She asked herself "Why not me?" I love her answer
Why not me?
To me, boudoir photography is the epitome of feminine expression, beauty, and sophistication. When people I knew had photos taken of themselves I admired them for their confidence and strength, as well as their beauty. I let my imagination take me to a place where I could be comfortable enough in my own skin to model for photos in feminine lace and satin, and for a moment, it felt empowering and exciting. When my daydream ended and I snapped back to reality, I felt angry that I would only let myself experience this in my mind; angry that for whatever reason, I didn't think I deserved to feel beautiful or sexy.
Three beautiful children call me mommy. A wonderful man calls me his wife. I work hard for the ones I love and think nothing of putting their needs before my own. I'm the only female in a house full of testosterone, hockey, trains, and Lego. So why not me? Why don't I deserve this? Who says I'm not sexy or beautiful? So when Mel posted the model call, I don't even remember thinking when I responded to it, I just did. A wave of excitement hit me. I was going to do this, something I've wanted to do my whole life. No more excuses, no more fear. I'm going for it.
I used my upcoming shoot as motivation to take care of myself. It wasn't just about the working out and eating well to achieve a body I was more proud of, it was about doing it to feel better about myself, and I did. People around me noticed a glow and a more upbeat attitude. I started accepting compliments from loved ones instead of brushing them off like they were obligated to say something nice. For the first time in far longer than I can remember, I was starting to feel beautiful.
The time leading up to my session with Mel was full of ups and downs. The ups were fitting into clothes I hadn't fit into since before becoming pregnant with the twins. The lows were letting negativity sneak in and allowing it to question where someone who looked like me found the audacity to think I deserved to be doing something like this. The week of the shoot was particularly hard because I still didn't look like what I thought I had to look like to model for boudoir photography. My worst fear was that all the makeup and sexy lingerie, or even someone as talented as Mel couldn't create a photo I could be proud of.
The day of my session, I arrived with wardrobe in hand, pounding heart in my chest. Mel made me feel comfortable almost immediately, settling me into her wardrobe room and getting me prepped for hair and makeup. We chatted and laughed, and she made me feel worthy of such an incredible experience.
Then when we started the session, she posed me and suggested outfits to wear, and I started feeling more confident. When she showed me photos she had just taken, I was in awe. That was me? I looked sexy! She drew out a confidence that I didn't even know I had. Somehow, I lit up. I was sultry and sexy and happy and radiant, and I had never been more happy to have taken a chance and done something bold.
Ultimately, I don't know exactly what I expected to walk away from this session with, but I know that what happened was unexpected. In the time leading up to the session and the time in front of the camera, I began to feel revived, like I was worth more than what I give myself credit for. I started taking care of myself and I liked it. I am beginning to feel a sense of self worth and pride, and I like that too. I still know I'm not skinny, tall, or the sexiest woman I know. But I am kind, selfless, and loving, and those things make me beautiful. I will try harder to love myself for who I am and I will let others love me too, because I deserve that.
I started this journey thinking 'why would I deserve to look or feel that beautiful?'. Sometimes I still think that, but now there's a voice that responds with 'why NOT me?'. I'm beautiful too, and I will repeat it to myself every day until I believe it beyond a shadow of a doubt. That's the power of Mel and my boudoir photography session.
I'm so thankful to Mel for providing me with the opportunity to begin to change how I feel about myself. It won't happen in an instant, and I'm not there yet, but this is a start. To anyone who felt like me; like they aren't worthy of this or that boudoir photography is just for the tall and skinny women, please reconsider. We all deserve to feel beautiful. Scars, stretch marks, mommy tummies, tired eyes and all.
Why not you?