‘Renee…. I want to do a shoot.’
When those words finally came out of my mouth, I immediately wanted to breathe them back in. I had spent the past two years working along side Renee as one of her hair and makeup artists. My job is to ensure each woman that stepped through those doors was pampered to perfection.
Each and every one of those ladies had their own nerves and reservations before their shoot. But I always believed in them, I knew, without a doubt that they would be able to see themselves they way that Renee and I did the second they walked through those doors. A powerful goddess, who’s body deserved to be worshiped and loved, embraced in all its beauty by the woman who owns it. They all had a story to tell, and I wanted to be a part of that.
Now, finally I had worked up the courage to be a part of the self love process that a boudoir shoot entails. Renee’s excitement was contagious. For a brief moment, my fears and doubts were pushed away and I allowed myself to feel confident in my decision. But unfortunately I have always been my own worst enemy. I remember telling Renee ‘let’s lock it in immediately before I change my mind’ She knew me well enough to believe those words. I was never sure whether or not she new the exact reasoning behind them.
By now, you may have all read my first blog post regarding my struggle with endometriosis. I shared my mental and physical experience and allowed myself to feel vulnerable. But I did not go into detail regarding how it made me perceive my own body. After two pregnancies and years of battling crippling pain, I had lost myself along the way. No longer able to exercise without torturing my insides, unhealthy emotional eating patterns, surgeries, countless medications, I knew that I had fallen out of love with my body too long ago to remember.
My self loathing ran deep. I dressed to hide my body, I had convinced myself I was disgusting and I couldn’t bare to look at myself in a mirror, let alone a photo of myself pretending to try and be sexy. That just wasn’t going to happen for me. One night, while trying to sooth my aches and pains away in the bath, a little piece of me, that still remembered she was worth something, spoke up. ‘You ARE going to do a boudoir shoot.’
Before I knew it, I was arguing with myself about why I COULD do this! Because I am STRONG I have fought my illness and never given up Because I am AMAZING I had bared two pregnancies. Because it’s ok to LOVE yourself, Just. The. Way. You. Are. I realised, that I am not imperfect, I am exactly how I am meant to be. I am meant to share my story, I am meant to raise awareness, I am meant to embrace my body, because she has been with me through the darkest times. That body IS my story.
Renee and I worked together to create the most perfect shoot. We focused on embracing exactly who I am. A warrior, a mother, a wife, a tomboy. I was the woman I was meant to become. I can confidently say, whilst shooting, I was at my heaviest weight I’d ever been, and still I had never felt sexier, felt more bad ass or felt more in control of my own body!
When it came to viewing my gallery, I was so overwhelmed! I LOOKED just as amazing as I had felt during my shoot. Renee is an absolute artist. Capturing the exact woman i am. Her guidance and reassurance pushed me to believe I could really do this! I still remember the pride that swelled in my chest while looking at my images.
I did it.
That little voice who fought to be heard had won. I could do this. And I did. I had relearned to love my body. And you know what? I’ve never looked back.
Dear body. I love you
Images and story shared with her permission