The adventure begins with you. #AerieREAL girl Jenna Kutcher shares her journey to finding rest, achieving self-love and body acceptance on the island of Maui.
“For the past six years I’ve spent hour after hour hustling after my dreams! After leaving my windowless corporate office, I’ve never looked back. Now a full time photographer, educator, public speaker, and podcaster, my life is filled to the brim with things that set my soul on fire. While some look at the life I’ve built and consider it a “success,” I measure success in terms of rest and presence. For so long I’ve worked from a place of hustle, a place of stress, and I knew that going into this year I wanted to focus on incorporating true rest into our lives.”
Shop Jenna’s Look: Super Scoop One Piece Swimsuit
“What did that look like for us? Well, it looked like a month long sabbatical in Maui. I’m sure you’re thinking, wait, what? A whole month? Yes. We spent 33 days on the island and it was as magical as it sounds. What people didn’t see behind the scenes was the work that went into making it all happen: my husband left his job of five years to start his own business, we worked double time in January to prepare, we had to kiss our furry pups goodbye, but it was our dream and we made it happen.
This trip to Hawaii was a redemption song for us. Just one year ago we found out we were expecting our first baby while in Maui and celebrated those blissful days on the island. One month after returning home we experienced a miscarriage and had to say goodbye to that life we loved so dearly. As a woman, it was such a painful experience. I hated my body, I felt outside of it, I felt like it had failed me – though I had this peace that there was a bigger story for us.
As we packed for our trip this time around, my suitcase filled with Aerie. I had to smile because just a year ago I was a part of this campaign and my images were from when I was pregnant. As I slipped into my one piece and hit the beach, I finally felt back at home – both in Hawaii and in my skin. I felt stronger, healthier, more emotionally present. Body positivity isn’t just about our outer appearance, it comes from within.”
“Our month on the island was a time for us to reconnect, to disconnect from work, to dream bigger, to sit on the beach, to explore each corner. It was a time for me to come back to this body that has carried me for 28 years and to celebrate all of the amazing things it can do. Aerie embodies all the things I stand for and in sharing my real, not retouched images I was reminded how important it is for people to take a stand for what they believe in.
I am always shocked at the response when I post things about my body. So may days I would see the images Drew took of me, my eyes would well up with tears about my size ten bod, I would change swim suits, be tempted to cover up, and would vow that I wouldn’t be caught dead at the pool…. But then I would think of you and why I couldn’t hide.
You see, these images don’t do well because of me, it’s because of you. You see yourself in my jiggly thighs, you feel your fears in my cellulite, you hear the voice in your head when you see my extra loving love handles, you feel more at home in my wide hips, you relate to one boob being a bit perkier than the other, you feel the shame in oversized arms… BUT (and this is a BIG but) we are all so much more than all of that.”
“Maybe it’s simply refreshing to see a double digit sized body baring it all or just a body that isn’t retouched. Whatever it is, I am loving myself a little harder and praying that you’ll do the same! I am not a number on a scale or a size in my clothes, neither are you!
Our time was incredible, SO incredible we ended up purchasing a second home on the island. It’s become a sacred place to us – a place of healing and rest. We are thrilled to get to spend more time in our bathing suits on the beach and are even more thrilled to open our doors to our friends, family, and followers and let them into our little slice of heaven. Oh, what an amazing redemption song it is.”