Colorado Boudoir – Loving Yourself: War on Insecurity and Self Hate!
I’ve had this post thought out for a few days, but a conversation this morning solidified the need for it.
As some of you know, I have been going through a Bible study on James, the book and the person, by Beth Moore. It truly is an amazing study, although, really, all of hers are awesome. She has this way of making it seem like she is sitting in front of you talking straight to you, about YOUR life, even though you’ve never met. We are on week five, and this particular week was about yielding. Yielding, what the heck? What does that have to do with insecurity, right?
I’m not as eloquent as she is when it comes to speaking, so if I go completely off on a tangent, please forgive me.
I believe that we, as humans, in this country, are stuck. We are stuck in a circle of ourselves. We are so concerned about “what’s in it for me” that we have forgotten the very basis of joy – serving others. Someone at my former workplace had something on top of her monitor that said “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!” Wow. Isn’t that the truth. We are so concerned about me me me me me that we have gone away from what will truly bring us joy – serving others, and helping others in whatever way THEY need. Not what WE want to do to help them. I believe that this is also feeding our insecurities and self hate. We are so concerned with ourselves, what we look like, what car we drive, what clothes we wear – that we spend entirely too much time worrying about these things. Instead of blessing someone else with a ride somewhere in that nice car because theirs is broken down, we worry about the small ding on the side that doesn’t LOOK good. Instead of swimming and spending time in the pool with our children, we are too worried about what we look like in our bathing suits.
Women are ESPECIALLY guilty of this insecurity. This self hate. I don’t know that it necessarily comes from the same place – especially for mothers. Mothers are so concerned with taking care of everyone else, that they let their own bodies and hearts fall into disrepair. That leads to more insecurity, wondering if we are good enough. Wondering if we’re pretty enough. I have encountered this SO many times in the past FEW DAYS! Between Bible study, photography, and just living, I keep coming across women who are bashing themselves, and I feel like God is putting these women in my life for a reason.
Ladies, say this with me: I AM BEAUTIFUL. You may not be a size 2. You may not have the gorgeous hair that the commercials tell you you can have at the low low price of $19.95. You may have a huge birthmark or scar on some part of your body that you’re self conscious about. EVERY woman has insecurities, about something in her life. And let me ask you something – what good does it do for you?
I talked to two women this morning about their upcoming boudoir sessions. I’m not a small woman – believe me, I get how scary it can be to be taking off your clothes in front of someone else. What really made me sad though, was that when I asked one of them what she loved about her body, the thing she thought was awesome – she couldn’t give me an answer. Wh-wh-what!? Ladies – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!
Okay before I continue, all of you, leave this screen up and go look in a mirror and find ONE THING about yourself that you love. Even if it’s just your pinkie fingernail – find something!
Did you find it?
Why are we so darn hard on ourselves? On each other?
Now let me put this out there too – yes, there are ugly people. When I say ugly though… I’m talking about their spirit, not their bodies or appearances. People that go out of their way to tear you down, to hurt you, and make sure that you feel like a lesser person just for having been around them. That is ugly. I believe that TRUE beauty comes from within and can be seen all over your outward appearance.
I talked with another client this morning, and she shared with me that she had had twins, and was uncomfortable about a few of the marks that experience left on her body. I assured her, no worries, I can help with that. And while I understand not wanting to show that in photos, I secretly hoped that when she looks in the mirror, she sees those marks as badges of honor. This is a woman who carried TWO LIVES in her own body, and has the marks to show for it. That’s amazing!
Ladies, what have you done with your body that’s amazing? And before you say nothing, think. Really think. Did you suffer through, and SURVIVE through an abusive relationship? Did you have a cesarean section? Did you lose a crazy amount of weight, and now have stretch marks? Did you go through and battle a disease, or injury, and now have the scars to prove it? Did you carry a life inside your own, that has left scars or marks?
I believe that we, as women, are amazing. No offense to the guys, I love you guys too – but women are amazing creatures. Our bodies are TOUGH – but unlike men, we are feminine and soft too. We can handle immense pressure, crazy traumas, and some women have gone through things tantamount to hell on Earth. LADIES – say it with me again, please. Say it quietly, yell it out, make sure that you SAY it and KNOW it – I AM BEAUTIFUL!
Don’t let life pass you by because you’re too ______. Yes, fill in the blank, I’ve heard them all. Fat? Skinny? Short? You don’t like your ears? I have heard the WEIRDEST reasons for people not to do things – especially with photos. But let me ask you this. And I don’t mean to go all morbid here, but it’s reality. You don’t know when your last day on this Earth will be. Again, sorry to be morbid, but it’s true. You have no idea when your last breath will be, what your last words will be – we just don’t know. Thinking about this applies to ALL facets of your life, but I will just talk about photos for a second: if you die tomorrow, what will your children have to see and remember you? Have you been avoiding photos because you’re too _________? And not just professional photos, but ANY pictures! Ladies out there with babies – if something were to happen tomorrow and your baby had to grow up without you, would that baby know what you looked like? Or have you been avoiding photos because you just have “that last 20 pounds of baby weight?” If you die tomorrow, and your children have photos of you – or your friends, brothers, sisters, whomever – do you think that they will look at those photos and say “ya know I like this photo of mom but she was just too ____.” HECK no! They want to see YOU. The person they loved. The person that helped them, walked with them, loved them. They don’t care whether you’re too _________.
