Headline: “The Perfect Body”
TV Feature: Runway Show
Billboard: “Every mans fantasy” - tiny waist, large perky breasts, flawless face
Magazine Cover: Photoshopped bikini model - bikini does not fit as pictured
Like many of us, I grew up during a time when the perfect body was plastered on billboards, magazine covers, runways and TV. Absorbing this content on repeat inevitably led to body image issues. As a teen athlete, I started to notice differences in my body compared to what I was seeing on the Angelic models.
I’ll never forget the first time I noticed cellulite. I was sitting in my closet looking for a matching pair of socks, and as I was kneeling I saw a little ripple on the side of my thigh. It wasn’t perfectly smooth. At first I was confused, wondering what it was, until I soon realized it meant I had some body fat. This quickly led into, “well, I better fix this if I want to be attractive and a better athlete.
Without mentioning names, there was a featured runway show on TV each year that started to trigger anxiety. The glitz and glam was inspiring, but I felt depleted after watching. I felt low and less than. I figured, the only way to get closer to looking like these models must be to workout more excessively, restrict my eating and… work for this brand. That’s exactly what I did.
I clung to a calorie counting book for years. Instead of journaling my aspirations and dreams, I logged my daily caloric intake with determination to stay below 1000 calories/day. Somehow, this didn’t negatively affect my performance in field hockey or the 200m in track & field. It eventually would have, but amidst a torn ACL, I was entering Sophomore year at University and decided I had to focus on my Economics degree as I couldn’t juggle both sports and academics… never mind move that knee the way it used to.
In a nutshell, my relationship with food took a negative turn as I became obsessed with achieving this unrealistic standard of beauty. I would workout 1-2 times per day in between classes, often chugging an energy drink to give me the boost I was lacking with an insufficient diet. Each summer break, I worked for a big intimates brand and was surrounded by murals of beautiful women. This didn’t help my situation.
There was a turning point. My unhealthy eating habits came to the surface with my parents and it was the first time I had actually went “face to face” with the issue. Not overnight, but overtime, I was able to get a grip on my relationship with food and felt empowered as I studied more about healthy eating and nutrition. I took control and closed that chapter of my book. But, it didn’t end there…
I fell in love and we lived in 23 zip codes over the course of 12 years. Despite a loving boyfriend (now husband) who made me feel beautiful, my body image struggles were internal. There was no outside validation that could change how I saw my reflection. Sure, I had better relationship with food but not with my body. I still picked myself apart in the mirror and felt less than these “perfect” figures I was still seeing in media.
Fast forward to having two babies and breastfeeding, my B-cups deflated and I lost most of my breast tissue. When I looked in the mirror I could hardly recognize myself. Aside from the psychological rollercoaster of motherhood and the feeling of losing sense of self, I was still silently struggling with body image. My husband was a pro-athlete at the time, so during the games and team events I was often surrounded by women who had it all together. Breast implants were somewhat the norm and I began to obsess over the idea.
This must be the key to unlocking confidence. Once I have breast implants, I’ll finally have the body I’ve always dreamed of, just like those fashion show runway models.
Once again, I was very wrong. I got breast implants in 2016, when my youngest daughter was 6 months old. After 3 months of having the implants, I began developing strange symptoms. From vision issues and slurred speech, to brain fog and bizarre infections. I was in and out of doctors offices, from ophthalmologists and neurologists to infectious disease and multiple OBGYN’s. They were all left scratching their heads, no diagnosis.
Eventually, these symptoms intensified to on-and-off graves disease, hyperthyroidism, heart palpitations, locked joins, inflamed joints (ankles and top of feet), panic attacks, slurred speech, brain fog, memory loss and other debilitating issues. I remember crying myself to sleep with heating pads all over my body and having to explain to my daughters that “mommy is just a little sick, I will be fine I promise.”
Surfing from one doctors office to another, I was falling apart. I felt like I was dying, still with no answers.
At one point, a friend told me about Breast Implant Illness. At first I went through a month of denial. “There’s no way that’s the cause of all these symptoms.” Then, I joined online communities of over 150,000 women who were experiencing the same exact things. Almost immediately I realized — these implants are the problem.
What came with that was an emotional avalanche as you can imagine. I call it my “self love revelation.” I looked at my daughters. I looked at my husband. I looked in the mirror. I finally realized what matters most in life…
I had it all wrong!
Health, love and joy. Almost overnight my entire perspective on life changed. I scheduled my explant for November 2020 and counted down the days like it was my birthday.
When I had the implants removed (explant) I wasn’t left with a lot of tissue like some women have. I have large scars and a little muscle damage on one side, but I’ll tell you this: I never once cried out of shame looking at my reflection. The tears I have shed since explant day have been from a place of enlightenment, rebirth and empathy for what I put my body through for so many years. Good news: bloodwork completely normalized and not one symptom has returned. (Well, maybe anxiety but that’s just life in general).
I have never felt more confident in my skin as I do today. I'm so proud that I can now be a positive role model for my daughters as they continue to grow, showing them that all bodies are beautiful and deserve to be celebrated (and nourished). To embrace all that you are.
At the time, I owned a marketing & branding agency and led marketing for a media company. In between client work, I searched endlessly for “the pretty bra” because I was ready to finally celebrate my body. But, I was left frustrated. After shopping with all of the large and small brands, I realized the pretty bras lacked comfort, quality, and function, but as an active mom these elements were a non-negotiable. Also, the poor engineering led to cup gaps, slipping straps and wire digs.
Alternately, I could find 250 basic bras, from athleisure to the t-shirt bra, but these didn’t fulfill the need. Passionate about neuroscience, I soon learned about the psychological connection between sexy lingerie and the confidence of a woman. No wonder we all want that pretty bra in our dresser! It makes us feel special and attractive.
On a Monday morning in Fall 2020, I woke up at 1:30am with my eyes wide open. That frustration of not finding what I was looking for turned into a fire within my soul. “What if I created what’s missing?!”
I ran down to my office and pulled two all-nighters (no exaggeration). I had to validate the idea. Even though I saw the shiny object, I had to determine if other women wanted the same thing. Did they also see a void in the market? Validation after validation, the path to Love, Lexxi kept clearing itself.
I partnered with industry legends of product and set on a mission to impact the lives of women. Not in a “fluffy marketing headline” kind of way. We’re talking real, raw positive impact.
When you wear Love, Lexxi, my hope is that you feel celebrated in your skin and beautiful just the way you are. Our goal for each style is to make you feel sexy and limitless, so you can take charge of your day and night in comfort — whatever “a day in the life” looks like for you.
This is just the beginning. Building this brand is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I have never been so clear of my purpose. This story was meant to be mine. Our brand is made for you, with you (community perks).
I wanted to write a love letter to my body, titled Love, Lexxi. Now I want to share it with you.
Dear Body, ___________
Xo Love, Meg