Today I am sharing images I took of myself.
My journey of self love and acceptance has always been in motion, however there has been a big shift in my life over the last 6 months. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve chosen the path I’m on and have decided to focus on, and surround myself with, happiness and positive energy. This includes the thoughts in my head when I look in the mirror. As a result, I’m smiling more, sleeping better, and have lost a total of 30lbs. I feel great. For the first time (maybe ever), I feel happy with the way I look. When I look in the mirror I think, ‘Hey, I look pretty good today’, instead of “Wow I look like shit and need to lose weight”.
Getting to this place has not been easy, especially since I work with women every single day. We all have this insane (self imposed?) pressure to be perfect. Always a spot that could be thinner, more perky, less textured. There have been times where someone has told me she feels ‘chunky’, when she clearly has defined abs. Seriously? We regularly get emails from potential clients saying things like “I have cellulite, but none of the girls on your site do, can I still have a boudoir session?” or “I need to lose 10lbs, can I still do a shoot?”. I realize that this is my fault.
I take full responsibility for leading people to believe that this ‘perfection’ exists. I’m here to say that it doesn’t, but there IS something called Photoshop.
During the editing process, I clean up under the eyes, remove blemishes, soften fine lines and will smooth out skin texture. I will also use Photoshop to manipulate lines, which means defining the waist, slimming arms, tucking in little bulges and rounding out the bum. I push pixels around so that women will be happy with the way they look.
What if we were already happy with the way we look?
I decided that if I want to see this change happen, then I have to stand up and participate. Be brave and inspire others to gather that bravery for themselves.
So I’m sharing images I took of myself this past weekend, using a tripod, remote control and a mannequin to stand in for setting the focus point. This was a fun exercise for me and got to laugh at myself a bit, mostly because of all the steps involved and trying to hide the remote and ‘look sexy’ at the same time haha! I think now this will be a regular practice for me as I found it truly inspiring to try new things and not be afraid to fail.
I will let you know that I have done blemish removal and a light skin smoothing on these images. The camera can exaggerate skin texture and pores so I have retouched these to reflect what I think the human eye actually would see. I’ve left my shape as-is, because, hey, I’ve got curves and I like them. I will admit though, even though I am happy in my skin, it was physically uncomfortable for me to not photoshop my images to make myself appear thinner, more ‘perfect’. How messed up is that?! I’m still trying to decide if this is because it’s a habit because of my work or if it’s because I am afraid of being judged.
So, here I am anyway. I hope this gives you even just a smidge of inspiration to work on showing yourself the love you deserve.