Wellness Influencer x Creative Genius x Perpetual Badass
@Nicoleloher | Brooklyn, New York
I’m excited to announce that I’m starting a new YBS interview series: Learning to Love Your Small Boobs. My goal is to provide an in-depth look inside the lives of real women who embody what it means to be your “breast self”. Their stories will hopefully not only inspire you to love your body (ahem, small boobs) but will also help you on your overall confidence journey.
While many of these women may seem like they “have it all together,” I think you’ll be surprised to see that they didn’t always start out that way.
They had to work to develop the self-esteem and confidence they have now.
But that’s how it should be, right? Self-esteem should always be a work in progress. Because real confidence develops from doing the work, not from getting the outcome.
First up is an interview with Nicole Loher, a wellness influencer, creative strategist, and one of the newest faces of Adidas.
After growing up in a small farm town in Maryland, Nicole made the bold decision at age 16 to move to New York City to pursue her dreams of working in fashion. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, ran her own successful style blog, and landed a job as a digital creative strategy manager at Nars Cosmetics. Today, she’s evolved into a top wellness/style influencer and a sponsored triathlete. When she’s not busy doing her 2-a-day workouts and repping cool styles for brands, she’s the creative strategist for the acclaimed NYC PR firm, Small Girls PR.
Nicole’s mission with her work is to promote authenticity and inspire women to tap into the version of themselves that’s most real. And that’s exactly why she’s an ideal YBS icon. Read on to see her advice on womanhood, self-acceptance, and what she actually wears to feel like her “breast self.”
On Growing Up. . .
I was really awkward. There were always the cool girls. And I always aspired to be that girl. But I always felt like the outcast. I never got the foundational talk of “love yourself first” – it was always “you can love yourself IF. . .”. I felt like I didn’t fit in.
I left high school when I was 16 and moved to New York City. I thought, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. I didn’t tell anyone how old I was.
I studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. I worked as a barista and lived on $30 a week. I walked everywhere. I survived on hummus, chicken, and pita every night for dinner. I was really thin.
On Body Image + Boobs . . .
Oh my god, I wanted a boob job until college. It wasn’t even “I might do this” – it was “I’m definitely doing this.” And I was open about that.
I always felt like my mom was so beautiful. I looked up to her. She had large boobs and tiny hips and I was opposite. I felt so inadequate compared to women around me. Working in the fashion industry made it worse. I felt beholden to looking a certain way.
On Her Confidence Journey. . .
What changed? Well, my dad got cancer. It was then that I realized I was being so self-focused. I had the realization that there are more important things to worry about. I was so beholden to looking a certain way for so long, and it just didn’t matter.
After that, I started the process of re-learning to accept myself.
Part of that came from working out. It totally gave me overall confidence.
I started being able to look at myself differently. I realized, OK, I don’t have big boobs, but I do have big quads that I’m proud of.
Also, everyone at one point has felt weird about their boobs, or stomach. . . or whatever. I realized that we all have this, and that no one really cared. It was a problem in my head. Only I cared. So it didn’t f-ing matter.
People don’t really give a fuck. And if they do give a fuck. Fuck them.
Learning this was a formative thing for me.
On Feeling Like a Woman. . .
My mission now is to help women realize there’s no set code for what womanhood is.
Feeling like a woman can mean feminine, and it can mean ripped and bad ass. And just because you’re one, doesn’t mean you can’t be the other. We have the power to choose.
I feel womanly when I deadlift 200 pounds. Or when I finish a half marathon. It all represents womanhood to me because I’m pursuing what I want to.
I think 2017 is one of the hardest years for women, but it’s also empowering because we can make our own rules. I want to help women understand this and not be afraid to lean into it.
My advice to women who want to feel more confident with their bodies would be:
- Know there’s an end in sight [to feeling insecure about your body]. You can change the way you view yourself. It’s about picking out the positive. It’s a mindset shift.
- Get out of your head. Your look, athleticism, whatever. . . it doesn’t define your worth. You don’t have to be perfect for anyone. Or even for yourself. Just own it. Own what you have.
- Unfollow people on social media who aren’t authentic. I’m serious. Put blinders on, and just see yourself. It may sound like a selfish thing, but it’s totally necessary. There’s a difference between being selfish in a self-obsessed way, and being self-focused a healthy way. It’s about your wellbeing and mental health.
HER PERSONAL STYLE
When I was younger, my best friend and I decided that we would only ever wear lacy bras. We called it our “lacy pact.” Recently I talked to her and saw that she had actually kept it up. [laughs]
Truthfully, I don’t buy a lot of lingerie. But there is one store in the East Village I like, called Azaleas. It has a lot of great options for small boobs. And they’re great at fitting you.
I never wear an underwire. I’ll wear bralettes, and one of my favorites is from Topshop.
And if I can go braless, I will.
I’m also very into showing my bra. Naturally, because of my work, I wear a lot of sports bras. But I never wear a shirt to the gym. Never. It’s an extra piece of clothing!
When I don’t have meetings, I’m most likely wearing high-waisted pants and a crop top, or a bra under a jacket.
Oh, and I’ll wear leather leggings to the gym – if I’m not powerlifting, that is.
I’ll also wear a white swimsuit as a bra. I always want to be in a bathing suit. I just love the beach. I’m one of those weirdos that want to own a coconut stand and live that life (but not really).
It’s important to feel good in what you’re wearing. And to wear something for how it makes you feel. People get into a rut of, ‘if no one can see it, it doesn’t matter.’ But that’s not fair to you. You should feel like a badass all the time.
-As told to YBS
If you’re inspired by or relate to Nicole’s journey, scroll down and share in the comments below!