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Filtering by Category: Dating

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.

When Two Sexy People Decide to Marry...

Danika Brysha

This past weekend I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my best friends from high school and her hunk of a husband, Steve.  Lisa is one of the most creative people I know and her jewelry is showcased in about 99% of my outfit posts, so it goes without saying that the wedding was spectacular!  It was a beautiful evening with wonderful people and some serious style, so I wanted to share some photos with you.

We arrived at the home of the Sperry family to get ready for the big day.  The Sperry family needs their own reality show.  Just some seriously awesome people.  If you can make that happen let me know.  And the house was gorgeous. And the mimosas were flowing... heavily...

Everybody got their hair and makeup done with the exception of yours truly, who insisted on popping my weave in with my own nimble fingers.  Hey Dad, I may not be using that communications degree with the current job, but I sure as hell am learning how to improve my glamour factor.

We rode to La Purisma Catholic Church in the cutest Trolley and the driver didn’t hesitate to play some sweet 90’s love jams for the duration of the short trip.  We arrived at the church and the procession began shortly after.

The colors at the ceremony were classic, with whites, blacks, and greys on point.  Our only requirement for our bridesmaids dresses were that they were black and had some sort of vintage feel, like fringe or lace.  I’ve never been amongst a more stylish group of women and needless to say all the ladies looked stylish and stunning... AND two of the bridesmaids were pregnant! And no, it wasn't me...

I found my dress on one of my favorite websites, Rent the Runway.  If you’re not familiar, you should be!  You find a designer dress online and pay the rental fee (usually about $50-$100) and they send it to you in two different sizes so you know one will fit.  You keep it for four days and send it back in the included shipping envelopes and you’re done.  No cleaning or huge prices on something you’ll wear once.  My dress was by Shoshanna and fit perfectly upon arrival.  And no, I do not work for Rent the Runway though my enthusiasm is similar to that of In-N-Out Burger.

The trolley took us with the groomsmen, the bride, and the groom, to take photos... and then the real party began!

The reception was in the Sperry family’s unbelievable backyard.  There were candles set in glass bottles, lights strung across the dining area and dance floor, and gorgeous floral arrangements in whites, pinks, and creams.

I danced the night away until I found myself sitting on the side with an icepack on my now twisted ankle.  I’d say I hurt myself dancing about 45% of the time that I do it.  And I have never regretted it once.

 

The bride and groom snuck away at some point during the last couple hours that I spent pouring leftover champagne from the dinner toast into my larger drink cup.  Needless to say the story ends there.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Scheuermann!  Those are going to be some hot ass babies…

Beauty Boyfriends: Mascara McConaughey

Danika Brysha

While I don't have a boyfriend of my own, I do have a strong support system of beauty products that I'm pretty sure get me just as... excited.  Fortunately, some of my favorite male celebrities offered to help me spread the good word as the weeks go on.  "Why am I not dating them you ask?"... "EWWW... we're BEST FRIENDS... he's like my brother"...  right.  Now on to the eyelashes...

It seems like every time that I shoot I end up on Amazon.com right after we wrap, ordering whatever new beauty product I learned about that day.  I feel lucky to be learning from the pros and it wouldn't be fair if I kept it all to myself now would it?

What I lack in hair on my head, I for some reason was rewarded with in eyelashes... And I'm not complaining.  The thing is, I am naturally a dirty blonde and therefore my eyelashes and eyebrows (and that's where we'll leave this discussion) are very light.  Mascara makes a huge difference for me and I've tried too many to count.  There are two winners but one has a clear advantage.

Runner Up goes to Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils

A friend turned me on to this mascara in high school.  A very wealthy friend.  It truly makes your eyelashes look fake but the price tag is a bit higher than I prefer at $30 a pop.  I've also noticed that it tends to dry out rather quickly so I was frequently purchasing a new tube, which started to add up.  If you don't mind splurging then I highly recommend it but otherwise I'll let you in on my little "not so" secret...

