Last month I did something crazy and I want to tell you all about it in hopes you can gain a little confidence.
A friend of mine happens to be a very gifted photographer. For weeks she had been encouraging me to do a Boudoir shoot for my husband’s Valentine’s Day gift. For those of you unaware of what a Boudoir shoot is, it’s an intimate, romantic and sometimes erotic photo-shoot and it can be as modest, sexy, classy, or raunchy as you want it to be. I laughed her off a few times: “I don’t have the confidence” I repeated. Until one day, I did. I think I blacked out but the next thing I knew I was booked for the next day. Normally, I would spend weeks preparing for this type of event the same way I know the ladies on The Bachelorette prepare for their season. Knowing this confidence wouldn’t last long, I had no time to prepare and I am so impressed with that decision. This was going to be me and it was going to be all of me exactly as I am in everyday life.
As the session started, I definitely felt like an amateur. Who was I? I am an out of place mother trying too hard for something that wouldn’t turn out well. But as the session started – music blaring, bright lighting, the lingerie slipping on with my best heels locked in place – something started to transform inside of me. All of these years I had spent telling myself I needed to exercise longer, eat cleaner, research the perfect haircut… here I was posing in various twists and turns, flipping my hair, pouting my lips (and oh my gawwwd I am not a lip pouter), flaunting my stretch-marked tummy, and exposing my flat chest – this feeling I had been holding on to, resentful of my body because of what pregnancy did to me – started morphing into an overwhelming praise in what my body has done for me.
Ladies, quite simply, we are superheroes. My husband and I have this conversation weekly. We produce humans. HUMANS! And after we have produced said human, we provide nutrients needed to keep that human alive. We produce FOOD.
My thoughts during the photo-shoot were this: I am simply amazing and so is my body. The lines and wrinkles that have formed on my face are from days, weeks, and years of smiling, laughing, and worrying over every possible event and action that could or could not happen to my children, the stress of creating a family, and now making the perfect decisions for that family. The stray hairs that are now gray and flying around the frame of my face are there because my body once needed extra weight and warmth to keep my baby comfortable in the womb, and now my body is shedding what is no longer needed. The unwanted hairs that have sprouted on my face or body are there because I am older and slowly getting wiser and the time I could be spending on shaving, lasers, or waxing is spent on extra time with my kids or running around the house making sure everything is in its place or reading that extra book, setting up that extra fort, preparing another meal. My breasts – the body part I am so hard on because of the lack thereof – provided life for 27 months to my children. The stretch marks that have formed like a sun shining bright around my belly button are there because my body grew and stretched like magic in preparation for popping out an almost 9-pound baby. I don’t have a C-Section scar but if you do, that scar is there because it was the only way out for that baby. Because of that scar, you have a little person in your life that got out safely. My hips are wider because my body needed the extra space for two tiny humans to stay alive while in the birth canal. My thighs are muscular and strong because I need the extra support, weight, and strength to live the one-handed life: baby on one arm, and with the other preparing breakfast lunch and dinner, putting on clothes, preparing a craft, picking up toys, reading a book, putting away laundry, mopping the floor. My calloused feet are from the hours on end standing up, walking, and running after two little kiddos to ensure their every happiness and need is met. And this is just my body I’m talking about.
Ladies, even if you personally were not able to conceive a child, every bump and bruise, hormone treatment, previous illness, meeting and phone call, stress and worry over adopting or fostering, put a strain on your beautiful body that you should be proud of and flaunting with pride, especially since the process likely helped you grow as an individual.
Now, I am not saying that this type of photo-shoot or extreme gesture is for everyone. What I want to get across is love you. Love every wrinkle, every roll, every dark spot, every vein, and every scar. You guys, that’s called aging and why is it so taboo to love what’s natural and flaunt our amazing bodies? Do you really want to go back to your younger self before you knew the most selfless love possible?
I’ll say it again: We Are Superheroes!
In the chance this piqued your interest about a Boudoir shoot, I have included the photographer who I have worked with and trusted who is also featured in this post with her photography. Make yourself proud. Do this for you. Love your body for what it is and what it has done for you. And if all else fails, it would be an awesome Father’s Day gift… the gift that keeps on giving!
Family, maternity, newborn, and birth photography
(530) 386 3405