Taija Helisek from Jersey City, New Jersey, is a new mom — and a breastfeeding new mom to boot!
And while both of those things are beautiful, some days, she doesn't feel entirely comfortable in her new skin, powerful as it may be.
Which is why we teamed her up with Emme. The American body-positive supermodel, who burst to fame in the '90s and has since become a body image advocate, helped Taija arrange a flirty boudoir-inspired shoot — something that has become increasingly popular with new moms, to help them become reacquainted with their gorgeous bodies.
But for Taija, it did so much more than that.
"When I first went in," Taija tells Rachael and Emme, "I was completely insecure. I was holding myself."
But, she added at the time, "I'm ready to have them help me feel sexy about myself."
And sure enough, by the end, she was singing a completely different tune! "I feel very sexy and pretty! I love having this — I wish I could have it every day — but this is just the most amazing opportunity and experience I ever had."
It was then that we gave her her first peek at the photos — and truly, she couldn't have been more stunned. And not just by how beautiful she looked, but how strong and confident she felt.
"It really helped me be myself, and be free and open," says Taija.
"It's inside us — not outside us — to find self esteem. To find great body image," says Emme. "We can't look for it outside. It's an inside job."
So beautifully said, Emme!
Watch Taija's whole beautiful experience in the video above!