I’ve been struggling with this blog post for about a month now. I am honestly at a loss and I am having the hardest time putting my thoughts and feelings into words. This is the only post that you will really get to see me. Not just my words but pictures too. Once this post is up and public I will probably get some judgement as well (“I can’t believe she posted those pictures online!”) but I guess that is going to happen when you have a blog, that at times, shows you at your most vulnerable.
I am one of those people that if I want to do something, I will do it. I’m not going to wait around and miss that opportunity. It’s because of this that I have done and seen a lot of things that most people can only dream about. I am also one of those people that will put something off “until I lose weight” and it is because of this that I have missed out on some pretty spectacular things. I’m not sure why weight should ever have anything to do with whether or not I do something but it does.
For as long as I can remember I have been overweight and growing up I had always felt like the heaviest and ugliest of my friends. It probably wasn’t true but that’s how I felt. I have also had body image issues and low self-esteem for as long as I can remember too but I’ve learned to put out a sense of confidence even when I don’t feel it. I’ve always wanted to be sexy like Marilyn Monroe or Sophia Loren. You know the type, curves and cleavage and a sex appeal that all men dream about and most woman want. In my mind, Marilyn Monroe had the perfect body but by today’s standards she would be considered plus size (or god forbid, fat) and far from perfect and criticized by the media for her size. I think that a lot of the appeal and sexiness came from the confidence both woman put out there as well. It is one thing to be beautiful and sexy but you have to own it and know it. These two women did and they are still icons of beauty and sex appeal, 50+ years later.
Their sexy boudoir photos are found everywhere and usually the first pictures to pop up in a google search. Those boudoir photo shoots are something that I have always wanted to do. I was going to wait until I lost weight though to do it. Especially since my confidence and self-esteem were at an all- time low since my breakup. I even went so far as to buy the session package at a fundraiser so that I would have it when the time came. When I lost weight… but after seeing some amazing pictures from the photographer’s Facebook page I decided to go for it. There was one post in particular that the woman stated exactly what I was doing. She was going to wait until she was at her ideal weight but she decided to go for it and her pictures were absolutely beautiful. It was at that moment that I sent a message to Ashley at BeautyDefined Boudoir and booked my appointment. For the weeks leading up to it I was so nervous every time I thought about the session and I almost canceled a couple times but I knew Ashley wouldn’t let me. When the day came I gathered my bag of mismatched items and headed down the street. I kind of felt like I was headed to a firing squad. Luckily Ashley has such a bright and cheery personality that she immediately put me at ease. The rest of the morning flew by in a haze of champagne, laughing, photos and I’m not going to lie, some awkward posing. It’s not so easy to pose and look sexy and hold it while just the right moment is caught on camera. It was so much fun though and an experience that I think every woman should try at least once. The session made me feel really good but I walked away feeling a little let down as well. I think I was hoping for this immediate huge surge of confidence and I didn’t get that. Now don’t get me wrong, it was not Ashley or the boudoir photo shoot (because she is absolutely fantastic), it was me. I had built up in my mind what I would come out feeling like and when I didn’t, I was disappointed. Disappointed in myself that I didn’t get what I did this for. I didn’t walk away feeling confident and sexy and I thought I should. It wasn’t until I saw those final photographs that I felt it. What I had built up in my mind weeks earlier had finally surfaced. I looked at those pictures and felt absolutely beautiful and sexy. I didn’t see the bumps and lumps and overweight body that I normally see in the mirror when I look at myself. I saw a woman with curves and cleavage and sex appeal.
It has finally clicked in my mind what I had been hearing for years. Love yourself as you are now. Stop waiting to lose weight before seeing yourself as beautiful and worthy. Because we all need to love ourselves at this moment, flaws and all. I can’t even begin to explain what this whole experience has done for my confidence and self-esteem. I feel like a new woman. For me it took getting down to my basic feminine core to see the beauty of myself. For others it might be the same sort of experience and others something completely different. Whatever it might be for you, I dare you to step outside that comfort zone and find it for yourself because you are worth it. We all are!
These are just a few of the photos from my shoot. There are so many others that are really wonderful but they are too personal to share on this blog. Some may think that these are too personal to share but C'est la vie!