This blog post has taken a different path from what I intended to write.
As I put pen to paper - and twisted my thoughts into knots - as my words just didn’t sit right on the pages - I realized that I had totally mis-understood who I used to be.
I realized that over the past twenty years - the image I had of myself was untrue.
All this time - I have told myself (and others) that I was a shy child who lacked confidence - because even though I can quite comfortably make conversation with a stranger now - and even talk in front of an audience and on video.
But this hasn’t always been the case.
So, I guess in a way - it is somewhat true - but confidence comes in other forms too - the confidence to be yourself!
Despite being picked on by the ‘cool kids’ for having no-name runners and last decade’s gym pants,
Despite being told by a certain boy (or two) - that I shouldn’t eat that - or I should wear dresses - and grow my hair - to be more of a girl,
Despite being laughed at by friends for rolling up the waist band on my school skirt (which I only did because I wasn’t fortunate enough to have one that fit me properly),
Despite all that - and the fact that I WAS afraid to stand out - to be different - I did it anyway - because that is who I wanted to be.
I didn’t need designer names to look or feel nice.
I didn’t want to wear a dress - because at that time - I was a farm girl - a tom-boy - and dresses are just not practical tree-climbing clothes.
I wanted to eat what ever my heart desired - whether it be half of a salad or an entire chocolate cake.
And I even wanted braces - and glasses - even though that would have been the icing on the cake for the bullies!
Why do we all have to be the same??
We are all beautiful in our own way - and we should NOT be afraid to show it!
So when I hear women (or anyone for that matter) - hating themselves - and coming down on THEMSELVES like a ton of bricks - it hurts my heart.
When they say they are ‘fat’ - or they have ‘too many’ moles and freckles - or their hair is just ‘way too’ curly - it makes me sad.
I would LOVE to tell everyone how beautiful they are - and for them to believe me - and see what I see - and what everyone else sees.
I would LOVE to help everyone feel beautiful - because we all ARE!
I would LOVE to help you see yourself in a new light - for you to smile - because you can see YOUR beautiful smile.
I would LOVE to help you celebrate yourself - for being YOU!
Why can’t we ALL just look in the mirror - and see our beauty - instead of our flaws?
That is why I love photographing women - why I love boudoir photo shoots - because I get to help them - because I want them to see themselves through the eyes of others!
So - instead of telling you - I’ve been there - and felt those things - and I know where you are coming from - I am going to tell you to stand out!
Embrace who you are!
Be yourself - because everyone else is taken!
I now realize that I have always had the confidence to be me - it is just much more prominent now than it was back then.
It has just taken time - life lessons - and lots of laughs (at me)!