Growing up I too had issues with body image, and still do sometimes to this day. It’s hard loving everything about yourself every second of the day. And if you’re anything like me, then you too have thoughts running through your head 24/7. It gets rough when these thoughts only become negative. How often have you told yourself you need to lose weight? Have you ever told yourself if only you didn’t have wrinkles then you’d be beautiful? Maybe whenever you feel your thighs rubbing together you think to yourself oh that’s so gross.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not gross but for whatever reason we’ve been ingrained to believe that it is.
Yes that’s a picture of me up there. A few years ago I had some friends do my hair and makeup and I turned the camera over to them. Because I was hanging out with my friends, none of it felt weird or awkward and I knew that I’d have some amazing images to show my husband and too keep for myself. That image was one of my favorites. I didn’t realize how much it would affect my body positivity.
At first I looked at it and of course thought to myself, why are you smiling like that it looks weird. But then I shot that negative talk down and said I’m smiling like that because I was having the best time. I was having the best time with good friends celebrating the fact that I have rolls when I sit down. That I have two legs that allowed me to run all over the place, walk with my kids, and DANCE! I love to dance. If my thighs rub together while I’m doing these things or at all, then so be it!
And ladies, so many women are doing boudoir shoots to allow themselves to see and feel how beautiful they really are. And watching the transformation is amazing. I don’t have people come in to have professional hair and makeup done so that they “look better.” No way! Every woman who comes to me for a boudoir shoot is beautiful already. No makeup and hair in a ponytail, gorgeous. We do professional hair and makeup so that you can FEEL the experience. Be taken care of and pampered in the way that you deserve. Because when you FEEL amazing then you’re going to let all of your natural beauty shine through. You’re going to feel more confident which allows me as your photographer to get photos of you that tell who YOU are RIGHT NOW. Isn’t that exciting? And then when you see your images for the first time and you say to yourself “Wow, I look as amazing as I felt! I’ve never seen myself this way before. Confidence looks great on me!” Go check out my blog post about why women just like you are doing boudoir photo shoots right now to celebrate and start to love their bodies!
So often we tend to dwell on the negative or what we consider the negative or flaws. But what we have to start telling ourselves is that our “flaws” make us who we are. The media has been lying to us. We have been led to believe that if we are not a size 0 then we just plain aren’t good enough. We are constantly told that something always needs to be changed, bettered, perfected. And when we realize we can’t achieve it we start to hate ourselves and the skin we are in.
If we continue to do this then it weighs on our mental health and affects those around us as well. I know that I want to teach my daughter to love herself and her body no matter how it looks on the outside. She will be able to embrace any rolls she may earn over the span of her life, to look at stretch marks or cellulite and know that there’s a reason those things are there. I want her to celebrate her body in every form over every change that it goes through.
Ladies our bodies seriously take a beating already. Just functioning every single day and allowing us to do the things we love. Exercise, go for a run, ride your bike, take your dog for a walk, chase your toddler, climb a mountain, show your kids you can still do a cartwheel (makes me dizzy just thinking about that one!) And for those of us who go through pregnancy and childbirth just imagine what happens in our bodies! They are beautiful, amazing miracles that constantly are giving giving giving. We need to find a way to look at our bodies and say thank you and we need to do this every day.
You hear it all the time. Happiness is a choice, choose to be happy. What if we flipped that and used it towards our bodies. Loving my body is a choice and I choose to be its biggest fan.
Emily Scott Pack is a photographer who hosts a retreat called Body Image Bootcamp. When I first saw this I fell in love with the idea and have dreams to do something similar some day. But on her website for the retreat, which you can check out here she has a beautiful quote that I just love. “Our bodies are simply the vessels that our soul travels through life.” I thought that was wonderful. We put so much pressure on our bodies that are designed to not be on this earth forever. And then as we get older we get upset when they start to break down. We need to care for, nurture, and love our bodies. And this goes with our mindset towards our body image and why we need to keep it positive.
A community also definitely helps. When women get together to support one another and lift each other up, huge things can happen. Breakthroughs and transformations come from community. That’s why I want to reach as many women as I can and continue to inspire.
If you struggle with positive body image then I’d love to invite you to my free Facebook group. We are constantly lifting one another up and supporting each other. I talk in there every week about ways we can improve our body image and start to love ourselves and our bodies right now. Life is short ladies. And if we continue to let each day pass dwelling on things we consider negative about ourselves, then we are ruining each day we are given. We should be living life to the fullest and celebrating what we have!
Come join Exist in Photos where we talk about how women should always exist in a photograph, we share our stories, and we lift each other up. You’ll want to be sure to join before Monday, March 9th because I’ll be doing a live video on three ways you can shift your mindset to start loving your body right now in this very moment. And I’ve got an exciting announcement coming that you might want to be a part of!
You’ve heard the saying it takes a village? And it really does. Together as a community of powerful women we can start to shift the body image mindset and help other women gear towards loving their bodies right now.
follow us on