24 January 2018 · posted in self-care
Body confidence is something that has never really been in my dictionary. For as long as I can remember I have struggled with feeling beautiful in my body and I've always wanted to be thinner and leaner, especially around my stomach area. Given that I have been a little overweight for the last ten years, probably helped by my genes (I am a copy of my grandma and she's always been big), but primarily fueled by my laziness (I prefer couch over sports) and the worst food choices (read my full eating disorder story), I think a lot of my own body shaming comes from me knowing that I'm not healthy and that if I was, my body and stomach would look better naturally. Short version: I don't feel comfortable in swimwear, I don't like shopping for new clothes, I never wear anything fitted and I don't like being in photos.
Having just said that I feel very uncomfortable being in photos and that I have a hard time accepting and liking the way my body looks, even in very private and intimate moments, I'm as confused as you are about this post and in particular the photos in this post. A few weeks ago, after putting on beautiful lace lingerie for once (instead of my usual grandma panties and sponge bra) I felt so unexpectedly good in my body that I took my camera, balanced it on the ironing board (my life is glamorous I know) and shot these photos on a timer. After spontaneously shooting, editing and absolutely loving the result, I got a little worried about sharing. What were people going to think? Especially people I know in real life. Were these photos appropriate to share with the world? Were they beautiful enough? The longer I thought about it, the more reasons I found not to share them.
A visual story
So I stared at them, I stared at myself, over and over again and I realized that for once, I didn't care about the imperfections. I actually like the imperfections in these photos and the way they tell the story of a young woman starting to embrace and love her body. I love that some are so blurry you can only see shapes. I love the little bit of sensuality they show, held back by the feeling of being too exposed. I love the lace detailing and the combination of the blush colours. But most of all I love these photos because they show me me, in a better way than I've seen myself in years. I'm doing my best to find the right words, trying to express what these photos mean to me, but I am sure they tell the story all on their own.
I feel such a powerful positive message when I look at these photos, that I don't really care what other people think. I only care about the many young women like me out there, in need of some body positive stories to help them realize that they are beautiful, even if they don't necessarily fit into the contemporary beauty standard box. I hope I can be one of those body positive stories. I know I still have a long way to go before I could ever be a role model for health and treating my body right, but at least I can start by showing it some love exactly the way it is now. Sharing these photos with the world, even though it's terrifying to me that my family, my close friends or even my colleagues could see them too, is my way of showing that love. No more shame. This is me and I feel sexy as a hell in my lace lingerie. Get over it.
(For the sake of transparency: I have slightly edited light, contrast and colours and I've added a
little airbrushing / blurriness for a more editorial, artsy effect but all shapes are 100% natural. )