Updated: Dec 3, 2021
I'm by no means at all a therapist or self-love guru. However, I am an enthusiast. I speak from my experience as a boudoir photographer that has worked with and helped numerous women on overcoming their inner gremlins. And not to mention- I too, am a woman of the modern world, battling her own pesky inner gremlins.
"I wish I had the body to take photos like that."
"I don't have the confidence for that."
"I'm just not happy with my body right now and I want to wait until..."
"I put on waaay too much weight ever since [enter x, y, z]."
"But my belly/arms/thighs..."
"I want to spend a few months in the gym first"
"It's just, ever since I had my baby..."
"I'm pretty much a whale, I'll spare you the pain of photographing me!"
"Oh I don't want to break your camera- haha...!"
Does any of this sound familiar? As a photographer, I've heard it all, too many times to count- and not just in the genre of intimate feminine portraiture. And every time, it kills me inside. It doesn't matter how obviously stunning she is to me and everyone else with moderately decent vision. It kills me knowing that this, reflected in these hurtful words, is how so many women feel about themselves- women of all ages, colors, sizes, and socioeconomic statuses. It's a product of being held to unrealistic standards for so damn long. We all know it, talk about, explain it to death, and yet- here we are anyway! Manifesting distain for the vessels that carry us through this mad world.
If we don't show love and acceptance for our bodies now, then when?
I used to have a loss of words, knowing that self-doubts generally cut deeper than any words of comfort can help heal.
There are so many things that can be said to comfort someone when they feel bad about their appearances, but the truth is-- healing must to start from within. What's one way to do that?
I think a simple way to start healing inside first, is this: understand that your body is your best friend. Repeat to yourself whatever you gotta repeat until you finally believe it to be true. Your body protects you from the elements and from pathogens, makes decisions for you to keep you functioning, and does its very best to keep up with your crazy Friday night shenanigans, and will be there with you until the day you perish! You should speak to it, and about it, with kindness, with the respect it deserves. Speak to it as best friend, as someone you love and wishes the best for you, not as an enemy or someone that is out to sabotage your confidence or success!
The next time you say something negative about yourself, take pause and ask yourself- "is that something I'd be telling my best friend? If not, then why am I saying it to myself?"
Be kind, and kick ass.