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?
What surprised you most about the experience?
That after it was done I felt very proud of myself for allowing myself to be so vulnerable in front of a camera, which is something I have never done before. I am always the girl that wants to see the pictures after they are taken of me to see if they should be deleted or not.
We all have an image of what beautiful looks like in our minds but when do you FEEL most beautiful?
I think I feel most beautiful when I have a suntan, being in the sunny weather, away on vacation or enjoying the sun in Vancouver makes me feel happiest. I think I am the most relaxed then as well!
I have gone through lots of struggles in the last 20 years and I think it all started in grade 3 when I looked different than the other girls in the change room. Growing up with a younger sister who all the boys loved and a beautiful mom I just felt like the odd man out…. the “fat” girl in the family. In high school I would hear from my friends how hot my sister was and what a MILF I had for a mom but never heard anything about myself. Mentally I think it played a huge part in my self confidence and I always felt like I wasn’t never good enough or pretty enough. I never got to really appreciate who I was.
It wasn’t until I met my now husband when I was 18 I realized he liked me just for me. In the 10 years that we have been together I have gone through so many ups and downs with my body and he always told me I was beautiful and never stopped loving me the way he always did. When I was 24 I decided I had to change my lifestyle and wanted to work hard for the body I felt I deserved. I did it the healthy way and it took me about a year and a half but I lost 60 pounds with diet and hard exercise. As great as I felt I still always saw that “fat” unhappy girl inside. I never saw the new and improved Danielle. Now after going through a 9-month pregnancy and my body changing and having no control over the way it was changing I have come to really appreciate the way I looked. What surprised me the most was when I first found out I was pregnant I freaked out about feeling so gross, nauseous, ugly, bloated and again that word “fat”. It wasn’t until I started to really show a belly that I felt a different way. I felt I looked beautiful with this belly that was carrying our baby. Now 3.5 weeks after having her it has been hard because I thought my body would just come back, which has not been the case at all. I realize I need to feel ok with the process it will take to get back to the way I looked before and I know I have to feel confident in the way I look for my daughter. I hope I can keep this outlook for many years to come.
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments?
I have never had any cosmetic surgery or treatments but I am not opposed to getting them. I have stretch marks on my stomach that people say you can hardly see but they really make me feel self conscious when I am in a bikini so I would like to get those lasered. I feel if you are doing the surgery or treatment like botox for yourself and you have put a lot of thought into it than you should do it. I think personally when it starts to alters your whole appearance is when it becomes too much. You should never want to completely change the way you look. It’s ok to make improvements when the time is right in your life but you are born a certain way and you have to keep true to that as much as you can.
How do we ensure that the next generation of girls (including your precious little girl!) grows up with confidence and a strong sense of self when they receive so many messages telling them that they are not enough?
I think the society we live in is hard for any women but especially for young impressionable girls. I know there will be a time in my daughters teenage years where she will hate the way she looks and will want to change everything about herself and all I can do is be there to tell her how beautiful and smart she is. The same way my mom did for us. Have an open dialog with your kids and explain to them that this “Hollywood lifestyle” that we all look up to is not reality. It really isn’t fair that our society has made women feel we have to fit into this stereotype. I also know kids can be mean in school and make you feel like you are never good enough. I will be there as my daughters biggest advocate to let her constantly know she is!
We’ve all heard the quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We are our own worst critics but most of us want to protect our kids from feeling poorly about themselves. Would you be able to commit to not talking negatively about yourself, weighing yourself or dieting around your daughter?
In the past I think it was so easy for me to say I hated this about myself or I feel so fat I could always find the negative over the positives. I have made a vow to myself for my daughter and myself that I would no longer use the word FAT in my house, I want to live a healthy lifestyle for her by healthy eating and staying as active as we can. I want her to know I have confidence in the way I look and always try to see the beauty in myself which hopefully will always be passed along to her.
Connect with Danielle:
Instagram Handle/ @DaniellePress