The most common response I get when a woman is interested in a boudoir shoot is
"I just have to get into shape first."
This sentence triggers a whole mess of responses in my mind. Even with the proper amount of time to sit down and write the perfect response, I'm still struggling with where to start. The photo and quote above is a snippet of a review that was written on my Facebook page.
It reflects perfectly of how most women feel and also my unwillingness to let any woman slip through the cracks because of a negative body image. This particular woman I have known off and on for the majority of my life, the whole review goes like this...
"I have known Molly since she was a little girl, and we reconnected over a year ago. I've watched her photography business blossom in that time and had loved her talent and grace she possesses and it shows in her work. When Molly decided to start boudoir photos I knew I had to get some done. The morning of the shoot I was skeptical though, scared to get out of my comfort zone. I messaged her my fears and she said WOMAN you're beautiful, I'm doing your photos to show you what the whole world sees. She was right, as soon as I got the email yesterday with my photos I was in shock. Originally I was giving these to my husband for Valentines Day, but I had to show him right away. With tears rolling down my cheeks I finally saw what she was saying. I'm 35 years old and struggled with my weight my entire life. After losing 150lbs I am loving the new skin I am in. Molly took her time with me and was so amazing with the camera! Thank you Molly so much for everything you did for me with this photo shoot."
The most important part of her story isn't about how she waited until she had lost 150 lbs.
The part that every women needs to read over and over again is that even AFTER losing the weight, she was still skeptical and afraid to get out of her comfort zone. That is because as women we are taught to hate our bodies. Businesses thrive off of our insecurities. There is a product for every part of our bodies that "promises" to fix our insecurities.
There are products to fix our skin, our eyes, our hair, our weight, our nails, our pubic and underarm hair, our teeth and even as far a cosmetic surgeries for every body part we own.
I'm going to tell you a secret...
Being secure in your body is not a destination,
it is a way of life.
one more time...
BEING SECURE IN YOUR BODY IS NOT A DESTINATION,
IT IS A WAY OF LIFE.
I don't care who you are, you cannot escape this truth. Instead of believing that "once this happens I will accept myself" start believing in the beauty that you already carry. Now, this isn't to say you shouldn't be healthy or that you shouldn't strive to accomplish personal goals but rather to challenge you to start your journey with a solid foundation of self-love. Ask yourself tough questions.
"Will I really love my body with less weight on it?"
"Am I setting goals based on how others think I should look or are they based on bettering myself?"
"Who am I trying to gain approval from?"
"Why do I feel I will be happier after I accomplish xxx?"
"What will actually make me happy?"
If you are being honest with yourself these questions will be tough to answer or they will help you begin a true journey of accepting yourself as you are. Being secure in your body is not a destination but a way of life. There is no end result when improving any thing physical.
Let's say you set a goal to to lose a certain amount of weight for example. With that weight loss you might find extra skin where the weight used to be. Maybe you will find stretch marks you never noticed before. Maybe the fat is gone but now you want muscle. Will you accept loose skin better than you accepted the weight? Will you embrace the stretch marks as beauty?
Maybe none of those will apply! Maybe once you've accomplished your goal weight and you look like a super model but you start to notice gray hair? What if you find yourself struggling with accepting age or side affects from a medication?
The options are literally ENDLESS.
Instead of counting all of the things you want to change about your appearance, I challenge you to look in the mirror and make a damn list
of all the things you love!
If you begin this journey with the solid belief that
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL,
it puts the amount of time you spend bullying yourself into perspective. With these realizations you can free yourself from the non-existent perception of perfect.
I do boudoir based on the fact that I see beauty in every body I see. I do boudoir to be a positive voice in a world of negativity. I do boudoir to help women be comfortable in their skin. I do boudoir to allow women to be the most beautiful woman in the room for the day.
I will continue to do boudoir solely based on the reactions of my clients after they've seen their photos and the motivation it gives them to start a journey towards self-love.
But, I can't spread the love with out you taking that first step out of your comfort zone.