Giving a heave-ho to the mainstream media model

Very rarely do I get angry at mainstream media. They’re trying to make money, and while I don’t always agree with their tactics, I get it, and I just don’t have the energy to rage against the machine at every turn. Today that changed. After reading a very powerful post about an experience Brooke Birmingham (a GGS Ambassador) had with SHAPE Magazine Online, I was infuriated.

You see, Brooke lost an incredible 172 pounds the right way, through healthy nutrition and exercise. SHAPE wanted to feature her in their Success Stories column, but after she sent in the picture below to feature on their site, they requested a different picture – one where she was wearing a shirt. Brooke, understandably, was upset by the request, and asked why. After a little back-and-forth, Brooke let SHAPE know she no longer wanted to be featured if they wouldn’t post the picture of her in a bikini. All I can say is, “Way to go, Brooke!”

brooke birmingham bikini

But, when I get angry about something, I’m like a dog with a bone. I need to do something to feel like I’m helping out. So in whatever small way I can, I want to encourage all women to feel comfortable in their own skin. And that starts with me. Girls Gone Sporty isn’t about Laura Williams, it’s about the GGS Community, but I have to put my money where my mouth is. I have to say, “charity starts at home,” so if I want other people to start taking charge of their health and embracing the journey of fitness in all its shapes and forms, then I have to do it for me, too.

The truth is, I’m incredibly self-conscious about my body, much like many women. And that’s not fair to me, and that’s not fair to other women. My body has carried me through races, it has sustained me through hardships, it has given me the chance to go to awesome places and try awesome things, and it. is. beautiful. It deserves respect – my respect. And your body deserves your respect, too! (And the respect of everyone else, but like I said, charity starts at home.)

So, to throw off the shackles of my own repression, here are my bikini body pictures in all their makeup-free, long-limbed, Kardashian-booty beauty. I’m not going to say a word about where I am in my healthy journey, because that part doesn’t matter. What matters is I’m exercising, eating healthfully, and treating my body with the respect it deserves, just like the amazing Brooke Birmingham!

Join the link up!

If you feel comfortable, I’d like to encourage you to take your own pictures, write your own posts, and link up to this post below. Let’s stand in solidarity in all our bikini body glory, as a team of powerful women who are treating their bodies well – SHAPE Magazine be damned!

as i am bikini body

bikini booty

bikini body flex

bikini body celebration

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    So awesome for Brook for sticking up for herself like that, and way to go for you too! I won’t be posting bikini pictures, but I just posted progress pics, which was hard for me, but you are so right – we’re all so incredibly beautiful no matter what our shape or size. Love this message, Laura! 🙂

  2. Laura Williams Post author

    Thanks, girl! Brooke is awesome, right?! And I’m so proud of you posting progress pics – you’re doing awesome!

  3. I will post a bikini picture because all my life I hid behind a towel or large mou-mou. It is not about having the perfect body, but about exuding confidence and feeling good about yourself no matter what. So proud of Brook. She is lovely!


    I posted mine. It’s a post from last September…first time I’d worn a bikini in FOREVER. But I love it!


    GO Brooke and awesome post, Laura! I love the idea of linking up to support each other and promote self love! I am working on my post now 🙂


    WORK IT LADIES! I’ve gotta try to find someone to photog mine, but I will get right on it!


    Love the support that is coming for this! Great job ladies!!

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    Laura, THIS is why girls gone sporty is not only incredible but SO ARE YOU! First off, you are BEAUTIFUL and I think you ROCK that bikini and have an amazing body! I love the last photo, you look so happy! I agree, that as women, our stomach’s tend to be our “tough spots” that we forget to show self love and embrace. A six pack is not everything, and my worth should not be determined by whether my stomach is flat or not. Sometimes, easier to SAY than FEEL, but it is something I, as well as so many other women, need to remind ourselves!


    Congrats Brooke on a job well done! Hope you feel as fantastic as you look. Next try some Nerium Firm to tone your loose skin. You will be surprised at the before & afters!


    Thank you for sharing this – I am so proud of Brooke and you Laura for being brave to put yourself out there. I will follow suit and post a pic too – just tell me where to post it! 🙂

    • Laura Williams Post author

      Hey Christina, awesome! You can post a pic to a blog or any social media channel, then you can click the blue “Add Your Link” button that’s right below the article and the other lilnkups – that’ll take you to a page where you can post your URL or upload your image. Can’t wait!


    Way to Rock your real body! I’m currently on a weight loss journey too using weight watchers anda Facebook support group. I’m also a Nerium brand partner and would like to tell you about NeriumFirm to tighten and firm loose skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite. It’s a botanical product. We just launched it two weeks ago and I’ve been using it to help my skin tighten as I lose the weight. How do I pay my bikini pic?

    • Laura Williams Post author

      Hi Alejandra! If you scroll down through the article, you should get to a place where there are small thumbnails with other women’s bikini pics. Just below them there’s a blue button that says “Add Your Link.” Just click that link and provide a URL to your bikini pic (any social channel or blog), or upload a photo. Let me know if you have any more questions!


    Every woman is a lean mean fighting machine. Some of us just have some fat covering it. We, well I for sure, have always struggled with my perception of my body image. I don’t have a bikini. I am not even sure I want to buy one. But for all you ladies who do, more girl power to you!!!


    I am so damn tired of never feeling good enough. Magazines have giving women an impossible / AIRBRUSHED goal. Even fitness models are airbrused… how can me and my cellulite compete with that? I am happy with me, not perfect by any means just human.

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