Real women in their own place. Not too crazy and just a pinch of naughty…
By creating evocative and alluring portraits of women with body types that have traditionally been left out of mainstream media, Me In My Place is redefining a genre that has been over-run with unrealistic expectations of what it means to be beautiful. With full acceptance of the “male gaze”, the images promote not just acceptance, but also an aspirational message about everyday appeal. The project is a celebration and is meant to be fun and open to all.
In an effort to monetize the project to keep it going, we created a simple mobile web app, more commonly called THE MIMP APP (https://mimp.findrow.com). This gave fans of the project a simple and inexpensive way to show support. In exchange, they receive more images, exclusive images that are not on the tumblr, and the ability to quickly view and ‘like’ their favorite content.
The MIMP APP was such a success, we decided there must be other content providers like us who would like to give their fans something extra, so we created FINDROW. With flexibility that Instagram and Facebook won’t allow, we give our content providers the freedom to express themselves as they see fit… even if that is not always safe for work ;-) Again, they control their own content and are leading the conversation about how they feel beautiful in the world. For a complete list of all the Findrow apps, click here.
I’d seen the picture of her on MeInMyPlace, wearing a black turtle neck and a little eyeliner. Of all the girls, she was my first choice to interview. Something about that picture? Although simple, with natural light, it conjured up old time Hollywood Glam. How did she manage that I wondered? Gazing off into the distance all long eye lashes and full lips. It was intriguing, a mystery I wanted to solve. There was a lot going on in her mind, I wanted to know about what exactly.
We met over hot coffees in Santa Monica.
Falene Nurse: Had you done anything like the MIMP shoot before?
Chelsea Bradshaw: No nothing, this is completely out of character for me. I think that was the attraction.
Falene Nurse: Were people you knew surprised?
Chelsea Bradshaw: Yes, they were. Some of my friends didn’t approve actually, but not for the reasons you would think. They were offended I didn’t tell them beforehand. Then one friend said a couple of pictures were “soft porn”… don’t even get me started on that. That reaction was kind of preposterous.
Falene Nurse: Has this person seen fashion billboards lately?
Chelsea Bradshaw: Yeah right(smiling broadly) As if me in my underwear is so scandalous. I’m glad to know I’m not the crazy one here, validation accepted and appreciated.
(we cheers our coffees)
Then to suggest I kept it a secret from them, that was a bit melodramatic. I’m proud of the shoot, the pictures are tasteful and flattering. I just didn’t broadcast it.
Falene Nurse: Lordy, your friends are harsh.
Chelsea Bradshaw: Sometimes I guess they are(grinning). I hadn’t noticed before, you may have a point there.
Falene Nurse: I try to.
I’m relieved that Chelsea has a similar sense of humor to myself(i.e. British). It helps when the chemistry is immediate like this, the interview evolves more naturally. Also you know you are in for an engaging banter, which is always a much nicer way to spend the time.
Falene Nurse: OK 3 things about a man that make you weak at the knees?
Chelsea Bradshaw: When they pull you in for a kiss, without hesitation or permission. 2 - Clean soap smell, when a man smells fresh that’s a huge turn on. For me anyway. 3 - I like a man that acts like a man. Like an old fashion movie stars, a bit weathered. Although I wasn’t around back then, I feel like I miss it.
Falene Nurse: Pick your 3 sex symbols of all time?
Chelsea Bradshaw: Natalie Portman, Clark Gable, Clint Eastwood - back in the day.
FN: Most people never consider men as sex symbols, 3 fave man parts?
CB: Mmmm an arm. Lips and hair. They should have both really.
FN: Blonde, brunette or ginger?
CB: I’ve mostly dated brunettes. Also most of my exes aren’t taller than me either. I would like that, but it just hasn’t happened yet.
Imagining her in heels I can understand why, she’s about 5.10 in flat feet. As we walk down towards the Santa Monica pier, I start taking some candid snaps. Along the way, first an Italian tourist shouts “Sei bellissima” at Chelsea, another man wolf whistles out of his car window, now about three guys have gathered around. Pretending not to watch. It would appear she’s created a small fan base right here on the promenade. Without meaning to draw any attention at all, Chelsea’s created a bit of stir.