 

THE WINNER: Maybelline theCOLOSSAL Volum' Express

This has been my favored mascara choice for a couple of years now and I'm often seeing it in Makeup artist's kits at work.  It is sold in almost all drugstores for about $7 and usually lasts me for a few months!  I recommend the "Glam Black" color.  I don't recommend the Waterproof one... unless you are planning on competing in a wet T-shirt contest.  The regular formula works just fine but will also come off when you want it to.  The first couple applications can be a little too heavy but after that it is the perfect little miracle!  I have a whole transition process when I'm at the end of one tube and the start of another which involves dipping the older used brush in the new tube for a few applications.  It keeps the old tube going strong for a few more uses and helps avoid the over lacquering that can happen with a new tube.  I'm thrifty... what can I say!

But wait... there's more.  The way you apply mascara is just as important as the kind you use.  I've put together a video blog of my personal mascara tips, live from my Milwaukee hotel room...

Phone Contacts Storage

Danika Brysha

I've come here today to teach all of you a valuable lesson.  I have previously discussed cell phone etiquette with you, but in a day when space and time is of peak importance, it is crucial that when we need to make a call, we can navigate our contacts with ease and practicality.  As an example, I have taken some of my phone contacts and am sharing with you the most ideal way of organizing them so that when you need one, it can be easily at your fingertips...

1. BY BAR/RESTAURANT/FRATERNITY NAME...

        

2. BY WHAT BENEFIT THEY COULD BE TO YOUR CAREER...

    

3.  SO YOU CAN FIND THEM WHEN YOU'VE BEEN DRINKING...

  

*At what point does a person you hitchhiked with turn into a person you can regularly call for a ride?

4. BY DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS...

    

*If you're wondering why he is called "Blaze Picture Guy" it is because he kindly texted me these photos of himself the next morning for a refresher...

  

... I won't be mad if you want to save that middle one to your desktop.

5. BY ANIMAL OR OBJECT...

   

6. BY LOCATION...

  

7. SO YOU KNOW NOT TO PICK UP...

  

*Raul:  In college my loving friends gave my number to a group of 11 year old boys at the Winter X-Games.  Raul must have taken a liking to me because he would call to chat at various points throughout the day.  I don't think 11 year olds should have cell phones. When I was 11 I had a Tamagotchi and a Baby G watch.

*I left Princeton's phone number visible because I'm sure he would love a few extra customers.  Feel free to call but just know that once you do, there is no turning back.

7. BY DATING SITE...

 

Note: David Match is different from David Match Texas, I checked the numbers.

8. HONORABLE MENTION...

  

*"Young" in no way refers to somebody of a lower age number.  "Young" does however refer to a man I met while driving on Hollywood Blvd. that invited me to the Grammy's with him and 108% did not have tickets to the Grammy's.

MORAL OF THE STORY:  If you're not going to be able to recall who a person is or how you know them, then chances are you probably don't need to be storing them in your phone.

For more info on this topic please click here...

Sunday Worship: Ferrari Clothing

Danika Brysha

Sunday is the Lord's day.  A day to give back and be thankful for those things in life that we truly appreciate.   So what better time is there to write a hymn about something I truly worship?

This week I have been especially thankful for men who wear Ferrari Brand clothing...

To Juan:
It was another night out,
bored with men at the bars
But then I saw the passion in your eyes
for dollar bills and fast cars
 
You approached me so sultry,
Never seen a man so bold
And then like a sign from above,
I saw that emblem in Gold
 
The way that Ferrari logo laid
ever so gently across your pec,
You clearly had drive and true passion,
and a large pay check
 
We talked about cars,
I told you about my 92' Suburban
You quickly changed the subject
to your cousin who's Persian
 
You were so modest the whole time,
I probably sounded like a brat
And without further adieu,
you slipped on a matching red hat
 
We talked about driving down the coast,
and how much you loved Cali'
Images of love flashed through my head,
like when Harry met Sally
 
So I chugged that shot of Smirnoff
and finished your beer
"It's time to bump and grind,
lets get out of here"
 
You paid the valet ticket,
as I knew you could afford
And then out of nowhere I saw it...
your Honda Accord!
 
