I've been holding onto these photos for quite some time, partly because I've been crazy busy these past few months, and partly because I really want to do this woman justice. She has an important story to tell, and we had a really special connection, so I really wanted this blog post to be RIGHT.
I think many of you will identify with Ms. L's story. So often we hear about plus-sized women who are having a hard time feeling comfortable in their own skin. The less-told story is that of the thin girl who ALSO struggles to feel good about her body. Body dysmorphia has nothing to do with how you actually look -- in fact, people who struggle deeply with their looks often CAN'T see themselves as they really are. So when a thin woman is judged by her size and shape, told to "eat a sandwich," told that her insecurities are ridiculous, that she should be grateful to have such a tiny frame... frankly, it's hella disrespectful. We have no idea what other women are dealing with on the inside, and any comments about another person's body, unless it's "you are so strong & beautiful" are in my opinion, unwelcome and unnecessary.
OK, rant over (for now).
Ms. L is absolutely beautiful, sassy, outgoing and real... she is the woman you could become instant best friends with (like I did). You would never peg her for someone who struggled with her looks, but like so many of us, Ms. L has struggled with body issues. She wanted to have a boudoir shoot to challenge her negative thoughts and try to gain more appreciation of her body, and I am so, SO honored I was able to be a part of that journey with her.
In her words:
This was by far the most incredible, empowering experience I have been through and one that holds the most special place in my heart in NYC. To not only feel comfortable in my own skin, when most times I do not, but to form a friendship through this photo shoot truly means the world to me. Life is too short, though all the negativity and anxieties in life, it is so necessary to have a positive outlet. Going through this experience with Stephanie leaves me speechless in the best way possible. I LOVED receiving the "teaser" photo within 1 day of the shoot. I actually had tears because it was so beautiful, and it made me view myself a way I have never viewed myself before.
PHEW. Are YOU misty-eyed?! I am.
I'm no psychologist, but while it may seem counter-intuative to have a boudoir shoot when you're not feeling the best about your body, I would say it's actually the PERFECT time to reset your thoughts, shake things up and give yourself permission to feel GREAT about yourself. I'm not saying you will be cured of all that ails you. But I can promise you that you'll walk away from a shoot with a new pep in your step and appreciation for your own fierceness. By seeing yourself through my lens, my hope is that you will be able to see yourself more clearly and understand your true beauty.
I'll be writing more about tackling your insecurities through boudoir in other posts. In the meantime, the moral of the story is, OWN IT. Celebrate yourself. YOU DESERVE IT. Ms. L did....and as you can see the results were S T U N N I N G.