We find a quieter spot and a bench to continue our chat.
FN: Do you have fans?
CB: Well, enthusiasts of the site are on Twitter and they have been very sweet so far.
ArtShimko’s been on there from the beginning, LDZ30 - he’s always checking in. It’s never dirty or vulgar, it’s just an access to the girls in the pictures. There are also female fans, but their comments are mostly lingerie shopping related.
FN: Any famous fans?
CB: I know one because we’ve tweeted back and forth, but there might be others, let’s see (taking a look at her phone).
At a quick glance I see Donald Glover from Community and Elijah Wood.
FN: What did you and Elijah Tweet about?
CB: Pizza actually, there’s a Kitten & Peach column with lots of pictures of me eating pizza. I’m a connoisseur of pizza.
FN: Top 3 pizzas of ALL time?
CB: The classic always to start, Pepperoni, Onions, Basil and Green Peppers. Let’s call it the Chelsea Special. And you know what - I don’t really like to branch out from that.
FN: Back to the Tweets.
CB: Well after having discussions about pizza, we went and ate pizza. Which was not as weird as it might sound. We ate A LOT, talked about the site for a couple of hrs and that was it. Really nice person.
FN: He’s not a person, he’s an ethereal creature that doesn’t belong of this earth - like Bjork. Beautiful, but probably not human.
CB: Yes! yes!
I knew there was a kindred eccentric in there, she just needed a little coaxing.
CB: Beautifully different, with unusually pretty, large, eyes. But I really didn’t get that "I’m trying to bed you vibe" from him, or anyone else that I tweet with. Which is refreshing to be honest.
FN: Remember though - he’s "other worldly"(whispered as if a deep, dark, secret).
When encouraged, Chelsea’s smile spreads lavishly across her face like a Cheshire Cat’s.
CB: I think it was just a curiosity factor. Like with the other Twitter guys. And had one of them asked me to go out for pizza, I would take the same safety precautions, maybe my new man and I’d hang out and eat pizza. Why not?
FN: Also you are "real" girls, being photographed in a way that’s usually reserved only for models and actresses.
CB: We are. And what woman wouldn’t want to be photographed that way, at least once in their lifetime? It’s a very cool concept and you walk taller afterwards.
Not that she needs any help in that area.
FN: Tell me about the shoot?
CB: Well I was introduced to the site through a friend and I loved it instantly. I loved it, loved it, loved it. So I started following for about 2 months.
FN: Girl or boy?
CB: A man, a dude(smirking)
FN: A dude. Really? (Giving her a knowing wink, followed by a raised eyebrow)
CB: (laughing) Wait, wait, He basically said,”I thought you would like the site, not meaning I should do it…
FN: … but I bet deep down he was hoping.
We are both cackling now. Although I’ve just met Chelsea I feel like I’ve known her for years.
CB: Well maybe… (pondering)
(trying not to be distracted by the conclusion in her mind)
These pictures amazed me. Deep down every woman wants to be seen this way, seductive but not trashy. Then I got in touch with him/ME. Sent an email on a whim, as you would buy a lottery ticket - expecting nothing. A week later he got back to me and said he would be in LA.
FN: Liked what he saw methinks.
CB: Totally called my bluff and then panic set in! Once I got over that, when he came to my apartment it was like hanging out with a friend. He kills any nervousness, knows exactly how to make you feel comfortable. Which made it really easy as I have no experience in that area. It was also a lot of fun too - and I know every girl that does this is probably gonna say that, but it really was. So once I ripped my shirt off, well I was READY!
FN: Ready to get down?
CB: Yes - yes I was.
I can honestly say she blushed a little as she responds.
FN: Maybe your just modest.
CB: Maybe. As ironic as that sounds after I posed in my panties.
Sat with her that didn’t seem at all ironic. She’s not forced or deliberate in any way, a strong conversationalist with a natural allure. There’s a confidence, but nothing flashy.
FN: What’s a regular day for you?
CB: I’m a professional secretary(sarcastically)… so not that exciting really.
Chelsea’s self deprecation make her very endearing. Her actual title is Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Marketing over at the WB.
