Kick your insecurities in the ass
In our image-driven world, it's nearly impossible not to compare ourselves (often unfavorably) to society's ideals that surrounds us. Whether it's celebrities, models, bloggers, or an old friend from college, the best angles and filters of people are everywhere. It's hard not to play the comparison game. In a world with everyone's personal highlight reel (aka social media) in the palm of our hands, it's easy to believe everyone else lives a perfect life.
DISCLAIMER: Before you continue indulging in my memoir, if you are prude or uptight, then stop reading this; go back to cleaning your house while tending to your crying Ivy League prodigies. Actually, just don't read any of my blogs because you will not like them, or worse, you will. But for those of you who read my blogs on the regular, call me, because we should be friends.
So what's a girl (or guy) to do? The short answer: learn to love yourself and not seek anyone else's approval. But wait a minute; is that even allowed? Can we really stop caring what everyone else thinks of us?
As a boudoir photographer, I hear it all from my amazing (and absolutely stunning) clients.
"I'm not at my happy weight."
"I need to lose 5 pounds."
"I have braces."
"My tattoos aren't finished."
"My eyes aren't the same shape."
"I hate my toes."
"I have stretch marks."
The list goes on and on. Breaking news: these insecurities are all in our heads. Think of how much brighter our worlds would be if we'd just change how we look at our insecurities. Instead of seeing them as flaws, we could see these features make us the badass, strong women we are. "My stretch marks are the beautiful roadmap of my life journey, and I'm not finished. Bring it on!"
For our own sanity, it's critically important to learn how to live confidently in whatever body we have. No matter the shape or size of our body, learning to love ourselves is a journey we must all begin. Self-confidence is the sexiest look on anybody no matter the wrinkles, pimples, or sags.
Ultimately, we are all very simple. We just want to feel sexy and loved. I have a secret for you: that starts from within.
I had one client who was so hard on herself that I finally had to pause our photo session. I asked her to stand in front of the mirror and told her to say her biggest insecurity out loud. I then told her to imagine her best friend saying the same thing to herself. What would she say to her best friend who shared the same insecurities? After giving her a few moments to think, I asked her to look herself in the mirror and deliver that message out loud. She immediately started to cry. Ladies, if we wouldn't dare put our best friend down then why the hell do we put ourselves down? It's madness. We've got to stop!
Have you seen the Amy Schumer movie "I Feel Pretty"? One of my girlfriends recently told me it changed her life. (Yes, she knows it sounds crazy to say a rom-com changed her life.) Here's a high-level overview of the plot: Amy Schumer plays an insecure NYC gal pining to know what life's like for those gorgeous, flawless women out there. Handsome men taking them on glamorous dates, strangers accommodating their requests, everyone admiring their beauty. She hits her head and wakes up physically seeing herself as a totally different person - stunningly beautiful. Spoiler alert - she looks exactly the same! With her new self image in mind, she takes on the world. Confidence exudes from every pore of her being. I'll avoid sharing any spoilers, but what stood out to my girlfriend was the truth of this movie's message. Amy's character originally saw herself as someone incapable of creating her own destiny because of her physical appearance. While that sounds insane, isn't that what so many of us do to ourselves?! My friend says it was so empowering to see how this character's world view and in turn, her life, shifted just from a positive change in her mindset. Easier said than done, but it's a goal for all of us to work towards.
But how can you start to see yourself in a different light? The following is a testimonial from one of my recent clients. This message illustrates that having your boudoir photos taken can be the most empowering photo shoot ever. Boudoir allows you to see the beauty that everyone else already sees within you. For some, they finally see their most insecure features in a different light. They discover that these insecure areas are in fact their best feature. Here's what one client shared:
"I did not want to do my boudoir shoot whatsoever. I was embarrassed of my body and did not want to show Tennille any part of my body. I was so nervous and afraid. Tennille was so amazing to work with and made me feel so comfortable. I am plus size and have stretch marks and all other imperfections that a woman can think of. I think every woman needs to get out of their comfort zone and do one to make themselves feel beautiful.
If you're looking for an amazing photographer who will help you feel beautiful, comfortable and confident she is the one. She is so creative and takes such good care of her clients. I drove 12 hours for her to take my photos because you truly get what you pay for, and with her it's nothing but the best." - K
Boudoir can be powerful in ways you wouldn't expect. Here's what another client shared:
"When I first signed up for my boudoir session, I was excited. I was going to work out more, eat more detox foods, make sure I was getting enough sleep… And then life happened. I didn't have time to lose those final few pounds before my session and was freaking out! But I had already booked the session and was determined to follow through.
I arrived at the session, took a deep breath and told myself, "All right. Fake it till you make it." I was nervous for how the photos would come out because even standard selfie attempts on my iPhone always proved to be disappointing. W.O.W. was I blown away. Tennille's shots captured my natural beauty and amped up my sexiness in a way I had never seen myself before. They were worth every penny and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. My confidence showed in every photo, and I'll treasure the photos forever." - A
We only have one body - the one we're in. We can criticize it, obsess over it, desire to change it… Or, we can take all that energy we spend dwelling in this negativity and accept it. Appreciate it. Love it. Whether it's boudoir, yoga, writing messages on your mirror, or repeating mantras - see what you can do to work towards seeing yourself in a positive light.
Life's too short to be anything but kind, and that extends to being kind to yourself. You are beautiful. Say it with me (out loud!). I. Am. Beautiful.
Sending you so much love! Let's kick our insecurities in the ass together.
Every woman deserves to see themselves the way everyone else sees them. An absolute Goddess