As they handed you your keychain,
with a lanyard that said "Juan"
I realized I too could have that shirt,
for $18.93 here on Amazon
 
Amen.

  

The OK Cupid Experiment

Danika Brysha

(Originally published: October 29, 2010)

My friend Ben from work always tells me really funny stories about the dates he goes on with major creep statusers from OkCupid.  I thought I would take it upon myself to find true love and joined the site.  (okcupid.com... lots of gems)  I made a profile and posted the below pictures that I thought I looked the prettiest in so I could get the best caliber of men.  Boy was I right.  They had a lot of good things to say and since inner beauty is what counts, I knew they were in it for the long haul.

My profile was rather short.  I hit a few key points in my life that you all should know about me.  To sum it up, I said I worked on a TV show, I like to snowboard, I love sushi and sandwiches, and that I have a GREAT smile.

I felt like the Keebler Elf and jumped with joy when I received many new messages from single men in the Los Angeles Area.  Most of them really knew how to woo a woman of my stature and I was certain I would find my life partner like Ellen and Portia.

Below are some of my favorite messages I've received....

  1. "I don't think I can sleep tonight, unless I can kiss you goodnight!"
  2. "wow. you're gorgeous. do u like tall men with large italian cocks? i only ask because i'm 6ft3 and i own and over-sized chicken farm in rome."
  3. Subject: Yep. "Definitely your smile."
  4. Subject: Cucumber "You're cute. BUT  Are you cool as a cucumber? It's a must. ;)"
  5. "Your smiling is stunning!!!!" **My Smiling, Huh?  Good to know**
  6. "Danika, I'd love to talk to you and take it from there. If we were at a bar I'd buy you a shot of tequila, because that's an awesome way to roll and ask if you'd want to go to a Laker game with me sometime"  **I'm actually considering calling him.  I like how he just gets to the point**
  7. Subject:  I'm on a Horse:  "ahah just letting you know you were one of my matches and you seemed interesting! I love that you're ambitious about making movies. Have you made any of your own yet? I hope that didn't sound too creepy..." **.... So tell me, where does the horse come in?"
  8. Subject: Sail Away With Me  "We can go to Greece where I'll become an emperor and you can come and bring me grapes. Or we can become pirates and have an excuse to get drunk all day and steal things." **This is just weird**
  9. "I haven't talked to you in a long time. How have you been? : )" **I'll admit.  I fell for this one.  I don't know this guy.  He wanted me to think I do.  But I don't.  And now I never will.**
  10. **This one's my favorite: (I blocked out the info cause my blog is super famous and I don't want you weirdos contacting my boyfriend)** "You seem like an fun and interesting person I would love to chat with you, hit me up 310.XXX.3394 and my BBM is 30EEXX1. If you have AIM add me PhaXXneusa is my ID and for MSN nicXX100@comcast.net/Facebook it is nicXXX44@gmail.com.  Have a great weekend!  **I love a guy who plays hard to get**

Here is where the experiment comes in.

Because I am a big believer in true love, I decided to post some new pictures of myself to keep the messages flowing in.  I deleted the prior ones I had, and posted these new ones below...

And I waited...

Eureka! Finally my prince charming responded.  Here is what he had to say...

"Hey I think your pretty awesome and I was just wondering what your thoughts were on casual sex??"

I think he is the one and he seems to really know what I'm looking for in a man.  I'll let you guys know how everything works out.  Keep a look out for a change in my Facebook relationship status.

P.S.  About 30 minutes after I changed my pictures from Exhibit A to Exhibit B I got this email...

The Interns at OkCupid voted me GOOD-LOOKING!! I'm going to hang this on my fridge.