FN: You didn’t come out here looking for stardom?
CB: That is true, but I’ve seen the doe-eyed ones that do. I’m shocked how many of them have these insane ideas, without any real plans. I feel like screaming “if you don’t have 6 months rent saved before you get here, honey go home!” I feel like I’ve turned into my mom.
FN: This place can eat it’s young. BTW The person who introduced you to MIMP, did he stay a friend?
CB: Well… no. We dated for a while last year. We also broke up last year.
FN: And now?
CB: I’m dating someone I’ve known for a long time. The pics definitely made him look at me in a different light, see another side to me beyond just friendship. He seems ok with it, but you can never tell for sure.
FN: He’s probably very proud, but on the other hand he wonders if his buddy’s are sneaking a peek at your na na.
CB: It has to go through his mind (lol). I suspect deep down he’s a bit conflicted about it. Which makes sense. You know if the shoe were on the other foot.
… Random Questions
FN: Where did you wake up this morning?
CB: At a boy’s house.
FN: You want to elaborate…
CB: At my boy’s house
FN: If you had a Chelsea theme song, what would it be?
CB: Ah Meatloaf - “I Would Do Anything For Love.”
FN: As you enter a room, that would play and your hair would blow…
FN: … in slow mo, all Beyoncified.
CB: It’s also my one and only Karaoke song.
Peaches gives me a quick rendition. It suits her.
FN: Last film you saw in a movie theatre?
FN: Wow, I heard that’s brutal.
CB: Very… VERY. He’s naked in most of the movie. Good looking fellow.
FN: Mmmmm Fassbender. Did you leave the cinema wanting to be held, surrounded by fluffy bunnies?
CB: Very much so, it’s heavy, heavy, stuff.
FN: Top 3 sexy scenes in Shame?
CB: Well there was a lot of sex, but not the enjoyable kind. There were sexy moments I would say, when he looks at a woman in a certain way. Thankfully it wasn’t as depressing as "Melancholia".
FN: Oh Lars Von Yada Yada, the “Antichrist” guy, I can do without watching genital mutilation. Unless of course it’s been a particularly taxing week.
She let’s out an unexpected guffaw, almost spurting coffee through her nose. People in LA aren’t usually as open to my silliness, or allow themselves to be goofy in public. This is not the case with Chelsea, which makes her rather adorable. It also doesn’t hurt that she has an infectious laugh.
CB: I didn’t see that one, but now I have that visual in my head.
FN: OK stop seeing these movies alone. Promise?
CB: I know, that would be a good start. They are good movies, but you do come out feeling so awful.
Even though Chelsea towers above me, I feel like I want to keep her safe from any more films that may challenge her creative intellect. You automatically want to protect her, I should imagine if I were male I would fall for her after this interview. Easily and without any effort at all.
FN: Night on the town, DJ or live band?
CB: Has to be a live band. Absolutely, no question.
FN: Top 3 bands?
CB: Polyphonic Spree
FN: They are great. Great show!
CB: So good. So good, right?
FN: It’s like joining a cult.
CB: I saw them at this tiny theatre and I wasn’t drunk, or on anything, but I felt that I was high. I felt euphoric almost.
FN: So did I, but I was - a little "cheerful". Shall we say. Just a little.
CB: That’s ok. We all get "a little cheerful" sometimes, don’t we?
Then the Black Keys and Zeppelin. I love classic rock, current music I am bit clueless. Don’t ask me what the kids are listening to these days, I have no idea.
I’m the worst at list questions just to let you know.
FN: Actually you’re very good. Remember most people don’t get asked to list random answers like this on command.
CB: Hold on, hey the last song on my playlist was Suspicious Minds by Elvis Presley.
FN: Dream job?
CB: Oh a photo journalist or a food critic. Traveling around the world taking pictures of beautiful things or getting paid to eat. I love food so much. Yet my own food was so limited, I eat pizza 5 times a week. So seeing this new boy has been wonderful, he’s introducing me to a gazillion new places which has been a real pleasure.
FN: Guilty pleasure?
CB: Bad reality TV and pizza.
It always comes back to pizza for me.