I woke up inspired this morning to write this post. It has been a long time coming, and for some reason, this morning, I couldn’t even bring myself to get ready before running to my computer to write. So, somewhat ironically here I am; straight out of bed, in one of Michael’s old college t-shirts, slippers, and no makeup, ready to talk about beauty.
I recently held two separate events for boudoir photography, and I entitled them “Celebrating your beauty”. I wanted to make these events less about “sexy pictures for a significant other” and more about women, and how they see themselves. As I look around, I see that we are all SO hard on ourselves. We put ourselves under an impossible microscope, and expect perfection in every aspect of our bodies.
Being that I was a fine art major in college, I had to take many semesters of life drawing, which is basically a 3 hour class where you draw from a live model… who is nude. In doing that, I began to see the naked body in a completely different way. Every single person that walked in that door, no matter what age, size or gender, was beautiful. You stopped seeing nakedness as a thing, and it just became natural. After graduating, that feeling stayed with me, and maybe it is one of the most important things I got out of college all together. Everyone is unique. Everyone is powerful. Everyone is beautiful. It sounds cliche, and basic, and whatever…. until you actually start to believe it. That is when your life changes, and those words bring you to tears.
I had an overwhelmingly positive response to my wild and crazy idea for this event, and the first one spread out across an entire weekend. I rented an estate, so women felt comfortable to come and go, hang out, prance along the grass in the buff, or drink mimosas and help each other pick out the perfect outfit. Something magical happened there. Pure joy happened. It was contagious, almost impossible to walk through the front door without feeling it. Women showed up shy, nervous, and embarrassed, and left feeling enlightened, beautiful, and brave. The community that formed in that house was one like I have never seen before. Women who are all usually so hard on themselves gracefully transformed into positive body affirming cheerleaders, who before you knew it, where convincing each client to “do at least one shot in the nude”.
(I had a few beautiful ladies sneak in on one of the shoots… they were just so excited to see what we were
capturing… I turned around and saw this!)
It baffled me how comfortable and trusting each girl was with me, and how shocked they were at the photos I was showing them on my camera screen. “How do they not know that this is what all people see when looking at them?” With one shocked, or tearful face after another, I even got a few “How does your camera make me look so pretty?!” comments. What was most interesting to me, was even after seeing themselves in such a beautiful way, they were still giving all the credit to someone or something else!
Why is it so easy for us to take responsibility for what we don’t like about ourselves, but so difficult to take responsibility for what we do? We shouldn’t have to convince ourselves or anyone else of our beauty. Every single person reading this post is beautiful. Every. Single. One. of you. I have never picked up my camera, and NOT seen something beautiful that is worth capturing. I think what we often get caught up in, is our uniqueness. Just because my brand of pretty (blonde hair tiny boobs, HUGE booty) isn’t your brand of pretty ( brunette, curvy, big almond eyes) doesn’t mean that one of us is the loser. It means that we are different! We each have things about us that make us beautiful in a way that is completely different than anyone else.
Doing this event changed my life. Seeing so many women come together, and not only support each other, but start believing in themselves… there is literally no other word, than magic.