Let's talk about having the confidence to be authentically yourself, when the rest of the world does something different to you.
Who can manage this? How did they get the confidence in the first place? What effect does this confidence have on others around them? and how you can take some small steps towards feeling more confident in your choices?
One of the most well read blogs that we have ever posted is the one on confidence, in it, we talk about the danger of waiting for your 'green light' moment, as though at some point, someone will be able to read your mind and will know that you want to wear beautiful lingerie, and they will tell you that it's OK, they will give you the green light and allow you to make the choice that you long for.
It rarely ever works like that. In order to make a change, you often have to go through a phase of fear and uncertainty first and that certainly was the case, even for Jules.
It's surprising now, when you consider how brave Jules now is, in appearing on the internet, being seen in his lingerie on Ladbible all over Facebook and watched by hundreds and thousands of people, to remember that it wasn't always this way. He had to step through that difficult moment of first sharing his lingerie passion with his wife.
He had denied himself this luxury for a long time, and he worried that things would be irrevocably damaged when he shared it. It wasn't as easy as pie, there were some tough conversations ahead. Jules describes that despite having a fabulous relationship with a really supportive wife, he too felt very worried about opening up to this part of his personality.
However, the joy at being able to come through that awkward first conversation and to share something so intimate, to feel so truly connected to another person is amazing. Jules says that what he has gained is 100% worth the discomfort of that first moment, but it will always take that first conversation, no matter what the threshold is that you are scared of stepping over.
Ultimately, it's about honouring yourself and deciding that the people who are closest to you deserve to know the true you - you might worry that they will walk away from you, but they deserve to know who you are and you deserve to be free enough to be who you are.
Another person who we admire so greatly for walking their own walk, having the confidence to be authentic, for dressing how they want and for confidently making their own style choices, is someone who caught our imagination not due to underwear at all, but due to the combination of their style choice in both clothing and cars! Stéphane is a diversity coach and speaker who has a passion for mid-century Citroens, something that Jules fully understands! Stéphane and Jules recently had a catch up on Zoom, they talked cars, confidence and agreed on the importance of standing up to gender-based discrimination wherever it rears up.
For Stéphane, the freedom to wear the everyday fashion styles that he prefers is an important freedom. For Jules, the freedom to have the luxurious underwear that he adores is important - both of these men face praise and criticism for their different choices because they depart from the norm. Yet both stand by their choices, feel empowered by them, and inspire others to break clichés and overcome prejudices associated with obsolete gender norms. Both Stéphane and Jules are cis-straight men who do not intend to pass as women, but enjoy the freedom of clothing associated with styles they love and leverage the symbolic attached to them, to create a space of creativity and safety for all people willing to this way with them.
You can follow Stéphane on Instagram here.