By Liana Jacob
MEET THE inspiring woman who was called a ‘WHALE’ by her peers and went from a SIZE TEN to a SIZE TWENTY-TWO in a MONTH but has since found confidence with the help of her SKINNY boyfriend who shows her pictures of other plus-sized models to encourage her to be herself, calling her body a ‘MASTERPIECE’.
Bobbie Dawes (23), from Bairnsdale, Australia, grew up with her grandmother, mum and older sister and was only seven-years-old when her dad passed away. Her nana was taken to a nursing home when she was just 10-years-old and passed away two years later, which broke her heart.
The pain of losing her nana resulted in her self-harming and in 2009 she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. She was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), a disorder of mood and how a person interacts with others.
During this time, she ended up restricting her food and lost a lot of weight dropping from a UK size 14 to 16 to a size 10, which alarmed doctors. During her recovery phase, she was instructed to eat more to get back to a healthier weight, but her weight ended up increasing to a size 20-22 in just over a month. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries function, in 2016.
She then discovered American plus size model, Tess Holliday, who inspired her to embrace her curves and she began posting pictures on social media. In August 2016, she was message by her now boyfriend, Tristan, on Facebook, who said he was captivated by her confidence and they have been in a relationship ever since.
“My dad past away when I was seven and when I was about ten-years-old, my nan went into a nursing home and her dementia became too hard for us to handle,” Bobbie said.
“My nan past away when I was twelve and it was and still is one of the most heart-breaking things I’ve ever experienced, from then on I changed. I gained some weight and was always upset.
“High school was hard, I never felt like I belonged anywhere or that I fitted in and I was self-harming and always in pain and I couldn’t understand why – this was when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
“I sometimes felt like I had to try so hard to fit in and to be noticed and of course I had the usual comments of ‘fat’ and ‘whale’.
“Because of this I ended up losing so much weight to the point doctors were concerned, so I started to eat properly, and I was piling on the weight.
“In just over a month, I went from a size ten to a size twenty-two. I was at my lowest low. I went to the doctors and found out that I had PCOS and no diets worked.
“This is when I found Tess Holliday; she was the first plus size model I saw that was proud of who she is and loves the size she is – a true stunner.
“Positivity and confidence was radiating from her. I wanted to be like her, I wanted to spread the body positivity, so I started to push myself to take photos.
“Just the way she talked about herself like she knew she was a bigger girl and she loved it. The way she looked in photos; wearing lingerie and feeling sexy, I wanted that.
“I loved how she didn’t just spread the love to bigger girls, but to all shapes and sizes. It was so powerful.”
Bobbie says that her new-found confidence attracted the attention of her now boyfriend, Tristan, who was blown away by her pictures.
She says that unlike her previous relationships, she feels that Tristan is compatible with her and he has supported her throughout her journey with mental health.
“What first attracted me to bobbie was her eyes and her beautiful personality. The thing I love about Bobbie’s body is her curves and how she carries herself as a plus size woman; her body in my eyes is beautiful and a master piece,” Tristan said.
Bobbie explains how the two met.
“I did some modelling for a friend and I knew that I loved it; being able to express myself in different ways,” she said.
“After doing a modelling shoot and seeing my photos, my confidence boosted. It was the first time I ever thought I was beautiful.
“Tristan (my boyfriend) came into my life shortly before the photo shoot. He found me on Facebook and messaged me.
“He told me he was captivated by my confidence and he thought I was beautiful. We ended up Skyping for the whole night – now two-and-a-half years later I couldn’t be happier.
“He is my rock. He understands me and accepts me for every stretch mark and imperfection. I thought that being diagnosed with BPD he would of left, but to my surprise he has stayed and continues to fight beside me.
“We mesh so well together. He always encourages me to take pictures, boosts me up. He’s the first guy that’s ever truly loved me and accepted me.
“He has never once tried to change me. He will show me pictures of other plus size girls to encourage me and no matter what, every day he will call me beautiful.
“At the end of the day everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I’m happy with who I am. It’s taken so long to get here, and no one can take that from me. So, thanks for your concern but I’m perfectly fine as I am.
“I just want people to know that no matter what size they are that they are beautiful; Inside and out and to be themselves. Rock what you want to wear. You have a little tummy? Awesome. Rock that crop top.”