True beauty comes from embracing who you are. No one is harder on a woman then herself. We live in a world that has conditioned the modern woman to feel that in order to be “beautiful” she must fit a certain mold….and that mold seems to have been based on Barbie. We don’t even realize that all of those tv commercials, magazine ads, and runway shows (Thanks a lot Victoria’s Secret!) have convinced our self-conscious that we are not pretty enough, thin enough, hip enough. Honestly, I love a great piece of cake too much to be “tv thin”. And not just a piece of cake…but the whole damned cake! YUMMY! Or tacos. I also love tacos. And margaritas. I could SWIM in a great margarita. But I digress….
I know this internal battle well. I have fought it my whole life. I’ve spent so much time feeling inadequate as a woman. I haven’t had much time in my life to actually BE a woman. In fact, I once answered the statement “Describe Your Body” with “Basically, I’m a man with boobs instead of a penis.” (Yes! I said PENIS!) What an eye opening moment. Wow.
But, my life as a rancher’s daughter, a military firefighter, a horse trainer, a heavy equipment operator, a cattle rancher/ranch hand, a rodeo photographer and a bucking stock contractor has not left me a lot of time to explore and embrace my feminine side. I LIVE MY LIFE AS ONE OF THE GUYS! Seriously. During the rodeo season, I spend more time sleeping in my truck and trailer on the road than I do in my own bed. Shower? Isn’t that a quick dunk under a cold water hose early in the morning before slack starts?
It isn’t? Really? Yeah, rodeo showers aren’t the most comfortable thing. But…it can help knock the stink down a bit. Yeah, I don’t get to be a woman much.
The first time I did a boudoir session was after my divorce. I came out of that marriage feeling so wholly ugly and disgusting. Not only was my heart broken, but my self worth was, my self-confidence was gone, and I did not know how to love myself. I was an emotional disaster. After speaking to some of my few very close friends, I started to look into how to rebuild myself, and it was suggested to me that I do something to make myself feel beautiful. So, I did a boudoir session. It was my first boudoir shoot. And it was FUN! LOL I wish I could find those files (But they are about 4 or 6 dead computers ago!). There was this long beautiful flowing black negligee. I remember it feeling so soft. And I remember freezing my ass off as it was in early April. I shot just a few images because of having to set it up, post myself and pray I got the right angle and my face didn’t look like I was trying too hard. And, honestly, I did NOT think of myself as being feminine or pretty at all.
I shocked myself. I enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. I actually did my hair and put on a bit of make up and enjoyed the experience of BEING and FEELING beautiful. That was the start of my climb into getting back into being myself. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
And I’ve heard so many different versions of the same story since actively choosing to pursue the Naturally Naughty part of my photography. You have boudoir images taken as a gift for your loved one, but ultimately….DO IT FOR YOURSELF!