First of all, give yourselves a big round of applause, pat yourselves on the back, High five! You have reached the 5th tier for Bonnie’s surgery fund. I am humbled and amazed and *insert a new descriptive term here*. You have stepped up in a big way for one of our own.
Which brings us to a bit of a hitch. You see, Erin has put herself out for all of this in a really big way. As in, making herself physically ill sort of big way. She’s not backing down or chickening out, though. I am in agreement with Bonnie, that unless and until Erin is comfortable creating and sharing a bikini/cheesecake/pin-up style shot, she should not be pressured to do so. This should be fun, not frightening for her.
Erin has serious body dysmorphic disorder. It took years to even admit to that online. This is beyond not being comfortable in ones own skin. I have no frame of reference, but I know that the fear and pain is very real for her. She lives every day with a disconnect between her outside and her inside. We’ve all built a relationship with who she is in her heart and soul. She’s beautiful regardless of packaging.
It took far longer than any of you know for me to work up the nerve to pull last year’s catsuit stunt, and I am remarkably comfortable in my own skin. (I have my struggles, but who doesn’t?) Erin hasn’t had that kind of time to prepare. All I ask of you is to give her time, patience, and support. Other suggestions (ball gown, My Little Mosin, etc) are awesome. In the end, it is really up to Erin to decide what her comfort level is.
ETA: Erin feels very strongly that she must fulfill this obligation (see comments). I am asking you to consider her struggles when making suggestions/requests. In fact, overwhelm her with requests that are not ‘bikini pic’ or salacious.