Like most women (and men), I have struggled over the years with being comfortable in my own skin. I think it is something we all go through because from an early age it became ingrained in us to be self-critical. From magazines to movies, celebrities to even the cartoons we watch, being slim is equated with the ideal that we should all strive towards. And, when we don’t meet that impossible standard – let’s face it, even celebrities in real life don’t look like their airbrushed versions in print – we start the list of all the ways we have failed. Big thighs – check. Lack of washboard abs – check. Flawed skin – check. We focus so much on our perceived shortcomings that we forget to appreciate all the things that make us beautiful.
While sometimes this self-evaluation is a positive thing, forcing us to focus on those areas where we need the most work, all too often it becomes destructive. I know I’m not alone in having those moments where I hate everything about my body, wishing I could just snap my fingers and change it. But, as is often the case, with age has come wisdom and a much better perspective about what is most important. Do I still have those same moments at 28? Sure, sometimes I do. However, they are a hell of a lot less frequent than when I was 18 (thank goodness)!
I’ve always been blessed with an hourglass-shaped figure, and since meeting him five years ago, a guy that loves every inch of my curves. Regardless of my size, he makes me feel sexy, which is sometimes not an easy feat. As a gift for our engagement I had boudoir shots taken to surprise him with; it was an awkward and liberating experience, one that I’m so glad that I had the courage to try. The photos were shot two weeks after I had taken the bar exam and only a month before I would begin my first law job. They are a true testament to where I was at that time in my life, and the extra pounds I was carrying at that time made for some pretty amazing shots, if I do say so myself.
More recently, I was struggling with feeling sexy after losing 100 pounds and subsequently many of my curves – an unexpected challenge after working so hard to get healthy. For the first time, my body was so much closer to the “ideal,” but I still was unhappy. While my husband assured me that I still had “it,” I was scared that I wouldn’t get back that feeling – you know, the confidence, almost cockiness, that comes with knowing you look good. So I went back to an old trick, and enlisted some friends to help me take a new set of boudoir photos, this time for me. I took risks in the photos, baring more than just my body, and slowly but surely as the day of the photo shoot progressed I felt myself becoming comfortable in my own skin again. One of the last shots, a full body one taken where I was wearing one of B’s dress shirts. is my favorite. Is my body perfect in it? Absolutely not. But I refuse to nitpick it even one bit, because I feel gorgeous and it shows.
Looking back at both sets of photos to create this post, I was struck at much more I can appreciate them when I’m not focusing on the flaws. Whether I’m wearing an 18 or an 8 or something in between, I know now that I am beautiful at any size, and that is a truly great feeling.
xoxo – SavvySleever