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Filtering by Tag: photoshop

A Reflection on Bikini Beach Photos with Supermodels

Danika Brysha

7270.9481541

I recently got back from a trip to Miami with two friends.  Did I say friends?  I meant supermodels...

I spent so many years of my life trying to lose weight.  I wanted to be a model.  I wanted to be those pictures of my friends above.  I wanted to be recognized as the beautiful one- the one that society takes and puts a big skinny stamp on saying "you're special".  I wanted to be anything but the chubby, class clown with tons of friends and no boyfriends.  And so I spent 15 years dieting, bingeing, throwing up my meals, taking appetite suppressing drugs, and starving- and then beating myself up over the fact that my willpower wasn't strong enough to get me to where I needed to be.  The place where I thought happiness lived. Somewhere in the gap between my thighs.

It took me a long time but I finally got burnt out and decided I was ok with the hand I'd been dealt.  I started focusing on my strengths rather than shortcomings.  I was tall and felt beautiful most days, and years of having to work to get people to like me landed me one kick-ass personality and some impressive bantering skills. And then one day while at Bank of America, I was scouted and signed with a modeling agency.  At a size 14.  I would be what the industry calls a "plus size" model.  I'd been called a lot of names in my life from "whale" to "fat girl" to a "liability"- but this certainly had a more positive ring to it.  I got to live my dream without trying to be someone I wasn't. And three years later I'm living in New York City as a full-time, plus-size model with my face plastered up on Wilhelmina New York's website. A dream come true- and one that came to fruition when I finally stopped trying to be somebody I wasn't.

But with finding extreme love for yourself comes a new desire to really take care of yourself.  I finally realized my value and decided I wanted to be the best possible version of me.  Through nutrition, exercise, meditation, and a lot of self-reflection- I managed to reinvent myself in the last 9 months that I've been a Manhattan resident. I've lost 30lbs and various jobs but I've chosen my health as a priority. My mind is functioning at a level I couldn't even imagine and I feel more joy, energy, and clarity than ever before.  I am beginning to live my passion and purpose and it has come along with a new found sense of confidence.

Which is important when you take a vacation to Miami with supermodels.  Because honestly, three years ago, you could have paid me $10,000 and given me a free trip to the Greek Islands and I still wouldn't have dreamed about putting on a bikini and posing for a picture in the Aegean Sea. But when my friend Holly suggested a primarily free weekend trip to Miami, the new Danika said HELL YES!

And it ended up being the perfect weekend getaway.  We relaxed on the beach, cooked healthy dinners at home, spent time meditating and journaling, and managed to soberly out-twerk everybody at club LIV.  But throughout the entire weekend, I still found myself feeling different.  Identifying myself as the "big friend". Feeling like the third wheel to two bombshells and having to make up for my shortcomings with my exuberant personality and ability to ask strangers questions for an hour straight without being bothered that they haven't even asked how to pronounce my weird Croatian hybrid of a name.  Dan-uh-kuh. Thanks for asking.

And so on the last day, when our tans were the darkest they'd be getting, Holly and Alexis suggested a group bikini photo by the ocean.  I quickly responded "I'm good, I'm just really comfortable" which really meant "I'm not good and I'm really uncomfortable posing next to you freak shows".  But because I am quite possibly the biggest pushover in all of the land, I finally obliged and struck my pose for the 75-year old Italian men that were one Instagram filter away from a heart attack- and for the one picture ever that I hoped for a finger over the lens, they managed to snap with pure precision.

We returned to our chairs and I requested full approval before posting rights.  And then it happened. I really looked at the photo.  Rather than seeing some version of negative thoughts and assumptions of my differences, I had no option but to admit that I looked GOD DAMN AMAZING! And I also looked just like my friends. Did I say friends? I meant supermodels.

The supermodels who had spent the weekend equally concerned with their own bodies. All of us too busy tearing ourselves down inside to notice that we were all in this together.  Feeling "bloated" or "saggy" or "too pale" or "not toned".  The ones who asked if they looked good in their outfits and the ones that borrowed MY makeup and wanted to know how I ate and what I was cooking and what kind of workout I did at the gym.

And something really struck me.  Even the girls that the media prints in the pages of your magazines- in store windows and taped to teenager's (and murderer's) walls have the same insecurities that we all do.  They wake up having days when they feel amazing but they also wake up feeling less than their best quite often.  They're looking for the latest beauty tips, the best workouts, and the healthiest dinners. They're feeling insecure in their skin because not even THEY feel like the photoshopped version of themselves that's glued to your fridge in an effort to empower you to stop eating.  Empowerment comes from love by the way, not hate or fear.

And so here I am, sharing my Supermodel Bikini Beach photo with the world.  Because someone out there is looking up to me and wanting what I have. And to be honest I don't blame them.  Cause I look good.

And so do the supermodels.  I mean, my friends.

Sunday Worship: Instagram

Danika Brysha

I've always been overly obsessed with the Iphone but when they went ahead and pulled this Instagram business out of nowhere, I knew my loyalty could never falter.  My friend Jenny told me I HAD to download it and since she is always full of truth, I followed her orders.  I'm especially grateful for it today because it has a way of making my life look much cooler than it actually is.  Currently, it is 3pm on a Sunday.  I am covered in Spray Tan and am wearing a full grey sweatsuit and a red pair of socks I got for free during a flight on Virgin Atlantic.   You ain't gonna find that magic on Instagram.  Or are you...

For those of you with a Nokia phone or who are not familiar with Instagram's capabilities, here's an example of what it can do.  You simply upload a photo of yourself, choose a filter, and VOILA!...

So to Instagram, I write this hymn...

I woke up this morning
Feeling a little bit rough
I've got to keep up my image
but today it's gonna be tough
 
All my followers are waiting
As they scroll through their feed
Photos of babies, vacations,
And quotes of how to succeed
 
But how can I contribute
When I'm doing nothing at all
but watching Dr. Phil reruns
Waiting for someone to call?
 
Thats when a lightbulb flashed on
I knew just what I should do
My mom said anything is possible
When you have X Pro II
 
I found a great old photo
With nice makeup and hair
But... wait...SH*DFJKHL*ADSLK*JDHI!!!!
It won't fit in the square!
 
So on to option B
It's sure as hell to be a winner
So without further adieu
Here's what I'm having for dinner...
 
AMEN
 
*And if you want to follow me on Instagram and see tons of pictures of how glamorous and exciting my life is, my name is @danikabrysha 
 
 
 
 

 

Graduation Attire

Danika Brysha

My friend Lindsay Diamond, who is not a pornstar, graduated from FIDM (Fashion school) this past weekend.  A group of friends and I decided we'd go to the ceremony and support her but we knew we needed some pretty sweet swag if we were going to do this right.  My friend asked if we should make a poster.  That was funny.  I immediately knew that everyone needed a neon T-shirt and that I would handle the rest.

I have a new obsession with photoshop.  I have spent countless hours lately watching tutorials on youtube, trying them out myself, epically failing, and starting over.  And though I have yet to learn how to give myself a six pack, fuller hair, or a peg-leg, I am becoming rather successful at cropping myself and my closest friends into way cooler situations than Cabo Cantina on a Wednesday night.

And this was the result...

Now, Lindsay and her mother have two of the most severe ADHD cases I've seen in a living human, or for that matter a goldfish.  As a result, these are the best group photos we managed...

**Lindsay's mom asked that I use my photoshop skills to glam her up a bit as well and since "moms know best" I knew I had to obey

I'm available for all your political campaigns, Quinceañeras, and Speed Dating events.  See the above booking tab for more information.

Congrats to all the recent graduates of 2012.  Now go get a job.