So here ya go, it seems like a tangent… a weird, out of place photo. But let me explain.
I don’t really like this picture of me. I have a hat on, I think my butt looks big, and I don’t think that it’s flattering. Luckily the watermark covers the butt, right? Ha! But the point is, I really don’t like the photo. Normally, it’s probably not something I would put on the blog unless I did a post about the game. Possible, but not probable. BUT! This is a photo that is important to me. Kaden really wants to go to the Air Force Academy. I won’t lie, I’m not arguing, and may even be encouraging it. Nothing wrong with a little working your butt off, right? And one day, when he is graduating from the academy, and I am in the audience, bawling my eyes out (because we all know that’s gonna happen – I’m a crier) this photo will come back to me in my mind. Heck, I may even print it and have it at his graduation party. The MEMORY is there. His first Air Force game. Meeting the cadets, actually talking with them about flying jets. This picture of me? I don’t like it. Just because of the way I look, not for any other reason. But it’s an important moment. It’s a memory. And if, God forbid, something was to happen to me – even though I hate the photo, Kaden will have it to remember that moment.
I have such a PASSION for women, and showing them how beautiful they really are. They don’t see it. They really, honestly, don’t see their own beauty. And it baffles me. I want to draw it out and show it off! Ladies, when you have a beautiful heart, you are beautiful all around. Show off your beauty. Know it. Embrace it.
Okay, now I need to wipe away my tears. That is seriously how fired up I get about this.
Help someone else. Serve someone else. Love someone else. I believe that when you take the focus off of you, and all of your imperfections – because we all have imperfections here – you will truly begin to realize what an amazing person you are. You only get one life. Are you going to spend it worried about your imperfections – real or perceived? Or are you going to do the things that you want to do, love deeply, and spend time with the people you love?
Ready to book your session!? I’m excited! Click here to contact me and get more information about booking your session with me!
If you’d like to have more information about what the heck is going on with sessions, parties and more, click here to grab my Colorado boudoir photography guide – How to Look Amazing in Photos. It has tips and tricks to help you look amazing in photos – whether your clothes are on or off – and avoid having to untag yourself in a social media photo again. Or, just laugh with me at various shenanigans and get early access to events, model calls, and awesome goings-on. Either way, come join the list. We have cocktails.
I am so privileged to be a top Colorado boudoir photography specialist! My clients’ privacy is a top priority for these intimate portraits. Any and all boudoir images that are posted have been shared by the subject with written permission. I am honored that my clients choose to share their images with the world, and talk about their experiences with those images.
Are you a photographer that needs help with your business? A BRAND NEW business resource for photographers and creative business owners is coming! Click here to sign up and get more information when it is available!
Oh, girl. You seriously hit home with this. I have struggled for SO long with beating myself up. It’s been a big part of why I haven’t done so many things in life. Starting a photography business is one of them. I’ve wanted to go in this direction for awhile and am just now making that happen. But the bashing myself? UGH. The Lord’s been so faithful to deal with me on it and I’m certainly not there, yet, but I can see where improvements have been made.
And seriously? Serving others is incredible! Your eyes are off yourself, joy can overflow, and you’re living the life Jesus has for you. Ironically, the more we focus on ourselves and hating ourselves, the more we pull away from people, which means we focus on ourselves more and hate ourselves more…lather, rinse, repeat. It’s a wickedly vicious cycle.
I totally agree about photographs, too. We all want to like how we look, but the thing is that we’re the only ones who get so freaked out and upset about the way we look. It’s been interesting, because my mom has lost a lot of weight in recent years. Sometimes I forget how much until I see the old photos. But I look at them and think, I never looked at her in the pictures and thought that she looked bad. I just looked at them with thoughts about my mom for who she is – one of my dearest friends with whom I have such a blast.
I could fill up your comments box until they kicked me off, so I’ll stop for now. But this is an excellent post and very necessary, I believe.
Oh, one more thing. I’m also finding that it doesn’t matter what size you are, what your hair looks like, what clothes you wear – EVERYONE thinks there’s something wrong with them. Even those whom we deem just about perfect (J*, anyone?). It’s because we all choose to focus on what we’re lacking (or have too much of!). We’re all in this together and we need to cut ourselves some slack.
Thanks again! Many blessings to you and I can’t WAIT to meet you in Denver at The Fix.
ps – Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to shut me up. Thank you, thank you, thank you for liking my new FB page. You were the first one. Even asking for people to like my page was hard. :D