Today I’d like to talk a little bit about our “why”. You know the one. Why do people choose to have their boudoir pictures taken. Most of them are summed up in a few words, “For a gift,” “Because I’m turning 40 (or 20 or 80!),” “Because I want to feel sexy after (insert event here).” But I’m here to tell you my story today because even if you can sum it up like that, it always, always goes so much further than that. So, so much further.
For me, my why is very hard to admit, especially on a public site, especially with my profession of uplifting women, especially because I still sometimes slip back into my old ways of thought. It’s a story of self worth and where I think I lost it and how I got it back, but still sometimes struggle, and that’s ok. Back story: This past spring, my boyfriend of 4 years and I broke up. I have been devastated and feeling unworthy because of it, but honestly, it goes way farther back than that.
Mom, Dad, stop reading now and move on along to another blog post please.
The breakup wasn’t what did it though. To be perfectly honest, in terms of where I lost my self worth, it was years prior. We were no longer intimate and as every lady knows, that means trouble. Was it his bad work schedule, was it the weight I gained, was it just because it became routine? Who knows, but y’all, I blamed myself SO HARD. There were so many questions. Was I not pretty enough, was I not good enough in bed, was I not trying hard enough. Obviously he was still capable. I thought every awful thing I could think of. I had gained weight, I hardly wore any makeup or did my hair, I wore sweat pants in the house instead of cute things, he didn’t love me anymore, he just wasn’t interested, he was finding it somewhere else. It was all because of me, or so I told myself. Don’t we always do that, ladies? Go to the worst case scenario and place all the blame on ourselves and none where it might belong? And it’s most heartbreaking because NONE OF THAT MATTERS. Literally none of it. And I can’t stand myself because I 100% believe that each of my clients is beautiful right where she is in her journey but I couldn’t see myself like that. I had lost that belief in myself, that I was worth anything at all.
Yep, that’s right. Me, the one who yells “YAS QUEEN” during sessions and helps people of all shapes, ages, colors and sizes find their groove. Me, the one who genuinely can’t wait to show women how sexy they are when they don’t believe it. Me, the one who does everything I can to uplift people I don’t even know. I didn’t see myself as anything worth having. FOR YEARS y’all. Even after I was out of the toxic environment, it didn’t help. I’m not 20 anymore, there weren’t men lined up around the block waiting to be with me, and the ones who were there were young and dumb or were only looking for a quick lay (…men right…). Nobody magically started telling me I was beautiful and worthy and so my negative self talk continued right along. It was as if my self worth was tied so directly to whether boys wanted to sleep with me that I had forgotten literally everything else about myself.
So, one day I was helping my amazing and talented friend Anna with her mini sessions and during some down time, I was telling her about this new dress that I had gotten for the studio. A dress for some other beautiful girl who was pretty and had confidence and was ready to rock it. Not a dress for me, the one that nobody wants, the one that had on no makeup, hadn’t brushed her hair that day and was 110% not ready to be in front of the camera. She told me to go home, get the dress and come back, she had an opening and wanted it to be me. I cried. Not right then, but on the way home to get the dress, I cried because I didn’t have time to call my makeup artist and get my face taken care of. I cried because I couldn’t shower and curl my hair. I cried because I felt like I was wasting her time and they were all just going to go in the trash because I was so not prepared.
And y’all, with only some foundation and eyeliner hastily and clumsily put on (and then cried off a little bit), with hair that I tried to curl but failed, with a dress that I didn’t feel skinny in…I’m a FUCKING GODDESS. How did I EVER let men (or anyone for that matter) determine my self worth like that? How did I lose myself so completely to the negative self talk and blame for things that were totally out of my control? Why did I think that not wearing makeup and a few extra pounds took away all of the amazing things that I have to offer? I’m so much more than my body, and while I still struggle with the mirror and doubt sometimes, this body is AMAZING and I’m so thankful for friends that remind me of myself. Check out more of her work here.
So, I want to hear it. What’s your “why”? The real one, not the cliff notes version.