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Plus-Size Blogger Braved Blizzard in Bikini for the Best Reason

Blogger Leah Stanley exudes confidence as she faces a winter storm in a bikini. (Photo: Instagram/Voluptuous Leah)
Blogger Leah Stanley exudes confidence as she faces a winter storm in a bikini. (Photo: Instagram/Voluptuous Leah)

While most people are dealing with winter storm Stella by hunkering down at home, one woman is dancing in the snow in her bikini.

Leah Stanley, a body positive blogger in Vermont, shared an Instagram photo of herself wearing a pink-and-blue-patterned bikini and striking a confident pose in the falling snow. “See that thigh gap?” Stanley, 28, who blogs under the name Voluptuous Leah, wrote in part to her more than 16,000 followers. “Yup, turns out we all have one, took #stormstella to find mine so #thankyoustella, for helping me find my true thigh gap without an hour of posing and arching and without crying and starving for carbs due to lack of them.”

She continued, “I just put this bikini on and faced the storm, much like when I start to feel down. I don’t cower back and let my crazy thoughts take over, I face them.”

More than 220 people liked the post, commenting, “You’re such a fun, good humorous, sexy and beautiful woman,” “You’re so epic,” and “Vogue.”

Although Stanley recently lost 50 pounds in part by lifting weights at the gym, feeling self-assured is nothing new for her. “I’ve always been confident, even though I was body-shamed a lot in school,” Stanley tells Yahoo Style. “I quickly learned it has more to do with the bully than the person being picked on. So rather than let it get me down, I focus on just being me.”

Stanley took the photo because she felt an “itch” for bikini season, but the outdoor session was short-lived. “It’s 18 degrees now so I wore my robe outside and quickly tossed it to my husband right before he started taking photos,” she says, adding that her goal is to empower all women, not just those who are plus-size. “Everyone has a ‘bikini body’ and should look forward to swim season.”

Stanley is in good company. On Friday, Allison Kimmey, a mom of two in Cocoa Beach, Fla., posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing a bikini, split-screened with a similar image of Marilyn Monroe, that went viral. “If Marilyn Monroe can be gorgeous with her cellulite … so can you,” Kimmey wrote. And in February, fitness blogger Carys Gray, who suffers from eczema, posted side-by-side selfies on Instagram — one with makeup to cover up the skin condition and one without. She captioned the photos, “Both me, both real and both totally acceptable.”

While Stanley’s confidence is organic, she insists that everyone deserves to experience their own fearless moment. “We all have confidence within,” she says. “It’s a matter of finding it and not holding back or worrying about what society thinks.”

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