Why I Walked Across the Brooklyn Bridge in my Lingerie in December

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photo by Luisa Madrid

Loving my body is a loud, proud revolutionary act.

So, when I heard of an event called The Real Catwalk, where hundreds of women, men and people of all genders, races and ages would strut their lingerie’d bodies across the historic Brooklyn Bridge, I was a full out YES.

Iconic Scene

Picture sequins, make up, fur coats, bras, panties, fishnets, bikinis, sexy dresses, leather, fur coats…countless accessories that celebrate the beautiful souls inhabiting this earth.

Imagine inspiring speeches and original songs about loving ourselves.

A young woman cried as she told the crowd she was walking for her mother, who could not walk herself.

A mother powerfully stated she was walking for her two teenage daughters, who both struggle with low self-esteem.

A transgender leader joyfully encouraged the crowd to be authentic no matter what and pointed out their gorgeous mother snapping pictures from the back.

The Catwalk

As we approached the middle of the bridge, a catwalk suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

A long rectangular space was created with spectators to the left and right. Photographers squatted and stood at the end of the rectangle, and a line of beautiful, and chilly, people waited in line to strut their stuff.

I could feel the anticipation in my body as I waited in line — a mix of electricity, nerves and joy. I heard myself squeal and giggle — so much attention, so much sensation, so much self worth.

Badass people of all sizes and shapes worked that catwalk. The magic ingredient is to OWN it. See, it doesn’t matter what size your body is— it’s how you feel about your body.

A gorgeous black woman about 30 years old sported a black ensemble with a garter belt and shimmied her hips to the left and to the right, as she posed with the kind of confidence that melts my heart.

My friend went next and she danced down the catwalk in her red pleather dress, a blonde bombshell, kicking her legs and moving like a minx with joy and ease. My heart was aflutter.

It’s like she was born to simply walk with confidence and bring joy to all who witness her.

My Turn

I wore a purple lace nightie with a black bra and black lace stockings underneath. Plus my cowgirl boots, of course — they go everywhere with me.

I strutted into the catwalk space that would be mine for the next 40 seconds, feeling my feet on the ground and a broad smile across my face. I moved quickly down that rectangle, posing in circles at the end, feeling sexy AF.

I wondered if people would cheer the way they cheered for those before me — I hoped so. All I saw was flashing lights, the bridge in my peripheral vision, as my hips swayed from side to side. And then I heard, NEXT, and BOOM!- my catwalk was complete.

I LOVED it. I felt alive and electric.

I also knew I moved quickly. It went by in a flash and I wanted to slow down and enjoy the next one even more. I wanted to breathe and focus on ME, letting go of the thought of anyone cheering.

A Bigger Risk

The second catwalk was a small semi-circle born in front of the tower of the bridge, with Manhattan in the background. We would have fifteen seconds to pose and shine. Watching people pose was an emotional experience as I was fascinated by how each person owned their body and flaunted their fabulousness, regardless of size or shape.

I decide in that moment to take a risk — a bigger one.

I slipped my purple lace nightie off. I would do this shoot in my bra and stockings. My friend read my mind and gave me her warm soft fur coat to wear on top. The look felt incredible and I was elated.

Even getting a turn on this catwalk was an act of owning it. One had to claim her space, which is a huge radical act of self love. I hesitated a few times and then heard my internal voice — GO NOW.

I shimmied in to the space slowly and could feel myself radiating. I grabbed the railing of the bridge in my hands and felt the fur coat fall down my shoulders.

I moved slowly and surely, enjoying each moment. I breathed and owned my gorgeousness and moved my body with confidence.

There was a moment I looked down through the flash of the cameras, and the founder of the walk, a beautiful blonde model with the biggest purest heart, was looking at me. We locked eyes and I could feel her receiving my transmission of pure raw ownership of truth and self love.

The next thing I knew I stretched my body out, loud and proud, sharing my pure joy with the crowd.

Magic

Words escape me for how transformative this day was.

My feet were freezing before we even got to the bridge, yet choosing to walk with my friends and so many beautiful souls was a game changer. It was the kind of risk that moves me out of my comfort zone and reminds me I am alive.

I touched a piece of myself that I love to feel and share with others— a vulnerable softness that is grateful to live this incredible life and to be an embodied woman who loves herself.

You can find links to my other work on Medium and follow me here. Thanks for reading!

Written by

Coach & Writer. Musings on being a woman, creator of Body Love, alchemist, mother, brendafredericks.com

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