I am a single overweight 42 year old woman who has birthed 6 babies. My body is far from perfect, in fact I have spent the majority of my adult life obsessing over how bad I 'think I look. I am guilty of comparing myself to other women ALL the time. Wishing I had their legs, that my stomach was flatter like theirs. Admiring them and in turn be more disgusted with myself.
My social media pictures you will see a different me. You see what many say is ' a pretty face'... I loathe that statement because I have been told over and over and over that at least I have a pretty face.. implying that should make up for the body I occupy.
My pictures show a happy and confident person. But it shows me usually from the chest up. I'm the girl that poses in every angle and usually deletes about 12 photos before I find the right one that hides the areas I'm not proud of. You wouldn't catch me in a bathing suit.
So when I was asked to do a boudoir shoot I was excited but nervous. I knew that I would be opening myself up to really seeing my whole self.
The only reason why I agreed to this was because I trusted my photographer. Not only did I know she was skilled but I also knew that she felt my insecurities and vulnerability and made me feel comfortable each step of the way.
The first time she took my picture she wanted to capture the 'beautiful booty' I had. I seriously thought she had lost her mind as my behind is my biggest physical flaw.
She snapped a few pictures and I asked to see them on her camera. I nearly cried. I have never liked my body, especially my booty and she captured my beautiful booty! Unfiltered, unaltered .. that was me and I liked it.
The session continued and my confidence increased.
I remember Jasmin telling me before she released the photos that 'there are going to be images you like, and some you don't '. She encouraged me to look at them like I would look at my friend's.. not zooming in on the thigh and how you can see the cellulite but to try to look at it differently.
As women we are so damn hard on ourselves. We are our worst critics. I would be lying if I told you I loved all the pictures.
Truth is, some pictures made me cry.
Some made me angry at how I 'let myself go'.
But then the different perspective told me to look at that body.
That body has brought life into the world.
That body has carried pain and burden.
That body has given countless hugs and that body is beautiful.
Each time I look at those pictures I am reminded of that and I am grateful for that. I want to shout it to the world and to my beautiful daughters that beauty is not about a certain size or shape or a magical number.