Cher Tushiah always had curves — and the good sense to embrace them from an early age. In fact, as her reed-thin friends were fretting over every morsel they ate, Cher was basking in compliments from her grandmother, who reiterated how beautiful she was, and from her Aunt Ilene, who explained that her zaftig figure just meant there was more of her to love.
“It just clicked for me,” she says of her aunt’s reasoning. “She’s right! There’s nothing wrong with me. There’s something wrong with my perception of me because I was letting other people define myself.” Once Cher began to accept herself, her confidence went through the roof — and her mission became clear: to help teach other plus-sized that the only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself.
Thanks to social media, Cher is able to preach the good word to women everywhere. (She also established our online presence, setting up and overseeing our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts for years!) Cher frequently posts pictures of herself on Facebook wearing shorts, lingerie, horizontal stripes and swimwear to prove that every body is beautiful and worth showing off.
At the same time, the Florida resident understands why some women might have a hard time shedding their baggy clothes, especially at the beach. “Choosing a swimsuit is certainly intimidating,” she says. “It’s probably the closest you get to being nearly naked in front of strangers, if you think about it.” Her advice? Make a list of your favorite body parts and find swimwear that fits and flatter them.
Cher is certainly no stranger to swimsuit shopping: An avid swimmer, beachgoer and jet skier, she and her family hit the water whenever possible. She’s even starting a water Zumba class soon. (“I think it will be a great way to get some cardio while keeping nice and cool.”) A longtime Swimsuits For All customer, Cher is a big fan of our tankinis, though she also recently fell in love with one of our swimdresses. “Most designers think black is all we chubby chicks can pull off,” she says. “Fortunately, s4a knows better!”
Of course, it’s only fitting that Cher would flock to a sassy one-piece in a color many curvy women feel unsure about wearing. After all, she’s living proof that life is too short to worry about what clothes you should and shouldn’t wear. “I want women to look at an outfit in a magazine and say, ‘Hey, I really like that. I want to wear that.’ And then go out and buy it,” she says. “Put it on. Enjoy it. Own it. By the time they are my age, I want them to look back on their photos through the years and say, ‘Wow, why was I ever worried about what I looked like? I was beautiful! I am still beautiful.’”