Loving Myself Is a Journey
Five years ago, I decided I’d be having a boudoir shoot for my thirtieth birthday. I was twenty-five years old at the time and had an aha(!) moment just a few weeks before.
I was super fit at the time and a gym enthusiast, yet, I was still not satisfied with the way my body looked in clothes. I liked everything except my lower tummy which refused to disappear no matter how many crunches I did. I believe in balance, so I was never going to entertain the idea of going through extraordinary measures in order to achieve the flat abs society was telling me that I needed to have.
Accepting and loving my body just as it is came with the realisation that as long as I was socialised in our very critical and misogynistic society, I’d always wish I’d look thinner, fitter, sexier, or any other adjectives women are pressured into embodying.
I wanted to live free. To not be held down by all these expectations and subconscious standards that I could not achieve naturally. At twenty-five years old, I decided I had had enough! I wanted to celebrate myself. So I had my first boudoir shoot and was photographed by a friend while I planned everything. Although at the time I didn’t know it was boudoir, I felt so good doing it, and even more, I felt powerful in my body. I’m still proud of those images and feel absolutely gorgeous whenever I look at them. It was a no-brainer, I decided then that I’d do another boudoir photoshoot when I turned thirty.
Fast forward to July of this year, a month before I’d turn thirty, I was planning another photo shoot. But this time as a boudoir photographer who’d heard so many women talk about their nerves before the shoot, you’d think that it would be a ball in the park for me. However, I found myself full of nerves as well. I had come up with so many excuses of why I should postpone the photo shoot, but I had to sit myself down and ask why?
I don’t think anyone fully gets over society’s conditioning. On any giving day, I’m fully confident in my skin. The way my tummy rolls or curves when I sit is not something that bothers me while I’m at home. But as soon as I put on an outfit to head out of the door, I’m worried about how my tummy looks in the dress or jeans. So although I’m an expert in boudoir photography, as a woman, I’m not immune to some of these fears. All of a sudden I was worried about my breakouts, tummy rolls, and whether I was really ready to grace the camera in only lingerie. And like I do with my clients, I had to instil confidence in myself and remember that a boudoir photo shoot isn’t about looking perfect, but about celebrating myself just as I am.
A few weeks ago, I realised that ever since I was a teenager, I have been fussing about my round tummy and surprisingly, looking back at my old pictures, I saw that I was actually in good shape every single time I had though I was fat and undeserving. I also realise that our mind can play tricks on us!
I don’t want to go on living and thinking of myself as less than because I no longer fit a size 8 jeans! I want to live free of these constructs. This is why I no longer bother sucking my tummy in when I’m out. There’s so much pressure on women to look and be a certain way and I’m tired of it.
I don’t want to wait till I’m old and grey to have no fucks left to give. I want to have no fucks left to give right now! I want to live fully and happily, beyond what a woman is supposed to look like!
And doing this photoshoot, despite my worries is my way of being brave in the face of fear and celebrating myself just as I am.
When I sat to edit my images, I was stunned by myself! I was like “Wow! This is me?”
I am beautiful and deserving of living fully, no matter what I look like. I will keep reminding myself of this whenever I’m having a low day and seeing these images of myself will no doubt help to bolster self-confidence for years to come.
I’m so happy I didn’t back out of the photoshoot because even when I feel my worst, I am beautiful.
Are you ready to kill it at your own boudoir session with me? I’ll walk you through everything.