| 10.6°C Belfast

Northern Ireland blogger’s common aim with former Vogue editor: Boosting body confidence

Close

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond poses in her swimsuit

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond poses in her swimsuit

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond poses in her swimsuit

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond poses in her swimsuit

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond poses in her swimsuit

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond poses in her swimsuit

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman’s usual groomed look

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman’s usual groomed look

Getty Images

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman’s selfie bikini tweet

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman’s selfie bikini tweet

Belfast blogger Gemma-Louise Bond poses in her swimsuit

A size 14 Belfast blogger is inspiring body confidence in other women with her swimsuit selfies.

It comes after former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman caused a social media stir by posting a bikini selfie she casually captioned: "Time for a boat trip."

Some commented the unaltered image of a 59-year-old bearing her cellulite may have been a publicity stunt, given the fashion doyenne is rumoured to be in the running for a job as the first female head of the National Portrait Gallery.

Others questioned whether it was a plug for the Boden two-piece Shulman later said she'd never "be parted from".

But thousands of less cynical bloggers, vloggers and women's magazines gushed it was "brave", "empowering" and "honest" for Shulman to show an unfiltered body she has admitted she doesn't think is "that great".

One woman who appears to have taken Shulman's snap at face value is Gemma-Louise Bond, who has a following of thousands online thanks to her confessional blogs about dealing with anxiety, 'body confidence issues' and under-going multiple surgeries.

The brunette's cellulite-and-all snap shows her laughing while wearing a black one-piece on a sunshine holiday.

Marketing assistant Gemma wrote alongside the photo posted on Thursday on her Facebook page, liked by 10,000 people: "Swimsuit fear. I'm on my holidays and having major discussions about swimsuits and the fear women have around them.

"The internet largely portrays slim girls in a two-piece bikinis and it literally hurts my heart.

"That will never be me and so many young women are driving for a perfection that's unattainable. I really worry about the younger girls in my life that feel self-conscious having fun in the sun with their friends.

"So here's size 14 me. I have never in my life taken a picture in a swimsuit and put it anywhere, never mind for over 10,000 of you!

"I have back fat, big boobs and stretch marks galore.

"But my body has carried me through 25 years of ups and downs including multiple surgeries.

"So for my own sanity (and hopefully for some of yours), enjoy your life. The only one that cares about your swimsuit selfie is you. Rock what you got."

Gemma (25) last night said she was so "overwhelmed" by the reaction to her post she felt compelled to write about it on her ThatBelfastGirl blog.

Her latest blog post, called Acceptance, says that even though she considers herself a "clever girl with a good job", she has spent most of this year "crying in fitting rooms, crying at the gym and generally feeling awful", before finally realising on holiday her hang ups are "normal".

Gemma concludes she has finally embraced being "curvy".

The marketer - who has contracts to plug clothes and beauty products for a string of high street brands including Marks & Spencer - said last night it was simply a coincidence her bikini selfie came a day after Shulman's.

She added: "I don't know who posted theirs first - her or me. But I think what she did was really cool.

"I just hope it gives other women the inspiration to be as body confident as me."

Despite her new-found "body confidence", Gemma is clearly not immune from considerations of the male gaze.

She says on Facebook she needs a husband and wrote on her blog she has mourned not having a "significant other or a baby" in her life.

Belfast Telegraph